Mr. Anil Annojerao (Director), Prompt Solutions talks about the challenges they faced previously with an on-premise software and a bunch of other software. GrowSmart helped them overcome these challenges, improve productivity, increase technician utilization by almost 100%, increase revenue and drive growth.
About Prompt Solutions
3M India authorised service provider
20+ years of experience
30+ team members
Serves Pan-India, Sri Lanka, Maldives
Trusted service providers and distributors in Health Care, Medical-Surgical, Food Microbiology, IT, Safety & Security Devices and related Industries
USP: Service matching international standards
Accessibility issues with the previously used on-premise software.
Lack of a reminder system for payments due to be collected. Hence most payments would go overdue hurting cash flow.
Excessive person-dependence to use software that required special training even for day-to-day operations.
Lack of MIS to compare the previous prices offered to customers and prepare new profitable quotations, resulting in loss of revenue.
Reduced turnaround time. 96% more likely to respond within 4 hours and 90% likely to respond within 45 minutes.
Stock leakages plugged.
No person dependence at all.
Key excerpts from the video
“We were following some kind of, our own. What we call as, the steps or sequence. But GrowSmart taught us, it was like a drastic change in the workflow of the process- how we follow the process.”
“But right now, I don't know why from three years, we have no addition in the manpower.”
“My only worry is if we rollback from GrowSmart and how do we survive with those multiple software.” - Mr. Anil Annojerao, Director.
Full video transcript
Before implementing GrowSmart
The earlier operation was, basically, we have come up with the Excel, Microsoft Excel. With some kind of macros being enabled. And my other team members were into software. So they developed some of the in-house software what we call. It was in Microsoft access. These kind of things. And we wanted to have more like interactive kind of a database where we want to grab the earlier data, history, and planning for the future. Like, how do we go about our targets, these kind of things. So, we identified a couple of other CRMs, but we were not happy much. And out of that, one was, like that the software was installed in our office itself. Like in our server. The accessibility was an issue. Like either we have to call back some other person at the backend office and then take the data. So this used to be consuming a lot of time, a lot of time, and we were not getting the data. And again, the data manipulation has to be done. So that data, they have given it to you to export it to Excel, and another guy working on Excel. So, the manpower used to go very high.
What were the challenges?
The difficulty for us was a revenue generation on time and at par. The alerts, the reminders, which we were not getting. So, this was a major hurdle for us every time. And, we used to have some kind of a blame game happening here internally. Like I was supposed to do, and somebody else is next to me, and neither of us were taking the responsibility. So these are the issues I wanted to put it back in the right manner. Like the responsibility has to go to this person and the hierarchy. And this is what we expected from the software. And these difficulties were there.
And especially the Tally is not user-friendly. You need some kind of training on that to get used to it, especially to have, access the data, that accounting information, billing information, and the payment information. So we were dependent on yet another person. Wait till the lady comes, we have to sit with her, and then send the payment reminders. So these were all which we wanted to have on a single screen. The other part is the timely revenue generation, which I told you, which was not happening, Only because, we were not getting the right information at the right time. So that was the issue. And, the third challenges was comparison. Comparative study. About any customer or any item, what we sell, generally we sell spare parts. So we want to compare that, because it's not that for every customer we give the same price. Because, it depends on the volumes. And it depends on the kind of business that the group has. So this kind of group hospitals, we used to give special pricing. So, I just want, we wanted to know that, okay, what was the price at which we supplied. We are not into like consumers by a day-to-day consumable business, or anything like domestic items, we don't have to aggregate. This one item if they purchase, they might not purchase up to two, three years, so I'll need to track it back, that what was the price I quoted to them. What was the price negotiated, and what as per today, how much we can quote. There are some instances where we have had huge revenue loss because of this, because we underquoted it. So this kinds of instances have happened. These were the challenges, which we wanted to overcome.
How did you go about the implementation?
