When Oscar Román Rivera joined PAQUETEXPRESS, his primary mission was to develop a management solution that would replace a previous CRM system so disliked by the Paqueteexpress staff that it had devolved into “nothing more than a contact system that hardly anyone used,” Oscar says.
The company considered replacing their homegrown system with Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Oracle and Sugar, focusing on usability and total cost of ownership. With those in mind, the choice was easy.
“The total cost of ownership was a key for us, that cost after implementation. We knew some CRMs looked less expensive during the implementation, but the changes and upgrades were going to be costly. We found a solution in Sugar that met both our operational and our financial goals,” he says.
Two years in, Oscar, a former MSDynamics consultant, has seen PAQUETEXPRESS’ Sugar implementation evolve into a workhorse CRM that is embraced by PAQUETEXPRESS employees because of its ease of use and strong results.
Transparency Boosts Call Center Performance
The shipping industry has as many variables as a weather prediction: traffic, vehicle breakdowns, mislabeled parcels, and of course, weather, itself.
Overcoming those challenges and still making the pickup or delivery on time is the bedrock of PAQUETEXPRESS’ service level agreements.
Meeting that goal requires updated information and a customer service center that capitalizes on Sugar’s transparency to keep all parties informed.
“Today, we know so much more about our customers, about delivery destinations, about conditions that our call center can answer almost anything about a shipment,” says Oscar. “Sugar gives us incredible insight into our information: the workflow, the dashboard options, the reports…it’s all there.”
That Sugar-generated transparency also has driven the company’s customer satisfaction rate up more than 25 percent in one year and helped keep pace with growth: call center volume is up 17 percent but the number of staff has not increased.
Using an Avaya integration, call center workers have click-to-call functionality and pop-up identification for inbound calls, both helping to speed response time and trim call duration.
As a result of Sugar’s efficiencies in the call center, PAQUETEXPRESS moved much of its typical inside sales work from the sales staff to the call center.
Since implementing Sugar, call center workers are contacting customers to follow up on shipments or request documentation, and doing up-sells and corporate account management.
Oscar says the center now has the time to make about 1,500 outbound calls monthly, freeing the sales staff to develop new business.
Seeing the Sales Cycle and Trimming DSO
The sales team at PAQUETEXPRESS is early in its Sugar implementation, but the results already are tangible in a process that is now standardized across the organization.
Customer profiles are more complete, leading to better service and identification of potential sales opportunities. Lead tracking is easier and more thorough, and the pipeline is now a source of valuable and real-time information that tracks the customer journey.
Leads, accounts, contacts, opportunities, emails, meetings, calls, tasks and quotes are all logged in Sugar.
“Sugar helped us get control of the sales process. In the past, every salesperson did what they wanted and reported when they wanted,” Oscar recalls. “We couldn’t get a handle on where we were – there were no records of calls or visits. Now we can chart the entire process of a sale, stage by stage.”
Sugar’s document storage capabilities also are an asset to the sales team.
Not only are customer data sheets readily available, but key legal and contractual documents stored in Sugar are easily assembled, cross-checked and available to clients. That saves time and reduces errors because the documentation bundles now always are correct and complete.
Sugar also contributes to profitability in other ways, notably by reducing collection times on receivables, trimming DSOs.
“We had a problem before because we were showing a lot of sales, but we weren’t getting payment and they were canceling those sales,” Oscar says. “Now we can push for payment because Sugar gives us up-to-date information. We get a better look at the 15- to 30-day forecast and can see what we have coming in.”
As the sales team becomes more familiar with Sugar and its versatility, Oscar knows the Sugar ROI will become even more substantial.
Planning the Next Sugar Steps
The marketing team is the next on the list for the expansion of PAQUETEXPRESS’ Sugar implementation, but Oscar has ideas beyond that.
For marketing, he anticipates a deployment that will become the team’s marketing automation platform or integrate with a dedicated MAP, providing solid lead generation and push campaigns.
Once that is accomplished, Oscar will move on to other possibilities, such as:
- Interfacing with the mobile devices used to record recipient signatures;
- Integrating with GPS vehicle tracking;
- Using Sugar data to drive down the delivery cost of the “last mile,” always the most expensive part of logistics; and
- Creating a customer portal so clients can track deliveries.
“I’m confident that the more ways we find to use Sugar in our business processes, the more we can increase profitability,” Oscar says.
- Avaya: Telephone and video application for call center, with click-to-call and pop-up identification for inbound calls.
- IceWarp: Email and voice messaging application that stores information in Sugar.
- Interface from Microsoft-based BI and Oracle Peoplesoft with Sugar as the funnel for business activity, human resources and financial forecasting.
- Document storage: Contracts, customer data and shipping agent’s information archived as PDF files.
- Tracking: Customer shipping activity is monitored in Sugar, which notifies sales staff if the client is not meeting projected commitments or is exceeding contractual shipping weight or quantities. Monitoring also can provide up-sell opportunities.
Merx Business Performance
PAQUETEXPRESS’ customized Sugar deployment was developed and implemented, and is managed by Merx Business Performance. MerxBP specializes in working with companies to improve execution, control and commercial profitability by successfully implementing technology solutions for call centers, customer service, sales and marketing.