4-page Case Study - Posted 12/11/2012
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Complicated customer technical support and sales partner management? Not a problem with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Intellian Technologies®, which is leading manufacturer of various satellite reception and communications system, implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM in alignment with its objective of higher customer and partner satisfaction. One key feature that Intellian
Technologies® wanted from the CRM solution, in addition to the management of sales partners, was to link the discovery of sales opportunities with production and purchasing in order to strengthen not just sales but also production forecasting. Another important
feature that it wanted was to move the document-oriented technical support tasks onto a standardized process and systemize it as part of CRM. To meet such requirements, TrueInfo decided to link Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the ERP system and SCM, and use a
newly-established process in the system for technical support. As the full-scale operation of the CRM system started in earnest in August 2011, the results were immediate. The sales personnel around the world were the first ones to notice the difference.
“Being able to share all of the related information with our manufacturing department from the moment the sales opportunity is identified, rather than waiting until the order goes through, has improved our production forecast significantly.
We use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to review weekly and monthly sales opportunities and use the data for procurement and production plan management, thus achieving detailed production planning.”
-Jinhyuk Kim, Global Sales & Administration Sales Manager-
Intellian Technologies® became interested in implementing CRM to strengthen its relationships with the customers and partners. The marine industry is expanding fast beyond the existing American and European markets to new markets in the Middle East, Latin
America, and Asia. This means that the satellite antenna market for ships is also growing. And it is becoming important for manufacturers to not only excel in product quality, but also to remain competitive in the area of customer satisfaction through the
extension of technical support periods, etc.
Intellian Technologies® had implemented a legacy system, Salesforce.com, couple years ago. However, with Salesforce.com, the company was not able to realize benefits using this CRM solution, especially in customer management. The lesson learnt was that a
general-purpose SaaS was not suitable for customer management in this highly specialized industry. Customers of Intellian Technologies® fit into two main categories: sales partners who sell the products, and end users who actually use the products. This means
that sales are made at a B2B level but technical support has to be provided at a B2C level. Therefore, sales partners such as ship manufacturers, satellite broadcast service providers, and wholesalers do not only require conventional CRM but also SCM for manufacturing
and logistics. Intellian Technologies® also needs to support its end users with global resource management, such as having technical support personnel worldwide and providing parts management.
For this reason, Intellian Technologies® stopped using this SaaS-based CRM and started using separate processes for sales partner management and technical support. It managed B2B sales partners with another ERP’s sales order module. And for B2C, technical
support was carried out by manually recording customer support requests and support history using Excel. As its business grew, Intellian Technologies® came down to a conclusion that such diversified and ineffective management system was only complicating the
business process and hindering the company from expanding into the global market. For example, when the captain of a ship calls for technical support for a product which has been sold and installed via a wholesaler, it would take a long time for the technical
support team to find out which wholesaler sold the product and the remaining duration on the customer's warranty period. This is because the process required accessing the ERP system and also searching through other relevant documents. Intellian Technologies®
were aware of this inefficiency but could not find solutions to effectively overcome the issue.
Intellian Technologies® began working together with the CRM expert company TrueInfo to implement the system from May to August 2011. Implementation was completed successfully in the short period of three months for a reason. Deputy Chief of Intellian Technologies®,
Kim Jin-hyeok, said, “As a small to medium-sized company, a longer planning and implementation stage would lead directly to greater costs. In terms of implementation scope, it took us just three months to achieve what would take most others a whole year. This
was possible because we didn't aim to open up the system after we had everything in order. Instead, we implemented everything as quickly as possible and then started using each part so that we could perform improvement on the parts one by one.”
One key feature that Intellian Technologies® wanted from the CRM solution, in addition to the management of sales partners, was to link the discovery of sales opportunities with production and purchasing in order to strengthen not just sales but also production
forecasting. Another important feature that it wanted was to move the document-oriented technical support tasks onto a standardized process and systemize it as part of CRM. To meet such requirements, TrueInfo decided to link Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the
ERP system and SCM, and use a newly-established process in the system for technical support.
