Mark Langhus, BASM Automation Systems SpecialistWhen asked recently what a typical day looks like for me, all I could think of is, there is no such thing as a typical day.  However, my best days are those where I get to add value to our clients.   My definition of a Value Added Reseller is that we work hand in hand with a client to achieve their goals and objectives, and always with their best interests in mind.

Many times clients come to me with a specific request to solve a challenge they have.  However, to make sure I’m addressing their challenge in the best way possible, I’m going to ask “who, what, when, where and why” before offering a solution.  A non-value added reseller would simply say “yes” and charge accordingly.  My goal is to make the client happy within the most ethical business practices.

Thanks to technology, we can help our clients without ever leaving our office.  The advantage is that it saves the client travel expenses and time by dialing into their system.  This process is fine when we just need to address a single issue.  The disadvantage is that we can’t always see, hear or experience what is going on.

On-site, we can often spot time saving practices and procedures and make recommendations. Sometimes we can see opportunities the clients can’t, or we can identify pain points that the client thought they just had to live with.  We can do this because we have the advantage of working with a large number of companies.  We get to see how they run their business so we are bound to spot “best practices”, and how they make the best use of software to help run their business.  I call this the “on-site advantage” and it’s usually when I have my most value added days.

A real life example of how we add value by being on-site happened recently with a client we acquired from another reseller.  For 4.5 years this client had been fighting with their system trying to get an account to reconcile. It took them 3 to 4 hours per month to generate reports that should have taken minutes.

During the site visit with them, they described their frustration at this process – but assumed there was nothing that could be done. It turned out they had been running without a necessary patch.  In about 15 minutes I was able to install the patch, allowing them to get the information they needed instantly.  We estimated that over the years, they had wasted over $5000 in time for something that took minutes to fix.  The lesson: don’t let problems fester, and don’t live with the pain.