One Blog |May 3, 2011 | Case Studies

Chas Seligman Uses SignTrak to Improve Signshop Operations

Denis Clark

Case Study: Chas. Seligman Distributing Uses SignTrak to Improve Signshop Operations

Introduction

Changing the business process of POS and collecting data on the cost and effectiveness of POS can be challenging. It requires vision, top management support, and buy-in from all the stakeholders.

Chas. Seligman has been a wholesale distributor in Walton, Kentucky since 1933. They wanted a more efficient sign request process in order to eliminate the frustrations of a paper-based system. Salespeople sometimes wrote POS requests on bar napkins or slips of paper then left the trade to rush an order to the sign shop. Faced with oddly-shaped signs or unclear orders on bits and pieces of paper, reworks were common, orders lost, and the A-B brand message was inconsistent. The sign shop frequently changed paper types and sizes, or machines, to keep up with demand. It was difficult to know in advance any day’s workload, so scheduling manpower was hit and miss. Tracking sign status and cost was even more difficult, leaving management in the dark. How much was being spent was a guess, and which brand messages worked best for sales and their customers was largely unknown.

At the outset, Chas. Seligman wanted a simple to use system to:

  • Reduce written mistakes
  • Speed the request process
  • Eliminate lost requests
  • Provide tracking mechanisms
  • Promote easy to produce signs
  • Keep salespeople in the trade

Solution

SignTrak® was installed in February 2005 on ChasNet, the company network or LAN. Implementation and user training took less than a week.

Chas. Seligman personnel explain how SignTrak works: 

Mike Rapp, Sales supervisor…

“from any computer or hand-held device, our salesperson or sign shop staff can bring up the SignTrak® homepage and choose the customer accounts list. Using drop-down menus, he chooses the customer’s preferred POS Type, Image and Size. They can choose standard sizes or custom sizes to fit the customer’s space requirements. Next they choose the direction the sign will point (right or left), where it will be located, and its brand and package. If clips are brackets are needed, they choose those. The template is then previewed for completeness. Then they either choose another type of POS, change the brand, and preview the new template, or simply submit the order. Once an order is input it instantly appears on the sign shop’s computer.”

“We can submit orders using mobile devices, but in most cases the salespeople input a day’s worth of orders at the end of the day right here in the office or from home. Order are always accurate, so our salespeople have much more time in the trade doing what they do best– selling beer.”

Cris Suesz, Sign Shop Manager…

“The sign shop coordinator reviews orders immediately, checks the pending order list, and prepares the next day’s work schedule and manpower requirements. In the morning, we review all orders for the day. We prioritize by date and type of POS. We save time and material by running all similar jobs at once. For example, all inside signs can be printed; then the paper changed for outdoor signs. The best thing is that with the computer, we no longer have to look high and low for orders scribbled on pieces of paper or bar napkins. We just look up the information online. It has relieved a lot of stress and the sign shop runs much more efficiently.”

“The salesperson previews the templates before sending in the order”, says Cris, “which improves accuracy. The order form also has a field for special notes to the sign shop. Our salespeople are the experts on the accounts and can communicate the customer’s expectations to us in such a way that we are all on the same page. With the historical tracking, we can notify our salespeople when their orders are ready for pick-up.” Mike adds, “This frees them up to have more time to sell.”

Kristin Tracy, Public Relations Director…

“SignTrak® takes the burden off both the sales force and our administrator. Admin updates the system database every ten days with seasonal or new POS templates and material items. We track our cost of signage by account and are able to see at a glance all sales requests. Since SignTrak® encourages templates that are easier and less costly to produce, we have eliminated a lot of inefficiencies, saved time, and given our sales people more time to sell more beer.”

Eva Callen, IT Manager...

“Tracking gives us the ability to see requests by date ordered and where the sign shop is in the process of producing. It tells us when we can we spare an employee in the sign shop, how much it costs by customer and type, how many signs we have produced in the past month and year, and what outstanding sign orders need processed. We know in advance if the sign shop needs additional staff or not.”

“Because SignTrak® provides a visual of the graphics, the salesperson simply chooses a template and associated information like size and price. The sign shop gets clear instructions and errors are dramatically reduced. It’s a simple process, but unless you know how to write programs or know a company familiar with your back office system, you are left with salespeople putting their thoughts on paper and getting with the sign maker when they can. You have to be willing to the spend money to make it happen, but with SignTrak® the system pays for itself quickly.”

Summary of Benefits

  • Provides a snapshot of POS activity
  • Tracks cost and customers
  • Documents data and generates custom reports
  • Shows management where the POS money goes and if it's effective
  • Creates a collaborative effort between sign shop and sales team

With SignTrak®, Chas. Seligman is now all over their game, getting POS out efficiently, allowing their salespeople to get out and hit the trade and creating better brand awareness and increased sales for their customers.

For More Information, or to request a demonstration, please call - 513-936-4041 

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