Accelerated company growth fueled by two major acquisitions in recent years had more than tripled West Pharmaceutical Services revenues—from U.S.$400 million to $1.3 billion. This rapid expansion created a vital need for IT to deploy technologies to help sales and customer support maintain a consistent customer focus. Adding to the challenge, the company needed to accommodate personnel in 50 offices across six continents.
|With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we can now integrate and exchange data with our three ERP systems to provide sales and service with all the information they need to service our customers.|
| Beverly Prohaska|
VP Global Information Technology
West Pharmaceutical Services
To maintain customer service at required levels, West launched a strategy to better serve and manage global customers driven by the slogan, “One West—Customer First.” As part of this mission, the company decided to develop for the first time a company-wide CRM solution integrating data from three existing ERP systems.
Accelerating Sales Cycles While Adding Insight Into Customer Activity
VP of Global Information Technology, Beverly Prohaska, also found herself facing the challenge of finding a solution that would allow the company to synchronize sales processes across the globe. “Each of our two major divisions as well as each country has its own unique needs for managing the sales cycle and customer service,” Prohaska says.
Other key capabilities Prohaska sought in the CRM solution included the ability to accelerate the velocity of sales cycles and provide greater insight into sales data to improve forecasting accuracy. “Part of the reason these capabilities proved challenging is that we use three ERP systems,” Prohaska explains. “Compiling sales data thus required a lot of manual work. We needed to automate the process for accessing information.”
Deploying Global CRM Capabilities While Conforming to Local Needs
West has long deployed a platform strategy based on a combination of Microsoft and SAP technologies. In researching possible CRM solutions, Prohaska considered Microsoft Dynamics CRM as well as SAP CRM and SalesForce.com: “We chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM because it fits our platform strategy and enables us to configure the software to meet business needs. Even though we need consistent sales processes across the company, there are still unique requirements for business units and countries. Microsoft Dynamics CRM gives us this flexibility.”
Prohaska adds that many CRM solutions have rigid tools requiring customers to change business processes. But Microsoft Dynamics CRM sets itself apart by offering a blend of easy-to-use, intuitive software with configuration flexibility that minimizes customization to meet business needs of individual geographies.
In comparing costs, Prohaska focused on long-term TCO more than upfront costs. Another key consideration was the requirement to run the CRM solution within a virtual private cloud via a third-party data center. Microsoft Dynamics CRM best met the requirements on both counts.
Customer Activity Now Visible Across All Departments
For the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, West collaborated with Microsoft partner, SBS South Florida and Caribbean. “The solution is intuitive enough that we can fully operate the system with internal IT resources now that we completed the deployment with the help of SBS South Florida and Caribbean,” Prohaska says.
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution assists nearly 400 employees providing services to customers including sales and management as well as quality, regulatory, and R&D employees who track customer issues and product discrepancy reports. “It’s important to offer transparent visibility across all departments that interact with customers,” Prohaska emphasizes.
Major Impact on Customer Successes
For Prohaska and the West IT department, the solution represents one of their most significant accomplishments in recent years. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the potential to truly globalize our business and have a greater impact on our customer successes than most IT projects,” she says. “The technology supports our strategy of placing customers first and enables us to provide services as a united company, since everyone has access to all customer information.”
Prohaska also stresses the confidence senior leadership has in partnering with Microsoft. “Microsoft has made a strong commitment to Microsoft Dynamics CRM by issuing new releases every six months. This makes us feel good about the investment. We also benefit from the seamless integration with Microsoft Outlook. This makes it much easier for our employees as they spend a fair amount of their day in Microsoft Outlook where they can also interact with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.”
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published January 2013.