Wednesday, November 27, 2013

SkyPlanner Success Spotlight: Green Star Biodiesel


In our newest blog series, SkyPlanner will showcase some of the successful projects that we've completed over the last few years. Today we highlight the work we did for Green Star Biodiesel. 



Overview
Green Star Biodiesel performs a great service for the South Florida community- the safe removal of waste vegetable oil (WVO) for restaurants and other businesses- but the company’s business process made it increasingly difficult to fulfill its oil pickup obligations. SkyPlanner streamlined GSB’s Salesforce platform to solve the company’s logistics problems so it could provide the best service possible to its clients. 

Challenges
Green Star Biodiesel suffered from an inability to track their tank inventory throughout the region because the company didn’t have an automated process for invoicing and instead relied on an error-prone manual invoicing system. The company also lack of standardized document creation and lacked the ability to implement company business rules caused a lack of security in regards to sales data.

Solution
SkyPlanner adapted a standard CRM to better suit the sales activities of the company by creating an inventory module to track the placement of tanks and automated the generation of documents, agreements, contracts, and invoices with custom formatting and templates. SkyPlanner customized Apex code to allow for real-time bulk commission and residual calculations. Finally, SkyPlanner used a customized platform enhanced security of Green Star Biodiesel’s entire business system.

Value
Green Star Biodiesel saw increased visibility due to a more efficient and standardized invoice and contract templates and more efficient operations such as specific oil pickup timelines that 0can now be tracked on Salesforce. The company also experienced increased satisfaction among sales staff due to better security regarding sales data. Standardized business documentation allows for a more efficient presentation of Green Star Biodiesel as a business.

Notes
  • Before reaching out to SkyPlanner, Green Star Biodiesel did not know how to properly implement their Salesforce application. GSB wanted to customize their platform to integrate their various services into information modules for easier use by employees. 
  • Green Star Biodiesel’s biggest need was to be able to track their tank and oil pickups throughout the South Florida area. SkyPlanner’s customization of GSB’s Salesforce platform allows the company to now perform both in an efficient and easy to access manner. 
  • Using Green Star Biodiesel’s existing business rules, SkyPlanner configured general defaults in the Salesforce platform’s security settings in order to limit individual sales peoples’ access to only their own sales data, instead of that of the entire sales staff. 
  • Customized Apex coding makes it easier for Green Star Biodiesel to track sales commissions and residuals.
Screenshots

Container Inventory Screen
Customizable Business Documents

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Our Dreamforce '13 recap, another SkyPlanner Success Spotlight, and more!


It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from in the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content. 


The Dreamforce '13 experience is over but the memories will last a lifetime. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here's a lot of words for you to enjoy.  

Speaking of Dreamforce, SkyPlanner worked long hours on its entry, spFaces, for the Dreamforce '13 Hackathon. While we didn't win we are extremely proud of our efforts and the positive response to our app has us even more motivated to continue perfecting it. In case you haven't seen it, check out this video about spFaces and let us know what you think!

When it comes to selling, it's always easiest when you tell a story that makes the potential customer believe why they need what you're selling. This helpful article sheds some insight on how to be a better storyteller

Once they've reached the top of their industries, the most successful people may make it seem like it was a given that they'd be where they are. In reality success is a crooked street with many dead-ends, backtracking, and finding a new path. This well-made inforgraphic highlights the paths five successful entrepreneurs took to end up where they are now.  

Continuing with our blog series on SkyPlanner's most successful projects, aptly named SkyPlanner Success Spotlight, we present the work we did for The Elephant Group's Techzilla brand.  

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment with any opinions or suggestions for future content.

Friday, November 22, 2013

SkyPlanner Success Spotlight: Elephant Group



In our newest blog series, SkyPlanner will showcase some of the successful projects that we've completed over the last few years. Today we highlight the work we did for Cubamax. 



Overview
The Elephant Group’s use of an external billing system for its brand Techzilla led to more than a few headaches concerning the linking of sales data to subsequent billing. SkyPlanner integrated a billing system into Techzilla’s existing Salesforce platform to give customer support a complete 360 degree view of customers. 

Challenges
Elephant Group's Techzilla brand was utilizing an external billing system that was disconnected from the company’s Salesforce platform. Customer support had to gather sales information then go outside of Salesforce to perform the actual billing activities. The external billing platform meant there was a lack of visibility in customer accounts when it came to billing history and a lack of enforcement of business rules that could restrict certain actions for transactions depending on the type of transactions.

