Expand, Diversify And Attract

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Viewpoint

Joe Djeebet, managing director of Dorset-based The Window Man, explains how partnering with Business Pilot helps his business to grow, while keeping an eye on healthy margins.

The Window Man services the trade, retail and commercial sectors from three sites in Crewkerne, Yeovil and Weymouth, and until about two years ago, we were managing our business using very manual methods, including paper files and T-cards.

The problem with that was threefold: paper-based systems are difficult to manage across multiple sites; manual processes don’t make it easy for you to expand your product ranges and services; and attracting new talent was difficult, especially if they were used to modern systems.

Remarkably, signing up to Business Pilot has been like employing a new member of staff. It has also given me a greater control over the day-to-day running of the business, because I see at a glance how each of the three sites is performing. It has really let us spread our wings.

With a paper-based system, I wouldn’t be able to gauge where we are on a daily basis. But with Business Pilot I can see how individual staff members are performing, how efficiently the sites are running, how that month’s sales are compared to our targets, what the closing rates are, and which site is selling the most products.

This allows us to be more targeted with training, marketing, and technical support, which ultimately saves us money and makes us more profitable.

The customer also benefits immensely from this new approach to customer management.

For example, if someone phones one office, which is busy, the call will automatically divert to another office after a certain number of rings. Our staff are briefed to treat that customer as though they were from the office they originally called. Since all details are kept on Business Pilot, anyone can call up that customer’s details and be fully briefed.

That really does help us to be efficient, because who likes being told that someone will call them back – whether they are a customer or a supplier?

Actually, everyone wants to be dealt with immediately, and with Business Pilot we can book in surveys and installations because everyone’s diaries are visible. This is just the way the world is these days, and if you are operating off a manual disjointed system, then you will find it difficult to respond in the way people expect.

I’ve got two favourite elements of Business Pilot. The first is the schedule. On a manual system it is easy to get booked up for weeks in advance, but have little control over the actual installation because things may change at the last minute, and this will impact negatively on the other jobs we have booked in.

Our strategy is to only schedule 80% – booking out four days in a five-day week. That way, we can phone a customer on a Monday and tell them we can bring the job forward to Friday morning. This means that if a job overruns we’ve got flexibility to finish it without moving other jobs, and the customer loves it if, on the other hand, we can bring their job forward.

If we didn’t have this system, customers could either be delayed (not good) and/or I would have to pay fitters overtime to keep to the original contract (also not good).

This brings me on to my second favourite element of Business Pilot: margin control.

On Business Pilot, we use the Margin Calculator, which helps us stay profitable while keeping busy. I often have my team come to me asking if they can do this deal or that deal, and before you know where you are you’ve said ‘yes’ too many times, which will drive down your average profit margin.

Do you remember the margin erosion people suffered following Covid? Turnover went up, average order values went up, and people thought they were doing really well. But they didn’t go up in line with rising costs, so turnover may have been booming, but margins were actually shrinking.

Today, the Margin Calculator helps me keep my business profitable, which in turn allows us to reinvest in the business and expand our offering.

In a nutshell, I wouldn’t be able to run three separate shops without Business Pilot. It’s as simple as that. It would drive me up the wall.

You can watch a discussion between Joe Djeebet and Business Pilot’s MD Elton Boocock here: https://youtu.be/L_jRJaxaWvo?si=QSc-hIrv54HexVpQ

www.businesspilot.co.uk

 

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