Sell Vertical-Specific Mobile Solutions
Demonstrating rugged handhelds with customized keys and software helped this software developer earn a $200,000 install with a lumber company.
Forestry Systems Inc. is a software developer that focuses exclusively on the lumber industry. The 20-year-old company's name and its YARDMASTER software suite, which includes applications such as Log Scaler, Timber Cruiser, and Yard Tally, confirm its lumber industry focus. Even though the company is well established in the lumber market, it doesn't rest on past successes. One customer that illustrates Forestry Systems' innovativeness is hardwood lumber manufacturer Mid-West Hardwoods. Mid-West Hardwoods has been a longtime customer of Forestry Systems. In fact, the lumber manufacturer purchased 860 TCAL (Telxon common application language)-based Telxon handhelds from the software developer in 1994 and was finally looking for a mobile computing refresh in 2006.
Even though Forestry Systems had serviced its customer's handhelds since the implementation, the lumber manufacturer made its RFQ (request for quote) available to other VARs/systems integrators/software developers. Forestry Systems went all-out to ensure it didn't lose its customer. The first thing it did was fly a sales engineer to Mid-West Hardwoods' site along with a demo unit of its new, proposed handheld, which was a Two Technologies JETT XL rugged handheld. "We've worked with a lot of other rugged handheld vendors over the years, but no other vendor enables us to customize their handhelds the way Two Technologies does," says Patrick J. Jenks, president of Forestry Systems. In the lumber industry, yard workers track tree appraisals, log counts, and mill production activity, which requires 2,000 to 3,000 keystrokes per day. Also, most of the keystrokes comprise numbers rather than data entry. After meeting with Two Technologies and explaining Mid-West Hardwoods' business challenges, Two Technologies developed a handheld with a numeric keypad ranging from 0 to 16 (logs are cut in sections ranging in size from 6 feet to 16 feet). "The handheld also features large keys, which can be used even while wearing gloves, and it features a backlit display that can be read on a sunny day," says Jenks.
The handhelds are also equipped with Bluetooth and 802.11 wireless radios, which enables the customer to use mobile printers (Forestry Systems resells HP Deskjet 460 series printers) and send and receive data via an 802.11 b/g wireless network. The handhelds also feature an IP (ingress protection) rating of 65, which ensures protection from dust and water.
Strengthen Your Demonstration With Mobile Hardware Service
To allow its customer to see the value of the customized mobile handheld, Forestry Systems' sales technician left a demo unit with Mid-West Hardwoods to try for 60 days. Prior to leaving the customer's facility, the sales rep demonstrated how the new solution's wireless capabilities and software could save the lumber manufacturer's yard workers time. The sales rep also reiterated Forestry Systems' service guarantee, which states that it will provide service for every mobile computer the customer purchases as well as any legacy handhelds the customer intends to continue to use. Additionally, if a mobile computer fails, a replacement will be shipped overnight and will be configured exactly like the previous unit.
Within the 60-day trial period, Forestry Systems won the implementation and sold the customer 25 JETT XL handhelds equipped with the software developer's Log Scaler application. In the near future, the customer will add Forestry Systems Timber Cruiser software and purchase additional handhelds. The overall implementation is expected to yield more than $200,000 in sales revenue for the software developer and will provide the customer with a payback of approximately one year. Forestry Systems' longevity with Mid-West Hardwoods has also resulted in a number of references that the software developer projects will lead to additional mobile solution sales this year.