Olympus Auto Parts, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia (USA), a leading supplier of auto parts for imported vehicles, is enjoying a real leap forward in sales productivity thanks to sales-i.
The company, a $20m-plus, 160 person operation with offices across the entire state of Virginia, has been using sales-i since March as a new way for its management team to get up to the minute information on customers, sales and sales opportunities to make the business thrive.
Olympus Auto Parts embarked on a project to identify an integrated, easy-to-use sales and CRM product in November 2010. It reviewed a number of systems, but sales-i’s sales analysis capabilities and functionality were the deciding factor. The fact that renting software with no hardware and infrastructure outlay made it more economical and simpler than other approaches, was another.
The system replaces a bespoke in-house inventory management tool that provided little to no sales analysis. “We were working with ‘Bill ware’ – something I’d put together myself to meet a pressing need,” says Bill Guinard, Vice President of Purchasing and Computer System Administration at the firm. “But it was time-consuming and difficult to obtain the data. Now, with sales-i, it’s there!” he enthuses.
“Previously, to get down to part number level for sales analysis at a customer, it was a five-step procedure. And to get the output it took close to 45 minutes to crawl through the data, to pick it, to finish it and put it in a format that was usable. “But in sales-i, if it doesn’t present that information in under a minute there is something wrong!”
Bill explains that he and his team were looking for a solution that would allow company decision-makers and line of business owners to be able to drill down to customer and account information at the granular level. Performing industrial level analysis based on customer part number purchase, for example, is real bread and butter functionality for sales-i, according to Bill.
Another benefit is the role that sales-i plays in supporting on-site customer visits which are a valuable part of the Olympus Auto Parts offering. Using the sales-i customer snapshot feature field managers can drill through the account face to face with the customer and identify buying trends and omissions that will benefit both parties.
“Cross-selling opportunities have also become much easier to seize. “We have some products that are core. With sales-i, it’s very easy to target customers who are not purchasing those products. What’s more, to be able to show these sales histories graphically to a customer is a real eye-opening experience.”
On the sales-i delivery model, Bill comments, “As long as I have an Internet connection I can access my data. One of the things I was very happy about was the fact that our data is held in a private Cloud, so I never have any worries about inappropriate data sharing.”
According to Bill, in this short time the system has already shown tremendous value, and he looks for even further return on investment going forward. “Once we start to realize all the benefits of sales-i, it will turn my sales enterprise on its head and we are going to very rapidly get to a proactive sales environment.”