Standardised processes bring business benefits to Rakon
With a global network of offices and manufacturing facilities and a growing customer base worldwide, Rakon decided, in 2008, that they needed a Customer Relationship Management system. Finding the right CRM for their needs and the best partner to implement that CRM became a project of Justin Maloney, then Rakon’s Marketing Manager.
"We decided we needed a CRM because we were growing and business was becoming more complex. We needed to maintain visibility of our markets and keep control of complex sales processes and opportunities," said Maloney. "As an original electronics manufacturer, Rakon deals with designers, manufacturers and sometimes different resellers. We get different specs from different customers, some of which relate to the same job, and it all feeds into our sales pipeline. We needed a CRM to tie this together and tie together all aspects of a job."
In addition, as a growing global business, Rakon needed to share information, quickly and effortlessly with a team working in different locations, time zones, currencies and cultures.
Before deciding on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Rakon had specific criteria to find the right solution for their needs, explains Justin Maloney.
“When we were looking for a customer relationship management solution ease of use was top of our list. If it’s not easy to use you waste your investment. Number two was value – and value wasn’t just the dollars we were paying for it, but also productivity – how much we get out of our investment in both time and money. We had to do something that we were going to get a lot out of for the minimum investment. Finally, it had to be able to integrate with our existing business processes.”
For Rakon, Microsoft Dynamics was the solution that ticked all of these boxes.
“When we weighed everything up including cost – the cost of licensing, the server, the infrastructure – we decided that the Dynamics solution was going to be the one that best fitted that bill,” said Maloney. In March 2008, Rakon engaged the services of OA Systems to implement and customise a Dynamics CRM solution.
“We were looking for a technical implementation partner who could also do a lot of the business analysis and project management – we just didn’t have resource to do that. We first found OA Systems through their website. We talked firstly to Derek Nuzum and then dealt with a Project Manager who carried out the business analysis and began implementation. We’ve dealt with a number of different people and they’ve all been good. We’ve been very happy with OA Systems and their ability to understand our business,” said Maloney.
With a customised Dynamics CRM, knowledge sharing became much easier for this global business. Email communications are vital for Rakon and they use Outlook as their email client. A customised Dynamics CRM integrates seamlessly with Outlook and all information on the business lives within the CRM, accessed at the click of a button from within Outlook. Before the CRM was implemented, there was a continual process of gathering, formatting and sending out information on the business. Since implementation, information can be searched on within minutes and formatted in seconds into a report, accessible to everyone or to selected groups within Rakon.
The centralised system has helped standardise procedures worldwide, improved communications and provided a central platform for introducing new procedures or systems. “Standardising the way we do things has been a real benefit; we don’t have every office doing things different ways. We’ve been able to put everything in CRM and everyone is working with the same information,” said Maloney.
“OA Systems did a very good job of talking us through options, giving advice on best practice and telling us when the direction we were heading in would cause us more problems than it would solve. At the end of the day we’ve got a better product installed because of that. We’ve changed some of our business practices thanks to their advice.”
"I’d definitely recommend OA Systems. I’ve been very impressed. OA Systems come up with practical and reasonable solutions to issues. They give honest feedback. When we have gone to them with a problem, they come back with practical solutions that work for us and have shown us how to do ongoing tasks ourselves, even when it doesn’t mean much revenue for them.”
In 2011, OA Systems upgraded the Rakon CRM from Dynamics version 4.0 to 2011.