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Customer Spotlight: Trade Supply Group
Periodically, we like to shine the spotlight on our great customer partners – giving them the chance to offer insights about why the company chose SMP, how the company is benefiting from SMP and more. We’re focusing the spotlight on Trade Supply Group (TSG), based in New York, and their phased, strategic implementation of SMP to their five business units.
TSG is well known in the New York metro and beyond for its focus on all aspects of the building products industry to both trade and retail consumers; the company is comprised of five different business units, each facing their own set of marketplace challenges. Finding the ‘sweet spot’ between what the company needed collectively and each business unit needed individually was job one. When identifying a sales management and CRM platform with which to partner, TSG Vice President of Operations, Nick Aversano wanted a partner who understood their business model. “We’ve had a need for a sales management product for some time. We’ve been asking and polling our team about what they need now and how to address their pain points, but five sales entities rolling something out at the same time is tough,” Aversano said.
They needed someone who understood this, and SMP fit the bill. With extensive experience in the sales management and CRM space, and working with ‘umbrella corporations’ comprised of multiple business units, the SMP Team understood how to collaborate with all their stakeholders. Just as important was working with the team to understand the unique business challenges, and even the small-business culture of each of the company’s individual entities to help ensure buy-in and a smooth rollout.
It all began with a strategic implementation plan – hit the critical requirements for data integration, and address all the different entities’ immediate needs. TSG business System Administrator, Scott Sokoly, who managed the SMP implementation, said, “not being pressed into someone else’s timeline and working with us to determine our own timeline” was critical along the way. “SMP was willing to work with us based or staff needs, and the incremental rollout was important to us instead of pushing everything ‘day one’.” With this in mind, TSG and SMP worked together to develop an implementation and rollout strategy that worked for everyone could agree on, and got to work.
TSG staff praised SMP for working efficiently and minimizing the workload on their implementation staff. Sokoly said, “The level of experience was apparent and reassuring. Working with one contact who knows all of what’s going on, how to resolve small issues that come up without taxing our time was so critical to the success of this project. They’re working with you to make sure everything goes right and that it’s easy – because they’ve done this so many times!” Aversano added, “It really was easy; we saw no issues with data accuracy and almost no tweaks needed to our Eclipse system to make it all work.” In just a few short weeks, the implementation phase for Sales Management Plus was complete, and the team quickly moved on to training and rollout among the five business units.
Together, the teams developed an approach to ensure the pace of the process and prioritization of key components would meet the needs of their unique business model. As an executive, the old adage ‘time is money’ is not lost on Aversano. But he stressed along the way that while gaining adoption quickly is typically the main goal, he knew that pushing ‘too much too fast’ can be a barrier, and buy-in was a critical requirement for TSG. “The phased rollout approach has helped to ensure a good first impression, and helped us make sure each team is getting what they need before we add on more. We think we have an idea of what the problem areas are that we need to resolve in each business entity, but we really want to listen to what they’re wasting time on, holes in their processes today, and so on, so we can then show them how to use SMP to answer those problems.” said Aversano. Sokoly added, “We focused on what’s important to the team first, then next, and next. Early success has helped up with easier buy-in as we add on more details and corporate requirements for SMP.”
As for their goals for SMP inside their organization? Aversano and Sokoly were quick to offer what success with SMP looks like throughout TSG – and that’s simply “SMP” becoming part of the vernacular in their corporate culture, a verb that’s practically synonymous with getting things done. TSG sees SMP as their one stop solution for bid follow-up, task tracking, sales analysis and managing the overall customer relationship. “We want everyone to see how it’s really working to improve our processes and business success,” Sokoly said. And Aversano followed, “we want to ensure it’s visible to everyone and we’re using it as our go-to to capture everything for all our bids and projects.”