4-page Case Study - Posted 5/17/2010
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Large Finance Company Builds Ideal Sales Force Automation Tool by Harnessing Dataflow
Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company began developing a new sales force automation system as part of its medium-term management plan, “Vision 2010,” which emphasizes strengthening the point of contact with customers as well as operational capabilities and methodology. After comparing several options, the company decided to deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The solution diverges from the company’s traditional sales force automation process, which had fewer features and capabilities and was unable to connect with other solutions that employees used on a daily basis. Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance placed a priority on broad user adoption, and close attention to employees’ needs was the basis for selecting the best components of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. With the solution in place, employees now have access to real-time information and are overall comfortable using the solution.
||Rather than report-based information that lacks the engaging qualities of current information, with this system, management will receive information as it occurs, enabling them to make faster, better-informed decisions.
Operating Officer of the Information Systems Division, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company
In April 2007, Diamond Lease and UFJ Central Leasing merged to create the Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company. As the name implies, the company sought to expand its reach beyond that of a traditional leasing company and grow into a comprehensive finance company.
The two pillars of Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance’s operational strategy are growth and the strengthening of its foundational operations. The medium-term management plan, “Vision 2010,” also emphasizes strengthening the point of contact with customers, operational capability, operational methodology, pursuit of efficiency, and strengthening IT strategies.
In 2009, as a step toward accomplishing these goals, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance developed a new sales force automation system. When developing the new system, the company focused on enabling salespeople to intuitively perform the operational tasks according to the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) flow.
“Our development process did not focus on the sales force automation system; instead, we paid close attention to normal e-mail and scheduling operations and tried to create a system that didn't bring negative impact to the daily work routine,” explains Tokutaro Yasuda, Operating Officer of the Information Systems Division at Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance. This approach was based on experience adopting the sales force automation technology at Diamond Lease.
“The role of sales force automation system is to work with customer information that is not uniform. But there was a confining trend with traditional system usage, which forces the person in charge to record this information in a uniform manner,” Mr. Yasuda continues. “Because Microsoft Dynamics CRM is seamlessly connected to the company's other products and we use it for day-to-day operations, information can be obtained in a more natural way, according to the workflow.”
The company felt strongly that a stand-alone sales force automation solution with data and functionality held separate from other productivity applications would seriously impede adoption by the sales force. Rather than relying on a combination of e-mail, scheduling, and spreadsheet programs to manage customer data and sales activities, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance sought a solution that would let users record information once and then make that information accessible when it is needed and in an easily usable format.
The company also emphasized that the solution should let the operations manager use the recorded information in a smooth way that is natural to the workflow. Usability was also an important consideration: A user interface that almost any user could grasp was paramount.
|Target list – Comprehensive update screen|
After comparing various products, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM, primarily based on its ease of integration with the Microsoft Office system. “There were good products by other companies that let the user access data according to the workflow,” says Mr. Yasuda. “However, the strong point of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is its integration with Microsoft Office Outlook. Our employees rely on e-mail and most of them use Office Outlook on a daily basis.”
The ability to share data between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Office Excel was also a factor. Since the merger, the company had been using Office Excel in place of a sales force automation solution, and significant amounts of data still resided in spreadsheets. The ability to analyze data in Office Excel without manually rekeying or performing cut-and-paste operations improves productivity.
Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance felt that Microsoft Dynamics CRM would provide a solid platform for growth and the flexibility the company needed to stay agile. The company found that robust technology and readily available expertise supports the solution. Satoshi Gotoh, UIG Operations Manager of the Information Systems Division at Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance, explains, “What we needed was a product that could adapt to our constantly changing product lineup and help us achieve an effective BI [business intelligence] infrastructure that can process collected data. In addition, we made our decision to deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM based on the proven developmental and organizational strength of Microsoft and the foundation of the company’s consulting services.”
||Since we implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the number of users continues to grow. This appears to be proof that the solution’s user friendliness and intuitiveness has had a positive impact on employees.
UIG Operations Manager of the Information Systems Division, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company
With support from Microsoft Consulting Services, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM to its national sales force. With 1,300 users, the solution ranks as the largest implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in Japan today.A Strong Partnership
Tomomi Namiki, Senior Consultant at Microsoft Consulting Services, decided on a multivendor approach, working with local partner ABeam Consulting to extend the solution to add additional functionality and to meet specific needs of Mitsubishi’s business processes. “Under the direction of Mr. Gotoh, we quickly established the roles of ABeam Consulting and Microsoft Consulting Services,” recalls Mr. Namiki. “Communication was fluid between companies, fostering mutual cooperation and carrying the project forward with momentum.” The team used the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology to help ensure a streamlined deployment.
