Distributors are at the nexus of a torrent of data, from ever-changing vendor price lists, to reseller-specific pricing, to thousands of product SKUs, to a non-stop barrage of orders.
Gluing all this together is typically a customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). Updating either can be akin to changing the wheels on a moving car, and Transition Systems' decision to move to a new Salesforce system has seen it named as a finalist in the 'Distribution Performance' category in the 2018 CRN Impact Awards.
The distributor specialises in unified communications, networking, security and storage and is owned by the same parent company as Exclusive Networks. Major vendor partners include Polycom, AOPEN, Vidyo and Starleaf.
Transition Systems turned to Sydney-headquartered Salesforce partner fullcrm to support the project.
Fullcrm led a six-month project in partnership with Transition Systems' local team as well as its Singapore head office that has helped the distributor dramatically reduce time to quote while massively increasing accuracy.
The new system offer a range of capabilities, including: smart profiling of channel partners, which ensures correct pricing is applied to each quote and discounts are easily captured and tracked; refined quote entry process, for easy and fast navigation of more than 9000 SKUs; and close/win automation, which offers greater visibility of partners and closing opportunities automatically for improved data and powerful analytics.
In terms of quoting, the process previously required multiple steps involving many page refreshes and could take up to 30 minutes. Ensuring accuracy was laborious and could require multiple people, depending on experience.
Transition Systems can now produce a quote in five minutes, "including a significant reduction of quoting errors," according to the distributor. This equated to a time saving of 83 percent and an accuracy improvement of 90 percent.
Vendor pricebook administration is another onerous task. In Transition Systems' legacy system, uploading a price book was a time-consuming process that could take two days per vendor pricebook.
"Many manual checks were required to ensure accurate margins and prices (in multiple currencies). Within the new system, with a mixture of apps to speed up data and a streamlined business process, the time to confidently upload a vendor pricebook and additional files for tailored pricing has been reduced to 2 hours," according to Transition Systems, which said this had slashed administration time by 87.5 percent.
Michael Beesley, managing director of Transition Systems, said: "Operating in today’s distribution business is full of challenges. Whilst we offer a unique differentiation in the scope of our international network, we must continue to strive to be innovative to stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant.
"By embracing CRM, optimised by our valued partner fullcrm, we know that we are armed with the ability to stay agile and adapt to the pressures from both down- and up-stream.
"Being able to have absolute clarity and trust in our system and resulting data gives us a huge advantage and has with no doubt made a positive impact on our market share," Beesley added.
Martin Callaghan, general manager of sales at Transition Systems, said: “We pride ourselves on our delivery of timely and accurate service and we’re now in a position where we can 100 percent rely on our data.
"Our quoting and reporting is time efficient and we have full clarity and trust in our sales pipeline. This gives us the agility to not only continue to gain even more market share in a tumultuous industry, but truly deliver a service that is able to exceed our vendors’ and channel partners’ expectations."
Transition Systems is a finalist in the 'Distribution Performance' category in the 2018 CRN Impact Awards. For a list of all finalists and further details on the awards, please head to the CRN Impact Awards hub. The awards take place during the CRN Pipeline conference. You can get more information and purchase tickets here.