Established in 1973, Taiga Building Products prides itself on its rich history and wide product range that spans building materials, flooring, lumber and much more.
Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, Taiga is a leading wholesaler and distributor of building materials across Canada and the United States. The company operates 17 distribution centres across Canada and California and produces lumber at 3 specialist plants.
"We were looking into different options, different CRMs. We had a new member join the company who had used sales-i at his previous employer and had been very successful with it in a flooring distribution company."
Taiga has grown at an astonishing rate, acquiring a number of new businesses and diversifying its product portfolio along the way. As such, the amount of data, customer information and company insight within the business is vast and relying on Excel spreadsheets, notebooks and dog-eared Rolodexes simply wouldn’t do.
As the company explored various solutions, sales-i became a hot topic of conversation.
“We were looking into different options, different CRMs. We had a new member join the company who had used sales-i at his previous employer and had been very successful with it in a flooring distribution company,” says Graham Hoover, Vice President of Western Canada.
The rest was quickly history, “We had the team from sales-i visit us on-site to present the software and we chose to go with it. That was a year ago and everyone is now active on the system.”
Taiga has been using sales-i for just over a year now and the benefits have been noticeable. “It’s having that quick view of performance. Our data is downloaded from our Epicor BisTrack ERP overnight and we get the data we’re looking for very quickly in sales-i rather than running through our ERP which can be quite time-consuming,” Graham says.
From a management point of view, Graham concentrates largely on analyzing overall performance by individual, branch and product group but he is also using the Enquiries to engage with customers at trade shows: “One of the big things that sales-i has helped me with is trade shows. I can filter by a customer that I know I’m going to be talking with and preload and save an enquiry beforehand. I can sit down with that customer and pull their sales history and numbers up right in front of them. I’ve found that to be a really successful tool and it’s amazing how big your customer’s eyes get when they realize how quickly you can tell them what business– you’ve done together.”
The outside sales team is actively using sales-i on their iPads too. “For our outside salespeople, they can look up the precise figures they need. They can go into the customer on sales-i, look at a variance report beforehand so they know where we sit with them compared to last year. It’s a great starting point for conversation: ‘You know we’re up 50 percent with you. Thanks very much. What are we doing right? How can we do more of that?’”
Taiga has also been using sales-i extensively with the buying groups they are members of. “Most of our customers are building supply yards and they belong to buying groups with members across the country. We now have the ability to show our buying groups what time we spend with their members and what value we add to their supply chain. I think we help buying groups to understand what we do and add value to what we do. At the end of the day, bringing value hopefully allows you a little more margin,” Graham adds.
As Graham looks to the year ahead, he has big plans for sales-i at Taiga including the creation of Campaigns in sales-i: “Our goals for this year are to get everyone using the tool to its full extent and setting up appropriate Campaigns. So far, we’ve set targets for most of our products that we’re going to tie some Campaigns into that track our success.”