If there’s one thing you can say about Corporate Business Systems (CBS), it’s that customers appreciate the level of service that the dealership consistently delivers. Of course providing quality service is a given in the document imaging world if one wants to be successful, but one can’t minimize the concerted effort that goes into that mission across all segments of the dealership.
CBS, founded in 1993, offers a broad portfolio of software solutions, hardware, development tools, and IT services and is considered one of the leading document management and office technology providers serving the southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas markets.
Nowhere is CBS’s commitment to service and service excellence more evident than in its internal service operations. That’s why it has been acknowledged with a BEI Services and ENX magazine Service Excellence Award in the Diamond category.
How’d they accomplish that?
“CBS ranked 10th overall compared to all other dealers in the OTSEA rankings,” reports Steve Sharkey of BEI Services. “They have done an exceptional job managing their Hold for Parts call activity. They scored 100 percent in that KPI, meaning their Hold for Parts calls are consistently at 10 percent or less.”
Those are impressive numbers for a dealership that has been using BEI Services for 10 years and counting. The analytics and metrics provided by the program have been invaluable. Plus, as with most dealerships who implement the program, the bonuses that techs receive for being more efficient remain a huge selling point internally. It’s also a great marketing tool when customers understand how CBS compensates its techs. When customers discover that it’s in the tech’s best interest to do it right, and do it right the first time as often as possible, they understand that their organization benefits as well.
For a dealership whose legacy is top-notch service, CBS is well staffed to accomplish that goal. They employ 19 techs, seven in service and support on the operations side of the business, a Help Desk staffed by six people, two customer support reps, and one in-house trainer. All of whom are instrumental in caring for CBS’s several thousand customers and a MIF of some 8,500 devices.
“They’re doing a great job,” says CBS President Tyson Johns who attributes the dealership’s success to ensuring the staffing of its service operations are right sized. “This has contributed to two consecutive years of nearly 20 percent top line revenue growth.”
Plus the metrics that Sharkey referred to earlier tend to be consistent year in and year out.
“Our numbers don’t slip and our staff takes a lot of pride and passion in what they do; it’s pretty impressive,” adds Johns.
CBS puts its service excellence to the test every day with its “Total Satisfaction Guarantee,” which allows customers to cancel their CBS lease (with no obligation) if it ever fails to meet mutually agreed upon equipment and service benchmarks. That’s an easy guarantee to offer because CBS consistently hits those equipment and service benchmarks.
CBS was recently honored as one of the 12 fastest growing companies in southern MO for employees and revenue. It’s not a stretch to assume that quality service has something to do with that. While some dealerships have been able to reduce the number of techs in the field after achieving greater efficiencies through BEI Services, CBS has been growing at such a rate that they’ve actually had to hire sales reps to cover more territory and additional techs to handle the expanding MIF. Johns notes that Director of Service Larry Walker and his team do an excellent job of following the sales pipeline and if enough new business comes in that warrants the addition of a new service tech, they’ll make that adjustment.
“To be perfectly honest we’ve added three or four techs over the past couple of years and we have a couple more in the hopper right now,” says Johns. “If we win a couple of more deals we’re going to have to pull the trigger on them just to make sure our customer-focused business model never slips.”
The analytics that the BEI Services program provides have been particularly helpful to Walker, which when combined with drive time, allows him to see how many clicks each tech can manage.
Having this information available has created somewhat of a competitive environment among techs. Walker says they follow their numbers closely and are continuously looking to improve.
“All techs are very much in tune with the benchmarks and the numbers we’re striving for,” he says. “That goes back to how they see how everything affects the company and the bottom line. And that’s how I manage too.”
Both Walker and Johns are more than willing to share their success in the service arena with their peers.
Johns, for instance, is active in the dealer community and attends industry events and dealer group meetings where he networks and offers advice to his peers and also new dealers who are looking to raise their service operations to CBS-like levels.
“When they ask me, ‘what are some of the things that have made a big impact?’ I tell them, ‘you can get all the information you want and all the analytics you want, but unless you manage them, it really doesn’t matter,’” says Johns. “BEI for us has been one of those things that it’s not something Larry can manipulate or the guys can manipulate. We’ve got benchmarks and budgets and it provides a quick snapshot in real time that says here’s how you’re doing—right, wrong, or indifferent; now let’s figure out how to get from point A to point B. It’s been very beneficial simply because of that.”
What would life be like at CBS without this information? For one, they might not be celebrating their status as a Diamond award winner.
“And it would be much more difficult for me to manage the budget and hit those goals Tyson wants to hit and continue to provide that top-notch quality of service to our customers,” acknowledges Walker.
Meanwhile, CBS plans to leverage this award within its customer base, ensuring customers are aware that the dealership is among the best in the nation when it comes to service. Although that’s something you can’t fake, third-party acknowledgement such as this only underscores just how good CBS is at delivering what in many ways is the ultimate differentiator in the market—service.
This information has also been instrumental in helping CBS realize its vision and mission statement as well as fit in perfectly with the dealership’s new purpose statement: “To enhance our community by providing solutions today to make your tomorrow better.”
“These metrics directly align with that,” says Johns. “We’re very culture based with the Jim Collins integrated methodology, so metrics like this allow the service department an opportunity to say here’s where we’re at today and here’s where we want to be at tomorrow and how to get there. Whether it’s internal competitiveness, pride, passion, or whatever it is, we’ve been focused on driving that.”
He adds that positivity creates positivity. “So the other departments have seen that and seen the benchmarks and we make that not only public information, but internal information. That drives other people to raise the bar.”
As good as the metrics currently are, is it realistic to expect them to get any better?
Both Johns and Walker answer in the affirmative. After all, the better the numbers, the greater the differential between CBS and its competitors and the more opportunities there are for new business and expanding into new territories.
“It’s just making sure that we’re equipped to handle that and not letting the numbers slip back down anywhere,” emphasizes Johns.
And with Walker scrutinizing those numbers daily and managing his service operations using that information, that’s not likely to happen.
Corporate Business Systems
Owner: Jim Quesenberry
President & CEO: Tyson Johns
Director of Service: Larry Walker
Number of Service Techs: 19
Lines Carried: Savin, Kyocera
Locations: 4 (Springfield, MO; Joplin, MO; St. Robert, MO; Bentonville, AR)
Why They Stand Out:
- Ranked 10th overall compared to all other dealers in the OTSEA rankings
- Hold for Parts are Consistently 10% or less
- Exceptional at First Call Effectiveness