A little over a year ago, QuickLogic, a semiconductor manufacturer based in the heart of Silicon Valley recognized that it needed to move its operations to the next level and gain a competitive edge in the sales channel. The company's sales force, which operates not only in the United states, but from offices in Asia and Europe as well, needed to be cutting edge, armed with up-to-the-minute front- and back-office information. But how? As a relatively small shop with 150 employees, the company couldn't afford to dedicate significant amounts of manpower to tracking point-of-sale operations and coordinating them with inventory, shipping, quotes and debits.
The answer lay in a Web-based software package from Intelic Software Solutions that promised to synchronize communication throughout the entire sales channel. QuickLogic agreed to beta-test ProChannel, as the software is called, and the results have been impressive. By tying the front and back offices together, ProChannel has helped QuickLogic coordinate all quoting, debiting and its online registration into one streamlined system. Where before QuickLogic used spreadsheets and other time-consuming means to coordinate back- and front-office functions, the company can now access that information via computer, says MIS Director Jean Thompson.
With its ProChannel Solution, QuickLogic joins the ranks of Oracle, Baan, Vantive and other mega-vendors who are devoting considerable resources to developing a seamless, comprehensive CRM/ERP solution. Though to date no company has reached that goal, several-like QuickLogic-offer many pieces of the puzzle.
ProChannel's current functionality allows QuickLogic to upload point of sale operations and to track all sales that have debits attached, Thompson says. She expects Intelic to roll out a system with complete POS functionality in the first quarter of 2000. "It was real attractive to us to have what they consider their asset management piece," says Thompson. "We're doing POS which allow us to see the pipeline of transactions all the way through from design to sale instead of guessing about correlation. But we can't capture that point of our business which is sold without a debit. We'd like the complete picture."
Using ProChannel, QuickLogic's direct and indirect sales agents can respond instantly to sales opportunities, coordinate customer requests, report on channel activity and leverage learned experiences from other parts of the corporation. The payoff has been a faster, automated sales process, increased bottom line for the company and streamlined pricing systems.
"We like it a lot," says Thompson, who adds that the ProChannel solution was easily customized. "Like any off-the-shelf package, some pieces didn't fit, and we had to make a decision based on our business practices versus the business practices Intelic had chosen for us."
In the meantime, she says QuickLogic is pleased with the level of synchronization achieved through ProChannel, and anticipates the company's front and back systems will soon be fully automated. "They're going to meet now," she says.
By The Numbers
Line of business: Semiconductor manufacturer specializing in SPGA and PCI technology
Number of employees: 150
Point of pain: Seeking a more effective way to provide back-office information to the sales channel.
Solution: ProChannel software