Imagine for a second. You’re sitting in a restaurant with a friend or significant other that you haven’t had a chance to catch-up with for several weeks. You’re trying to have a conversation but can hardly hear each other over the noises and discussions happening at other tables around you. It’s kind of distracting, isn’t it? The experience you’re envisioning is common for locations that haven’t been designed with Sonus, a custom acoustic panel manufacturer focused on creating spaces that people can easily connect in.
Founded on a Belief in Connection
The company was founded over 30 years ago by a husband and wife team that focused on “reskinning” ceiling tiles, which is putting a new surface on ceiling tiles for office buildings. As the pair gained success in this area, they slowly evolved into producing sound-dampening acoustical panels, all of which are made-to-order. Then, on June 15, 2020, Kevin Simons, now CEO of Sonus, bought the company and rebranded it to Sonus. His passion for good business was the root cause of his decision to start a new venture.
“I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. I’ve always wanted to have a manufacturing company inside the USA, so there is a little ‘heart tug’ if you will with owning Sonus,” said Simons. “Plus, the products are incredibly unique and high quality.”
Taking on New Business
Sonus works with almost every industry from hospitality to healthcare. Simons and his team work directly with architects and designers to get products specified before working with general contractors on a particular job. “It’s an industry that keeps you on your toes! I enjoy it and am tackling our visibility on all fronts, especially digitally, with the help of our Head of Marketing – Brock Masterson,” said Simons.
Taking on a new business is not for the faint of heart. Simons believes in building a solid foundation now to set his team up for success and growth. His focus is on establishing a national brand with multiple distribution channels – a goal that is very achievable with the right people and products in place.
Building a Solid Foundation
When Simons came on board, there wasn’t a lot of technology running the business. A lot of processes were done manually and accounting was run through QuickBooks Desktop. “They were not very complicated,” said Simons. “Not a whole lot of processes. They could estimate and invoice a client. But not much beyond that.” Now, business is moving in a way it never has before and with that, so is the technology.
Simons believes in the Salesforce Platform because of his extensive experience building out instances for large corporations and supervising teams that worked in the platform daily. Working with Salesforce throughout his career, Simons has a deep appreciation for the ability to optimize customer experiences across their entire journey. “I believe in the platform because I’ve seen what it can do. Sonus is young and in order to obtain the kind of growth I want to achieve, I’m building the foundational things today.”
Growth is the Key
Simons came into Sonus already sold on moving the entire business onto Salesforce. He originally explored several accounting options, especially ones that were more manufacturing-specific such as Rootstock. However, he realized he not only needed a solution that was fully native to Salesforce, but also one that could grow with his business – that’s when Accounting Seed was brought into the picture.
“I needed a solid accounting solution that integrated with Salesforce that would grow as we grow. The more integrated it was, the better I felt about it. Accounting Seed gives me the inventory management with standard accounting, plus it is on one platform and highly rated. A win-win to me,” said Simons.
The Dream Team: Accounting Seed + Authvia
As Simons and his team explored the native connection between Salesforce and Accounting Seed, the company discovered another tech-rich product recommended by Accounting Seed’s product experts: Authvia.
Authvia is a payment processing app that sits behind the scenes of Salesforce and Accounting Seed to bill and receive payment into Accounting Seed in a way that fits the specific manufacturing needs of Sonus. Through a custom workflow, Sonus can bill each client at 50% capacity when a purchase order is received, then bill the remaining after the job is complete. With this custom workflow, every billing runs through the proper channels of Salesforce and Accounting Seed.
“Sonus’ billing model required the ability to send payment requests for down payments prior to production, as well as final payments after delivery,” said Mark Miller, Authvia for Salesforce Product Manager. “Because the architecture of Authvia for Salesforce is based on flexible data instead of rigid API, a few small tweaks to our out-of-box flow templates and a custom field enabled us to deliver the perfect solution for Sonus in just a few hours.”
Implementation of Authvia was Quick
Once Simons knew what he needed, he went into testing with the Authvia and Accounting Seed teams. Everything was up and running within a week. “Authvia is one of the best technology partners I’ve ever come across thanks to Accounting Seed. I worked directly with their leadership to build something custom for my needs. You don’t find businesses like them very often anymore,” said Simons.
Prior to bringing on Authvia, Simons implemented Accounting Seed himself with the help of a few Accounting Seed product consultants. “I spent some time with really great people at Accounting Seed who helped me understand my new workflows. Working with them to understand new ramifications and different ideas and how to run transactions, etc. was a huge value of bringing on Accounting Seed,” said Simons.
Saving Time and Fueling Business Growth
The combination of Accounting Seed and Authvia is already producing results for Simons’ growth plan for Sonus. Previously, it would take an average of 15 minutes to complete one billing. Now, it takes less than two minutes, putting tons of time back into Simons’ schedule.
The biggest value point in bringing in the Accounting Seed and Authvia technology is how it enables Simons and his team to communicate in real time. For example, when an order comes in, the production team knows about it immediately, which then kicks off the production process where every step in the process can be tracked and measured including our regimented quality assurance (QA) process. Once QA is completed, the product gets in the shipping crate and the billing process kicks off automatically – all of which is custom to Sonus specifically.
Confidence in the Solution
“I feel very confident in the Accounting Seed and Authvia solution with Salesforce. I have the ability to be more efficient, which is serving me as Sonus catches on and grows. The technology alone is amazing, but together it’s even better,” notes Simons.
Next time you find yourself in a bustling restaurant (socially distanced for now, of course!), and you have the feeling that you and your guest are the only ones there, you may be in the presence of Sonus’ acoustic panels. But, if you don’t notice, then Sonus has done their job right.
To learn more about Sonus and their unique, modern acoustic solutions, visit them online at www.sonusna.com.
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