Bernard Morgan owner of ICSPlus writes custom building automation software and has some great tips to share on how Salesforce has positively impacted his small business. ICSPlus is a company that that takes things like lighting, HVAC, and audio/video digital signage and combines it into one common interface—Bernard calls it a “universal remote for a building.” Think hotel ballrooms, hospitality spaces, and sports bars. ICSPlus helps venues such as these combine disparate systems into one entity.
Although Bernard and his business partner, and wife, started ICSPlus in their spare bedroom 13 years ago, they have grown into a successful small business due in part to the integrative capabilities of Salesforce.
Salesforce Can Do It All
“The easy question is, ‘what don’t we do with Salesforce’ at this point,” said Bernard with a laugh. Because every project ICSPlus does is completely custom, there is an enormous amount of information to bring that requires interfacing with a number of different people on the projects.
“We’re talking to so many different systems, there are so many different points of the lead, on different things so being able to find out who’s doing what part of the project at any time [is important].” Bernard shared that Salesforce technology gives ICSPlus the convenience of a consolidated view. Bernard uses Salesforce for more than sales. “Although we do it for the sales side, we actually use it for the service and as our project management system as well.”
Project management is essential in running a service-based small business. Bernard shared some solid advice, “You can’t tell the customer, ‘I don’t know.’” By leveraging Salesforce as a project management system, Bernard is able to, “keep all the moving parts together on one platform so I could get one single point of truth to find out who’s on this project. Our entire project management system is on Salesforce.” Did you know Salesforce was so versatile?
Using Salesforce as a project management system allows Bernard and ICSPlus to have cases, servicing, and invoicing all on the same platform. The result is that all of the data comes in and consolidates in one location enabling Bernard to then conveniently review and digest the information.
You Don’t Have to Do It Alone
There are people and business out there looking to use Salesforce, but they’re struggling. We asked Bernard, “what didn’t they do right?” He wisely responded, “You didn’t ask for help.” There are so many resources available to make Salesforce easy to use. You can do it yourself. Bernard gave the example that he posted a question on the message board and by morning had 7-8 incredibly helpful answers. If you find you’re still having a hard time, you can get a consultant. But, Bernard said to ask yourself, “’what do I need?’ and if you get stumped, ask for help.”
Businesses Who are Growing
Bernard had some great advice for businesses who are developing and going through the mountains and valleys of growth. He emphasized the importance of having your data accessible, accurate, and reliable. “You’ve got to have that data. Without the data, you don’t know what you’re doing.” He also relayed that you need to read the data and be able to see what the data is telling you. “Make sure your information is up-to-date and accurate so you can make a good, informed decision.”