PawnMaster Blog

Len Summa

Len Summa joined Data Age Business Systems, Inc. in 2012 and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Before becoming Data Age Business Systems’ CEO, Mr. Summa was Chief Operations Officer (COO) for four years. He has 26 years of experience in executive software solution sales and operational management for both early stage and well-established firms. Prior to his Data Age service, Mr. Summa was the General Manager of global sales and operations at Persystent Software, an industry-leading enterprise recovery software. Mr. Summa has also served as the Director of North American SMB sales and operations at Learn.com, the preeminent software firm in the learning management space. Mr. Summa has a vast business and entrepreneurial background and was the co-founder of Lou Ferrigno/Fitness Showrooms, a highly successful retail and wholesale chain located throughout the Northeastern United States.
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Recent Posts

What You Need To Know About Data Ownership

We are consistently coming across shops changing their software vendor for a number of reasons, so we feel it's important to provide resources to those who are looking to make a switch. When you're entering into a SaaS agreement for the first time, you may have some questions or concerns. That's normal. According to CIO Review, "The best means of protecting yourself is to carefully read and understand the terms of the contracts with your data vendors. Often these provisions can be negotiatedfor example, you can require that your data to be anonymized when it's used by the vendor."

The Extra Yard

In my previous life as a small business owner, this was always the time of year when I was heads down looking to crank out sales. Having a multiple store chain and selling straight retail, the holidays was where I made my mark. At the time, I didn't realize that the entire year leading up to the holiday season we were unconsciously making sure that we went the extra yard for our customers. This is always the correct approach when supplying and supporting a large customer base.

The Lights Are Always On, and There's Always Someone Home

No product or service – or end user – is perfect. This is especially true when it comes to hardware and software. Most entrepreneurial-dominated industries are successful because the people who make up the industry focus on what they do best. In the collateral lending industry, PawnMaster users are heads down with their customers, loaning, buying, and selling. They don’t have the time to focus or be concerned if an issue arises around the technology they depend on to help operate their business. Should they have an issue, they know that they can make a call and get an answer, and never have to worry about getting their vendor on the line to help them.

David vs. Goliath: What does a sustainable business model look like?

There are several schools of thought when going to market with software and technology. Many companies pick the market they want to go after. The “upstream” market consists of the larger enterprises and public space. This market, albeit very lucrative, places great strain and demand on a technology company in a host of ways. Specifically, round the clock support, custom development, hyper-specific service level agreements, and of course, special reduced rates. If a technology firm is primarily seeking this kind of business and does not want to scale, the model works-but it is very tedious to sustain. This model can’t sustain the smaller downstream clients because of the lack of resources to succeed at both. Companies who are constantly shifting their focus and toggling from one client model to another are doomed to implode, and the client base on both ends suffer. Not as damaging for the larger customers who may have the resources to go out and build custom software for themselves, but for smaller customers these events can be catastrophic.

Feeling Trapped by Your Vendor?

Choosing the correct vendors for your shop can seem like a daunting task, but you shouldn't feel like you're trapped when making your decision. We know that it's a lot to take in, that's why we at PawnMaster put together resources for people in the market to make a switch. When you're entering into a SaaS agreement for the first time, you may have some questions or concerns. That's normal. According to CIO Review, "The best means of protecting yourself is to carefully read and understand the terms of the contracts with your data vendors. Often these provisions can be negotiated--for example, you can require that your data to be anonymized when it's used by the vendor."

Make Facebook Work for You

As a former business owner in the retail space, my partner and I knew what it meant to face challenges. These challenges could range from the day-to-day "running a business" issues, to people problems, to dealing with local ordinance, the up and downs of revenue, the list goes on.  As we all know, small business owners wear almost every hat. Personally, what made jumping through all these hoops worth it was bringing in new customers while still collecting revenue from my returning clientele. Word of mouth was it as far as marketing went; you treated your customers well and people flocked to you. In 2018, it may seem harder than ever to find new clients, and we all know that competition is coming from every direction. There is a silver lining here, and that is there are a lot of online platforms that you can use to ensure that your brand is securing the visibility is needs to thrive.

The Secret Sauce is Service Excellence

Every day we hear stories about vendors not helping their clients, not calling them back, and a host of other very frustrating and disappointing things, all of which are negatively impacting peoples' businesses. The Data Age/PawnMaster brand, company, and suite of products have been known for being world-class for the past thirty years. We always sit back and analyze how to improve. I recall an event held at the Ritz Carlton a few years back. I was walking to my meeting and in the hallway I saw three Ritz Carlton employees on their knees highly focused on removing a small piece of gum from the carpet. At first I said for the amount of money a room cost I would expect this but the establishment provided great value in so many areas. They don’t need to roll out three people to get a tiny piece of gum that cannot be seen removed. This is their strategy to customer service excellence and overall user experience. Let me be clear, customer support is a strategy that many miss the mark on in a big way.

Investing in People, for People

Success Is Never Owned

Top Gun Award

 

We just had our annual Data Age awards dinner. Each year we recognize the performance of the Data Age team in appreciation of the work they have done with our clients. One of the awards we give out is our “Top Gun” award. This award goes to our top performing sales rep but it has so much more depth to it than just great revenue numbers.

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