Sales Visibility Case StudyCase Study
CONSUMER PRODUCTS MANUFACTURER IN SOUTH AMERICA
Improving customer service begins with improving the flow of real time critical information. No one knows this better than one of the largest paper goods manufacturer and exporter in South America. The core products made and sold consist of toilet tissues, paper towels and tissue paper – always in demand. A slowing economy led this customer to look for ways to improve customer service, reduce paperwork and labor for the sales force to ensure ongoing market dominance in their region of the world.
- Headquarters: Venezuela
- Multiple manufacturing facilities in South America
Sales Order Delays
Before the system was put in place the process of taking orders was performed by the salesperson during the client visit. The sales-person would fill out a form and depending on the zone or route, would deliver the form to one of the offices later so that they could be manually keyed into BPCS. This process sometimes took three to five days. With the TransitionWorks solution in place this process happens in real time, providing the salesperson with immediate confirmation of the client credit status, information on the order status that was just entered and other useful information, such as promotions, a list of pending orders, etc.
Lengthy Process for Special Shipments
Approval of special shipments previously required analysis by a person responsible for making sure certain conditions had been met, such as overdue payments, returned checks, etc.–all criteria defined by the customer during an order process. The process could be lengthy, between 4 and 7 days, because they had to fill out a special form, send it via fax or messenger to the person responsible for approving it and wait for a response.
Real-Time Information The implementation of TransitionWorks Sales Visibility solution now allows the sales force to enter orders or get information about a customer simply using their PDA’s. A call connects them to the Internet via a cell phone call to an ISP. This process gives the salesperson immediate access to the real time information and necessary sales force automation scripts required to serve their customers in Venezuela.
The sales order is automatically analyzed according to a predefined workflow requiring just one day instead of more than a week. When an order needs special approval, the system informs the salesperson and the parties responsible for that approval in realtime. Alerted by the system automatically, the parties responsible for the approval are constantly checking out the orders to be approved. They then use the solution in realtime, allowing the order to flow through to their ERP system (BPCS) and be invoiced in a timely manner.
The customer is shaving two days off the order-processing time, enabling faster and more accurate order approval and authorization, and increasing the number of daily shipments out of their warehouses.
“We made contact with different software solution providers and asked them to create proposals for presentation to the sales & marketing management,” said the IT manager. “We choose the technology for its versatility and TransitionWorks for their reliability, since they would be the organization that would support the product.”
The recommended solution included:
- Sales Visibility
- Adapter for BPCS – Order Entry
- HP Jornada 720. PDA that would connect directly to the company’s ERP system in real-time.
According to the IT manager, TransitionWorks was selected for their ability to use thin client devices in a wireless environment, experience, and ability to seamlessly integrate, real-time into their ERP system (BPCS). Other products evaluated only processed in batch mode, which didn’t meet their requirements. The sales force has the ability to make decisions based on accurate, timely information about orders in progress and historical data about the specific customer being serviced.
- Real-time order validation and creation
- Order approval process takes 1-2 days instead of 5-7
- Shipments increased
- Credit approval and authorization by sales force
- Improved customer service
The Sales & Marketing Manager stated, “With this technology, we not only expedite the capture of critical information, we provide it to the sales force and other key decision makers in real-time, enabling better informed and more timely decision making at all levels.”
Reaction from the sales force has been very positive. “This solution provides the sales team with better tools and added value because they have more information which allows them to do a better job and they can stay in touch with the office in real-time,” stated the Sales and Marketing Manager.
According to the IT manager, “The biggest challenge was the paradigm shift required by the sales force, which had to totally change the way they do their job. The strategy was to make Sales Management responsible for this project. They were committed to it from the beginning and involved with the definition, modification and implementation of the sales policies involved throughout the process. They also received training in the new tool and educated on how the sales process would change. When sales advanced from a manual process to an automated one, the resistance to the change was very low, in fact they gained advantage over their competitors.”
ABOUT TRANSITIONWORKS SOFTWARE
TransitionWorks Software delivers innovative solutions that allow warehouse, field service, and sales operations to capture critical information, improve visibility of assets, processes and orders, and interact with their company’s ERP system in real-time wherever they are. Using the latest smartphone, RFID, PLC, biometric, barcode and cloud technologies, TransitionWorks’ platform is transforming hundreds of customer operations in over 20 countries across the globe. By radically simplifying processes and then putting the latest information in the hands of front-line personnel at all times, its customers make better decisions, reduce inventory levels, lower operating costs and generate higher returns.
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