To weather a tough economy, Kilsaran International had to trim staff and make its salespeople as efficient as possible. It worked with Brandon Consulting to outfit salespeople with Samsung tablet computers running Windows 8 Pro. The sales force
is working far more efficiently—eliminating about 20 hours a day of technology struggles—which yields more time to sell. Salespeople are also giving more professional presentations.
Based in Piercetown, Dunboyne, Ireland, Kilsaran International is an independent manufacturer of concrete products for home and commercial use. Kilsaran manufactures concrete, asphalt, aggregates, and concrete paving products across Ireland and the United
The construction industry in Ireland has declined significantly since 2007, and Kilsaran had to trim staff. Consequently, each of the company’s 15 salespeople has 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 10- or 15-minute process. 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 he or she logged out of the applications, shut down the laptop, and repeated the whole process at about five more prospect or customer sites each day.
“Logging on and off of laptops and 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.”
||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.
| David McKeown
Sales Director, Kilsaran International
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 and allow them to demonstrate products, take orders, and conduct business with speed and professionalism.
Kilsaran had made the decision to replace its clunky sales laptops with Apple iPad tablets when it learned about Windows 8 Pro. “What I liked about Windows 8 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 Windows environment.”
The company worked with a local Microsoft Partner Network member, Brandon Consulting, to acquire four Samsung ATIV Tab 7 tablet computers running Windows 8 Pro. It also upgraded three existing laptops from the Windows 7 operating system 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 who are using the Windows 8 Pro tablets enjoy nearly instantaneous startup times and can demonstrate products much more effectively with the touch interface. They also love the Live Tiles that populate the Windows 8 Pro Start screen.
These application icons are updated in real time to give employees quick-glance updates on email and text messages and changes in key business applications. The ability to see email messages without starting a laptop or even opening Microsoft Outlook is a
Kilsaran also uses SkyDrive for cloud-based file storage and sharing, which eliminates 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 find very
easy to use. Kilsaran plans to eventually give Windows 8 Pro-based tablets to all employees and also to 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.
By using Windows 8 Pro tablets, Kilsaran International salespeople are more efficient, enjoy better work-life balance, and give more impactful presentations. The company is realizing all these benefits by using familiar Windows-based computers that are
easy to manage and secure.
Salespeople can turn on the tablets in an instant and get to needed documents, presentations, and applications without lengthy connection times, downloads, or follow-up delays. “When you lose a customer’s attention for a day or two, 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 US$250,000 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, family-run
business make a big impression.”
Work-life balance is 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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