House-renovation company Kymppiremontit was overly reliant on paper-based processes, causing slow response to customer inquiries and risking missed sales. How could the company speed things up?
Kymppiremontit cuts waiting times and boosts sales success with an innovative mobile solution for capturing customer preferences and creating draft proposals on the spot, running on the IBM Cloud.
30% reductionin office-based administration
50% fasterdelivery of contracts to customers, boosting sales conversion rates
Cloudsolution offers exceptional performance and stability with no need for in-house IT
Business challenge story
No place like home
Kymppiremontit Oy helps people in Finland transform their houses – repainting, repairing or replacing dilapidated roofs and windows to leave homes smarter, warmer and more secure. No two houses or refurbishment requirements are identical, so the company visits each prospective customer to discuss their plans, decide on colors and materials, and measure up the work.
Face-to-face meetings normally represent a great opportunity to close a sale, but Kymppiremontit was hindered by its dependence on paper-based administration. Each salesperson recorded all the relevant information on paper forms, then left the customer with a promise to send a formal proposal and pricing by mail. On returning to the head office – potentially a day or two after the customer visit – the salesperson handed over a sheaf of documents and waited for office-based personnel to key in the data, create the project plans and costing, and finally produce the contract.
This process was inefficient in administrative terms, but also it meant losing precious momentum in the sales process. “We sell a vision of a more beautiful and better protected home, and we wanted to be able to give customers all the details of that future vision during the first meeting, together with the information they needed to make a decision,” says Tuomas Taskila, CEO of Kymppiremontit.
Facing competition from renovation firms with faster pre-sales processes, Kymppiremontit recognized that it was at risk of dissatisfying customers or even losing business. To eliminate the delays in developing cost estimates for customers, the company set out to accelerate the planning process by enabling salespeople to capture and process information onsite in customers’ homes.
Bringing sales in-house
To solve its sales challenge, Kymppiremontit engaged IBM Business Partner Netwell Oy, a provider of business-enablement solutions built on collaboration and communication technologies. Because Kymppiremontit had no previous experience in system design, it was critical for Netwell to choose a flexible platform that would enable step-by-step development, with working prototypes for hands-on testing.
“We selected IBM Domino® as the technology platform for the contract-agreement application, both for its robustness and for the flexibility of Domino Designer,” says Venla Junttila of Netwell. “We sat down with Kymppiremontit and mocked up screens to digitize the paper forms, so that they could see right away how the solution would work.
“What’s more, the upcoming IBM Domino releases show long-term commitment and support from IBM, which gave Kymppuremontit extra peace of mind. We’re looking forward to the new releases, as they will allow for ongoing maintenance and further development of Domino applications for mission-critical business operations, protecting our investment in the Domino platform.”
As a small business, Kymppiremontit has no in-house IT staff and did not want to shoulder the responsibility or the capital cost of deploying a server to run its new application. With just a few clicks of a mouse, Netwell set up a perfectly sized virtual environment for the company on the IBM Cloud, complete with built-in high availability to ensure that the application is always up and running when Kymppiremontit needs it.
“We wanted a business solution, not a machine to maintain,” says Tuomas Taskila. “This is our first experience of cloud computing, and we’re very happy. Running on the IBM Cloud means we get a fast, reliable, secure application without needing to think about IT infrastructure. Netwell handles everything, and the service is top-notch.”
Netwell chose an IBM Cloud bare metal server to run the contract-agreement application, which means that Kymppiremontit gets the security and performance benefits of a dedicated, completely private server. At the same time, Netwell has full control over the server and the entire stack of software from the operating system upwards, so that – unlike in a public-cloud environment – the solution provider is not dependent on a third-party for security updates or software refreshes.
“Kymppiremontit were very clear that they just wanted a solution where everything worked and they didn’t have to worry about anything,” comments Venla Junttila. “IBM Cloud was the natural choice to achieve this outcome.”
