Integrated sales and ordering

Emplas has unveiled its software integration, turning sales to orders into a single seamless process, which can be delivered in person or remotely. By Jody Vincent, national sales director at Emplas.

Speaking at the beginning of October, Boris Johnson warned that things were “going to continue to be bumpy through to Christmas,” adding “it may even be bumpy beyond it”.

No wonder then that installers are hedging their bets and looking to remote working from CRMs and business management tools, to sales platforms.

It’s impossible to call when we’ll return to any form of normality, so it makes sense to prepare for the worst and hope for the best to keep the wheels of your business turning. You can continue to sell, as long as you have the right tools.

WindowCAD is one such solution. It offers installers the ability to sit down with homeowners, input dimensions, run through colour, finish and design options and adjust glass specifications, in moments. It also allows you to upload an image of their property and swap those same designs in or out instantaneously, transforming the sales process.

Integrated with a screenshare platform, for example Zoom or Teams, this can be delivered in person or remotely, something which, given current levels of uncertainty and local lockdowns, has the potential to prove invaluable.

One major advantage is that can instantly pull in your pricing and your discounts. It means you can adjust specifications on finish, glass, and in front of the customer, in person or online.

Having trialled it with T&K our own retail business, this does a few things. First, it establishes what the customer is paying for; it doesn’t appear that the salesperson isn’t making it up as they go along, so it builds increased authority and trust.

Second, it allows you to demonstrate why some specifications (eg, foils or glass) may cost a little more.

And third, it allows you to upsell. For example, you can show the customer that for a small additional investment they could increase the specification of the unit from a standard spec to Planitherm Comfort and sell those features to the end-user.

Created by our team of developers, we have built a unique API (application programme interface), which enables WindowCAD to talk to Window Designer and integrate with its own digital ordering process and, in so doing, deliver a series of additional benefits to installers.

This means that data is inputted once and once only. The specifications built during the sales consultation can be pulled from WindowCAD into Window Designer, once the sales agreement has been signed off by the homeowner.

There are checks and safeguards built in to WindowCAD so that you can’t sell something that can’t be made. For example, where a window is out of specification, it won’t let you proceed unless you adapt the design to a specification that will work.

This new digital and remote sales offering has been fully tested in a retail environment by our home improvement business, T&K. This has supported Emplas in launching with a proven platform, having ironed-out all the potential creases during a three-month test phase carried out over the summer.

We have also built a digital signature service. So, if the agreement is sent out to the customer digitally, they can physically sign it on their phone, tablet or touch-screen device. A little bit like signing for a parcel on your own-front door electronically.

If they’re opening on a laptop or PC, they can check a pdf, which acts as they’re signature. As the documents are tracked and recorded to a specific IP address (customer’s broadband account), and then recorded to the cloud, it acts as a legally binding document.

This can also be further integrated with the installer’s own CRMs to trigger an invoice at the point at which the order is signed and sent.

Covid-19 has accelerated the move to digital sales solutions but it’s the product of a long-term trend. We’re giving our customers a turn-key solution that supports them in selling more effectively while driving up their profitability on every job.