Established in 1994 as a subsidiary of Henkel Austria (in 1998 Henkel Central Eastern Europe), Henkel Romania has established itself quickly as a strong brand in the local market, recorded in 2010 a turnover of approximately 560 million (about EUR 133 million ). Divided into three main divisions - "Cosmetics / Personal Care", "Laundry & Home Care" and "Technologies Adhesives" - the company currently has a portfolio of over 30 brands and thousands of products, through a complex partners and distributors system.
For managing customers and partners, Henkel’s "Technologies Adhesives" Division used a CRM solution developed in 2005 for the subsidiary in Poland and later implemented in several offices in Central and Eastern Europe.
The constantly increasing volume of business, the partners and organizational structure system recorded over 15 years have determined Henkel’s "Technologies Adhesives" Division in Romania has to feel the acute limitations of existing CRM solution.
At that time, Henkel Romania had difficulties in monitoring, controlling and evaluating the sales team because of the lack of user-friendly reporting tools. Moreover, the application did not include marketing tools, and thus, it did not allow a uniform treatment of the campaigns conducted and a thorough analysis of the results achieved; moreover, it didn’t allow the development of a complaints management policy coming from end users and did not comply with standardized procedures and flows required by the ISO certifications held by subsidiaries of Henkel Central Eastern Europe.
“As the organizational structure has increased, the personnel assessment needs have also diversified; so, the limitations of the CRM application arose really fast; our solution also lacked a module dedicated to marketing campaigns and other important module for recording and processing the complaints” Mircea Vlăștean, Business Controller Henkel AdhesiveTechnologies.
It was therefore initiated a process to identify a new CRM solution that would cover all flaws detected, but meet the business requirements at lower acquisition costs, implementation processes, fast customization and development and flexible use of the application. Microsoft Dynamics CRM in hosted version was the solution that would optimally cover the client’s requirements; the implementation process started in 2010 and was developed with the support of TotalSoft and Microsoft Romania.
“The acquisition and implementation costs were the main problem. For example, we performed a comparative analysis for a hosted solution versus a classical implementation - the classical version, 35 CRM licenses meant a substantial cost. If we add the necessary hardware and infrastructure costs for an on premises implementation we talk about considerable investment efforts.” Mircea Vlăștean, Business Controller Henkel Adhesive Technologies.
Thus, Henkel identified with the support of TotalSoft, its traditional Romanian partner and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner (2005), the opportunity to adopt Microsoft Dynamics CRM hosted in a Data Center. The hosted version in a Data Center was the best solution to the problem due to costs and fast development. Thus, the company obtained a decrease in purchasing costs, eliminating the need for infrastructure investment and allocation of domestic resources in order to ensure rapid delivery of the application, while the testing phase was also reduced drastically.
The implementation, customization and development of the adequate CRM solution were completed with the help of TotalSoft, and was started in July-August 2010 and divided into several stages.
“We actually started this process by migrating the database, then by following a training period of two weeks during which our team introduced new customers to get used to new procedures specific to this operation; then the process was extended to other fields. Te go-live of the application was January 1, 2011, but we began to work effectively with the new CRM in November 2010, primarily because the system is extremely flexible and friendly, taking advantage of Microsoft interface that is very familiar to all users” Mircea Vlăştean.
In the first stage of the adoption, we were focused on customizing the business sales team needs so that Microsoft Dynamics CRM could best meet all business needs of our beneficiaries. Thus, in addition to the customization of the data identification area, a mechanism for the automatic client differentiation on two channels (business-to-business and retail) was built. We also developed a system for the monitoring and evaluation of activities of sales agents, based on the types of activities performed by them, a system that provides real time information on each of these activities and allows fast access to the history of interactions with each partner/ final client. We also added a system of alerts and notifications for the sales team, which allows a more efficient organization of their activities.
“The sales team performs their work according to different types of activities, especially on-site meetings - part of the sales agents’ target is qualitatively related to daily reports, presentations, promotions, new products, offers and follow-ups. Through Microsoft Dynamics CRM, managers can quickly and easily get reports of various types - such as reports on types of activities: number of meetings for product presentation, offering etc. or how many new partners were introduced in a certain period. We can filter and search for customers who haven’t been contacted within a definable time. All these tools allow a proper control over the activity of the sales team.” Mircea Vlăştean.
The second stage of the process was the utilization of the Marketing module of the application.