Now, we had to implement the entire, it's kind of a sequence, like what you've told. Okay, from the customer, from the lead generation, from the order creation, then the equipment supply, then comes service. So we had to do the complete exercise. Because there is, why we had done this, especially we had taken care so much, is because we know what all challenges we had come across for so many years. We were feeding in the data and trying at our end only. Whether our customers, how they get notifications, everything. We implemented, then we went region wise, one by one. So this is how we went, but we have done the complete sequence. Initial days they used to have a little bit of difficulty in understanding the screens. Because we have been used to one screen every day. We have been using them since ages. From decades, we have been using like Excel or Access database. So they are used to those screens. But there were only like two, two or three persons who had tried along with me, the other CRMs also. So they were very easy and they started training the other guys. But how user-friendly is, right now, it's just like a mobile phone, out of the box you take it, and nobody teaches us how to use it. And they know. Right now you don't require Android, you don't require, apple OS. Anything you give, people are getting used to it. And similarly, our new apps that we have got, from maybe two years I think the apps are out for GrowSmart. So, used to the apps. We have actually reduced the Webex. New users, they might take around a week's time to get used to it. And while training also, we will not put the entire burden on them. We just train them on a stage by stage, like right now, uh, for what kind of job he is going, a guy on the field, we'll train him only for that. Like if he is going for a sales inquiry, so let us, we'll just put him only the sales inquiry, lead generation, and those kinds of entries in GrowSmart. And how he updates, his travel. Everything is captured and what's the importance of it. So those things they need to understand. And gradually, once he gets the order, then we'll show him how we should process the order. And then maybe a weeks times they start using. And by months time, they'll be experts. Sometimes they give advise to us.
Results : Streamlined Operations
We were following some kind of, our own. What we call it as, the steps or sequence. But GrowSmart taught us, it was like a drastic change in the workflow of the process- how we follow the process. So that we have learned and we have implemented. So that streamlining, how it does give an advantage for us is, basically, in the quotations management, the inventory management, and the control for both these things, and the profitability analysis. So these kind of things, because of the streamlining only, we have gone across with the major changes.
Results : Impact on Productivity
There's a huge change (that) has happened in terms of a productivity of any manpower. Be it anywhere, like a sales guy, the backend office guy, or the logistic team also. For everybody, we have provided that access right now. So now on an average, 35 to 50%, you can see the productivity growth. Especially using the cloud-based system. And the main thing, the main advantage what we see here is the time. So wherever you are, however you are, whatever you're doing, you have an access - in front of a customer or in front of the equipments. So that's how the productivity is indirectly, related to time management. So we are very good in time management because of this software system. So that's how the productivity grows.
Earlier the management team, or even the supervisors, ok the supervisor is also a manager, all of our managers, service managers and regional managers, they had limited access. We used to meet up only three months once, quarterly, meet up, and then discuss the, like what's what's happening and how it is, the profitability or the, how they are taking it forward for the quarter and a yearly, and where they are lagging all these things. So now these kind of things are documented. And within seconds, wherever they have, they can have the access. So that's been like, my other directors are really very happy with that. Because on a click of a button, they know what's the profit and then they approve it. So earlier you need to discuss, sit down, and open the quotation, ask them, ask the sales team or the service team to get the quotation., work out on the profit, take a calculator, all these things. So these things have been streamlined very well, and it’s accurate data.
Results : MIS and data-driven decisions
So the data is very important here. And all our management, especially what I see is, we have multiple profitability analysis. Like based on the recent purchase cost, based on average cost, based on actual cost. So all of these things was not possible until and unless I spend a minimum one hour or 45 minutes. Which I just get in less than four seconds or 5 seconds. And one more thing in as far as the management is concerned, earlier days, like comparison, I'm just giving them the comparison. Like if any customer calls to the backend office, or sometimes what happens is the backend coordinator, what we call, the coordinator is not there, the call used to go to the management, or an accounts person. Right now even an accounts person who has zero knowledge on technical aspects of any equipment, if the call goes to him, he will just pick up and he'll just check it on the software, what is the status? They'll just ask the customer name. And every data is captured there. And the responses to the customer is very fast. So we get a lot of appreciation from customers, especially on this front. That I was really happy that your receptionist or a security guy forwarded it to the right person. Even though the right person was a non-technical person, that issue was addressed. That's what we want, customer expects, and we also expect.
