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The 2006 Elite
Satisfied customers, soaring returns on investment, cool runnings of both back- and front-end office processes--meet the CRM-enabled companies that planned implementations the way they should be done.
For the rest of the October 2006 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Glenmede Trust Company
(Enterprise Suite CRM)

It was time for a change at the Glenmede Trust Company (GTC): The firm needed a true wealth management system that its aging CRM system did not have. It needed a platform to help it deliver superior service to its 1,400 clients and to help maximize its competitive edge over larger competitors.

One of the nation's few independently owned wealth advisory firms, GTC manages more than $15 billion in assets for clients who invest $3 million or more. Client service has always been its hallmark. "It is very much what we're about, putting the client at ease that their financial well-being is being taken care of by Glenmede," says Nick Voutsakis, CTO.

Voutsakis supervises an IT staff of 22. That compares with IT staffs that often number into the hundreds at big firms in the competitive wealth management industry. "We are competing with much larger firms with billion-dollar technology budgets and ours is a fraction of that. So we need to be smart in the way we use technology. We are definitely more of a buy-and-integrate shop, but the integration and customization that we do around that is where we work very closely with our business partners."

The search for new business partners that could deliver the integrated platform began in 2003. "Although the project was driven by the IT side, we really turned the choice over to the business side to select the product they liked best. They chose Onyx Employee Portal as a more user-friendly application," Voutsakis says.

The IT department liked Onyx's open architecture and the fact that its development efforts would not be restricted by proprietary tools. Voutsakis says, "We did not want to be limited or forced into only working with the vendor. Our developers wanted to be able to do some things themselves." An Onyx implementation team helped GTC put Onyx Employee Portal to work as a thin-client solution to provide a centralized digital workspace for its sales, marketing, and service organizations. The team worked on site three to four days a week during the implementation, for sometimes as many as 10 and 12 hours a day. "It was an amazing work ethic," Voutsakis says. "Their methodology really distinguished Onyx from any other organization I've ever worked with."

The new platform brought together at least 10 disparate wealth management systems, including trust accounting, portfolio optimization, tax optimization, trading, customer relationship management, portfolio analytics, portfolio management, performance measurement, and report packaging. It also allowed employees to access information through a single, navigable Web-based application. Most important, it put information at the fingertips of the client relationship managers (CRMs), allowing them to better manage client accounts. CRMs were able to be more efficient, increasing the effectiveness of every interaction throughout the customer life cycle and freeing resources that could be used to deliver customized services.

The implementation began in 2004 and is expected to continue until 2007. It has already delivered dramatic ROIs: GTC's operating margin (fees relative to costs) more than doubled in the first phase of the implementation; 2005 was its most profitable year ever. "We now have a much better understanding of what our clients' needs are," Voutsakis says. "In the past our client service people knew their clients, but having all this data has made a difference. Onyx has been a tremendous tool. The amount of business intelligence that we have now versus our previous system has just grown by leaps and bounds. --Carol Ellison

Real Results: Glenmede Trust Company

  • increased customer satisfaction (measured by retention and acquisition rates);
  • increased operating margin by 100 percent (fees relative to costs) in three years;
  • shifted from single to double digits in operating margin; and
  • ended 2005 as the company's most profitable year ever.

    Carol Ellison is a freelance writer in Secaucus, N.J.

    Pacific Coast Feather
    (Midmarket Suite CRM)
    A new CRM implementation will help bedding manufacturer Pacific Coast Feather (PCF) create a comfy niche for itself. Until the second half of 2003, the company sold plenty of featherbeds, sheets, and comforters to large retailers like Linens 'n Things, but its penetration into the small business market was limited. "We were unable to go after what is really a high growth opportunity. We were selling to large retailers for decades, but with competition the traditional channel's growth was becoming less and less. We saw great growth in the small business channel, but our infrastructure was set up to serve the large channel," says Gwen Babcock, CIO.

    For example, everything inside of PCF's order and distribution system was highly automated. Large customers would send orders directly into PCF's system, where they were filled and delivered almost immediately. Small businesses, however, typically don't have mainframes and supply chain software. When small business orders came in they were faxed hard copy purchase orders. That data, according to Babcock, was manually entered into her company's system, which was a costly proposition.

