2019 Business Objectives
1. AMPLIFY QUALITY
Zetron has a reputation for quality and customer service which has been one of its hallmarks in the industry. Quality is a critical focus area for the company as it delivers Mission Critical Solutions to the markets it serves. In 2018, Zetron established an objective to elevate quality to address a build-up of AR’s across both ACOM and MAX solutions. In response, all departments have and will continue to focus their efforts with regard to AR ‘Task’ management. This is key in order to keep the AR’s moving along in the triage and disposition process. The Quality Review Board provides executive level representation to address AR’s that are classified as “Problem/Complaint” to make sure these are getting attention and follow-up. In 2019, the Zetron objective is to amplify the attention to quality even more to continue to reduce backlogs and improve quality through improved software testing coverage and release process. The following are the core areas of focus in 2019:
- Customer Engagement – To better support MAX Solutions Zetron assigns an implementation engineer as a single point of contact for our customers from the initial install phases of the installation through the first 90 days post-cutover. Customer surveys will also be provided and reviewed to ensure systems are operating in the field as expected.
AR Management – Continued focus is required for AR backlogs across all solutions with specific attention applied to resolve:
- Projects with open that have AR’s that are preventing us from achieving final billings.
- Projects with ongoing issues at site that result in our project engineers remaining engaged and unable to transition the project into support. Our PE’s are having to stay involved in the project until we get those AR’s resolved thus limiting their capacity to take on ‘New’ work. Their efficiencies drop as they are spread across too many projects simultaneously.
- Test Coverage – Engineering is performing deeper analysis and investing in automation to make sure we have higher degrees of test coverage across the code base it delivers.
- Beta Programs – Product Management plans to formalize the use of beta programs in order to pre-release new features or products to reduce risk of releasing too early. The goal is to gain valuable customer feedback on implementations early and reduce defect exposure risks by getting production environment validation before reaching general availability. This will be formalized as an extension of our current FTA process.
2. SCALE OPERATIONS
Zetron has steady growth in sales of ACOM Command & Control solutions over the last five years, targeting mid to large size opportunities across regions, industries, and markets. However with this success there are pain points in scaling deployments that have been exposed. In 2018 we have reached maximum capacity in our ability to manage and install multiple systems projects concurrently. It has also been a pain point for MAX Solutions to integrate/certify new models and versions of radios requiring them to be certified within normal feature release cycles. In 2019 the Zetron objective is to address the core blocking items that are inhibiting the company from continuing to scale sales & delivery of the ACOM solution as well as shortening the timeline to test/certify new models/versions of radios & LTE solutions. The following are the core areas of focus in 2019:
- New Business System – leverage the new capabilities provided by a new business system to improve processes that have been very manual and laborious. Focus on areas of Sales where pricing and solution configuration can be automated with boundary conditions identified.
- ACOM Configuration Tools – improve the configuration tools through consolidation and optimized user interface to reduce the time and risk for errors in customer deployments.
- Sales to Delivery Process – work to improve the process that defines the deal terms from when a deal is awarded thru handoff to customer fulfillment teams. Leverage previous processes as required to clarify customer expectations, eliminate missed requirements and rework from shipment to customer go-live.
- Radio/EPTT Integration/Certification – move the integration and certification of new models or versions of radio systems, LTE enhanced push to talk solutions (ESChat, AT&T, Verizon, etc) for both MAX Dispatch and ACOM Command & Control into independent release cycles with dedicated resources for delivery. The core goal is to reduce the time to market to improve dispatch solutions sales.
3. CHAMPION SOLUTION SELLING
Zetron has updated it’s go to market strategy for channel sales to move from only channel support to a more direct customer engagement sales strategy where Zetron will bring opportunities to the channel. Zetron will take on more responsibility on how we connect to opportunities (early in their purchase cycle) and guide the potential customer through the buying process. The foundation for this was established in organizational structural changes in 2018 where we moved from a sales organization with only territory managers to a blended model with both area sales representatives and channel management. In 2019, this change continues by leveraging solution selling approaches where we engage prospects early and follow a prescribed sales cycle process for opportunity management. The following are core areas of focus in 2019:
- Solution Playbook – DSG has been hired as a consultant to help define the steps and actions required to succeed Zetron’s new customer engagement and opportunity management approach. They will provide a Solution Playbook that demonstrates the new approach and provides necessary reference materials.
- Sales Training – DSG will work with our team to transition to the new sales strategy by providing initial training, regular follow-ups, and adjust as required as we get feedback from the field.
- Sales Execution – Sales will be introducing product configurators that will make it easier for our channel partners to request and receive quotes on our MAX Solutions. Sales will enhance the current opportunity assessment process to incorporate in a more robust bid strategy on the front-end of larger opportunities.
4. EVOLVE NEXT GENERATION
Zetron is investing in its future by moving forward with projects that enable our products to leverage more advanced technologies that keep our solutions competitive in the markets we serve. Zetron is leveraging proof of concept work to educate and test how these technologies can be leveraged to improve our solutions. The following are core areas of focus in 2019:
- Next Generation – develop a plan and start the development of our next generation platform for command & control. There are many requirements around web based user interfaces, virtualization, robust security, and new hosted delivery models.
- Hosted Solutions – Zetron has plans to advance our existing MAX Call Taking hosted solution for State of Iowa to be available as a packaged solution for other states and/or consolidated regions. In addition many of the new RFP’s are asking for hosted dispatch solutions and we will look to incorporate these requirements into our Next Generation platform plan and development.
- Broadband Technologies – with FirstNet here and now, Zetron will need to demonstrate more advanced capabilities that support video, pictures, Mission Critical Push To Talk (MCPTT), and Internet of Things (IoT) integrated into our solutions. We plan to develop proof of concepts in key areas to demonstrate these capabilities.