Rate this Content (5 Being the Best)
How to Turn Tablets into Profits
By George L. Koroneos, Editor
VSR sat down with Michael Stryczek, president of American Barcode & RFID, at Ingram Micro's POS Partner Conference, to find out how he is using tablets to build better solutions for his customers, and how he’s training his salespeople to turn the buzz around these new technologies into sales.
VSR: How have you seen your market change in the past year?
Tablets are very hot right now. Because of the iPad, customers are coming to us asking how they can use an iPad in their businesses. We explain that they can use it many different ways, but it probably won’t be rugged enough for their application, in most cases. Customers want to get away from scanners and move towards a tablet device that is multi-functional. That’s become very exciting for us, because now we can add managed services to that application. Before, you would scan a barcode; it would go into a database and pull up a product. Now, we are adding hosted applications offsite in server farms, and selling managed service applications that can pull down reports for customers in real time.
VSR: Can you give an example of how you are using mobile technology with managed services?
Sure, take for example sushi chefs. One application involved a 2D barcode that had all the food ingredients embedded in it, along with the price and weight of the food. But when anything changed, a new label would have to be put on top of the old one, and they would have to be distributed across the country. Let’s say the chef doesn’t put a barcode on it—now you are out of compliance. With a tablet device, you have the ability to streamline the new ingredients in real time, and be assured that every time they do a print job for ready-to-eat foods you are in compliance. You can also see trends about what you are selling, what customers are asking for, and what’s popular in that market. It’s giving the end-user management a lot more real-time data.
VSR: Did you have to re-educate your salesforce when you started selling managed services with tablets?
We have dedicated inside and outside salespeople and we have found it to be a really good training ground for our new salesforce. We can grow these young salespeople on the inside and train them for a two-year period on our technology, the resources we have in-house, and the ISVs that we use. When we launch the team into the field, they are extremely successful fast. It’s not like you hire someone, and four months later they are just starting to get it; they get it right away.
VSR: How long did it take you to build this kind of training program?
It was trial and error. In 2006, we started dabbling with our business model, and changing it a little at a time. It finally got to the point where we knew it would work. We used a lot of surveys and testing in our hiring process. It takes about three visits before we determine that someone can fit our culture. It has to be a good culture fit and the right personality for outside sales. If you don’t like technology and you aren’t curious, it’s going to be a struggle.
Current rating: 2 (3 ratings)