Solution
SkyPlanner provided Force.com custom development within Techzilla’s preexisting Service Cloud application and removed the dependency on external system for billing operations. SkyPlanner also provided integration with the new billing system to transfer the information to the accounts. Lastly, SkyPlanner implemented a business rules engine that could determine the possible actions needed and/or allowed to execute a billing transaction.

Value
Techzilla saw an exponential decrease in the rate of billing errors stemming from misfiled sales data in the external billing system. More visibility concerning billing activities led shorter beginning-to-end sales cycles, and shortened time between approval request submissions and approval by authorized personnel thanks to new approval system. Elephant Group/Techzilla also experienced an improved customer service response and satisfaction as a result of shortened information retrieval time by customer support staff.

Notes
  • SkyPlanner created and implemented, using the Service Cloud Console Integration Toolkit, an entirely customized billing console that is launched from the same UI (user interface) on the Service Cloud as the account of each Elephant Group/Techzilla customer. This allows customer support staff to see a true 360 degree view of each customer as each account now includes billing records for easy retrieval. 
  • SkyPlanner used fully-customized APEX code to leverage the standard Salesforce queuing mechanism in order to create a unique approval system for the Elephant Group. The customized approval system feeds approval requests into queues separated by request type instead of sending them to a specific manager. Once in a specific queue, any authorized personnel with access to the queue could approve it. This leads to much quicker approval turnaround. 
  • SkyPlanner designed the new billing platform to allow backend configuration so that administrators can customize the application as needed without altering the application coding.
Screenshots

SkyPlanner designed and implemented, using the Service Cloud Integration Toolkit, an entirely customized billing console that gives Techzilla support staff a true 360 degree view of, and complete control over, each customer account billing information.



Elephant Group and Techzilla’s new approval system funnels approval requests into its corresponding queue for approval by a team instead of one manager. This has led to a less time-consuming approval process.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

SkyPlanner's revolutionary app, spFaces, brings the power of facial recognition to Salesforce.



spFaces is SkyPlanner's revolutionary entry for Dreamforce '13's Salesforce Hackathon. It is a Salesforce Hybrid application that brings the power of facial recognition to customers' processes and KPIs. spFaces allows an individual to capture an image with a mobile device and, based on the image’s geolocation and timestamp, associates the image with the nearest event, all within the Salesforce platform. The image is then analyzed through an image processing API and reveals statistics such as the number of individual faces, gender demographics, and mood based on characteristics like eyes and lips. Once the information is processed it is stored inside Salesforce. spFaces also groups and visualizes the events on a map, easily displaying their details and metrics with a single tap.

Having data in Salesforce derived from spFaces’s capabilities leaves the door open for analytics that can be used for training, user groups, lectures, expos or many other types of events. With spFaces one can analyze the effectiveness of an event based on the contentment of audience members, and use that to improve
subsequent events or sales opportunities.

spFaces is an invaluable tool for salespeople, marketers, event planners, and anyone else whose efforts revolve around large groups of people:For example: by combining the gender and mood detection, and geolocation we can determine, for example that every event prepared by Julio, our Marketing Manager, is a success in the West Coast and they are usually most well-received by women." Thanks to spFaces now Julio knows he needs to bring chocolate and his mobile to the next event.

Monday, November 18, 2013

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Getting the most out of Dreamforce '13.


It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from in the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content. 




Dreamforce is finally here. And if you're lucky enough to attend, like SkyPlanner, you'll want to maximize how you spend your time to get the most out of the experience:

The definitive guide to social media at Dreamforce.

An event like Dreamforce can be a gold mine for sales. Here's how you can make Dreamforce into a great sales opportunity even if you're just an attendee.

Need help while at Dreamforce? Salesforce's implements Service Cloud to create the most comprehensive "help desk" ever.

What good is all the knowledge to be absorbed at Dreamforce if you don't record it properly. Jotting good notes is key to taking full advantage of the speakers at Dreamforce.

An event really is only as good as the food. Taking advantage of San Francisco's limitless food options is a must while at Dreamforce '13.

Good music can make a good event great, and Dreamforce takes that idea to new heights. Here's a line-up of the musical acts at Dreamforce this year.

Finally, a little SkyPlanner news. SkyPlanner's blog series titled "SkyPlanner Success Spotlight" is where we will let our loyal readers, plus our new followers, in some of the completed projects we're most proud of. In case you missed it, you can catch the post about the work we did for Cubamax here.