Results : Impact on people dependency
Once we shifted over to the cloud based systems, GrowSmart, we have grown two folds, definitely, that there is no doubt in that. And we have added a few more products also. That's an additional advantage. But over the past years, like history, if I want to say, our team right now is around 30, around 30 people are there. So initially like in the year 2000, every year we were appointing on one or two persons addition. It depends on the product and our revenue that's going, and coverage. So keeping in mind all these things, and the demand from the principal company, we used to add on the number of employees. But right now, I don't know why from three years, we have no addition in the manpower. Only thing is, if some manpower has left, we have replaced it. But otherwise there's no addition of manpower. And similarly, the people dependency I told you, earlier the management was dependent on engineer to address an issue. So right now the management, the accountant,or the receptionist is able to address the issues. So this has happened only because of what you call it - on the every screen we have, some kind of a notes, some kind of reminders, some kind of activities, what we keep on entering. So they going through the history of the activities everybody is able to address. So the people dependency is almost like zero. I'm never dependent on anybody. And especially in terms of accounts. Earlier, we used to wait in a queue and go sit with the accountant for Tally and then take out the data. Sometimes, wait for hours together, because they'll be doing, sometimes audit will be there, monthly filings will be there, so you have to wait for a longer time. Now for accounts we have a different building. We have stopped going there itself. So that's - the team gets notifications within seconds. when the call is open, within seconds the notification goes to the engineer and they'll plan for it. And the customers are also overwhelmed with the responses that how fast and professional you are in the service calls. And this team also knows that, okay, there's a call that has come. And he knows that the notification has gone to the customer also. And so within four hours we need to respond to their customer. So, we need to send this data to our global team every month on month. And we are at around 96% to cover it within four hours. And we are more than 90% to cover it within 45 minutes.
Results : Customer experience
We have, I told you also, we have, we received a lot of appreciations, especially. And like we are becoming like a role model for the customers. Customers are always comparing, “see, this is how Prompt solutions is sending us the data”, like how the notifications goes to them and how the reminder goes to them - alerts, reminders
everything. So they're taking it as a role model and they are advising the other, our competitor service providers in other distributors and all. “This is how it has to be done. Please learn something from them”. So that was really a great appreciation for us, okay. And all credit is because of this GrowSmart only. And, forget about going paperless, we have gone speechless. Speechless means there is no telephonic interaction and being happening older period after. Like earlier, uh, it's an example like, some engineer goes to a customer, and they want a quotation. So our engineer was not able to do anything. He will call the back office and they will tell. In that there will be a time gap. In between the customer used to call us and then talk and ask to send the quotation immediately. So right now he's doing it in front of his desk, talking, we just send the quote, and they will ask us to approve here. And we get a notification, we check the pricing, we approve it immediately. And customer, within five minutes, he has got it. And then he is also responding. So those kind of things used to go up. And then like, they'll not come to know, what time you engineer is coming for a call, especially for service. So those kind of interaction used to happen. Actually to be frank, I. Sometimes I used to just neglect a few of the calls. I know that this customer is calling for me for, to ask the status of something else. So I need to wait and I need to check with my team and then address the issue. So those kind of things has happened. So right now the customer is calling and telling, 'Hi, this is. I'm just calling you'. There is no problem with the equipment. I just wanted to talk to you. These kind of things and appreciations really matters. Yeah now, the escalations also, what is happening is that when the escalation goes, so everybody are aware that this escalation is going to, this is visible to everybody in the management, in the company. And the data also goes to the global team. They are also answerable, not only to us, even though they are our employees, they have to answer to our principal company also. Ok.. Ok.. So they are more careful now, in handling the customers. So the escalations are going down maybe 80%.
After software, definitely it has fetched us a couple new businesses. As I said this was by word of mouth by the customers. Ok. They recommend, they come across with a new equipment, from a new vendor, a new global supplier, who are looking for some kind of a service provider in India. So the customer themselves have recommended, and then we have got such kind of opportunities. So this is because of the, the way we are reporting. Our reporting system. And our reporting system, right now, the backend is the GrowSmart for us. That's a boon.
Results: Revenue growth and expansion
Yeah, there's a great impact on the revenue growth. More than talking about the revenue growth, revenue grows year-on-year with the products addition. But here as I mentioned, for us revenue has to happen on that time. Time is important. So then right now the revenue growth is ahead of the actual schedule. So we send reminders a couple of days, just like the insurance companies we send before itself. So in the earlier instances we used to get the revenue after the expiry of the contract. But right now we are at par. On the line, or before. And customer also, now customer themselves have started sending a reminder. Okay. we have a renewal, just to take it forward and send us the bill copy. So this is how the revenue improvement is a timely improvement what I can say. Apart from that otherwise it’s year on year growth.
