Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mobility Rules – A New Tool for Construction Material Field Sales

Tens of thousands of men and women sell construction materials throughout the United States. Many are “outside” reps. Representing manufacturers and distributors, they call on architects, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, and facility managers. These reps work in the office and from home, but the bulk of the action takes place in the field. Going beyond price and persistence, the best of these reps provide first class advice and technical support to their customers – they are their trusted advisors.

Customers, of course, call on their schedule, not their rep’s, with questions and requests: “How wide is the trench for 12” drain? What’s the cure time for the epoxy? What’s the flow rate on the roof drain you recommended? Is the insulation fire rated? Can you resend the submittal? Can you send me a substitution form for the ceiling tile?” Frequently, reps needed to respond by referring to data about products.

Up to now, it was hard to respond to these kinds of requests from the field. Most reps made a note and waited, or they called their branch and asked (or begged) someone to take care of the customer request for them. This took two people’s time and, on more than one occasion, has led to errors and delays.

Customers expect instant results. On the jobsite, contractors can’t wait until tomorrow to find out how to install a product per manufacturers’ intention. Reps need to turn this kind of data around right away.

Mobile tools make outside reps more efficient: more face time, less support time, and more value-added time as a trusted advisor. At BuildSite, we know the action is on the jobsite, and we believe in BIM to field. And that, in a nutshell, is why we have invested in mobile tools for our customers.