A company that is a leading supplier of industrial robots and robotic automation systems discovered its current office infrastructure couldn’t keep up with its growing business. The business had several data streams that needed to be integrated. The main office handles customer service, ordering, sales and final distribution for its manufacturing plants which are located overseas. The manufacturing process must serve a diverse group of customer needs, so each product order is completed with a very unique set of information.

The business wanted to move their office to paperless options for its work orders, product purchases and quoting practices. With the help of The TM Group, it selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM and GP software with c360‘s Documents Core Pack add-on. The new system allowed the company to streamline its data processes and manage its opportunities.

Selection of software
The company originally started shopping around for CRM software for the sole purpose of managing its opportunities. Its previous system was unable to create quotes and get them approved at a speed that could keep up with the customer demand. Wasted time was limiting the acquisition of new business. Since each client had very specific needs and each order contained unique products, the amount of data to be processed was found to be too taxing for their previous software.

The business selected The TM Group as its new software partner. The TM group worked with the business and found the company could use an integrated data platform to quickly create custom quotes and provide the information to every member of the organization who needed it.

Microsoft Dynamics and Experlogix
The company had been using an Experlogix system to create customer orders for its robotic products. Each client had a different set of needs for their orders and Experlogix was able to take this information and turn it into sales quotes and work orders.

Using the old system, the business would hand write an order and key it into Experlogix. Then the order would have to be re-entered into the company’s Horizon’s Manufacturing systems to request the building materials. Finally, the order had to be re-entered into the company CRM software. There was no integration between these systems and information had to be constantly re-keyed. This increased the chance for errors and miscommunications between the departments. It was also affecting the processing speed and the business found it could not keep up with its opportunities.

Experlogix is able to integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and GP to create office-wide quote information and order automation solutions. By implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM and GP, the company was able to create one order and update it in Experlogix and Horizon’s Manufacturing instantly. By moving the data integration to the beginning of the process, the order department, the sales force and customer service were all working with the same set of information for each unique customer. Not only did the new software help manage opportunities but it increased the speed of approval, quoting and work order processing.

c360’s Documents Core Pack
While working with The TM Group, it was found that document management was essential. The business opted for c360’s Documents Core Pack for their order creations.

c360 Documents Core Pack is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM enhancement that offers mail merge, PDF creation and a host of other features. The company was able to use the enhancement to turn CRM data tables into Word documents that included the sales quote, customer information, terms and conditions.

The enhancement makes it easy to make hand changes to documents. The business could create their own formatting and visuals to go with each report or customer message. The business found this document management process was much simpler and more flexible than the out-of-the-box options.

The next project
The robotic manufacturer is now looking to use its Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions to manage its warranty process.

Once customers receive the product, they have an automatic 30-day warranty. Should an issue arise, the manufacturer can send out tech support to fix it on the customer’s premises. Since each product is specialized, the product usually needs to be returned to the original assembly point.

The company is working with The TM Group to create a data system to track these warranties. The software is needed to monitor which clients are still under warranty, which technicians are available and to ensure the necessary resources for repair are on hand. Warranty orders will be created with the same document technology as the original product orders.

Implementation
Early in the implementation process, the company did not have a strong grasp of the holes in its processes or what it was looking for in a CRM solution. The TM Group implemented the system tools but soon found that members of the company weren’t happy with the way the data was being distributed. The sales members, for example, felt they weren’t getting the correct technical information during the quoting stage.

By working with members of the company who wanted to contribute their input during the implementation, The TM Group and the business were able to create a data infrastructure that was more efficient and helpful for every member of the organization.

When implementing new technology, a business would be wise to create an implementation team from each department that will be using the software. A project manager should be selected to work directly with the software partner and to make sure each member of the team is performing his or her tasks. The company should be aware of its goals and be able to check if the new system is improving the data process in the way the company needs.