CRM upgrade crushes legacy system

Enduring six years of an archaic customer relations system (CRM) forced Sirromet Wines to seek an automated solution.

The sluggish, manual CRM system wasted time and blocked customer information sharing between the winery's sales, distributions, and marketing teams.

Sirromet Wines IT manager, Ian Parker, said as a client database did not exist, customer information did not travel between mobile sales staff or departments. He said company executives could not gauge market trends as a result.

"As the company grew, we knew we needed to capture important sales information that was in the salespeople's heads, that could otherwise be lost if staff left or changed territory," Parker said. "This valuable information needed to be secured and centralized."

Sirromet will also revamp its ordering process in which sales staff placed 20 minute phone orders and prepared monthly hardcopy sales reports.

"We needed a method to get sales staff to order in such a way that we could centrally record and manage each deal, but also such that they were freed up to spend more of their time reaching customers," Parker said.

With its selection made, a Sage Accpac solution implemented by Aaromba Technologies, the winery had it up and running in 20 days.

Parker said the off-the-shelf software opened instantaneous communication between sales, marketing and executives while minimizing hardcopy reports.

"We wanted an off-the-shelf CRM solution that needed minimal customization and would allow immediate communication from the management and marketing team direct to the sales staff," he said.

Sirromet supplied sales staff with tablet PCs which, together with the CRM application provides faster online ordering via distributors' portals, synchronization between departments and allows a key performance indicator to be created for individual sales representatives.

Gary Anderson, Sirromet marketing manager, said the system delivers daily marketing intelligence. "We will also use it to schedule marketing events such as wine tastings, scrutinizing campaigns for effectiveness and even in automating our tasting reports - something the marketing department simply could not do previously," he said.

He said staff are positive about the new system, although it did require some training.

Sirromet will check and order stock online while sales histories will be used in forecasting and planning.

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