To replace its outdated software, Duplo made a decision to implement Infor CRM to improve their sales and marketing efforts. Following the upgrade, they benefit from real time access to data allowing them to target the customers more easily, improving satisfaction and retention.

The risky business of outdated technology

“Before Infor CRM we didn’t have anything that could be classed as a CRM solution,” Peter explains.

“Basically we had an accounts database and our service team had another database, neither of which was ‘speaking’ to the other. So if data changed, it would be updated in one place but not in the other. On top of this, people would be working on Excel spreadsheets and ad hoc lists. It just wasn’t working which is why my predecessor had Infor CRM installed.”

The need for real-time access to customer records

The way that Duplo UK’s sales and marketing teams operate is quite complex. “There are around 12,000 commercial printers in the UK which are serviced by our direct and indirect sales teams,” Peter explains.

“The direct team has ten sales people that are divided up by region. This works out at around one thousand to fifteen hundred printers per salesman. With the best will in the world, there is no way that a single salesman can get round them all quickly; there can be literally months between one point of contact and the next. So keeping up to speed with customers’ account histories is vital so salesmen can pick up seamlessly from where they left off.”

All-in-one solution

Infor CRM has completely streamlined Duplo UK’s sales teams’ activities. “It enables them to control their diaries, track activity in their area, make appointments, input the results and precision‐monitor account histories in a way that significantly enhances the relationship they have with each customer,” says Peter.

“This data is then used to put together consistent, professional‐looking proposals and quotations. But more importantly it enables me as the Marketing Manager to track which sales activities are working successfully ‐ not just in terms of equipment sold, but in terms of future business too.

“And of course the marketing department inputs its own data, some of which may overlap with the sales guys. So it’s very much a ‘live’ database. At any one point we can email 12,000 customers so it’s critical that data is up to date and accurate. With Infor CRM I know I can just dip in whenever I want and check a campaign’s progress. It really is very easy in what can sound like a complicated mix!”

On the indirect sales side, Duplo UK has around 100 or so dealers across the UK. “We have three dealer managers responsible for three regional teams. These guys use the database in a very different way from the direct sales teams ‐ to check dealers are happy with the products or to see if there’s anything we can do to assist with a particular sale.”

A reporting feature saves everyone involved a huge amount of time. “Rather than having to call every day to check progress, managers can instantly track activity. They can pick up on things like individual performance strengths and also check that data is being entered correctly – and if not, do something about it. Then our MD compares all the different reports with our overall sales figures. So if sales are low for one individual but you can see they’re out there and generally being active then we may arrange for some extra training. So there’s a HR side to it all as well.”

In fact, as Peter explains, Infor assists with just about every aspect of the business. “It may look like just one component within our organisation but it’s actually at the heart of everything we do.

“In marketing we use it to deliver and track campaigns. It’s used to invite people to events and exhibitions – and for general market research purposes. We can store information on business size and turnover so we can target certain customers with specific campaigns – the list goes on!”

And from what Peter says, Duplo UK couldn’t do without Xperience Group’s support, either. “Xperience offer us three things. The first is training – for new people and to develop current staff. Secondly they provide service support. If there’s a problem with the database or there’s a guy out on the road who’s having a ‘glitch’, Xperience always come to the rescue.”

As Peter says, with Infor CRM so central to their operations, they can’t afford to wait “even a day or two” for support. “Xperience are incredibly responsive; they’re always there when we need them. They’re also nice people to deal with. I have a great relationship with Craig and Nick at Xperience and they always get to the root of the issue very, very quickly. In fact they almost pre‐empt what we’re going to say and often resolve the problem even before we’ve gone through it!”

Reliable support

Peter sums up his experience of Xperience as “always knowing exactly what to do” and “having a total understanding of our business”.

He gives an example. “Yesterday I rang Nick at Xperience because we wanted to bring another department on board; a team that books people onto our events. It’s a laborious process so I asked Nick if there was any way we could speed things up. He understood exactly what we wanted to do and said ‘Yes, no problem, consider it done’.

“It’s just what you want to hear. I know I can leave him to get on with it, knowing it’s going to come back absolutely perfect. Xperience really are like an extension of our marketing team. It’s almost as if they’ve grown with us.

“We don’t really have enough technical knowledge to do these things ourselves so we need a quick, responsive and intelligent company we can rely on to do it for us ‐ and that’s exactly what we get with Xperience. We’re really, really happy.”

In fact Duplo UK are so happy, they recommended Infor CRM and “the fantastic response and service we’ve been getting from Xperience” to two of their newest companies, Duplo France and Duplo Italy, who now also use the software.

To conclude? “Through Xperience we’ve moulded Infor CRM so much that it suits our growing business perfectly. In fact over the past five years we’ve grown 54 per cent as a group (Europe, Middle East & Africa) with our UK, France, Italy and Poland subsidiaries growing by a massive 400 per cent. Infor CRM – and Xperience – have definitely played an active role in this!”

About Duplo

A Japanese company, Duplo International distributes print finishing machines across the world. Their offices in Esher, Surrey, handle customers in 90+ countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.