Lockdown time well spent

AdminBase users are using the lockdown wisely, according to Ab Initio’s Rhonda Ridge, creator of the installer management system now used by more than 3,000 users in the UK.

After the initial shockwaves caused by lockdown, human beings are doing what they do best in a crisis: reviewing, adapting, preparing, and responding.

Our AdminBase system is the beating heart of more than 500 window and door installation companies in the UK, and we witnessed the response of dozens of users as the reality of the coronavirus crisis set in.

Despite the enormity of the lockdown, AdminBase is already highly adaptable, and few changes were necessary for users to continue working from home, even multiple users, who could continue to run their businesses as usual. They are able to check every stage of every lead, every order, every installation, monies owed, and stock held pending installation for example. In fact, they know exactly what the status of their business is and know just what to expect when they re-open.

And a crucial aspect of this will be the collection of outstanding balances, when appropriate to do so.

Training is also top of many users’ priorities, and many business owners have taken the opportunity to assess their use of AdminBase. They are undertaking training to refresh their knowledge, to learn new features, and to train new users. Online training is normal for us: all of our training is done this way.

Installation of new systems is similarly unaffected, simply as it has always been done this way. Just as we do during the Christmas and new year holiday shutdown, many new companies have contacted us. It is one of our busiest times because people have time to reflect on their businesses. So, while we are facing the very serious consequences of the coronavirus, nonetheless, business owners have a great deal more time on their hands to review their processes.

This includes how they handle sales leads. An extraordinary number of retail installers still use inefficient and disjointed means of taking and processing sales leads – we are amazed when we speak to new potential AdminBase users how many write them in a notebook, a pad or perhaps even a spreadsheet. If there is a benefit of the lockdown it is that many have been reminded of the importance of a sales lead when they have become a rarity.

So AdminBase acts as a vault, effectively, for what should be regarded as the most valuable resource that a retail installer has. By entering that sales lead into our system, it is there for good and can be tracked through the whole system, every important detail, right until the sign off and final balance is paid.

We are enjoying an increasing number of discussions with new users based upon that, and they will be able to act upon every lead that they draw from bored homeowners during the lockdown, to turn them into ‘work in progress’ when restrictions lift. That is the most satisfying aspect of life under the lockdown for us, knowing it will ensure these companies prosper when we get back to normal.