“It is very important for us to know what the customer wants,” says Manish Choksi, president of Home Improvement, Supply Chain & IT at Asian Paints. Up to now, this has been a difficult task for the company, since it does not market its products directly. Instead, its products are sold across India by nearly 30,000 dealers – ranging from large wholesalers all the way down to mom-and-pop-stores around the corner.
A few years ago, the company started implementing an end-to-end service for customers in India, “to offer our customers something new in India and help us stand out from the competition,” explains Choksi. SAP solutions were put in place to run these processes.
Centralized order processing enables cross-selling
Asian Paints centralized its ordering process and introduced a call center. In the past, paint and coating dealers ordered their goods in one of the 130 depots across India. Consolidating the order entry made this process much more efficient, and Asian Paints can now take advantage of cross-selling opportunities. The contact center offering was further enhanced to become an engaging touch point for all customers and business partners.
Today, SAP Customer Relationship Management forms the organizational memory for all customer interactions across all lines of businesses and interactions. The end-to-end service executed by professional painters has not only increased customer satisfaction, but also provides feedback on market practices and customer preferences. This in turn allows Asian Paints to target its advertising and develop new products that meet the needs and desires of its customers.
Measuring customer sentiment in social media
Asian Paints also relies on social media to get a better feel for their customers. Leads and opportunities arising from marketing campaigns are transferred via SAP NetWeaver Gateway into the SAP CRM system. Asian Paints then runs a Web sentiment analysis to filter out and forward customer complaints in social networks to its Help Desk for processing. Asian Paints has also launched “Your Voice” on the corporate Web site where customers can openly speak about their experiences with Asian Paints products and services. The sentiments are continuously monitored, and responses given as well as actions taken.
Next page: Mobile apps increase sales
Choksi recalls a particularly successful ad campaign called “Surprise Your Spouse” that had run in the traditional media as well as on Facebook: In the television commercial, a woman surprises her husband with a wall in their living room that had been painted pink by Indian Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan. Viewers could then sign up for the promotional offer on Facebook.
Centralizing the business processes has had a notably positive impact on the relationship between the field sales staff and the dealers. Now freed of routine tasks, the employees in the field can spend more time focusing on their customer relationships. To help improve the quality of their sales negotiations, the company also provided them with tablets running on the SAP Mobile Platform, containing the most important information about the respective dealer.
Using mobile apps to increase turnover
Around 600 sales employees use the apps to access data from SAP CRM and SAP ERP and thus increase their turnover. SAP Afaria has been deployed to manage the devices. This sales force automation has helped in improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
Despite the large amount of data to manage, SAP Business NetWeaver powered by SAP HANA has done an excellent job for Asian Paints. The company was able to reduce its data loading time by 95% and improve the compression rate. More importantly, though, the company can now recover outstanding receivables within just three days thanks to its receivables analysis, and has therefore been able to reduce its total operating costs.
What’s more, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer provides the company with a better overview of its sales pipeline and can, for example, monitor the performance of products or sales promotions. “We can now see the sales performance of every single area in near real time and drill down at invoice level to analyze daily market dynamics,” Choksi reports.