    Since the company's entire back end and ERP system was SAP, Babcock didn't shop around. She knew mySAP CRM was the right choice. "SAP was always a great move for us in terms of its high level of integration--the fact that we wouldn't have to invest too much in user training, and that we would be able to leverage it for change with little difficulty."

    The first change PCF saw was the creation of specialized Web sites that would let customers electronically order relatively small quantities. Since different channels have different needs, the company created four Web sites for four channels, including the hospitality and furniture store industries, and small mom-and-pop hotels and motels. Once the Web sites were in place, PCF could actively market to and grow those channels.

    Customer service benefited almost immediately: Call center volume went down per dollar revenue, although total number of calls has gone up as the company grows. The call center has handled that growth without adding to its staff--another plus. "The Web site answered questions about product offerings. It allowed customers to enter their own orders. They could control the process and selections," Babcock says. "We added many more customers."

    The new software lets PCF interact much differently with the customers it does have. The company has eliminated paper-based invoicing--invoices are now sent electronically, and can be paid with credit cards, Babcock says. "Small businesses, especially, really like being able to use debit or credit cards, because they can get airline miles or cash back from those cards. It certainly helps with our cash flow, too." Since the company isn't always selling on Net 30--although some customers still do use that paradigm--there's less of a need to do credit reports, and payments are instantly accessible. Catalog mailings have been reduced, too, at a savings of more than $30,000 per year.

    From a customer standpoint more automation means he can view order and payment history, which helps with reorders. Small stores and facilities that go for six or even 18 months between purchases can pull up exactly what they last bought, and create a reorder based on that information.
    Although PCF is calculating hard ROI, company executives do have some estimates in place. Gains from 2004 through 2007 are expected to reach $1,874,000 on a technology investment of about $1.44 million. And, according to Babcock, PCF will realize a 20 percent internal rate of return through 2007. --Karen Bannan

    Karen Bannan is a New York-based freelance writer.

    Real Results: Pacific Coast Feather

  • is expected to gain $1,874,000 through 2007;
  • will realize a 20 percent internal rate of return on its investment through 2007;
  • is saving $30,000 a year on reduced catalog mailings; and
  • will see more than $900,000 in revenue contribution, directly attributable to mySAP CRM.

    POS Supply Solutions
    (SMB Suite CRM)

    POS Supply Solutions needed to do more with less. The six-person company sells credit card and point-of-sale supplies to industries ranging from retail to hospitality (mom-and-pop stores, Microsoft Corp., the Department of Homeland Security). Employees needed a way to better track customers and marketing campaigns without adding more people or working more hours. POS also needed a way to grow without adding new employees--at least in the short term.

    Stephen Enfield, POS president, realized the company could do just that by adding a new CRM installation. At the time he and his employees were using Sage Software's ACT! to track and manage customers, but he knew he could do better with a more integrated product. "We were also using QuickBooks and an e-commerce suite, but none of the applications could freely share data. We had purchased some interfaces, but they didn't work well," he says. "It was costly trying to get it all to work."

    Enfield evaluated six different CRM applications, but chose NetSuite for its campaign management and e-commerce capabilities, he says. The new application made a huge difference for the little company. In the year since Enfield installed NetSuite he's seen a 40 percent increase in revenues while POS saved $50,000 as a result of reduced IT spending and increased employee productivity.

    "We saw a 35 percent increase in sales, and we've also cut the time in half that it takes to enter a lead into our system and see it through its life cycle," Enfield says. "We're doing more with less because we're spending less time taking data from CRM into accounting. We're just more nimble now."
    Better communication--a central goal--is happening. Even something as simple as regular correspondence with customers is now streamlined. ACT! provided contact information, but no paper trail. Today, Enfield can create a communication and either mail, fax, or email it, along with statements, quotes, or other customer service information. Most important, there's a history: Anyone at the company can pull up a customer's record and see exactly what the customer received from POS in the past. "This is a really big thing. We can work from one application instead of four or five.

    Before, if you wanted to look at a complete history of a customer, you had to go to QuickBooks and ACT!. Now you can look up the customer and have a complete view--from catalog requests to sales orders to support cases to UPS tracking numbers," Enfield says. "The thought of going back to the old system that would take three times the amount of time to do all that would be a nightmare."

