Founded in 1991 by public subscription, Impact Developer&Contractor SA is one of the most famous names in the real estate field in Romania. In 1996 Impact Developer&Contractor SA was listed on the Romanian Stock Exchange in Bucharest and since 2006 its shares were promoted to Class I of the Stock Exchange, becoming the first representative of the real estate development and construction. In 1995, Impact Developer&Contractor SA market in Romania has introduced the concept of ”residential complex” with the ALFA project. Currently, the company manages 16 residential complexes in several cities, with over 2,000 residential units and a class A business center, of 8000 sqm. At financial-accounting level, the company is managed on the basis of Charisma ERP, implemented in 2003 when Impact Developer& Contractor had over 3,000 employees and over 400 customers already moved into new houses, as well as a warehouse which served both external customers and their construction works.
In 2008, amid a real estate market growth, the number of customers of Impact Developer&Contractor SA increased significantly and their management became difficult for the internal team. To compensate for its activity the company had to call on subcontractors for many activities. In this context, the management did not have an overview of sales and could not control the sales cycle stages, how were leads qualified and completed. The information was stored locally by each sales person while their consolidation and analysis was very difficult because the sellers were mainly operating in the field. The data analysis was performed in Excel with major limitations in terms of possibilities of interpretation.
Complementary to existing customers, the company managed utility contracts through the customer care division, which was understaffed for the volume of manual work performed. The complaints management was difficult, as well as sending invoices or other documents to clients.The payment notices were made at express requests, which induced a delay in customer relationship and debt collection. In this context, it was decided to implement a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system for a centralized information management and an overview on this activity.
An internal team was appointed to synthesize the requirements and identify the most appropriate CRM solution. It took into account both the purchase of a solution from a dedicated provider and an internal development of such an application – the last option was dropped for lack of available resources. The most compelling product was Microsoft Dynamics CRM, 4.0 version, which at the time was recently released by Microsoft and brought many improvements over previous versions. Moreover, the Microsoft partner who presented the solution was TotalSoft, the company who provided Impact with the ERP system and therefore the on better able to integrate the two applications. Another solution to global notoriety came on the short list but it had a higher price and did not provide integration with the existing financial accounting system. ”I attended a presentation of Dynamics CRM 4.0 and I found a solution that met our requirements. Furthermore, as we were already using a TotalSoft solution, the CRM integration into the computer system by the same team seemed more appropriate approach. ” states Cristian Todirita, IT Manager at Impact Developer&Contractor SA.
The project was signed in February 2008, the implementation howener beginning in April the same year. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, the standard modules for sales, marketing and technical support, extensive customization of reporting and analysis segment were implemented. The CRM software was integrated with the Charisma ERP for an automated data retrieval and processing. In the Sales Department, the application is used by 9 people. The opportunities identified are assigned by the Director of Sales depending on the workload of the team. Sales people manage each stage of the sale and the information is centralized and processed in the available reports and analysis of the management team. Some reports are displayed in real-time within offices. The CRM application is integrated with the client email, and the mail is automatically allocated to existing customers in the database. Also, it is possible to send infonews links to groups of customers.
In the Marketing Department, the CRM software is used to manage campaigns of any kind, from defining the target and the right channel to capture feedback up to efficiency analysis. For participation in fairs and events the development of feedback forms is allowed, these being eventually automatically converted into tasks for the sales team. For the Support activities, the operators performing changes during the call already have a client statement. The application has over 100 possible incidents to simplify the classification made by the operator. It gives an appropriate resolution and the application automatically creates a task for the department involved in resolving the request. To inform customers on utility services, the CRM automatically retrieves invoices defined in the ERP system and allocates them to customers via email or mail delivery. Previously, the process was very laborious and was completed exclusively by hand. Also, sending notifications to customers on due dates is made automatically by getting data from an application called ”Paymeny Schedule”developed by the IT team of Impact Developer&Contractor SA and integrated with Charisma ERP. In a later stage due dates will be available directly to customers through thr self-care portal. ”Based on this schedule with elements of date and financial data, customers will be notified on the payment terms via e-mail. For those who do not prefer electronic mail, the notification is available on telephone or other communication channels also.” States Cristian Todirita.
Complementary, a Depository was defined in order for employees to find work related documentation: plans, documentation, payment terms, contracts etc. Any changes made by the design, economic or legal departments on documents can be found immediately on the Depository. Thus, all employees are working with identical versions of each document.
Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM has enabled the company to overcome the critical period determined by the economic crisis. Impact Developer & Contractor SA registered clear benefits in all directions of activity: sales, marketing, support, consistent with the original objectives of the project. Among the most important are:
Get an overview of the company by accessing an extensive selection of management reports on sales, volume categories, lead development sites, the degree of achievement of objectives etc.
Improved leads quality through a careful selection of opportunities and identification of the best channels for promotion.
Reduction of qualifying leads by providing the sales team with more detailed information about customers.
Increased sales team effectiveness by relieving complementary activities. Prior to the CRM implementation, the sales responsible was managing sales warranty and customer-care activities as well, which greatly decreased his/her performance.
Decreased internal costs by reducing the number of staff involved in customer management activity. „We expect a reduction of these costs by about 40% by resizing departments and eliminating manual processes” states Mr. Todirita.
Increased employee productivity by automating time-consuming activities: sending mail, search documentation, activity reports etc. achievement.
Increased effectiveness of marketing campaigns through careful analysis of their effects and choosing the most appropriate channels. „In the past year, several campaigns have been suspended or amended following the efficiency analysis through CRM.”
Elimination of help-desk services using a standard application, with easily to obtain reports in Excel. Each employee can edit their own reports for analysis without requiring technical knowledge. ”The training for using it was very short because the interface is simple, and all reports are produced in a standardized manner, I had to explain it to everybody just once.” Cristian Todirita.
Improved customer relationships due to rapid and correct information delivered to them.”The CRM implementation has given us so high speed, accuracy of information used in the company and improved quality of customer service. Now, we can respond faster and better, and customers do appreciate these improvements.” Cristian Todirita.
Reduction in the number of systematic delays in payment by sending notification messages on payments due.
Elimination of errors by accessing an updated documentation.”Previously, documents were kept locally and some sales people happened to use older contracts, without updates in the legal department, which generated misunderstandings in dealing with customers.” States Cristian Todirita.
The efficiency of the collaboration with Microsoft has led the company to decide to extend the CRM project. Thus, in early 2009 the Collection module was added, a module developed on Microsoft technology, and in April 2010 a number of features to automatically send invoices were also developed. The next phase of the project, scheduled for the first months of 2011, will add eCare solution, a self-service portal functionality and eMarketing module.
Case study revised in 2011.