Bow Tie aims for the ritz

Bow Tie Removals has smartened up its IT accessories with a $200,000 investment in a mobile application that has been customised to fit.

Formalising its day-to-day processes, the company has replaced 'pencil and pad' quotes with handhelds that provide on-the-spot quotes via a wireless printer.

John Shawcross, Bow Tie Removals managing director, said sales have jumped 20 per cent, because deals are closed more quickly by the 10 staff using the handheld PCs in the field.

"Experience has shown that the faster you can get a quote to a customer the more likely you are to close the business," he said.

Previously, staff made written notes, which were transcribed and fed into a quotation system back at the office so the error rate was fairly high during transcription and items went missing.

Prowess Development created the QuotaMove application the company has been testing for the past 12 months. It runs on a Hewlett-Packard handheld computer with Windows Pocket PC operating system.

Shawcross said itemising goods and providing comprehensive details on high net-worth furniture to be transported across Sydney is critical to attracting a more affluent customer base.

He said size and quantity of inventories, building access, material packaging and transport mode are just some of the different variables that have to be entered into the 'point and tap' touch screen. Sketches can be made directly on the screen and printed out on the day of removal.

Shawcross estimates field staff are saving an average of four hours a week with system, in addition to the transcription hours now eliminated for administration staff.

"Field staff no longer return to the office to complete paperwork and operations staff, warehouse managers and removal crews can access the quote details online," he said.

The implementation took nine months to complete with users preparing wishlists of what they wanted included in the application during its trial; this feedback formed the basis of the system's development.

Aside from removal companies, Prowess director David Young said there are a number of other industries that can use the application.

"Transport, storage, home renovators, plumbers and electricians could reap similar benefits," Young said.

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