EBM Papst Group Field Sales Teams Get New Levels of Customer Insight and Success
CHALLENGE: Mobilizing field sales teams on and offline, anytime, anywhere
Managing the sales and distribution of more than 15,000 different air technology products across virtually every industry is a monumental task for field sales teams at EBM Papst Group.
As the world’s leading manufacture of electronic motors and fans, Germany-based EBM Papst Group relies on its field sales team to create and maintain strong relationships with clients. That requires access to current information from its SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system while teams are traveling on the road, in the sky, and to customer sites across the globe.
Specifically, its team of 120 field sales specialists and 400 Customer Service Users needed to be able to prepare for customer visits in advance and process information and orders afterwards.
Their existing web-based SAP CRM interface made it challenging for field sales to accomplish either of these tasks, and overall slow system performance and response times was making users unhappy. Simply put, the process was out of line with the company’s longstanding tradition of quality and service, for which it recently was honored with a 2017 Trust Award from CCI Dialog GMbH, a provider of specialist information services in Karlsruhe.
That led Dieter Fischer (Business Solutions – Pre Sales Services), Christian Salch (Head of IT Business Solutions), and the rest of the IT business process team to search for simpler, more efficient way for their sales force to access the customer information they required.
“We needed to mobilize our sales teams by making it easier for them to access up-to-date master data and complete transactions,” said Fischer. “Our goal is to provide 360-degree access to customer information anytime, anywhere, online, and especially offline as teams travel to customer locations. We want users to clearly see the value of using these mobile CRM tools in helping them reach the next step with their customers.”
APPROACH: Training developers quickly to create a unified, modern mobile UX
The business process team started by upgrading to the latest SAP CRM release to improve overall system speed. They also conducted a review of SAP UI5 as well as SAP Fiori, which helped them understand how to optimize the CRM solutions for mobile to improve access for users. Still, they determined that using either of these solutions would be time consuming and would require ABAP developers to navigate a large learning curve, not a compromise they were willing to make.
“After participating Neptune Software in action via a webinar and demo, we were confident we had found a solution that matched our needs,” said Fischer. “With Neptune we were pleased with how easy it was to develop mobile solutions combining Fiori on the front end and ABAP on the back end, and eliminating the need for a long training cycle for developers in the process.”
Creating a unified user interface for all new apps using Neptune Launchpad was identified as an important step in providing the rich UX that field sales teams required.
Beginning with account and contact management apps, developers created a simple mobile user interface, enhancing the CRM functions while optimizing for various screen sizes and minimizing the number of buttons and tasks within a process.
While it was easy to reuse the existing SAP business logic, the team tackled a more complex challenge of synchronizing the process for Cross-App Rules and Authentications. Having successfully solved that challenge, the team can further reduce development, deployment and management timelines going forward.
And by keeping users involved in testing and quickly incorporating their feedback and recommendations, the EBM Papst business process team is building a foundation for success.
“We’re already seeing that users can get more done faster, in fewer clicks with the new apps we’re creating.” said Fischer. “And we’re taking advantage of new capabilities such as touch, fingerprint authentication, GPS, and direct camera interface to give users access to the convenient tools they’re accustomed to using on their smart phones.”
RESULTS: Offline access to data that helps the field better meet their customers’ needs
With the master data management apps in place, field sales teams can update contact information, create appointments, complete transactions and other tasks, and build contact reports conveniently, wherever they are.
And with the enterprise app store, it’s easy for users to install the apps and begin using them on the go, with little training required. And with access to information offline, sales teams can better manage their accounts and provide the level of service that keeps their customers happy.
“With Neptune, we’ve quickly developed the know-how to complete our 360-degree view of the customer and bring field sales teams up-to-the-minute data on the latest offers, running sales orders, open complaints, and more,” said Salch. “And we’re exploring apps that we can create for our SAP ERP solution as we expand our use of Neptune across the enterprise.”
And with access to more than 100 prebuilt apps that are made for mobile, ready to use, and easily tailored with EBM Papst’s existing SAP back-end, developers can save significant amount of time. In fact, overall, Neptune Software users can reduce development time by 80 percent and total cost of ownership (TCO) by 63 percent compared to alternative solutions.
“Our goal is to provide 360 degree access to customer information anytime, anywhere, online, and especially offline as teams travel to customer locations.”
To read our Case Study in German, please click here.
Customer Industry: Manufacturing
Geographic Reach: Global
Neptune Functionality Scope: Mobile and desktop, online and offline
Number of Users: 550 CRM users, with approximately 120 field sales specialists
SAP Version: SAP CRM, SAP ERP
Devices: iPhone and iPads
Implementation Timeline: October 2016 – June 2017 for eight apps including:
- Global Sync
- My Accounts
- My Contacts
- My Tasks
- My Caused Tasks
- My Visit Reports
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