Why Sell Time And Attendance?
Two vendors offer different points of view on how and why to sell time and attendance packages.
In my quest for knowledge about the automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) industry, I sometimes run into situations where two major players in a market have extremely opposing views. This was certainly the case when I asked Acumen Data Systems (Enfield, CT) President Ed Squires and Time America (Phoenix) President Stephen Anderson, "Why sell time and attendance packages?"
Money From Value Adding
Squires believes VARs and integrators should find open systems that offer value-add opportunities. "Our industry should sell time and attendance packages in conjunction with another technology," said Squires. "When selling a job tracking system, incorporate time and attendance technology. VARs must know the idiosyncrasies of their customers' businesses, so they can, in turn, make their customers understand the need for time and attendance technology. This is part of the value-adding process and a good reason to offer the technology."
Eighty percent of Acumen Data time and attendance packages are canned systems. The remaining 20% can be customized. Acumen's Source Code software can be licensed by VARs with programming ability.
Maintaining A Competitive Edge
Time America's Anderson put a different spin on why VARs should offer time and attendance technology. "The big trend in AIDC sales is total solutions," Anderson stated. "If you are going to provide total solutions to customers' IS (information system) needs, you must include time and attendance hardware and software. If you do not offer the technology, you may lose a sale to a competitor who does.
"Still, some VARs may not want to dedicate the time it takes to understand and service time and attendance packages. This is where we step in. We have a marketing plan that allows VARs to sell and install the necessary hardware and software for a company's time and attendance needs, while we provide the after-sale service and training. Using PC Anywhere software, we can manage a system from our headquarters."
Squires and Anderson found mutual ground with regard to the role VARs play in finding new customers and identifying customer needs. Both men said VARs are the key to reaching end users. They also said VARs must dig deep into their customers' businesses to identify specific buyer needs. Squires believes VARs should do the value adding, while Anderson thinks vendors can carry part of the load when it comes to service and training. Both men contend customer satisfaction is a priority that is best addressed by VARs.
Pick a sales style. Either of the plans offered by Squires and Anderson will work, and either plan can add money to your bottom line. Just remember, if you don't understand your customers' needs, you're not going to solve their problems and, in turn, receive their business.Questions about this article? E-mail the author at Editor@corrypub.com.