Case Study – CMS Distribution

Successfully achieving rapid growth, with the implementation of a company wide SAP ERP & SAP CRM solution.

Complete end-to-end SAP ERP integration, with the development of a new CRM solution providing CMS with a scalable platform for the future of the business.

The Challenge

CMS is the largest independent, value added distributor of IT data storage products and solutions in the UK and Ireland. CMS has experienced a period of rapid growth acquiring 3 different companies within 3 years.

Our assignment was clear but complex helping CMS to successfully integrate technically with their acquired companies during their period of growth and build a mature platform that will enable maximum flexibility and scalability in the future.

The project was whittled down to 4 main challenges:

  • Development of a new company-wide Customer Relationship Management solution to provide efficiency benefits and direct integration with live Enterprise Resource Planning system.
  • Decommissioning of existing non-integrated CRM systems (inherited further to recent company acquisitions) that require manual data synchronisation of customer and sales related information.
  • Integration of brand new Quote Tool functionality to support complex, real-time scenario-based calculations.
  • Enhanced functionality to support:
    • Sales and Quotes
    • Marketing
    • Customer Services and Returns
    • Credit Control
    • Rebate Management
    • Client interactions

Gauri’s Engagement

SAP CRM was implemented to provide a suite of technology that met the range of business needs as identified by CMS.

  • Configuration of standard SAP function modules to provide rich functionality for:
    • Accounts and Contacts
    • Opportunity management
    • Quotation and Orders (including Lean Order mapping for Quotes and Orders via SAP CRM to SAP ECC integration)
    • Activities and Tasks
  •  ECC solution to streamline contact management and create automated confirmation and invoice outputs.
  •  Enhanced developments to fine-tune the solution to the specifics of CMS’ business needs, including:
    • Integration with QlikView to provide Business Intelligence analytics.
    • Enhancement to PDF Quote outputs to provide professional view and branding for customer.
    • Bespoke reporting solution to track sales forecasting and inactive accounts
    • Migration of Contacts, Prospects and Opportunities from legacy CRM systems.

Project Highlights

Gauri collaborated continuously with CMS stakeholders and the MIS department to integrate the CRM, specifically the customer services module leaving CMS with some brilliant benefits going forward:

Business benefits for CMS:

  • Fully integrated Account Management, with extensive fact sheet data to support Sales and Marketing teams including:
    • Customer information
    • Credit status
    • Transaction history
  • Opportunity Management, with ability to use nested sub-opportunities, to set up, track, manage and report on sales opportunities.
  • Onshore/offshore model allowing CMS to get fixings through overnight, simply due to the time change leading to greater added value from investments.
  • Sales Quote Tool (integrating with Opportunities) to enable construction of “what-if” scenarios via real-time stock checks and dynamic pricing calculations.
  • Single click conversion of quote to order to reduce order capture time.
  • Enhanced Campaign Management via recording of customer preferences using marketing attributes.
  • Website integration to enable customer self-service for creation of end-user data and credit applications.
  • Provision of business intelligence via QlikView reporting integration.
  • Ability to record detailed interaction history with clients that can support creation of prospects; leading to opportunities, quotes and orders.
  • Sophisticated Pipeline and Forecast reporting via linking of Opportunities, Quotes and Orders
  • Single point of access to customer and vendor information alike; maximising efficiency when responding to enquiries.

Our Achievements:

  • CRM 7.0 EHP3 implemented with integration to ECC 6.0 EHP1
  • Extensive Business consultation with CMS stakeholders to understand the project requirements; and present a proposal detailing an SAP solution that would meet the business needs.
  • New, single SAP CRM solution; replacing dual-running legacy systems.
  • Integration with QlikView functionality to provide business intelligence dashboard, embedded within SAP CRM user interface.
  • Direct integration between CMS website and CRM enabling self-service for capture of customer information and credit applications
  • Complex pricing calculations to build dynamic “what-if” scenarios to support end-users when creating customer quotes.
  • Positive and stable go-live that has been well-received by CMS stakeholders and end-users alike.

“CRM and especially the customer services module has really helped bring the team together, and now we’ve built a platform scalable for the future of the business.”

“Gauri always have a can-do attitude, its always positive, nothing was too much trouble, they also guided us in the right way. Gauri pulled it together really well as a project and delivered on time and to budget.

As the board director it’s always a challenge in a company but especially one that’s grown as fast as CMS that we balance investments with returns and costs, we always look at our risk model so anything we can do in our business that brings our systems together and helps us make informed decisions, unlike most companies we haven’t got a bottomless pit for cap X. Capital expenditure and depreciation is big cost of CMS so were always seeking value for money.

From a business point of view, with Gauri’s involvement in CRM and our ongoing journey of enhancing and refining our systems, which the company is very dependant on now, in fact totally dependent on, has been a really good journey.”

Paul Roughley

Group Operations Director, CMS Distribution

About CMS

CMS is the largest independent, value added distributor of IT data storage products and solutions in the UK and Ireland. The company employs more than 200 people across four sites and looking to expand its operations through annual acquisitions. The company is strictly trade only and sells through both business to-business and business-to-customer channel partners. It services thousands of VARs, resellers and consultants from multi-nationals to smaller, local IT companies.

CMS resellers and vendors benefit from sophisticated logistics, extensive product and market expertise, and great customer services for which the company has become known and for which it is consistently awarded. By leveraging full EDI capability, its SAP platform, electronic feeds, real-time pricing and stock levels and fast online trading, CMS lives by its guiding philosophy to deliver operational excellence and exceed the expectations of all stakeholders.

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