PowerObjects helps AbeTech improve sales effectiveness, increase productivity and gain better customer insight with Integrated Dynamics CRM and ERP.
Founded in 1992, AbeTech is a leading supply chain and logistics solution provider for innovative bar code and RFID systems and solutions with an emphasis on manufacturing, distribution and field mobility. AbeTech collaborates with its clients to design, integrate and support complete solutions that optimize the flow and management of people, inventory and assets in order to reach peak productivity. The company currently serves more than 500 clients throughout the country and employs 50 people in the Greater Minneapolis area.
Before Microsoft Dynamics CRM, AbeTech was using Sage ACT for contact management. And while it was a practical tool, it didn’t provide the functionality the company needed from a sales and order management perspective. “ACT really served a Rolodex of information and didn’t provide the visibility and depth that the sales reps needed to actually manage multiple contacts within a company,” said Nicky Schmidt, Director of IT at AbeTech.
Staff was also spending too much time on manually entering information into multiple databases.
To help eliminate this, the company needed a CRM system that would easily integrate with their ERP solution, Microsoft Dynamics GP, for sales order processing, inventory availability, and overall customer service capabilities.
Overall, AbeTech needed a CRM solution that would provide:
- Centralized database where all interactions with customers and vendors could be tracked and be visible by the entire organization.
- Better visibility into the activities of the sales team as well as provide a tool to better capture and manage the sales process.
- Ability to improve price quoting and automate the order process to increase visibility and efficiency, eliminating the need for a manual rekeying and separate databases.
- Ability to see a holistic view of the customer data and historical buying patterns to improve cross-selling/upselling and provide higher levels of customer service.
- Familiar look and feel as other Microsoft solutions to help improve staff adoption and use.
- Easy integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP providing ability to track orders and check order status.
Schmidt had evaluated a number of CRM solutions but was particularly impressed by Microsoft Dynamics CRM. She says: “The two things that really worked for us were the tight integration with Microsoft Outlook and the fact that it integrated with our ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics GP.”
The team at PowerObjects helped AbeTech get up and running with the on-premise version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. “PowerObjects really understood our requirements and how Dynamics CRM would fit our business. We were very impressed with their CRM knowledge and the capabilities of the entire team,” she added.
We were using ACT, various spreadsheets and databases to input sales activities and customer orders. Price quotes had to be manually entered and then once an order was placed, and the same information had to be re-entered into our ERP system which was a huge waste of time.
Now that Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP are integrated, the sales teams have increased their overall productivity and effectiveness. Schmidt says that with the new CRM solution, the entire pricing and sales order process has been greatly improved. “With all of the customer data in one place, we now have the ability to generate pricing and sales orders quickly without a lot of manual rekeying of data, allowing our sales team to concentrate on selling and servicing customers versus administrative tasks.”
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 also brings in the ability to do rich customer profiling and customer segmentation to the sales team. With CRM’s robust reporting, the team can quickly build profiles of customer information and analyze customer activity. The data helps the team and management understand sales patterns and prioritize sales activities based on a customer’s company size and industry, volume, and buying history for example.
With the successful adoption of Dynamics CRM throughout the sales organization, AbeTech has now expanded CRM to other areas in the company. For example, using workflows in Dynamics CRM, the company has improved communication and the re-quoting process with vendors. “Before Dynamics CRM, our re-quoting process was manual and time intensive. With workflows set-up, the process and communication with our vendors is now automated and tracked in CRM which saves time and allows us to see real-time status which helps keep everyone in the loop and updated,” Schmidt said.
The company is also having success using Dynamics CRM to automate and manage several internal processes. For example, the IT department has automated its internal IT project request process with CRM. Using workflows, staff can request IT assistance automatically through CRM which then assigns tasks for the IT team and provides the ability to track project status updates. “Before, our process was very manual and lacked a good way for us to track our internal IT requests and overall outcomes. Now we can view all of the IT requests, prioritize them and track the progress right in CRM,” said Schmidt.
As a supply chain and logistics solution provider, the company offers demos to its customers in order for them to try out various products before they make a purchase. Prior to CRM, the organization was using Excel spreadsheets to manually manage what demo was checked-out and being used by the customer. Using this type of manual process made it difficult for the staff to manage as they have more than 150 demos available. “Now with CRM, our team can search and view all of the demos by product and can see what is available and what’s in use. We can monitor and view due dates and automatically send reminder emails to customers if needed. It’s saved us a lot of manual work and has improved customer communication as well,” Schmidt added.
Schmidt feels that the company has realized tremendous benefits from Dynamics CRM because of PowerObjects’ guidance and expertise. “Thanks to PowerObjects, we now have an integrated CRM solution that works across our business and has proven to be a great asset to our company. In a short time, we’ve been able to improve our sales effectiveness, streamline processes and more importantly, gain greater visibility into our customer accounts allowing us to better serve their needs. Dynamics CRM has certainly provided the framework we needed and we look forward to the possibilities it can bring as we continue to grow our business.”