The Big Difference: Fabricator Data
Let’s start with what seems like obvious idea: Retail customers want to know the exact products they’re purchasing and the exact price. A “close enough” answer won’t fly.
But that’s exactly what software estimating tools for window fashions offer: An estimate that’s “close enough” but not exact enough to guarantee customers that the products they’re buying will fit, can be manufactured, and will cost no more than the software says they will. These sort of estimates can not only annoy consumers, but create headaches for retailers. The estimate is only a starting point that forces retailers to spend additional time verifying details, confirming pricing, and following up with their customers before they can close the sale.
Our industry is getting more complex, with the explosion of complicated, expensive custom products. Getting product measurements, configurations, or pricing variables wrong doesn’t just delay getting products to customers, it results in expensive manufacturing mistakes that eat into profits. And with products constantly changing, opportunities for errors continually multiply.
To get beyond “close enough,” retailers choose point of sale, or POS, solutions. “Sale” is the key word. POS systems like Solatech SalesPRO focus on selling product by integrating all of the tools and data retailers need into one solution that enables them to present, measure, quote multiple price points, validate the order, and close the sale in one visit to a prospect’s home.
We make this even easier by providing true end-to-end point of sale, so sales consultants can deliver the order to fabricators and import it into their own accounting systems with a few keystrokes.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Offer POS?
There’s a giant gap between the two approaches. So why doesn’t every window fashion software provider provide true point of sale? Because you can’t without a direct relationship with the fabricator, access to fabricator data and most importantly the system and resources to support this significant commitment.
Solatech SalesPRO is powered by our configuration engine, software that looks at every variable associated with a fabricator’s product and applies rules for measurements, colors, materials, options, and prices. It detects configurations that can’t be manufactured, and prevents sales consultants from trying to order them. It goes beyond providing an idea of what customers can order, and delivers a complete, accurate order that is ready to electronically submit to a fabricator.
To do this, our configuration engine requires complete, detailed data. No detail is too small, and many go beyond what retailers will see in manufacturers’ product configuration guides. We maintain partnerships with fabricators that allow our product configuration specialists to maintain a database that contains every product detail and option, as well as rules that identify and prevent configuration conflicts.
Pricing presents particular challenges, with many products having as many as a dozen or more potential surcharge options that vary based upon all the other options. These can be flat fees or percentages, and can be offered as pre- or post-discount surcharges. Getting an exact calculation of these variables can mean the difference between an immediate and profitable sale, or returning to the customer with hat in hand, asking to make up the difference between the estimate and true cost, or worse yet, losing the sale.
Our attention to detail extends to examining how data from SalesPRO will synchronize with fabricators’ internal systems, to insure that orders can be transmitted seamlessly and without errors.
Without a working partnership with fabricators, this level of accuracy isn’t possible.
POS: Faster, More Accurate and Profitable
The value of a tool is in how well it does its job, and how much time and effort it saves. That’s why we’re committed to point of sale. SalesPRO helps sales consultants do their job more quickly, with some telling us that they save 40 hours per month compared to previous sales methods.
SalesPRO insures that they do it more accurately, eliminating errors that come from manual work.
SalesPRO helps retailers close more sales, without unnecessary follow up calls, while maintaining consistently high margins.
For sales pros who want to sell more and make more money, “close enough” is no longer good enough.