Moss Plastics Ltd. Deploys Mobile Sales Suite
||Moss Plastic Parts Ltd., part of Bunzl PLC, is one of Europe's leading suppliers of industrial plastic products. Moss deployed an innovative new order entry, e-commerce and customer relationship management (CRM) solution using X1 Solutions’ Mobile Sales Suite (MSS) product. For Moss Plastics, MSS provides a total business solution for internal customer service and the external sales force enabling order entry, sales forecasting and enhanced customer relationship management. Moss Plastics’ customers benefit as well through online ordering, account status, shipment tracking, sales history and product information. Some of these include:
- A multi-currency solution integrated to SSA Global Technologies BPCS ERP system that maintains current system logic.
- Tracking of vital customer and prospect information that is not captured in the current ERP system.
- Internet-enabled solution for providing customer self-service, thus driving down transaction costs.
- E-commerce for business customers.
- Robust CRM functionality for improved customer service, sales forecasting, quoting and activity awareness/tracking.
- A combined LAN and offline sales automation solution for both customer service and outside sales staff.
- Low implementation, administration and maintenance costs.
- Initial investment to be recuperated within 2 to 3 years.
Founded in 1952, Moss Plastic Parts is the UK's largest producer of plastic injection-molded components for the manufacturing industry. The company, whose headquarters are in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, has operations in six European countries, employing a total of 430 people at 18 sites. Its products are used in a wide range of industry areas, including automotive, furniture, packaging, oil-field supplies and general engineering. The products are sold worldwide through subsidiary companies and distributors. Since 1986, Moss Plastic Parts has been part of Bunzl plc, an international group of paper and plastic products companies with a combined annual turnover of some £2 billion. Information technology is seen as critical to the success of Moss Plastic Parts' business. On one hand, it is an enabler of change, while on the other, it can support better customer service at a lower cost by effectively managing large volumes of customer and product data. The company's business is characterized by a combination of low-value products and high transaction volumes, and it is therefore particularly important to minimize transaction costs. At the moment, there are approximately 30,000 customers and 20,000 product lines with more than 250 million components available from stock.
At the core of Moss Plastic Parts' information systems lies its BPCS ERP system. According to business systems director, Sarah Cobb, a comprehensive, integrated system was necessary to improve communications among the different sites and provide pan-European stock visibility. "We wanted a solution that scaled globally with a flexible CRM front-end that was flexible enough to adapt as our business changes. Mobile Sales Suite was an ideal solution since it did not duplicate the current ERP investment’s logic, yet enhanced the current corporate systems through additional functionality and company/customer benefits.
X1 Solutions implemented Mobile Sales Suite with SSA GT’s BPCS at Moss Plastic Parts as an enhanced business solution to the ERP system that handles all its business functions. The three primary business goals were to 1) Minimize the number of screens users had to negotiate in order to complete certain business tasks. For example, order entry went from 12-15 screens to 1 order form through MSS. 2) Would not duplicate current ERP logic to optimize the initial ERP investment. MSS synchronizes customer and item information, requests pricing and submits orders by communicating with the BPCS system. As a result, BPCS remains the master data source, logic is centralized and data is not duplicated. 3) Provide additional functionality and features that BPCS does not offer. MSS generates more accurate request dates, minimizes exception reporting, maintains sales opportunities and allows quoting, pushes information to the Web, displays better visibility of customer and item information, and allows access to corporate data while disconnected from the BPCS system. Likewise, all physical locations have a single system which provides better overall process control, is fully configurable and distributes information efficiently.
According to Sarah Cobb, the new solution was designed to fulfill several different requirements simultaneously, with improved customer service and reduced costs being the overall objectives. Also, to minimize maintenance costs, it was important that the same solution serve the needs of staff as well as customers. On the ordering side, the company wanted to achieve further reductions in transaction costs by accelerating the order entry process internally as well as providing support for ordering over the Internet. A Web-enabled solution would also improve customer satisfaction through a more streamlined ordering process coupled with online access to details of product availability, order status and account balances. Another key need was a CRM solution that would record all interactions with customers and prospects in order to support more targeted marketing. Finally, Moss Plastic Parts wanted to provide staff throughout the organization with a single point of access to the same database of customer information. "To provide the best possible service, it is important that anybody who might deal with a customer is able to see all the relevant information about that customer. A customer service agent who is taking details of a new order, for example, should be aware of any outstanding complaints that the customer might have. It would then be possible to answer any query," explained Sarah.
The solution consisted of implementing Mobile Sales Suite and integration to the BPCS ERP system. Components include:
According to Sarah Cobb, no other combination of products and suppliers came close to fulfilling the company's requirements.
- Rapid order entry for the internal customer service organization
- Remote order processing and order status information for the sales organization.
- Complete CRM functionality with internal and Web access.
- B2B e-commerce for customer order cycle.
- Intelligent product cataloging, activity generation and visibility, and sales opportunity tracking and conversion.
The first component of the new solution for internal customer service, including order entry, order status and inventory status, as well as account status and sales history, went live in early May 2000. Web order entry, order status and inventory status applications for business customers followed in August, together with CRM applications for internal users. By the end of 2001, the system was in use throughout Europe. By January 2003, the solution supported 150 users in 5 European countries in 18 physical locations. The management team at Moss expects the company's investment to be recuperated with in two to three years as a consequence of reduced costs. In the meantime, Cobb also anticipates that the ability to support e-commerce will become increasingly important to the success of Moss Plastics. This ability, in combination with the other improvements to customer service brought about by the new solution will serve to consolidate the company's competitive position. Sarah Cobb concluded, "In the UK, we enjoy market leadership in several of our key sectors. Nevertheless, parts of our business are potentially open to undercutting by competitors. With our new solution, we believe that we can offer our customers a standard of service that will differentiate us from our competitors and help to maintain our position in the marketplace.
For more information on how Mobile Sales Suite can benefit your organization, please contact us at +1-678-627-0227, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.x1solutions.com