“In terms of what I wanted in a solution, it was as if I had designed Microsoft Dynamics CRM myself,” says Mr. Yasuda. “Microsoft is reliable with proven abilities in development and a strong support structure. With the solution’s features and overall ease of use, our sales force automation solution was practical for first-time users. Nonetheless, we asked Microsoft Consulting Services to discreetly combine forces with ABeam Consulting, whom we often work with, to customize the additional features, tailoring the solution to our needs.”
Koji Iketani, First Financial Division Engagement Manager at Microsoft Corporation, expresses his thoughts on this development. “I believe that with this development, we have been able to expand the possibilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Although we operated under a partnership, we were able to gain the experience of leading an incredibly large-scale project.”Demanding Functional Requirements
Because of the merger, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance had broadened its range of operations and a lot of effort was put into becoming a comprehensive finance company. Thus, the sales force automation solution needed to meet a broad range of needs. Accordingly, the first question that arose was whether the merged company could function with two separate systems. With an expanding product lineup, each employee needed more knowledge and skills to meet the new challenges. In addition, a stated aspect of the company’s vision was strengthening efforts in customer relations.
To meet both of these needs, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance was required to strengthen operations management. To create a system that supports these diverse needs, the company spent a lot of time considering what the final product should encompass. The Operations Management department formed project teams and conducted surveys to determine functional requirements.Benefits
Customizing the sales force automation solution to accommodate users’ established work patterns—for example, developing features in Office Outlook menus—has fostered widespread adoption across the company.
|Office Outlook calendar – Cooperative Add-In for Microsoft Dynamics CRM|
Tight integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Office Outlook, and Office Excel keeps employees’ need to perform data entry to a minimum. Employees also benefit from single-entry functionality, such as sharing schedule information between the applications or saving e-mail correspondence in an activity log. The ability to use Office Outlook as an interface to record data directly into Microsoft Dynamics CRM saves additional time and eliminates redundant data entry. For example, employees can simply right-click on a message or schedule item in Office Outlook to input the object into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which simplifies adding information to the solution and helps ensure consistency.
Employees can use Office Excel to filter and extract information in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and can save filtered selections as a “view” and retrieve them at any time to display the most current information.
Seamless integration with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server makes it possible for even remote users to view information in Microsoft Dynamics CRM at any time through the company’s Web site. To make the system more convenient for mobile and remote workers, integration with cellular technology is under consideration. “Currently, we are still considering the possibilities of mobile access, which Microsoft Consulting Services presented to us. In the future, we would like to be able to use our sales force automation system off-site through cell phones,” says Mr. Yasuda. “Doing so would essentially eliminate the need for employees to return to the office after being out in the field.”
Broad User Adoption
||Under the direction of Mr. Gotoh, we quickly established the roles of ABeam Consulting and Microsoft Consulting Services. Communication was fluid between companies, fostering mutual cooperation and carrying the project forward with momentum.
Senior Consultant, Microsoft Consulting Services
Although Mr. Gotoh says that it has only been three months since Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance implemented the new sales force automation system, he has not heard about any issues with the solution. “Since we implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the number of users continues to grow,” he says. “This appears to be proof that the solution’s user friendliness and intuitiveness has had a positive impact on employees.”
Mr. Yasuda adds, “I don't believe our employees are consciously thinking that they are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM." Furthermore, he hopes that through the continual use of an intuitive sales force automation solution, the quality of management decisions will change for the better.Better, Faster Decision Making
The sales force automation solution has evolved to help Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance become more efficient and effective in making management decisions. “Because employees use the system more frequently, we’re gathering more information,” says Mr. Yasuda. “And, including our Web portal site, this will assist in sharing information companywide—even to management—to assist in deciding which plan of action to take. If this happens, both regular operations and management can move forward on the same path. Rather than report-based information that lacks the engaging qualities of current information, with this system, management will receive information as it occurs, enabling them to make faster, better-informed decisions.”
The sales force automation system can determine the work status of the entire workforce at once. By overhauling the information infrastructure being developed alongside the system, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance can now confirm the availability of individual salespeople at any time. For instance, if there is information that an employee needs to confirm at the sales call the following day, a manager can determine who is available and if communicating by phone or instant message is necessary.
Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance has not only built its sales force automation system in a user-centric manner, but it is also looking to establish a PDCA cycle that will lead to improved operations. The company is one step ahead of the next improvements, and the efforts towards strengthening its operations and customer relations have only just begun.Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success.
For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to:
For More Information
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For more information about Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company products and services, call 81 (3) 3287 6451 or visit the Web site at:
For more information about ABeam Consulting products and services, call 81 (3) 5521 5555 or visit the Web site at: