Picture Perfect Profits
In 13 days, VAR Newbart Products sells and bills an existing client for two new photo ID systems complete with software, card printers, and cameras.
Probably one of the best compliments a client can give you is a phone call for another project. Jim Bartley, a VAR and president of Newbart Products (Houston) got such a call in January of this year. The client was American Rice (Houston), a company Newbart had sold a Polaroid-style photo ID card system to five years ago. American Rice has three locations with a total of 500 employees.
"Their existing system was very manual," Bartley explained. "Their supplies included the Polaroid film, custom-printed cards, and a laminating pouch. They would type an employee's information [e.g. name, department, ID number] onto a paper card and then place the card in a pouch." Indeed, this system was not only cumbersome, but costly, too. If a photo didn't turn out good, they didn't know until the film was developed. "Each of the cards produced by this system cost at least $1.50," Bartley said. Despite these drawbacks, American Rice's true motivation for contacting Newbart was to find a way of integrating its ID card process with its new payroll/time and attendance software. Bartley knew just what his client needed.
A Solution That Cuts Supply Costs By 2/3
In June of 2001 Newbart began selling a photo ID software from Synercard (Hull, Quebec) called Asure ID Express. A Windows-based application, Asure ID is designed for small- and medium-sized organizations that want to create professional-looking ID cards that have photos, customized backgrounds, and logos. In Bartley's mind, this was the product that American Rice needed. The company already had a computer with the Synercard software's minimum system requirements (i.e. 233 MHz MMX Intel or AMD CPU, 32 MB RAM, 2 MB video card). The only pieces missing were a digital camera and a card printer for inputting and outputting data to and from the software. For this part of the project Bartley chose an Eltron (Camarillo, CA) 310 card printer and a VideoLabs (Minneapolis) FlexCam color camera.
"One of the printer's ribbons is good for about 200 prints," Bartley stated. "The PVC cards used by the printer cost 12 cents. All together, a completed card from this new system cost approximately 50 cents. That's a drastic change in supply costs compared to American Rice's old system. And, this process is easier to operate since users can design cards using the computer. The software really takes all the labor out of the process."
A 13-Day Sales Cycle
On January 10, 2002 Bartley provided American Rice with a quote for his recommended system. By January 23, 2002 he was billing the company for the system. In fact, he was billing for two stand-alone systems - one at the client's Houston headquarters and another at its California location. Newbart shipped everything to the Houston facility and American Rice sent the other system to the California location. "In a few hours we were able to import their payroll database [Ceridian] and train them on how the system worked," Bartley acknowledged. "After that, we only needed to provide phone support to the other location."
As for the third American Rice facility, Bartley said he's currently proposing the same Synercard-based photo ID system to be installed there, too. "They didn't look anywhere else for this project," he said. "In fact, they must have been happy with our service - they paid us early!" Now, that's a compliment.