How Microsoft Dynamics CRM Helped a Chemical Manufacturing and Distribution Company Improve Profitability, Communication, and Reporting

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When a thriving medical disinfectant  manufacturing company became hamstrung by its CRM software, the company determined that it required a superior system along with a dependable partner who would ensure smooth implementation and successful end user adoption.

After harnessing the powerful Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution provided by the trusted experts at The TM Group, the company greatly streamlined its workflow and was able to make faster and smarter decisions.

The Situation

Previously, the company’s sales records were fed into an ACT! By Sage database that was accessible by only one employee. Spreadsheets contained contact, account, and sales opportunity information, but the data was spread out everywhere.

“We got rid of ACT! because it ended up being a data dump and nobody could get anything out of it,” says the company’s sales analyst. “A bunch of stuff was in there, but nobody used it and it wasn’t kept up to date.”

The company struggled to link communication between its sales staff of 12 to 15 people — which was spread across the country selling primarily to hospitals — and its 20 employees headquartered in mid-Michigan.

“They just never communicated with one another,” the sales analyst says. “R&D didn’t know what the actual end users wanted. Marketing didn’t know which pieces were working and which pieces weren’t working, or which advertising was effective or ineffective, or which trade show might have been useful or not useful.”

The Solution

The firm spent nearly a full year considering various CRM software solutions before turning to a familiar and trusted advisor — The TM Group, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Certified Partner. The company was already a Microsoft Dynamics GP client.

“We liked Dynamics,” the sales analyst says. “We also used the (Microsoft Dynamics GP) accounting software , so we were familiar with the idea of Microsoft Dynamics. We already had a relationship with The TM Group, so we knew we would have the support.”

They adopted Microsoft Dynamics CRM and its Contact, Account, and Opportunity entities for account management and sales pipeline reporting. This potent CRM solution quickly proved valuable.

 “From our perspective, it really opened up that line of communication,” the sales analyst says.

The company sought a CRM system that could send sample orders directly to its distribution center and be accessible by all users. 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM allowed the sales staff to open sample request forms, enter contact information, record it in the system, and then report the sample order including what specific products were requested.  The TM Group developed a custom workflow to transfer the orders automatically to the distribution center . When a CRM user fills out a sample order and hits save, the order is automatically transferred over the Internet to an FTP site managed by the distribution center, which fills the order. This web service file contains customer data, order information, and shipping instructions. The file also houses sales territory information, allowing the distribution center to send back reports based on how many sample orders were requested per territory.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM serves as its central repository — it has information about their products, sample orders, and end customer accounts.

Increased End User Adoption

When the company was seeking a CRM solution, it considered but preferred Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s tight integration with Outlook. Sales people could see their accounts, their contacts and their tabs in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, directly synced to Outlook.

“All the users love it because they don’t have to open another application to view any of their information, any of their accounts, or any of their contacts. They can view all of their information in one place,” says a senior CRM consultant at The TM Group.

The disinfectant producing firm surveyed its sales staff one year after implementation.

“One of the things they really liked about it was the Outlook integration,” the sales analyst says.

Better Information

Data reporting also flourished.

“We never really had that data to report on before,” the sales analyst says. “It was a whole new piece for us. If somebody went to a trade show, we could look at the result of that trade show and say ‘OK, we had 100 people talk to our booth. From that 100 people we sent out 50 samples. Of those 50 samples our sales force talked to this percentage.’

“We get tracing data from our distributors, so we can even tie it in to who started buying. So it really gave us the chain of events of what took place, based on whether it was a trade show or a marketing promotion.

“We were able to tie it down to the end user. We never had that data available to us before.”

By The TM Group, a Michigan Microsoft Dynamics Partner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV

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