Ken O'Dell, VP, Service Electric Supply:
We were first introduced to Savance a few years ago when they contacted us about their quoting tool. We had been looking for a solution to our quoting issues for quite a while. We had a unique scenario where we needed to prepare quotes for commodities as well as large project quotes such as lighting. The biggest problem that we had was consistency and communications. If you did not do the quotation, your only option was to contact the person that prepared the quotation. Heaven forbid that person was on vacation or out with their laptop because you would be completely out of luck.
Then there was the dilemma of finding a quote that you had done for a customer. Some used Microsoft Word, some used Microsoft Excel, some marked up the requests with pen, and some just jotted down prices on an order pad. Trying to locate these when a customer called back to place the order usually was impossible unless it was with the same person on the same day. Even if the quote was located, the sales person would then have to re-key the entire order into the business system.
Savance Enterprise solved these problems by allowing my staff access to everyone else's quotes. It also facilitated the quotation process by pulling the price and availability from our Array system. In addition, we could now search for any part of the part number with or without caps locked, which made locating items much faster. The system also allows us to set reminders for quotes, which encouraged proactive follow up. This is something that we had always encouraged from a management level but never really provided the necessary tool until Savance Enterprise. The system also allows us to send a quote to another co-worker if you were not going to be in, needed to have someone purchase something, or just wanted to keep an outside salesperson informed on account activity. The system can automatically require some users to enter a lost order reason for quotes that do not get converted to an order which helps us understand how to increase our quote to order ratio.
In addition to Savance's application for our staff, we also opted to implement their Internet customer web site. This gives our customers a way to look up pricing, check our stock, build quotes, approve quotes, and follow the status of their order. We have some accounts where we must provide a way to check price/avail and submit orders online just to be a valid vendor. We are currently implementing a document management system that Savance supports that will allow our customers to review proof of deliveries as well.
After working with Savance for a couple of months, we recognized their vast experience and knowledge of networks and computer systems. In addition, they really understood the electrical distribution industry. We convinced them to provide us a quotation for IT services. They have done an exceptional job of executing their technology plan which they put together for us. Over the course of a couple of years, they have supported our client computers, upgraded our server, implemented wireless network connectivity, rolled out a hand-held solution, and provided remote e-mail access and VPN connectivity. Their service is second to none.
We have received great feedback from staff and our customers on our new professional-looking quotes, improved response times, and our state-of-the-art online system. Above everything else that Savance has done for us, we are most impressed with their approach to business as a partner rather than a vendor/customer. Our door is always open to their visits and our staff members treat them as fellow employees. They have been invited to our company outings and our office gatherings. They have even voluntarily helped us conduct our physical inventory count. It is this team effort to business that really makes Savance stand out as one of our favorite vendors. I would recommend them as a vendor and wholeheartedly recommend their product to anyone in the distribution industry.