A large Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is realizing substantial savings by transitioning to an online sales presentation to conduct meetings with prospective clients.
Group Management Services, Inc. (GMS) is a major provider of human resources outsourcing services. Since opening in 1996, GMS has grown to become the largest PEO in Ohio and one of the largest employers in the state. GMS provides human resources outsourcing services to hundreds of companies in several states, impacting thousands of employees.
Until recently, however, the sales division of GMS found that inefficiencies were resulting in substantial expense of staff time and materials. Working with a technology company called geoAMPS, GMS has implemented an online sales presentation that has reduced expenses for paper, printing and photocopying; storage space for printed materials; and staff time to design and redesign materials.
Besides these benefits, GMS sales professionals appreciate going to an appointment carrying only a computer notebook. That computer holds their entire sales presentation. They can provide answers quickly by referencing information online and they can complete order forms or prepare meeting notes on-site. They also can crunch numbers quickly and accurately.
GMS saw immediate savings in the cost of its sales operations. The department presented 463 proposals over a six-month period with its new online application. The department saved 115 hour in staff time to assemble printed proposals; $240 in paper costs; $314 in printing costs; and $806 in preparation of proposal binders.
It isn’t surprising that sales professionals like the change as much as company accountants and executives do.
“It’s saved us gobs of money and time,” Tim Austin, GMS Vice President of Sales, said of the application designed by geoAMPS.”I can tell you that there is no company in our industry that has anything like this.”
After years of success in helping its customers save time and money, GMS is taking a page out of its own playbook in order to get emergency cash approval.
As is the case with many organizations, GMS was faced with the difficulties of trying to operate a modern operation with old solutions. Virtually all of its sales materials were on paper, Austin said. Sales information and records were kept on spreadsheets, but that required plenty of cutting and pasting. It was a labor-intensive system prone to error.
“In some cases, we can meet with a potential clients up to 10 times before we have a yes or no answer,” he said.
GMS incurred significant costs in producing necessary materials for these meetings. A large amount of paper, including high-quality proposal paper, was required for product/services information, brochures, folders and accompanying documents. Include the costs of purchasing and maintaining quality copier and spiral binding machines. Then, add the costs of staff time to write, edit, design and print the documents.
Each meeting with a prospective client, before a final agreement was reached, led to changes in the printed materials. The sales representative and potential client would pore through the material. Changes were discussed, with those marked in pen. Back at the office, GMS personnel would make the changes. Production of an entirely new packet – folder, binder and all – was necessary, so the sales representative could return to the client with updated information. Typically several copies of this new packet were necessary.
That meant more paper, more time and more inefficiency. And, subsequent meetings could result in more changes requested by the customer.
“We had a laborious, antiquated proposal process,” Austin said.
Seeing the inefficiency and waste inherent in a paper-based system, Austin set a goal to make the GMS sales operation paperless. He began soliciting proposals to create an electronic application that would minimize the company’s costs while maintaining high quality of sales efforts.
One day, he discussed his goal with the executives of geoAMPS, Yogesh Khandelwal, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Leena Madan, Chief Operating Officer. At the time, geoAMPS was a new GMS client.
“Just a few weeks after they became our customer, we became their customer,” Austin said.
geoAMPS is a technology company located in the Columbus, OH, area that offers industry-specific software products to organizations of all sizes. For GMS, geoAMPS developed a web-based presentation run from a central repository of information on company products and services. GMS sales professionals can access this with only a computer notebook.
“It was a pleasure to work with Tim and GMS to provide them with an application that met their expectations,” Madan said. “At geoAMPS, we work closely with clients from a variety of industries to customize our software to meet each customer’s needs.”
Austin was surprised by the speed and quality of development performed by geoAMPS. Within three weeks of that initial conversation, geoAMPS had a working prototype ready.
“It had a dashboard, dynamic content and looked extremely professional,” Austin said, “and it eliminated the need for the paper presentation.
“It may sound corny, but it’s true: the day I viewed the prototype for the first time was one of the most exciting professional days I have experienced here at GMS.”
The GMS sales division has implemented its new online sales presentation. There’s no longer a need to edit in pen and produce new print copies back at the office. With the new Web-based application, GMS sales professionals can make changes on the fly. There’s no longer a need to lug printed materials to a sales call. All that is needed now is a computer notebook. Austin said prospective clients have been impressed with the professionalism reflected through the online presentation.
“We have saved money, and we have saved time,” Austin said. “But what is priceless is our relationship with geoAMPS. Some things, money just can’t buy.”
By Dan Liggett and Nathan Mirolo
Dan Liggett is Communications and Public Relations Manager at geoAMPS. Nathan Mirolo is Marketing and Communications Specialist at geoAMPS.
Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net