Kymppiremontit employees use IBM Notes® client software running on laptops to access the contract-agreement application running on the IBM Cloud. The application includes five different contract forms, each corresponding to a specific type of renovation project Kymppiremontit offers. Salespeople choose the appropriate form, fill in details such as measurements, materials and colors, and the solution automatically creates project plans and a price offer based on these specifications. The application logic updates later parts of each form based on earlier entries, so that, for example, choosing a particular material will narrow the color choices to those offered for that material only. In this way, the solution helps eliminate potential configuration errors, ensuring that salespeople only offer renovation solutions that the company can actually deliver.
“Now that we can create draft project plans and price offers on the spot when we visit a customer, the process is faster and easier on both sides,” says Tuomas Taskila. “When salespeople return to the office, they replicate their data to the central solution so that the office team can create the final contract and determine the appropriates sales commissions.”
Kymppiremontit operates in a largely rural part of Finland where mobile data connections cannot be guaranteed. This was a factor in Netwell’s choice of IBM Domino and Notes as the platform for the contract-agreement solution, as Notes is designed to run local replicas of applications and databases, and then synchronize with the server once a network connection is reestablished. Integration with IBM Notes enables Kymppiremontit salespeople to send information and planning documents directly from the application to customers or colleagues, saving time and effort.
Driving sales success
Using the IBM Domino solution running on the IBM Cloud, Kymppiremontit salespeople can now create draft project plans and price offers on-site in customers’ homes. Office staff automatically receive the relevant information in the correct format; avoiding the need to re-key information from handwritten forms improves accuracy and contributes an estimated 30 percent time saving. Because the bulk of the work has been done on site, the office team simply checks and finalizes the contracts, enabling them to send accurate final versions back to customers 50 percent faster than before. This in turn helps drive sales success by demonstrating to customers that they are dealing with a professional and responsive organization.
The solution also improves the visibility of field sales activities back in the Kymppiremontit office, where staff can see and check incoming orders and price estimates. Netwell’s close integration of the application with IBM Notes saves time and reduces the chance of error during the ordering of materials, because email templates automatically pick up the correct items and quantities from the contract agreement. Likewise, improved accuracy around pricing helps Kymppiremontit ensure that it does not commit to potentially unprofitable projects.
“The integration of email features into the application is an important benefit,” says Tuomas Taskila. “This is one of a number of capabilities offered by the IBM solutions that help us to automate process steps and improve our accuracy.”
Infrastructure will not present any obstacles to Kymppiremontit as it continues to grow, thanks to the decision to host its solution on the IBM Cloud. If the company requires more capacity or performance in the future, Netwell can rapidly and easily scale up the IT resources. Meanwhile, the reliability of the IBM Cloud helps Netwell to keep administration to a minimum, so that it can offer exceptionally high levels of service to Kymppiremontit at competitive pricing.
“Everything has worked absolutely perfectly for us on the IBM Cloud,” says Venla Junttila. “I can always connect to the application when I need to make changes – for example, we recently made some changes to the way we handle personal information in light of the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR], and it was very easy to do using Domino Designer. And because IBM Cloud bare metal servers provide a dedicated, single-tenant architecture, we have complete control over where and how that personal information is managed, exchanged, and processed, so can easily demonstrate compliance with GDPR.”
Tuomas Taskila concludes: “Running our contract-agreement application on the IBM Cloud gives us great confidence that our customer information will remain secure. We are delighted with the solution and the excellent ongoing support from Netwell.”
Kymppiremontit Oy is a home renovation firm in Finland that specializes in roofing, thermal insulation, exterior cladding, painting and window replacement. Based in Jyväskylä in the Finnish lake district, the company carries out more than 600 renovation projects each year and employs 55 people.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Cloud bare metal servers, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/cloud/bare-metal-servers
Netwell Oy (Ltd.) is an IBM Business Partner in Finland that specializes in business-productivity and collaboration solutions. Using its expert knowledge of IBM Domino, the company can modernize and web-enable existing applications or create new solutions that reflect the evolving ways in which employees interact.