Kilsaran sales team saves 20 hours a day in tech troubleshooting with Windows 8 Pro

Using Windows 8 Pro on Samsung ATIV Tab 7 tablets helped Kilsaran International make significant improvements in productivity

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8 May 2014 | 0

This case study is provided by Microsoft

As Ireland’s construction industry declined significantly, Kilsaran International had to economise. Consequently, each of the company’s 15 salespeople had to be as efficient as possible. However, during sales visits a salesperson had to start his or her laptop computer, connect to the office server and download product data sheets, a process that could take up to 15 minutes. If the customer placed an order, the salesperson then had to log on to multiple business systems to create a quote, place the order, and schedule the delivery. Then they logged out of the applications, shut down the laptop, only to repeat the whole process at about five more prospect or customer sites daily.

“This constant process of logging on and accessing multiple business systems throughout the day used up a lot of time when multiplied by 15 people,” says David McKeown, sales director for Kilsaran International. “I want my sales team interacting with customers, not staring at their laptops.”

Fast response
The cumbersome tools also hurt the company’s image. “We are a small family-owned business competing with multinationals, so we have to look bigger than we are and respond to customers faster than our competitors can,” McKeown says. He dreamed of outfitting his staff with mobile, agile devices that would provide quick connections to the office, enabling them to demonstrate products, take orders and conduct business with speed and professionalism.

Kilsaran made the decision to replace its clunky sales laptops with iPads until it learned about Windows 8 Pro. “What I liked about Windows 8 Pro was the fact that it ran on a tablet but also had full PC functionality,” McKeown says. “Some of our business applications require a lot of data input, but with Windows 8 Pro we could easily switch between devices and between touch and keyboard interfaces. Windows-based devices would also be much easier for us to manage in our current Windows environment.”

The company worked with a local Microsoft Partner Network member, Brandon Consulting, to acquire four Samsung ATIV Tab 7 tablets running Windows 8 Pro. It also upgraded three existing laptops from Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro. “The upgrade process was much easier than previous Windows upgrades, and Windows 8 Pro runs great on Windows 7 hardware,” McKeown says.

Kilsaran salespeople using the Windows 8 Pro tablets enjoy nearly instantaneous switch-on to demonstrate products much more effectively using the Live Tiles that populate Windows 8 Pro’s modern user interface. These application icons are updated in real time to give quick-glance updates on e-mail and text messages, and changes in key business applications. The ability to see e-mail without starting a laptop or opening Microsoft Outlook has proven to be a big timesaver.

Kilsaran also uses SkyDrive for cloud-based file storage and sharing, eliminating the need for employees to upload and download files to and from company servers. It also upgraded to Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, which employees are finding very easy to use. Kilsaran plans to eventually give Windows 8 Pro-based tablets to all employees and implement Windows 8 Pro security features such as Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption and BitLocker To Go, which encrypt the computer hard drive and USB Flash drives, respectively.

Benefits
By using Windows 8 Pro tablets, Kilsaran’s salespeople have become more efficient and give more impactful presentations. The team can get to documents, presentations, and applications with virtually no time lag. “When you lose a customer’s attention, you possibly lose the sale,” McKeown says. He estimates that each salesperson easily saves at least an hour a day, or about 20 hours a day across the entire team, by using the Windows 8 Pro tablets. McKeown values this savings at approximately €180,000 a year. “With Windows 8 Pro, our salespeople can get work done quickly and move on to the next opportunity. By driving efficiencies through our sales team, we lower costs.” Kilsaran can take the time previously spent on slow processes to sell more.

Kilsaran salespeople also look more professional when using the tablets. “When we go into big architectural and construction firms and deliver presentations, we’re competing against much larger companies,” McKeown says. “Windows 8 Pro helps our small business make a big impression.”

Work-life balance has also improved because salespeople get more work done during business hours. “We don’t want to burn out our employees,” McKeown says. “By using Windows 8 Pro, our staff gets more done every day and does a higher quality job.”

Kilsaran management likes using a platform that it knows and trusts. “It’s easier for us to manage and secure Windows-based devices because the rest of our infrastructure runs Windows,” McKeown says. “Windows 8 Pro represents something that we’re very comfortable with yet, at the same time, is brand new and exciting.”

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