Sugar Paints a Better Picture for Kelly-Moore

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Kelly-Moore Paints is one of the largest employee-owned paint companies in the United States. The manufacturer and retailer of interior and exterior architectural paints, primers, and stains does most of its business with contractors in California and Texas, though it has other locations in Utah and Nevada and also sells to individuals through its e-commerce site and brick-and-mortar stores.

The California-based company had been using a CRM system from one provider for many years, but as that provider’s technology started featuring additional bells and whistles and became more complex, it became increasingly evident that the legacy system was no longer meeting Kelly-Moore’s needs. “We started to ask the question: Is this the right application for us? I think that’s the smart due diligence of any organization for any application,” says Rebecca Meyer, the company’s senior director of IT.

The issues with the legacy CRM system started to come to a head in the spring of 2021, with Kelly-Moore undertaking an active search for a replacement a couple of months later. “Our executives and some key influencers were involved to figure out what our business needs were and what we wanted [a new system] to do now and what we want it to do in the future,” Meyer says.

Kelly-Moore wanted the most cost-effective system, but the solution also had to be easily scalable to meet future needs. Though some vendors offered “edgy” technology, those systems were unproven, Meyer says. “We don’t like being first. We don’t want to be anyone’s guinea pig. We wanted someone who was established, who had a name out in the marketplace. We wanted someone who could meet our needs but not provide us with 100 different options that we didn’t need. We wanted someone who was fully incentivized to work through problems with us.”

SugarCRM met those needs while also having a staff that could help with the initial integration and future updates, Meyer says.

SugarCRM also offered easy customization, in stark contrast to other vendors whose solutions needed a third party’s expertise to make configuration changes, according to Meyer. “SugarCRM is a little more straightforward from what we’ve seen.”

Kelly-Moore finalized the contract with SugarCRM in October 2021. After integrating the CRM solution with its point-of-sale and other systems, the paint company went live with SugarCRM in March.

Even though the new CRM system has been operational for only a matter of months, Kelly-Moore executives have been impressed with the results. “The data visibility for our sales team has been exceptional,” Meyer reports.

With the previous system, sales reps had to be at their computers to obtain data, but now information is available remotely, which Meyer estimates saves up to 25 percent of the time they had been spending to get data.

The move to SugarCRM has resulted in other time savings as well. Pricing changes that need signoffs automatically escalate to the right company level (manager, senior manager, etc.) for approval, which Meyer estimates saves half of the time needed to make these changes.

The previous system also required complex forms to make account changes (name, address, etc.), which then had to be re-entered into the POS system and manually approved. Now such changes, approvals, and so on are all handled digitally and seamlessly, resulting in a 30 percent time reduction, according to Meyer.

Based on the positive results so far, Kelly-Moore is already looking at a phase-two implementation, which could start as soon as later this year, depending on the user feedback the company receives. 

The Payoff

Since switching to SugarCRM, Kelly-Moore Paints has seen the following results:

  • a 20 percent to 25 percent reduction in the time salespeople need to access data;
  • a 50 percent reduction in the time needed for pricing change approvals; and
  • a 30 percent reduction in the time to make name, address, and other changes to customer records.

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