Results: Cost control and profitability
Yeah, definitely, the profitability has increased to a great extent for us also after implementing. Especially some of the add-ons like, I expect, I demanded for some more things to be added. And so after that, we have got great control on our profitability. It's not that it has come on its own, but we have done it. And we have analyzed data. As I told you, profitability analysis, at, different levels like, I cannot just take blindly, okay my input cost is this much and my output and I have a hundred percent margin. So, but in GrowSmart, you'll come to know you are not at a hundred. You are at 80, or it'll also tell you are at 120. So we'll come to know on the time-based and how many days credit we are giving. So based on that, we have a lot of increase in profitability. We are able to have more control on our profitability. Because you get a something called as a history of the prices quoted to the same customer or to other customers, for the same product, we'll get a history, compare it and then quote. Main thing, the success measure is like calculative-wise, It's because of the stock management and the logistic management. There also, we have a major advantage. We used to have huge inventories, and then there used to be leakages, stock pilferation and missing stocks. So these kind of things we have got a hold on this now. So we have a tracking of the stock, where it has gone, where exactly it is laying, and which region it is lying, who has taken and who has not returned. So this, we have got a huge control on all these things. And as far as the penalty clauses are concerned, we have a toll free. We have a toll-free number for our service. So which is also recorded. So the toll free transfers the call within some three minutes or five minutes to us. So which is recorded in GrowSmart - all are live. So we can not manipulate the data. So if any customer is complaining that I complained a day earlier and you've not attended, so for that we have a document evidence. Which cannot be, these are tamper-proof. So these kinds of evidences, we have put forward and the service data, the maintenance data, and timely maintenance, so all these datas, reporting, which has been sent to the customer. There's absolutely, I think from past few years, we never had any penalties. We have never paid any penalties. Inventory, It was very huge only. I can tell around 30%. There used to be 30% loss, which we have recovered. Now it's almost zero. Almost we are touching 99.9%.
Results : Technician utilization
Technician utilization is again, multitasking. which was not happening earlier. So right now we are multitasking, we are utilizing the same technicians, because of the time, time matter, where we are reduced to a great extent, our time management, for all our engineers or the technicians. So that thing. And then, the source for them, they require some kind of a source - technical source from - from the company. So we have some kind of a document library, with restricted access. So now what they want, so we give them access only at that particular site. So these kinds of things, not coming back again, taking back their equipment all the way. And then that time management, and the knowledge gained by them, there we see a lot of improvement. Around 90% we can say. Comparatively, we were not even 50%, maybe we are at around 45%. So now 90%, means, we have almost like 50% utilization.
Interviewer: I mean 100% increment - 100% increase in technician utilisation.
Role in COVID-19 lockdowns
During lockdown like it again, maybe this was a boon for us. Okay. We have survived only because of this. Only because of the software, maintaining from home. And we are able to make some decisions, offsite, okay. Generally, there was no need to go to office, and people have learned that, okay, you can work anywhere wherever you are. You can do everything. There's no need of an office going and digging out the files. So every data is here and we used to take, cater all of our customers and take calls, complete the calls. So this has happened. And one thing because of COVID is we, our management, and our directors also, and even the principal companies are also, the way the work flow happened during this time, especially, we were not allowed to travel out. There were a lot of restrictions. Even though we are in healthcare, we had passes, but still we avoided for personal safety reason. But still the work used to happen. It used to go. We used to lag, we were lagging with some revenues. But still the way we are moving, we moved forward. Now management is thinking, why? Why do we require an office at all? And you know, all this 20 years, whatever you are done, you have done similarly. We nowhere lagged behind during the lockdown. That was very good and everything was running very smoothly.
About GrowSmart support
The support we availed was really a very immense support from everybody. And especially because we are one of the first few customers for you, I think during the initial days. So those times we have extensively used the support, your support system. Almost like weekly two calls we used to make for the documentation or some kind of implementation, some new additions, add-ons as I mentioned earlier. So I had taken extensive support from them. And, what I feel is it's worth every penny what we pay for a subscription, only because for the support that we get. And almost every concern was being resolved immediately. Now we have basically migrated from multiples of softwares, and different data, different format of data. So we actually know that pain, what we used to do, and it's, it's like a major advantage for us having a single screen solution, what we call it now. In a single screen we have everything uploaded. Actually, I can't express like how we have grown over the years with this all-in-one solution. We are, we have grown multifold. I told you two fold we are grown - productivity wise or getting new business opportunities. My only worry is if we rollback from GrowSmart and how do we survive with those multiple softwares.