Initially a sceptic, Director of Signature Home Improvements Rakeem Porter-Young is now a Business Pilot convert, after it became central to the company’s operations. Chichester-based Signature Home Improvements was established in the summer of 2019, and today serves customers across Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey with high value windows and doors.
“Our typical customer is typically a homeowner who is looking to upgrade their windows and doors but in a lot of cases that means not just the performance but also the aesthetics. For example, at the moment we are seeing a big increase in flush casement window sales,” Rakeem said. “We hit the ground running when we set up the business because the pandemic lockdown caused a spike in enquiries and sales as people looked to upgrade their homes, and we haven’t looked back since.”
Rakeem explained that a personal connection brought him into contact with Business Pilot when he first set up the business, and initially turned it down on the grounds it was “overblown and unnecessary”. “I’m more than happy to eat my words now, because the Business Pilot CRM software has been transformational,” he said. “I really wish we had signed up to it earlier.”
Signature Home Improvements used a spreadsheet to manage leads and sales in the early days, while the operations side of the business was all paper based. “As far as spreadsheets went, it was up there with the best,” Rakeem said. “It was cloud-based, so two of us in the office could access it easily and update it when we needed. But it sat alone. It didn’t connect with operations, and all other forms of communication took place separately. We operated like that for about 18 months.”
Signature had a very busy 2020 as the country emerged from a series of lockdowns, and homeowners viewed their homes with a new critical eye. “Everyone who worked from home saw, on a daily basis, where they’d like to make improvements,” Rakeem said. “And these were typically the windows and doors because they made the biggest statement. Also, they had a pile of cash they couldn’t spend anywhere else. “More importantly, our spreadsheet was struggling to keep up, so we invited Matthew Gaskin in from Business Pilot to give us a demonstration of their CRM/ERP software. We had one demo and we were sold!”
In January 2021, Signature started using Business Pilot after a training course presented by Rebecca Taylor, and immediately benefited from a number of key features, such as the integration of all documents and communication, and being able to follow a project all the way from lead through to completion. “The results were immediate,” Rakeem said. “There must be thousands of CRM tools on the market, but none of them are designed by window professionals for window professionals. Business Pilot is, and it really shows.”
“The cost savings are significant. We don’t have to spend nearly as much time on admin, and the way emails in particular are tracked through the system is an absolute game changer. If a customer contacts us, we can access all their details in one place. But we rarely get phone calls from people chasing us up because emails are automatically generated giving them status updates on their installation. “As a result, we present ourselves as a very professional company – it’s taken our company to a whole new level.”
Looking back, Rakeem said that he shouldn’t have dismissed the Business Pilot software so early on. “If I was starting out today, I would sign up to Business Pilot immediately. It’s well worth the money, and you are missing out if you don’t have it,” he concluded.
More information about Signature Home Improvements can be found at signaturehi.co.uk