By Bridget McCrea
In “Ready to Stand out in the Marketplace in 2017?“, Mayer Electric EVP of Business Development Glenn Goedecke discussed the company’s drive to notice changes in the market, and use those changes to differentiate themselves from competitors. In this sidebar, Goedecke reveals one specific way Mayer is catering to the needs of it’s contractor customer base, and ensuring their loyalty for years to come.
Introducing: Digital Project Management for Contractors
Glenn Goedecke knows that smartphones and tablets have become the communication modes of choice for many electrical contractors. And while some may still want to pick up the phone, schedule an on-site visit, or shoot over an order via fax, most younger buyers would rather pull out their smartphones, review their project statuses, submit an order, and move onto the next pressing task—knowing that everything is under control and in process.
“As more millennials make their way into the workplace—both as our customers and as our employees—this is the only way they want to do business,” says Goedecke, executive vice president of business development for Mayer Electric Supply Co., Inc., in Birmingham, Ala. “They don’t want to deal with paper and they don’t want to manage files. They want to look for project status reports via a smartphone and then start the project from there.”
To accommodate this request, Mayer Electric recently rolled out a digital project management application. Residing within the distributor’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, the app delivers daily (or hourly, if requested) project updates in a real-time, automated manner.
“The system is tied into our suppliers, our customers, and our own network, which allows us to deliver materials electronically,” says Goedecke. Before the application came about, he says Mayer Electric relied on a paper-based system that informed customers—on a weekly basis—of which materials were billed, which weren’t billed, what still needed to be created and/or shipped, and so forth.
“Now we can digitally manage the entire process, straight from the supplier to our company and they go out to the customer in the field,” says Goedecke, “who no longer has to call us to get project updates.”
Goedecke says Mayer Electric developed the app for two reasons: customers wanted a more “digital” way of retrieving those updates, and the distributor itself needed a 21st Century solution to an age-old problem. He sees potential for other distributors that want to make similar moves, but admits that the industry may not necessarily be ready for it. “A lot of distributors aren’t thinking digitally yet; this is pretty cutting-edge at this point,” says Goedecke, “but those customers who are already using our system absolutely love it.”
McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals. You can reach her at email@example.com or visit her website at www.expertghostwriter.net.
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