Affiliated Helps Handyman Connection Gain Competitive Advantage, Save Time and Slash Costs With Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Since 1991, Handyman Connection has provided homeowners across North America with professional craftsmanship for a variety of home improvement and repair services. These include carpentry, drywall, electrical, fences, maintenance and installations, painting, plumbing, remodeling, storage, tile and flooring, much of which is now coordinated for local franchises through its national 800 call center and website. Each Handyman Connection franchise is locally owned and operated, and supported by the parent company based in Greater Cincinnati, Ohio.
Linking homeowners with skilled technicians is the core competency of Handyman Connection. Yet for years, the company made those all-important connections and monitored projects in a tedious, time-consuming manner—involving endless phone calls, faxes and excessive paperwork. Without updating to a more responsive system, the company could risk losing valued customers and its appeal to new franchises.
"We wanted to be a technology leader, but we’d fallen behind," said Dan Sage, the company’s IT Director. "Our Lotus Notes environment had become too limiting. We needed a modern CRM solution, giving us more automation, mobility and an overall faster service."
Microsoft and Affiliated Key Solutions
The company evaluated a variety of CRM solutions, including Salesforce.com, but selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM because of its many customizable tools and affordability. To pull together the migration, the company was referred to Affiliated, a Microsoft Gold Partner to implement, customize and host the on-premise CRM solution to maximum benefit.
Affiliated took the time to understand Handyman Connection’s business needs and long-term goals, and implemented the solution gradually across the organization. "The transition to a state-of-the-art CRM dramatically impacted everything from daily operational savings to sales and franchise growth," Sage said.
Saving Time, Resources
In the past, when a customer requested a home improvement service or repair, Handyman Connection would have to place phone calls to find an available technician with the right equipment to do the job. Today, the process is much more streamlined and automated.
Affiliated customized Dynamics CRM to tie into a third-party database that tracks available technicians in a given geography. Once technicians are screened and interviewed by Handyman Connection, profiles — complete with photos, resumes, skill specialties, equipment and availability — are entered into the CRM as part of the company’s stable of skilled workers.
All projects can then be quickly assigned online, based on zip code, equipment, availability, etc. not requiring phone calls or finding available workers. Project assignments can take place literally within minutes, instead of hours, a day or longer, Sage said.
To make the system work even more effortlessly, Affiliated customized the CRM solution so that Handyman Connection could add a mobile platform. Now a technician on the road can accept a job request and manage project workflow updates and billing — all via an app. All that information is then automatically saved to the CRM database without re-entry. "A tremendous time-saver," Sage said.
As technicians convert to this paperless mobile system, Sage expects significant savings in resources, labor and through the automated record-keeping system. "For us, a mobile platform is the ultimate Handyman Connection, from customer service and management perspectives," he said. "We’re able to do everything better, with greater speed, accuracy and efficiency. We don’t have to think about it—it just gets done."
Franchise Growth On The Rise
Prospective and existing franchisees have taken notice as well. Business intelligence from Microsoft Dynamics CRM is helping Handyman Connection create marketing campaigns targeting new and repeat customers—and accurately predict sales growth. "Before it was all guesswork, but now CRM data is helping us forecast sales, based on specific messaging to target audiences and best practices,” Sage added. “It’s a huge competitive advantage for us.
Since Affiliated took Microsoft Dynamics CRM live, Handyman Connection has experienced a 10 percent boost in annual customer sales and a 20 percent increase in yearly franchise growth across the U.S. and Canada. “It’s safe to say franchisees see our technology leadership position, business intelligence and predictive sales opportunities as a sustainable competitive advantage for them,” Sage said. "CRM is a winner, thanks to the behind the scenes work of Affiliated."
Since 1993, Affiliated has been helping growing and midmarket organizations identify, evaluate and implement technological solutions to improve operational efficiency and increase revenue. As a member of the Microsoft® Partner Network certified in both Microsoft Platform and Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions, as well as a VMware Enterprise Solution Partner, Affiliated specializes in providing complete technology solutions including both software and services to organizations in multiple industries including distribution, manufacturing, health care, professional services, government, and not-for-profits.
"Since the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Handyman Connection has experienced a 10 percent boost in annual customer sales and a 20 percent increase in yearly franchise growth across the U.S. and Canada."
- Dan Sage, Handyman Director
A large North American home improvement service wanted to transition from an aging Lotus Notes environment to a more efficient, cost saving and adaptive CRM solution that would help its franchises win new customers and improve service levels.
Affiliated implemented, customized, and trained staff on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as well as provide continued support and hosting services.
Matching customers with technicians is twice as fast; tremendous savings in time, money and resources in processing new business and managing project workflow; annual customer sales increased 10% and franchise expansion boost of 20%, due to improved operational efficiencies, targeted marketing opportunities, and the addition of a mobile platform.
Key solutions and services
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM
- Affiliated Project Management Services
- Affiliated Development and Implementation Services
- Affiliated Training and Support Services
- Affiliated Hosting Services
"We view Affiliated as a long-term partner. They understand our business and customized Microsoft Dynamics CRM so we can better service our customers and franchises better and faster, and frankly, without thinking about it."
- Dan Sage, IT Director, Handyman Connection