Sales and Service Teams Armed with Accurate Data

September 6, 2006 by admin

It’s been a good few years for Richardson, Texas-based Lennox International Inc. (LII). Sales are up 13 percent and its air conditioning, heating and fireplace systems and services are in demand. And its information technology systems are also in great shape. As part of a comprehensive multi-phase SAP implementation, LII is rolling out mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM) to boost the effectiveness of its sales teams in its Worldwide Heating and Cooling unit.
“We put SAP Interaction Center (SAP IC) in place at the end of May and it was on time and on budget. We are already beginning to see benefits,” said Rod Flory, LII’s chief information officer (CIO).
That roll out is the first of two CRM deployments. SAP IC is in use by sales staff in Worldwide Heating and Cooling’s residential group. The next roll out, of SAP Mobile Sales, is set for this fall for sales staff within LII’s Worldwide Heating and Cooling’s commercial group.
The idea is to give LII Worldwide Heating and Cooling’s sales representatives, whether in house or out of the office, a complete view of the customer. Using SAP IC and SAP Mobile Sales staff can have all necessary data at hand, in their desktops or mobile devices. They have access to information about individual customer contacts, whether those contacts take place via the Web, in-person, or on the phone. They also have access to customers’ service and sales history. The data gives staff the ammunition they need for successful customer interactions. And the customer leaves the interactions knowing LII’s service was excellent.
“We are gaining efficiency by having more information at the staff’s fingertips. They don’t have to write things down on paper or go through books looking for customer data,” Flory said.

Less paperwork, less time

An SAP customer since 1994, LII executives are well-acquainted with the flexibility, scalability, and reliability of SAP applications. Two of LII’s three core operating units use SAP. So, when the time came to add CRM functionality SAP was the obvious choice for Worldwide Heating and Cooling. “We verified that we could do everything that we need to do with SAP,” Flory pointed out.
LII’s Worldwide Heating and Cooling has both commercial and residential customers. It includes the divisions of Advanced Distributor Products (ADP), Lennox Industries, and Allied Air Enterprises. It is Lennox Industries Commercial and Lennox Industries Residential that are rolling out mySAP CRM.
The two CRM roll outs are taking place over three years. “We break it up into small chunks that achieve returns on their own. That way we have the opportunity to cancel at the end of any phase if the returns aren’t there,” Flory said.
So far, so good. Initial returns include more efficient sales processes that require less paperwork and less time. And in the near future, they are expected to include more accurate forecasting of sales figures since pipeline data will be accurate and up-to-date. Like most companies LII strives to get a clear view into sales so it can adjust to its market on the fly.
Over time the goal is to broaden the use of CRM to include more functionality and possibly extend it to other LII brands. “We’d like to put CRM tools to use in every contact point with customer,” Flory said.

More computerization, fewer sticky notes

The first of the two CRM projects, SAP IC, gave Lennox Industries Residential more streamlined order entry and customer support processes. Prior to its deployment, staff used note pads for activities that supported order taking, such as taking notes about regional sales specials or customer-specific policies. The customer support representative used sticky notes or pads of paper for such data, versus receiving it via computer. The automation provided by SAP IC is part of LII’s overall effort to streamline customer service, increase customer satisfaction and reduce attrition.
Lennox Industries Residential handles the majority of all orders within LII Worldwide Heating and Cooling, so it’s critical that it has top-notch customer service backed by accurate data. SAP IC taps into SAP’s powerful analytic functionality to track statistics that can boost sales and service processes.
For example, LII will use SAP IC to track all contacts with customers. It will be able to track the time and date of the contact as well as the subject of the contact. It also will track how long the call took. All of the data will be used to specific develop goals for improvement, such as faster service and more expeditious handling of customer questions.
For the second CRM project, deployment of SAP Mobile Sales, Lennox Industries Commercial sales staff will be able to access complex product specification and configuration information that will assist them in generating equipment submittals for commercial construction jobs. And they will be able to do so from their laptops or mobile devices. The idea is to connect the sales person to the all necessary facts, no matter where he is.
“We want all the information possible about all the customer’s activities so that when a sales person walks in the customer’s door he’s ready for anything,” Flory said.
That data ends up being useful in two ways. First, it helps the individual sales people close deals and better serve customers. Second, it helps sales managers perform more accurate financial forecasting.
For instance, job specifications for commercial sales require complex rate quotes based on detailed product selection and configuration. With SAP Mobile Sales staff and managers have data about all potential jobs in the pipeline. “It allows the team to predict their close rate more accurately,” Flory said. “That means they can better predict the revenue they will generate.”

CRM, PLM and more

Also LII plans to keep adding automation via IC functionality. Not only the sales staff, but also the warranty call center staff and the technical support center staff will have access to reusable CRM components, tailored for their specific needs. And somewhere down the road, additional units in LII Worldwide Heating and Cooling may pursue CRM as well.
In addition to my SAP CRM, LII is also in the process of implementing mySAP Product Lifecycle Management (mySAP PLM). It will replace a variety of ad-hoc technical solutions. In the future, LII plans to streamline to one PLM backbone and thereby reduce new product introduction time.
As part of a comprehensive, multi-year SAP implementation, LII is working to standardize master data and create a single SAP instance. It’s also performing an ongoing series of Web portal roll outs using SAP NetWeaver Portal. The company has debuted a newly revamped portal for each unit inside LII Worldwide Heating and Cooling. They are ADPnow.com, DaveNetFireside.com, a site for Allied Air Enterprises and a revamped portal called “DaveNet.”
With the reusable, Web services–based business processes enabled by SAP NetWeaver, CRM, PLM and other applications can be extended, no matter how much the company grows. It’s a win-win for LII and its customers.

Sarah Z. Sleeper

Sarah Z. Sleeper

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