If you’ve been in the area long enough, you know that Timm Funk Associates has helped many small and medium-sized businesses conquer obstacles that get in the way of their growth. We serve as part-time CFOs. We serve as strategic advisors. We help navigate fiscal issues, inventory management, compensation programs, process management, human resource concerns, and cash flow problems.
When I have a conversation with a Siouxland small business owner, it often starts with something simple. The conversation in my meeting today was no different. "My sales staff needs a quoting tool to ensure consistent margins," asked this particular Sioux City CEO. "Can you develop one?"
During the course of this discussion, and further discussions with sales and operations staff, I was able to see overarching trends that were causing 10% or more in lost margins. The sales team didn’t understand labor requirements, the operations team didn’t understand the expected hours of work for each job, and customers could get a different quote for the same order each time they ordered it.
It became apparent that the complex product offering provided by this company would not be served by a simple price list; it required a quoting system that could tie all the aspects of the business together to increase consistency, efficiency, and profit margins. To work properly, the quoting tool would also need to maximize technician productivity, especially since analysis uncovered labor costs that were 20% higher than required.
In the case of this particular Siouxland business, what seemed like a simple request for a quoting tool became something different entirely. And it came with some amazing results.