Integration between the ERP system and SCM was quite smooth. TrueInfo designed the data flow so that the sales inventory and product information in the ERP system are passed to the CRM system. In terms of SCM, from the moment sales opportunities are discovered
and entered into the CRM system, the relevant information is shared with the production team. From a customer technical support point of view, establishing the process was more important than building the system. This was because new standardized procedures
and regulations had to be built from scratch. In the process of defining CRM retrieval and input items after examining the existing technical support flow, Intellian Technologies® broke down after-sales task procedures into smaller sections and streamlined
the customer response procedure. Decisions made in this process included using serial numbers for retrieving points of sales and verifying parts, assigning a processing priority to work orders, and escalating orders to a higher level when they are not resolved
by the first level of technical support personnel. In other words, the company organized the new process to provide a systematic way of using the CRM system from receipt of the customer's request for after-sales service to an immediate response.
Intellian Technologies® also included business trip management to customize CRM to suit the nature of its business. Since the company's products are not installed in a fixed location but on ships travelling in various seas and oceans around the world, when
an after-sales service request is filed, technical support personnel are sent from the nearest overseas office. Since Intellian Technologies® has offices in Korea, the USA, Netherlands, and the UK, it needs to send personnel directly from the Head Office in
Korea when an after-sales service request is received from Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America. Head Office employees are therefore frequently on the move, and the company decided to take advantage of the CRM implementation to have business trip management
included in the system so that they would no longer have to put up with the lack of an electronic approval system.
The Beginning of Well-Orchestrated Sales Management
As the full-scale operation of the CRM system started in earnest in August 2011, the results were immediate. The sales personnel around the world were the first ones to notice the difference. The Head Office of Intellian Technologies® and its branches in
the USA, Netherlands, and the UK had been using separate ERP systems. Any reporting to Head Office had been performed using a set document format in the form of document exchange. But now, with the new CRM system in place, they can all enter and retrieve data
by looking at the same screen. Reports no longer need to be sent from the branches to Head Office. There is absolutely no additional work required, just entering potential customers, sales opportunities, order status, sales status, etc. in the CRM system.
Better Production Forecasting and Timely Delivery Competitiveness through CRM
In addition to the sales personnel, there is another department which greatly welcomed the changes brought by the CRM solution. This is the manufacturing department. With the adoption of CRM, Intellian Technologies® opened up a new possibility to increase
its production capacity in the most efficient way, according to sales forecasts. Production forecasting is not particularly easy for the small market of satellite communication antennas for ships. This is because the market has a high demand for custom products
in addition to mass-produced goods. In this case, the greatest difficulty for the production department had been meeting delivery dates. When a customer places an order with an extremely tight delivery schedule, if the supply of parts does not align properly
with the production schedule, the manufacturing department has a hard time trying to meet the delivery date. Since the adoption of CRM, the manufacturing department no longer has this issue with custom manufacturing.
Kim said, “Sharing all relevant information with the manufacturing department from the moment the sales opportunity is identified, rather than waiting until the order goes through, has significantly improved our production forecast. We use the CRM system
to perform weekly and monthly sales opportunity reviews and then use the data for quarterly material purchasing and production plan management, achieving detailed production planning.”
Achieving Customer Satisfaction through Systematic Technical Support
Using CRM for technical support management allowed Intellian Technologies® to improve customer satisfaction for after-sales services and also enhance work efficiency for support personnel. With the CRM system in place, Intellian Technologies® could monitor
all information concerning technical support in real time and perform various analyses to obtain the necessary answers. Kim said, “When an urgent response is required, we can enter details such as within how many hours the customer needs the problem resolved
into the CRM system. If the field worker is unable to resolve the issue, the case is escalated to his supervisor. This means that after-sales service is provided much faster and more effectively. We can also conduct weekly and monthly reviews of how many cases
were resolved by each technical support team member and we can identify which customers had which problems and how the problems were resolved.”
Meanwhile, Intellian Technologies® added another function to the CRM system in the middle of 2012. The function for product warranty period management has been added to enhance technical support.
In an effort to provide differentiated services to its customers in an increasingly competitive market, Intellian Technologies® expanded the product warranty period on some of its products from 1 year to 3 years. The company took full advantage of the implementation
to include warranty period management in the CRM system so that more details are made available for the purpose of technical support. As a result, Intellian Technologies® has established an extensive framework of comprehensive customer information management
ranging from sales opportunity discovery to orders, delivery, after-sales service, and product warranty.
For more information about the Microsoft Dynamics CRM, go to:
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