“Our sales efficiency has Increased 25%. One of our sales reps closed a deal while on his phone, since he had access to all the data he needed to respond to the customer!”
- Tyler Lee, VP Chesapeake Systems
Chesapeake Systems (CHS) is a large and successful Manufacturers Rep company in the Mid-Atlantic region. They represent multiple factories in multiple states. Their large team produces thousands of quotes per year and for these reasons, quoting and quote management must be done efficiently and accurately.
In the beginning, CHS started where most companies start – with spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are great when starting out, however they are not a good long term solution as they often contain errors.
Spreadsheets are difficult to use effectively with sales teams that work in multiple locations. You can wind up your estimators and sales reps sending copies of spreadsheets to people both inside and outside the company. Version control and accuracy become big issues quickly.
Additionally, spreadsheets can be accidentally deleted, and errors occur when changing formulas in cells with complex calculations. Consequently, pricing calculations can be incorrect and items such as freight are not always correct and/or included in the bid. Typos in equipment descriptions can be common as well – simply because spreadsheets are designed to be flexible.
"Bid calendars, bid follow up, immediate access to data when outside the office, real time reporting on open bids and wins/losses by manufacturer are almost impossible in a spreadsheet environment without doubling and tripling the amount of work the team has to do."
- Stan Justice, Estimating Manger Chesapeake Systems
Recent studies show that 76% of spreadsheets contain errors.
For CHS, they needed more than spreadsheets, so the next solution was the creation of a custom database platform. This was a clear improvement, however the platform was not capable of supporting CHS’s growth. As the system aged, it became unstable and would crash regularly. Complicating the matter was that CHS had no vendor support with data management and backups being very difficult.
While a custom system was an improvement over spreadsheets, it was expensive and time consuming to build and required IT support personnel.
"The AccuQuote workflow is streamlined and optimized, the accuracy is phenomenal – better than expected, actually – and the user interface is highly intuitive - making quote building so much easier than it had been."
- Tyler Lee, VP Chesapeake Systems
Tyler knew that for CHS to have technology support their growth, they needed a quoting management platform to improve their ability to drive business and give the team more time to focus on what is really important. The answer was AccuQuote.AccuQuote worked closely with the team at Chesapeake Systems to understand their business processes, goals and objectives and how best to implement AccuQuote. The team from Chesapeake and the team from AccuQuote worked well together to get Chesapeake up and running quickly.
Set up of the system is fast and once the contacts and templates are set up, they could start producing quotes immediately. As the system is web based, everyone can work on set up in their offices or remotely.
Included in this solution is the ability to:
Streamline quote completion by optimizing workflows
Enable the auto-population of product information based on templates that allow for sales staff to customize certain fields
Report on all aspects of the quoting, sales and fulfillment process, including wins/losses, follow up notes by quote, items quoted or sold by manufacturer, and more
Easily find the right products and other information required for quoting with autocomplete and search functionality
Automatically calculate freight and generate proposals directly from AccuQuote.
Following the implementation of AccuQuote, CHS saw a marked improvement in their business efficiency. With AccuQuote, CHS is building 10-20 quotes daily and has a better understanding of how their sales and fulfillment processes are performing.
AccuQuote was responsive in implementing our quotation platform. They've continued to be readily available whenever we needed modifications or new features. We love the shared job calendar – it's critical to see all of our jobs in one place and sorted by bid date. We also do a ton of quotes and AccuQuote facilitates us to get our job done at least 25% faster.
-Tyler Lee, VP Chesapeake Systems