Stanley Louissaint, Principal and Founder of Fluid Designs and ASCII MSP Advisory Board member, says the decision to use a quote management system all came down to time. Like most MSPs, he uses multiple distributors. So when he prepared a quote, he’d have each of their web portals open, checking for availability of the part he needed, comparing prices, and finding the closest warehouse that could ship it to him.
MSP: Fluid Designs, Union, NJ
Challenge: Reduce the time spent on quotes
Solution: QuoteWerks IT industry solution, Product Content Subscription powered by Etilize, and QuoteValet Online Quote Delivery
- Time to generate a quote, on average, reduced from 1.5 to 2 hours to less than half an hour.
- Integration with accounting application eliminates manual data entry
- Quote templates ensure consistent branding
- Online quote delivery informs sales reps when a customer opens or signs a quote so they can follow up promptly
- Integration with distributors to place orders right from quoting tool
“I was going to each site, one by one,” Louissaint says.
Once he had the information he needed, he used QuickBooks to generate quotes, entering categories, descriptions, time and other data manually. “And depending on how many quotes I had to do, I did it over and over again.”
When an employee resigned, it made using time wisely even more essential. “It was hard to allocate the time needed to sit there and write quotes. It was costing me money,” Louissaint explains.
That’s when Louissaint began using QuoteWerks. He says there’s a simple calculation that MSPs can perform when considering an automation tool: “Multiply your hourly rate by the time you spend on the activity and see how much time you could spend billing.” So when he crunched the numbers, Louissaint says there wasn’t any reason not to try QuoteWerks.
QuoteWerks IT industry solution integrates with distributors, and Louissaint chose to add on a subscription that gives him access to real-time pricing and warehouse availability information. The solution also allows Louissaint to submit orders directly from the application and receive order status, serial numbers and tracking numbers from distributors. In addition, the quote management tool integrates with QuickBooks, so Louissaint no longer has to enter information manually when an order is accepted.
Louissaint says he also opted for an add-on that helps him stay on top of the sales process. “I get an email when the customer views a quote, so I know it’s a good time to pick up the phone and call.” He says his solution also includes a reminder system to follow up with clients who haven’t reviewed or accepted a quote within a specific timeframe. “A quoting tool with the added benefit to help you close a sale with built-in reminder features is a huge plus,” Louissaint says.
Louissaint says QuoteWerks has had many positive impacts on his business. “I’m not spending 3 or 4 hours on each quote,” he says. “The process has improved 100 percent.” He adds that automated quote tracking is helping to increase revenue. With manual processes, when you send a quote, you have no visibility into whether the client even saw it. “QuoteWerks helps me to remember to reach back out,” Louissaint says.
Louissaint adds that it’s easy to configure the templates included with the solution to reflect your brand and work best for your projects. They’ve also helped to make quoting consistent across the organization — the solution allows you to share them with your entire team.
Setting up the quote management tool was simple for Fluid Designs; they used QuoteWerks accelerated implementation for setup and integration with his accounting application. Louissaint points out he chose not to integrate his quote management tool with professional services automation (PSA). “You need to understand how you want to use it and what you want to accomplish,” he says.
He advises other MSPs grappling with the decision to automate the quote process to remember their value. “When you spend time on quotes, you need to think of how much your time is worth, as when you provide services. Then, maximize revenue,” he says.
About The ASCII Group, Inc.
The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, VARs and solution providers. The group has over 1,300 members throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members, including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. In addition, ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs and VARs grow their businesses. For more information, please visit www.ascii.com.