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment with any opinions or suggestions for future content.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

SkyPlanner Success Spotlight: Cubamax


In our newest blog series, SkyPlanner will showcase some of the successful projects that we've completed over the last few years. Today we highlight the work we did for Cubamax. 



Overview
Cubamax was having difficulties expanding its business due to the use of a limited on-premises desktop application. After implementing a SkyPlanner-customized Salesforce application Cubamax saw a large increase in their sales thanks to exponentially more efficient business practices. 

Challenges
Prior to hiring SkyPlanner, Cubamax suffered from an inability to perform real-time sharing between salespeople, partner agencies or customers, which led to mix-ups in everything from orders to billing. The company also required an on-premises server to perform daily data backup and the principal office had cumbersome business operations with external branches. Another issue was th excessive time needed to get OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury) verification on remittances which resulted in difficulty enforcing certain.

Solution
SkyPlanner software architects, analysts, and developers implemented a Force.com custom application that completely revamped the prior system by making it easier for Cubamax employees to enter and retrieve sales data. SkyPlanner also implemented a Partner Portal for better inter-agency communication and streamlined the process Cubamax uses to deliver remittances to a number of locations

Value
Thanks to SkyPlanner's custom development, Cubamax branches now share customer information more efficiently, resulting in better service to customers which in turn has caused the number of remittances made through Cubamax to nearly triple. Cubamax now has a process in place for real-time OFAC compliance verification. Cubamax has also experienced increased visibility thanks to dashboards and reports, increased sales forecasting, business expansion resulting in the opening of new branch offices, and easy partnering with other agencies due to seamless integration.
Notes
  • Before contacting SkyPlanner to facilitate their move onto the cloud, Cubamax used an inefficient desktop application to track their business transactions. That resulted in missed sales opportunities, unhappy customers, and inability to accurately comply with certain OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) regulations. 
  • Cubamax’s new Skyplanner-customized Salesforce application allows for the immediate tracking of new customers, including a new system for saving signatures collected on pen pads for later reference by salespeople. This has allowed Cubamax to “go green” by cutting down on paper waste. 
  • The new platform also allows Cubamax to see, through analytics, which business partners funneled the most new business into Cubamax- through indirect sales, referrals, and remittances- so Cubamax could expand its business dealings with those partners. 
  • Many of Cubamax’s customers are in countries which may not have as advanced of a telecommunications infrastructure. SkyPlanner created an additional Force.com Site within the Cubamax Salesforce platform that is easier to access from computers with slower internet connections. The Site features basic text and minimal graphics but is fully functional and lived on the Salesforce platform. 
  • SkyPlanner integrated the third-party application Twilio for better communication between Cubamax and its international partners and clients. The use of Twilio also allowed for the sending of real-time SMS updates to customers. This gave Cubamax an advantage over its competition since it is the only agency of its kind to offer the service.  
  • The new application also allowed an avenue for Cubamax to comply with OFAC regulations, including the verification of remittances of over a certain amount of money which OFAC may consider suspicious. 

Screenshots

New Remittance Screen

                            
OFAC Compliance Screen

Signature Verification Screen



Monday, November 11, 2013

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Dreamforce, some more Dreamforce, and then even more goodies!


It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from in the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content. 

Dreamforce isn't just about showcasing Salesforce's products and patting each other on the back. Dreamforce is also about helping businesses become better at serving their industry-specific customer bases.

According to a recent Cisco study, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. That's 50 billion reasons to attend the keynote address at Dreamforce 2013.

Want a sales staff that produces at the highest levels? Follow these tips to make it happen.

What are some tech trends that will change not only cloud computing, but many facets of everyday life? Click to find out what they are.

Last week, SkyPlanner made its presence felt at the South Florida Business Journal's 2013 Business Growth Expo. Here's the recap of our experience. Hint: it was great!

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment with any opinions or suggestions for future content.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, takes the 2013 Business Growth Expo by storm!

On November 6th, 2013, key members of the SkyPlanner team made their way to the Signature Grand in Davie, Fl for the South Florida Business Journal's second annual Business Growth Expo. Dozens of local companies showed up to showcase their products and services, and SkyPlanner, as a presenting sponsor, had a central position on the floor. And they made the best of it. Co-founders Jorge Fernandez, Rene Garcia and Rene Rodriguez hobnobbed with C-level execs from some of South Florida's most influential enterprises, showed off some great "Movember" mustaches, and, most importantly, networked with quite a few business owners who are in need of help with their CRM applications. All in all, it was a very successful first event for SkyPlanner and just the beginning of SkyPlanner's takeover of South Florida's business world! 

