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When Waters Corp. was looking to improve its customer-facing operations it turned to a familiar face. The company was already using products from SAP AG for its back-office operations, so according to CIO Paul Newton, the logical choice for such a large implementation was to stick with a vendor it knew. "We had a back-office system in place covering 30 countries providing a single instance of truth, customized for each local environment," Newton says of the company, which sells laboratory instruments globally. "We looked at the decision architecturally and economically, and it made sense to layer SAP CRM on top of our existing system." Updating its call center was an early task, which provided huge results. Waters was able to automate its service business by improving warranty tracking during service calls and allowing for real-time data entry from field engineers. This turned the former cost center into a revenue generator that has since contributed an additional $2 million in revenue. TeleSales, the telemarketing group for the company's main chemistry operations, has also grown significantly, contributing $750,000 in revenue since 2000, according to Newton. Another area that benefited from the mySAP CRM implementation was research and development. "We have made our R&D designs available to customers, so that now they can see what we're working on and adapt their business along with what we have coming down the pipe," Newton says, noting that customers can also provide input into R&D based on their business needs. Since implementing mySAP CRM, Waters has increased its market responsiveness by introducing more products than in any five-year period in its history, and has almost tripled sales, from $332 million in 1995 to $890 million in 2002. Early in the project Waters leveraged the online sales capabilities of mySAP CRM to launch its online product catalog and information resource, c.shop, which is used to sell consumable products and spare parts. Nine months later Waters rolled it out to 25 countries. The online channel, an important element in creating a single face to the customer, has increased the amount of Waters' chemistry sales generated electronically more than 300 percent, to $4.6 million; the average dollar amount spent per transaction has more than doubled. Newton says that there is no slowdown in sight for Waters' CRM momentum. Launching a new portal, rolling out the CRM capabilities to handheld devices for better field service, and using CRM for increased education and training methods are all on deck in coming months. As Newton puts it, "We are really starting to exploit what we have in place." The Payoff Using CRM Waters Corp. was able to
  • achieve overall ROI of 35 percent;
  • nearly triple sales, from $332 million in 1995 to $890 million in 2002;
  • increase e-commerce revenue by 300 percent;
  • generate additional revenue of $2 million in the services department.
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