• December 1, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Customers Gain Traction with Off-Road Vehicles

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In the narrow-margin business of producing all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorcycles, customer service can get downright dirty, both in terms of servicing ATVs and keeping customer data clean. This certainly holds true for CPI USA, a subsidiary of The CPI Group, a Taiwan-based manufacturer and distributor of motorcycles, ATVs, and dirt bikes. "These products sell based on three factors: quality of service, price of product, and service," says Johnny Tai, administration manager of CPI USA. Due to outdated IT systems and mistakes caused by data-entry errors, the division was finding it basically impossible to provide accurate information to (or about) customers on a timely basis. "It can take three or four days for a manufacturer to respond to a dealer question about availability of a part or a product in a certain color," Tai says. "In the meantime, the dealer probably has lost the sale." Realizing that CPI USA needed a system in order to get a real-time view of its parent company's factory operations and to give its dealers an edge, Tai turned to on-demand business software provider NetSuite. NetSuite's accounting and reporting capabilities allowed CPI USA to solve both problems by crunching sales and forecasting data. "Either party can see, for example, how many units are sold during a particular time frame, such as [the duration of] an advertising campaign," Tai says. And because NetSuite has been configured to track parts and products by their Vehicle Identification Numbers, dealers can also input warranty claims. Tai estimates that CPI USA saves almost half a million dollars a year in employee costs, and has boosted both customer and partner satisfaction. One competitor, he says, needs nearly 25 employees to maintain the paper-based workflows supporting order management, inventory, warehouse processes, and customer service records. CPI USA is able to maintain a higher level of service and productivity with only 12 employees, a fact Tai credits to NetSuite. "If we had to hire the additional people to remain competitive, it would cost us $480,000 a year."
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