Manufacturer Energizes Its Businesses with xRM-Based Solutions
Ensto wanted to share information among its three business units through one, centralized system. The company implemented Microsoft Dynamics® CRM using its xRM application platform layer to rapidly develop custom solutions to support operations across three lines of business. Ensto can now quickly respond to changing needs, implement custom applications in only six months, and make minor modifications in-house. Ensto has also improved employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and reduced costs by U.S.$138,000. Business Needs
Ensto is an international industrial group and family-owned business based in Porvoo, Finland, with locations in 18 countries throughout Europe. The company develops, manufactures, and markets electrical systems and supplies for both residential and business customers, including public utilities. Ensto prides itself on its mission that to achieve tremendous success, it must care for its customers.
Three business units comprise Ensto: Ensto Utility Networks, Ensto Enclosures and Components, and Ensto Building Technology. Each unit operates according to a unique business plan and requires different processes and systems. Adding to that, many of its locations in other countries do not use the same systems within business units.
However, each of the business units shares some of the same customers and suppliers. While the company has one centralized data warehouse, the different systems were not integrated and the company found it challenging to share information. As a result, employees lacked a single view of customer and supplier information. For instance, a salesperson from one business unit did not have an easy way to see if a salesperson from another business unit had visited a customer—making customer visits and sales calls less productive.
||It costs us up to U.S.$138,000 to implement a single solution. If we implemented separate solutions at each of our three business units, the cost would be too high …. With Microsoft, we avoid those costs.
Project Manager for CRM, Ensto
To care for its customers and drive success, Ensto wanted a single, integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system that would enable it to share information across business units. “We didn’t have one Ensto in our customers’ eyes,” explains Jukka Majander, Project Manager for Customer Relationship Management at Ensto. “Having multiple CRM solutions doesn’t fit our model; we needed an open system to share information and offer our customers the best service.” Solution
In 2005, Ensto started implementing Microsoft Dynamics® CRM across its company. One of the key selection criteria was that the solution needed to be flexible and easily customizable to meet evolving business needs. “We have to be able to customize any solution that we implement, or else every time a new need arises, we have to rip-and-replace software,” says Majander. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Ensto has more than customer relationship management—it has an extensible application development platform, xRM, to create customized solutions that cross organizational boundaries.
Ensto partnered with Mepco. After gathering business requirements, planning, building, testing, and piloting the solution, the company deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 to one business unit in 2006. It then quickly expanded the implementation companywide.
Once it was implemented, Ensto and Mepco turned to the xRM platform that underpins Microsoft Dynamics CRM to build additional relational line-of-business applications. Each of its customized applications, including supplier relationship management (SRM) and quality management, was accomplished quickly compared to standard custom development timeframes. “What makes this a great solution is that companies don’t need to invest a lot of time and development dollars into customization or extensive IT support,” says Hannu Kaukonen, Deputy Managing Director at Mepco.
By integrating both xRM-based systems, Ensto has given its employees a consolidated view of key business contacts and their relationship to one another. Employees across each business unit can rate suppliers, write visit reports, and track supplier claims.
Employees use the quality management solution to document customer concerns, such as late delivery or broken items. This information is then available to other employees across the business units, and Ensto can easily analyze trends with suppliers or customers, manage their relationships, and take corrective action.
Ensto completed the implementation in 2008. However, the company continues to tailor the solutions with customization tools readily available in the xRM platform. Benefits
Because of its xRM-based applications, the company can more rapidly respond to business needs, improve user satisfaction, increase productivity, and reduce costs.
- Improved ability to respond to changing business needs. Ensto continues to create solutions on xRM. Without the need to invest in a full-scale development cycle, which can take more than a year, the company can tailor its solutions in-house and rapidly respond to business needs. Says Majander, “Now, we can develop new applications in less than six months, and we can do minor modifications ourselves with the built-in tools.”
- Rapid adoption and improved user satisfaction. Initially, Ensto experienced resistance from some business units that did not immediately see the value of a single system. But positive responses from employees using the solution encouraged them to quickly adopt the system. Now, 90 percent of the office staff at Ensto uses the applications. Ensto surveyed employees about ease-of-use, information relevance, and productivity and received an average user satisfaction rating of 3.5 out of 4.0.
- Increased employee productivity. The customized xRM applications have helped increase employee productivity. For example, new sales employees require less training time before they can be productive. “With all of the customer history available in one view, employees are productive immediately when they start—they used to require at least three months training to gain a foothold on their accounts,” says Majander.
- Reduced costs. As a result of using xRM to develop customized management solutions, Ensto does not have to implement individual systems to meet its needs. “It costs us up to U.S.$138,000 to implement a single solution,” explains Majander. “If we implemented separate solutions at each of our three business units, the cost would be too high, and it still wouldn’t meet our needs. With Microsoft, we avoid those costs.”