When EMS Barcode Solutions began providing solutions about 20 years ago, business primarily consisted of selling hardware. Eric Sutter, founder and chief strategist for EMS Barcode Solutions, explains, though, things have changed. “I think there’s value in providing total solutions and services.” Sutter agrees the transition to a new business model can be difficult — in fact, he has seen the number of his competitors decrease in the past few years. “It’s expensive to do. But if you are a trusted source, you will be successful.”
The Right Partner
When he made the shift to providing total solutions and services, he chose to partner with Wasp Barcode Technologies. Sutter says Wasp offers bundled solutions — which he hasn’t found from other companies. “It’s an easier entry point for a rep to sell,” he explains. With components such as mobile computers, software, labels, ribbons sold together there are “no missing parts.”
Sutter adds the WaspLink Authorized Business Partner Program has also been a benefit to EMS Barcode. Advantages he has found through participating in the program include marketing support — with access to sales and marketing collateral through the WaspLink portal. Sutter says he also appreciates working with his account reps who know the products and have experience selling them. Other benefits include market development funds (MDF), training, and identification with Wasp for networking and purchases.
EMS Barcode began selling Wasp products and joined WaspLink in 2012 — and finished 2013 as Wasp’s #1 VAR in the U.S., both in revenue and number of solutions closed. The company was named 2012 New Partner of the Year, and received a 2013 WaspLink Partner of the Year Award, getting the nod after 103 percent growth last year.
The Right Solutions For Schools, SMBs
From among Wasp’s products, EMS Barcode primarily sells the company’s inventory tracking system and asset tracking solutions.
Sutter says asset tracking has been especially beneficial to school districts. With the technology boom in schools, the solution helps track equipment such as monitors and computers and facilitates check-in and check-out of iPads and other devices. “One school district was still doing this by hand — writing numbers, typing them into Excel, and locating the equipment by room. Using the asset tracking solution, tracking equipment took one week, versus taking all summer. There was a big savings in payroll.”
EMS Barcode provides inventory tracking solutions mostly to SMBs — where he also usually sees an entry point of replacing a pen and pad, records in Excel, or a generic app. “They aren’t familiar with software. They just know everyone is using it, and they need to use it,” Sutter explains. “Processes need to be in place, too, though. Software is a tool — alone it doesn’t fix all problems.”
For this reason, EMS Barcode doesn’t just “make a sale.” “If the customer was using pen and pad last week and bar code now, the odds of them knowing how to use a management system are not very likely,” Sutter comments. The company focuses on getting its customers started after the sale — setting up devices, loading software, walking the user through training — and offering additional services for training and implementation if the customer needs more resources. EMS Barcode also focuses creating an ongoing relationship with the client. The team is skilled in note taking both for the purpose of internal review and for reps to share with their clients. “Sometimes we can give the client more data than they have,” Sutter comments.
He adds that there isn’t a lot of turnover among EMS Barcode’s sales team, which means customers talk to the same, experienced salespeople year after year. “It’s hard to put a dollar amount on how valuable that is.” He adds that training includes the rule that you never make a recommendation, instead, “you empower the customer to make the right decision, and the reps see the power in that.”