The SkyPlanner Table. Definitely the best dressed in the room.  



SaaSy provided sales support.















The Rene's showing off their Movember mustaches! Showing support for prostate cancer research. 



SkyPlanner co-founders Rene Garcia, Jorge Fernandez, and Rene Rodriguez relax at the end of a very successful day.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! A heavy dose of Dreamforce '13 with a generous helping of SkyPlanner news!


It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from in the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content. 

Since the first Dreamforce in 2003 the event has grown into the most important event in the cloud computing industry. The event attract dozens of the most influential people in technology and beyond, and regitered attendees is expected to be close to, if not top, 100,000 cloud computing enthusiasts. Here's the history of Dreamforce in one beautiful infographic.

Speaking of Dreamforce, who better to put together a definitive guide to Dreamforce '13 than the people who know Dreamforce best: the Dreamforce customer service team. Here's their thoughts on everything you need to know about a successful Dreamforce experience .

Miami Salesforce, Miami Salesforce consultant, Miami Salesforce consultants, Miami Salesforce consulting, South Florida Salesforce, South Florida Salesforce consultants, South Florida Salesforce consulting, What's better than a nice office? A bigger nice office. SkyPlanner has expanded, more than doubling our office space in one fell swoop. Click to see how much we've grown!


Are salespeople being phased out? Not at all BUT the ease with which customers can find all the information they need about a product or service before even contacting a salesperson means building meaningful relationships with customers (which have always been the foundation of good sales) is taking a hit. That means salespeople have to find new ways of making themselves invaluable to potential customers.

Lastly, we at SkyPlanner began a new blog series titled "SkyPlanner Success Spotlight" where we will let our loyal readers, plus our new followers, in some of the completed projects we're most proud of. In case you missed it, you can catch the first one featuring the work we did for Alce Distributors here.

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment with any opinions or suggestions for future content.

Friday, November 1, 2013

SkyPlanner Success Spotlight: Alce Distributers


In our newest blog series, SkyPlanner will showcase some of the successful projects that we've completed over the last few years. Today we highlight the work we did for Alce Distributors. 



Overview
Alce Distributors needed to focus their logistics to make it easier to respond to changes in their internal documentation as well as respond to external factors that could affect their delivery chain. SkyPlanner was able to streamline Alce Distributor’s CRM platform for more efficient shipping. 

Challenges
Alce Distributors suffered from a cluttered CRM application made it difficult to track individual aspects of the company’s delivery chain. There was no system for settling internal claims and that led to dissatisfied employees. Lastly, a lack of different levels of security regarding visibility meant that, all employees regardless of position within the company, had unrestricted access to client information.  

Solution
SkyPlanner implemented a custom Salesforce solution to make it easier to track shipments from beginning to end. We re-architected the existing application, including a Customer Portal, giving Alce Distributors the ability to offer the application as a service to third party agencies to minimize any incongruities in the shipping processes between Alce and other companies. We also carried out the migration of legacy data into the new system and enabled security measures to restrict access based on employee hierarchy. 

Value
The modules SkyPlanner implemented within the platform made it easier for Alce Distributors employees to separate and analyze different aspects of the company’s door-to-door delivery chain. Employees and customers are now able to receive real-time notifications of any disruptions in the delivery of any package, regardless of size or destination. SkyPlanner greatly simplified the resolution process of internal claims by employees, sales agents or end-customers mean employee and customer satisfaction are at an all-time high. The new system allowed for accurate pricing for services regardless of sales location and shipping destination. 

Notes
  • SkyPlanner’s work for Alce Distributors was to implement a cloud platform to manage the company’s shipping channels to different countries in Latin America. The platform consists of different modules for customer management, stores, third-party agencies, waybills and manifests. Other sub-modules are responsible for tracking or answering queries concerning parcels, billing and reporting. 
  • SkyPlanner also established a door-to-door logistics mechanism that automated the delivery chain and can notify Alce Distributors whenever important events occur related to shipping documents, a single package or entire shipments of cargo. These events include, but are not limited to, customs re-evaluations or customer claims. 
  • SkyPlanner also implemented security measures which now limit what internal and external operations information certain employees can see depending on their clearance.
  • The platform also provides an efficient mechanism for internal claims from employees or third-party agents, and end-customers, through which issues are resolved in order of priority. 
  • SkyPlanner also created a custom module called Pricebooks, which allows for the desired setting of fees and services. 

Screenshots

Home Page

New Customer Form

Customers List
Package View
Invoices
Reports