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Case Study: How a Manufacturer's Sales Team Found the Secret to Efficiently Service a Low-Tech Customer Base

by Laurie Lande  |  
August 28, 2007

Company: Fabcon
Contact: Scott Jenkins, Marketing Manager
Location: Location: Savage, Minn.
Industry: Manufacturing (B2B)
Annual revenue: Confidential
Number of employees: 1200

Quick Read:

Businesses want to operate as efficiently as possible, using modern technology and updated email programs to communicate with their customers. But the manufacturing sector is more basic than most, and many of its customers aren't high tech—some don't even have Internet access. Fabcon, a Minnesota builder of precast wall panels, struggled with marrying its desire for high-tech operational efficiency and its need to service customers in the method that they preferred.

Fabcon's problem was exacerbated by the fact that industry standards require signatures on contracts: the Minnesota-based VP of Sales had to sign all sales contracts originating from the company's nine sales offices and then fax the documents back to the customer. It was a time-consuming process that created a burdensome paperwork trail.

Late last year, Fabcon decided it had to become more efficient in a way that wouldn't alienate customers who were uncomfortable doing business over email. Despite some internal resistance, the company installed an electronic fax service on 80 key desktops, including its sales department. The fax service allows Fabcon employees to receive faxes as an email that can be downloaded, filed, or forwarded; and faxes can be sent to customer in either email or traditional fax format.

The company now communicates more effectively internally, operates more efficiently, and keeps both high-tech and low-tech customers happy.

The Challenge:

Minnesota-based Fabcon provides architects, engineers, and building owners with precast hollow wall panels for commercial construction use. Customers can choose from a wide range of designs to help create unique appearances for their commercial construction projects.

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