    Affiliate communication has also improved. Sign-ups can happen automatically on POS's Web site, and, once signed up, sign-ups can access a partner portal that lets them see how many sales they've enabled. "We now have 100 affiliates. We used to have 50, but only 20 percent were active," Enfield says. "Using NetSuite, we've also been able to weed out the affiliates that weren't working."

    POS's marketing efforts are also more efficient. In the past, marketing was a sore spot for POS Supply Solutions. ACT! couldn't provide the tracking capabilities Enfield needed. For example, he couldn't segment his customer list or figure out a return on his investment for individual campaigns. This also meant that there was no way to make adjustments to a campaign once it began. "Now that everything is integrated we can see our results in real time. Prior to NetSuite, we had to export data into Excel and slice and dice manually. Now we have instant data so we can make adjustments based on real-time ROI." --K.B.

    Real results: POS Supply Solutions

  • realized a 40 percent increase in revenue;
  • saved $50,000 through reduced IT spending and increased employee productivity;
  • increased sales by 35 percent;
  • cut lead entry by about 50 percent; and
  • reduced IT spending by 25 percent.

    Interval International
    (Marketing Automation)

    Customer communication is the lifeblood of business at Interval International, a popular vacation exchange network of 1.8 million customers and more than 2,000 resort offerings worldwide. The company's aging email system was unable to keep up with Interval's rapid growth. The system could send no more than 15,000 emails at a time. Processing responses was also slow and difficult, taking as long as 10 days.

    Worse, says Sapana Patel, director of applications services at Interval, "the email was more like a blast. There was no segmentation, no targeting. We had no way of knowing who opened the mail or whether or not their email address was bad. We had nothing whatsoever to tell us what was going on. We were looking for a leader in the marketplace," Patel says.

    Specifically, Interval wanted a system that could easily scale to the growing business, allow marketing representatives to create targeted email campaigns, and deliver strong analytics to report the results. The company turned to Infor/SSA Global CRM (formerly Epiphany), and got all that and more.
    In its initial implementation of Infor CRM, the company focused on outbound marketing--specifically, email. The number of emails the company was able to send jumped to as many as 1.2 million in 7 days. "We immediately saw an increase in revenue," Patel says. "We know if we send emails out, we make money." The second implementation focused more heavily on the inbound features in Infor CRM that tracked what happened when customers visited the Web site. That phase also involved a complete realignment of the company's IT and marketing departments to achieve a full, integrated view of the customer and to use that knowledge to drive carefully targeted offers and marketing campaigns.

    Interval redesigned its Web site around customer-sensitive features in Infor CRM that enable marketers to personalize specific offers to specific customers and automatically update customer profiles in real time. "Now," Patel says, "our activity is based on who the customer is and what the customer is doing." Additionally, the company was able to greatly expand the number of offers that could be presented on the site and give marketers direct control over product offers. Instead of delivering 12 offers on two spots on its Web site as in the past, Interval is able to deliver more than 150 offers on 45 locations on the site.

    Email offers also became more targeted in the second implementation. The company began individualizing email to recipients' profiles--for instance, sending messages in native language regarding offers in that geographical area or befitting past preferences. Metrics tracking and analytics features in Infor CRM allowed Interval to identify how many emails were opened and generate an "open rate." Marketers could even track the content readers accessed from links in the messages.

    The second implementation was completed in January of this year, and within five months the company saw a 100 percent ROI. However, Patel says, "the two largest assets of the implementation were the fact that we now know who our customers are and that the analytics allow us to see their behavior--two things we were never able to do before. Our systems have helped us transform the way we market. We are now metric-based," Patel says, "and from a marketing perspective, the accomplishments have been staggering." --C.E.

    Real results: Interval International

  • saw 84 percent ROI within one year of the first implementation;
  • saw ROI reach 100 percent within five months of the second implementation;
  • increased email open rate by 60 percent in targeted groups. (There is a 63 percent difference in purchase rate between customers who open email and those who do not.)
  • pushed up sales through specified product promotions, both on- and offline, to 54 and 36 percent, respectively.

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