Q+A With Dealer Sales Manager, Alex Hayes

Alex is a Dealer Sales Manager at Hyphn

If you haven’t started using the Steelcase Marketplace as your one-stop tool to view, search and organize our ancillary product offering, we’d like to introduce you to Alex Hayes. Alex is lead Workplace Consultant at Hyphn in Portland, Oregon. As an early adopter of Marketplace, she was kind enough to sit down for a brief interview about her experience with this game-changing resource.
Alex has been using the Marketplace since late April when she heard about it during a Dealer Business Meeting. Hyphn was not originally scheduled to be a pilot user, but Alex immediately realized how crucial it would be to a project she was currently working on and asked to be included. Since then, she’s saved countless hours using the tool and was more than willing to share:

What was your initial reaction after being told about this tool?

We were not originally going to be one of the pilot dealerships, but I got to see it during a Dealer Business Meeting. I was sitting there pretty much with mouth agape, verging on upset because I didn’t have the tool yet. It was just incredibly relevant to pretty much every project I have, but specifically to a project I had at that point where we had already probably spent over 100 hours cumulatively just working on the ancillary, and it was all within the Steelcase family. So, it was particularly pertinent to that project I was working on in that moment, but the more and more that we’re working on ancillary and trying to find a good system… it was kind of painful to see it and not have access to it. That was the initial reaction. So, I walked up to Rebecca [Steketee] after her presentation and said, “I need this for a current project and I need it right now!” And she was more than willing to let me get my hands on it.

What caught your eye and made you realize how useful it would be?

The biggest thing is just having everything in one place. That’s been a huge struggle of ours in trying to find solutions for clients that tell the same story and can be shown in one place. We just didn’t have a way to do that. It used to be so easy, even just a couple years ago, to say, “They need a sofa and I’ve got three options.” I knew the name of every product within the Steelcase family. I knew exactly what my options were. But that’s so far from the case now. Sometimes now I don’t even know everything that sits under the Steelcase umbrella and what all my client options are. Having all of that in one place so we can say, “Let’s sit and look through what our options are for guest chairs,” then to be able to get other ideas while you’re in the Marketplace and see options that I might not have even known we offered. That’s pretty exciting.

How has your user experience been? Has it seemed pretty user friendly?

Oh my gosh, it’s awesome. I mean the amount of time I’ve saved! The project I was working on when I heard about Marketplace was actually one that we had just finished placing the order for and it was about a million-dollar project – much of which was in Ancillary Offerings. The customer wants to use that office as a standard for other offices and one of the requests from their CFO was to be able to see everything that they ordered all in one place. He wanted to have that as a record, so they could return to it for each additional office that we worked on. I was completely overwhelmed with the idea of having to pull all that together for him until I learned about the Marketplace. Once it was available, I went back through and retroactively created a portfolio for that order and it literally took me less than an hour to pull everything together. Without the Marketplace, it would have taken me days. That experience alone – and that was when it was still in Beta – is why it’s been awesome to work within the Marketplace.

If you were to offer one reason why people should try out the Marketplace what would it be?

The biggest thing to say to someone who’s a little hesitant is that we obviously can’t do it the way we used to do it anymore. The market is asking us to do so much more. We never used to specify ancillaries like we do now. We also never used to be on the design side to the extent that we are now. To be a good consultant, we have to have more tools.

This tool combines so many of our resources all in one place. For us to be successful in this market, we have to use more interactive and visual tools that speak to our clients. We need to give them a sufficient amount of options and we need to be able to visually show them what they are. Then to be able to keep it within the Steelcase family so that it’s easier for us to design, specify, deliver and sell… well, I honestly can’t imagine working with ancillary products without this tool anymore.

Browse the Marketplace product offering to see how you can begin utilizing this tool for your current or next project