How We Add Value on the Front End

When telecommunications companies, service providers and other entities are looking for enclosures and/or shelters, they’re not simply looking for any old structure.

They’re looking for quality construction and innovative designs. They want durability, but they also want cost-effectiveness. Beyond the enclosure itself, providers are looking for a partner who listens to their concerns, understands their needs and telecommunications industry standards and is willing to work with the provider to develop the best solution.

At American Products, we strive to be that partner of choice by providing our customers a value-loaded experience that starts with the first conversation and carries all the way through to delivery and beyond.

Let’s take a look at how we do that on the front end. If you’re interested in learning more about how American Products adds value during the design and construction process, check out this article on our integrated services.

Getting to Know Each Other

American Products sales consultants go out of their way to learn about every customer and their network needs. For certain projects, e.g., those that are more complex than the norm, our sales consultants try to add in another level of service by developing a presentation that showcases our team’s capabilities.

This isn’t a templated presentation that gets reused as-is over and over again, though.

First, our consultants take the time to learn about the organization and their network needs. Often, this involves working with the customer to develop a “rack elevation” spreadsheet. This provides American Products engineers the insight needed to determine how many rack units (RU) are needed and how large the cabinet or shelter needs to be. It helps product designers understand the customer’s climate control, power and battery backup requirements as well.

This way, when the team presents to the customer, they don’t waste time talking about things the customer doesn’t need. They can focus on products and services that would benefit the customer.

American Products and the customer benefit from this presentation. For the customer, it provides them the opportunity to see our capabilities and see a mockup of their potential structure. For our team, it’s a learning experience where we discover more about the customer and their particular needs. We take that information and apply it down the road to improve our own processes, products and services.

Speaking of learning experiences, the presentation isn’t always spot-on. Sometimes, the customer will tell us the solutions we highlighted aren’t what they need. When that’s the case, our team considers that input and makes adjustments accordingly. They don’t try to push the customer into what American Products things they should have, rather they revisit what the customer is looking for and try again.

The presentation also provides a forum for discussion between our sales consultants, engineers and the customer. While viewing the presentation, the teams can “turn” the cabinet to see from different angles, discuss and brainstorm component placement and even look at the different layers of construction. The team can also take real-time measurements to determine if the chosen design provides the required clearances.

Here is one example of how this presentation has benefited a customer, as well as American Products.

We were walking through a project with a new customer. During the presentation, the topic of splitters came up, including whether the customer would purchase the splitters from American Products or elsewhere. The American Products team was able to measure the cabinet to show that our OEM splitters included pigtails long enough to reach the correct distribution/patch panels, which was something we couldn’t determine for third-party splitters. The customer ultimately went with our splitters based mainly on the information we presented.

In that same presentation, we were also able to show that the customer’s batteries of choice would also fit in the cabinet.

So, how does the presentation work?

Ideally, our sales consultant will visit the customer at their facility to discuss the project. While on-site, the consultant will start the presentation, along with one of our engineers at home base who will manage the digital models. The two walk the customer through the presentation together, providing an extremely in-depth look at American Products, our team, our capabilities, our thought leadership and more.

In the end, we learn more about the customer and the customer learns about us–hopefully to satisfy both of our curiosities about whether this is a good partnership or not.

 

The entire exercise helps us engineer the cabinet configurations our customers actually want, not the ones we think they want.

If you’re interested in learning more about American Products and our telecommunications enclosure solutions, please please contact the sales specialists at 417.323.6312.

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