Firstly, all clients/ partners were assigned to different owners according to predefined criteria and a list of all campaigns performed by the “Technology Adhesives” division was elaborated. There was a campaign underway at that time – it implied contacting a certain category of partners, for whom the company had created a system that could check the tickets, and based on them issue vouchers. The system allowed a precise monitoring of all promotional procedures, recipients, and especially their responses. This development allowed an accurate calculation of the response rate and profitability of the campaign.
The third stage of the implementation process was the utilization of the Customer Complaints module. The module had to comply with all requirements and flows of the beneficiary, which meant a serious development effort.
“This module will serve as a database to allow us access to the complete history of any interaction with any partner/ client. Currently, the information about a complaint comes to the end customer through various channels of communication - e-mail, phone calls etc. – it reaches a responsible, that is a salesman who takes over the issue, analyzes it and decides which area of responsibility it addresses - logistics, R & D, production, etc. - directs it to the responsible, and after receiving the response, he has to deliver the feedback to the end user. We want to implement a system able to track the entire flow - with deadlines, responsible within each department (who takes the complaint, to whom the complaint it is directed, who settles the complaint etc.), how it is solved - by the end of the loop. We hope that by the end of 2010 the module will be fully functional.” Mircea Vlăşteanu, Henkel Adhesive Technologies Business Controller.
Although the adoption process is still ongoing and Henkel’s Adhesives Technologies hasn’t used Microsoft Dynamics CRM for so long yet, there is a series of financially quantifiable benefits that the division has already noticed:
The savings recorded by the division come from many areas; however, the fact that the company opted for a hosted version of the CRM drastically reduced the initial investments.
“Choosing a hosted version of the CRM solution involves, firstly, much lower costs. This is not a major investment, nor a CAPEX budget, but a monthly payment for the operating expenses. This choice eliminated the need to achieve considerable investments in the hardware infrastructure.“ Mircea Vlăşteanu.
Fast utilization of the solution
Just a month and a half after the startup process of adopting Microsoft Dynamics CRM, users could effectively use the solution ahead of the "go live" date with a couple of months. The customization and development of the Marketing and Complaint Management modules was very fast, well below the time required for a similar on premises solution.
“An important benefit offered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM was the reduction of the entire flow for approval, testing, implementation, etc. which, in a multinational company, is very complex, involving other issues such as corporate security policy. Going through all these steps would have meant, in addition to substantial costs a considerable investment in time.”
High security level and redundancy elimination
"By hosting the application and database in a Data Center, which provides maximum availability and regularly back-up we managed to minimize risks without additional costs." Mircea Vlăştean. Because there is no such infrastructure within the company, achieving this goal would have required a high level of security and imposed the need for quite an investment in this respect – a dedicated server, with all afferent charges. By choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM the issued was finally solved – “The connection to the CRM application is achieved very quickly and easily through a Web browser; the connection is secure like a bank connection. Based on access policies, users have their own profile, which allows them to access only data that is considered relevant for their work”.
By using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Henkel’s division “Adhesives Technologies” benefits from the so called “Pay as you go” payment method. The payment is done only for the number of users accessing the application and not according to a number of licenses bought based on previous estimations. This payment method allows you change the number of users without making any change in infrastructure either.
“The payment is done according to the number of users accessing the application at a time. If you want to increase or decrease this number it can be done very quickly, while the payment is made for each change you have made. Licenses once acquired cannot decrease the number of users If needed - which, at present, can be a real risk if, for example, is necessary to restructure your personnel.”
Reduced maintenance and development effort
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a friendly and intuitive interface, which ensures a reduced training period and a 100% adoption rate; it also enables the customization and definition of specific templates, which means, basically, a huge win: time, money and efficiency.
“In the previous CRM application any change meant contacting the developer, and thus, we had to pay for the development according to the requirement’s difficulty, in addition to the maintenance costs. With the new CRM application, most of customizations can be performed by the internal administrator because the application is very flexible - you can quickly add items on a form, you can easily create reports, simple queries or database".
Improved employee productivity
The adoption and customization of the module dedicated to the sales team, Henkel has very quickly gained control over the activities of all sales agents, by quickly assessing their performance. Due to subsequent developments, end users could benefit from a solid support for their activities, which provided a higher level of exploitation of sales opportunities.
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM is more flexible than the previous application, and the access to information is much faster and easier. The sales force is not a category of end users with special skills in IT, so it is very important for the system to be as friendly as possible and to provide quick information. On the other hand, the possibility of rapid customization allowed us to create a simple interface that can deliver the information required.” Mircea Vlăștean.
Case study revised in 2011.