Hills has ceased its five-year relationship with Salesforce to partner with Microsoft to provide its back office CRM and ERP functions.
The move was part of a digital transformation initiative to update and consolidate to a single cloud-based platform, while also replacing “an excess” of suppliers with strategic partners including network and communications from Telstra and computing hardware from Dell.
“Getting the right platform and the right partner was critical to ensure streamlined operations and continuous improvement in years to come,” Hills managing director David Lenz said.
“As well as delivering a clear return on investment for the business, we wanted a platform that would significantly improve the customer experience, streamline interaction with suppliers and create an efficient and collaborative workplace.”
He adds that Hills inherited a number of different ERP and CRM systems from acquisitions that are “not able to deliver” the long-term value that the distributor needs.
The distributor will also work with Microsoft Dynamics partners to rollout the CRM platform as the first phase of the project over the coming months, and will look to consolidate its four ERPs to Dynamics 365.
“The Microsoft Dynamics ERP & CRM SaaS model is scalable and together with Microsoft 365, gives us a complete end-to-end business technology stack without having to invest heavily in capital expenditures infrastructure,” Lenz said.
“We are focused on implementing strategies that will deliver improvements in our business and the best outcomes for our customers, shareholders, vendors and staff.”
He added that once the project is completed, he expects savings on operational expenses will be at an excess of $1.8 million annually, and will ensure the company is better positioned to support growth while mitigating complexity and risk.