Kaysersberg Plastics coordinates Europe-wide operations, with help from Sage CRM and SeeLogic.
Kaysersberg Plastics Profile
Kaysersberg Plastics has been manufacturing and marketing extruded plastic sheet and converted products, including reusable plastic packaging, for over thirty years. Its products are found in sectors as diverse as automotive, graphics & design, construction, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and food & beverage. Part of the DS Smith Group, the company has a geographically disperse manufacturing operation, with plants across Europe – including the UK, Spain and two
locations in France – which all play a part in building its worldwide business.
Kaysersberg experienced rapid growth in the late 90s. Not content to coast, management recognised that the strategic use of IT would be essential to the company’s continued success. The search was on for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution which would enable it to build and share corporate knowledge across its business – knowledge which, at the time, was stored in a number of different software tools and manual systems.
Kaysersberg chose Sage Business Partner SeeLogic to help it manage and implement a CRM solution. Careful needs analysis uncovered Kaysersberg’s key business drivers for its planned investment. The overall drive was to increase sales efficiency through tighter management of project pipelines; improve communication within the commercial teams across multiple sites; and automate sales reporting.
Speaking from the company’s Gloucester offices, Kaysersberg’s UK Managing Director, Mark Lightowler, recalls, “We looked at several products, from Sage, Microsoft and other leading players in the field. Sage CRM appeared easy to use and would allow us to start at a simple level with expansion over time. It had the specific features we required, such as opportunity management, company associations and multiple contacts, and multiple languages.”
Watch Mark Lightowler, Managing Director of Kaysersberg Plastics, discuss their CRM implementation.
Kaysersberg purchased Sage CRM MME (Mid Market Edition). Intended initially as a pilot for just 15 users within key accounts, the project quickly expanded to 20 users. Development began and within a few weeks the solution was ready to go live. Mark Lightowler comments, “With significant changes afoot for our staff, a smooth implementation was critical in giving them confidence about what lay ahead. Seelogic’s capable team provided excellent support and the project went forwards towards completion with minimal disruption.”
Mark himself put careful thought into preparing the ground, involving users in the scoping phase, welcoming their input and keeping them posted on developments. As well as Sage CRM’s multi-language capability, the SeeLogic team brought their own language competence to the project. Being able to offer both the product and the training in the local language (English, Spanish or French) proved a real bonus in increasing acceptability among early users.
As a company new to both Sage and CRM, Kaysersberg has been impressed by the benefits it has experienced. Sage CRM has helped to create a single, joined-up view of customers. Kaysersberg can now pool information from across its own European organisation to view linked companies and build a complete 360º view of the customer’s business, past, present and potential. Having all this information in one place helps to leverage deals and creates synergies between different parts of the company. Through a single unified system, all users share a comprehensive and accurate view of the customer. “Now when I pick up the phone to talk to a sales person, we both see identical, current information; there’s no need to synchronise,” says Mark. “I have an up-to-date picture of the deal status and can assess the support and resources needed – say, sending samples over – to help win the business.”
Sage CRM MME provides a snapshot of the sales cycle from first contact to final sale, allowing effective analysis and management of the sales pipeline. Managers have greater control in being able to see the activity within accounts, which deals could be closed, and any action needed to bring the business in. A full suite of reports also lets Mark view planned activity, such as all customer meetings scheduled for the week ahead.
Having this global visibility brings especial benefits to Kaysersberg’s European operations managers. Faced with the challenge of fulfilling complex packaging contracts, they can keep closer track of projects in the pipeline and can put all the necessary planning in place to deliver results quickly.
As Mark explains, “We’re finding that more and more of our customers, for example Toyota, Philips and L’Oreal, are buying into a wide range of packaging manufacturing technologies both here in the UK and across the Continent. Sage CRM has given us a fast-moving and responsive system to meet fast-moving customer requirements.”
As a web-based solution, Sage CRM offers convenient, low-cost, real-time 24/7 access by any authorised user, wherever there is an Internet connection. This is supporting the
expansion of Kaysersberg into other regions, as Mark observes, “When we have a new sales presence in Eastern Europe or the Middle East, we can instantly link them in to the solution without any need to install complicated software on their laptop.”
As expected, the introduction of Sage CRM has brought significant changes to Kaysersberg’s working practices. Initially uncertain whether it would be a help or hindrance, staff quickly realised the benefits in their day-to-day work. They found that Sage CRM radically reduces the time and effort required to log an opportunity and make it visible to managers, leaving more time for selling. Not surprisingly, they were soon pressing for complete migration to the
Mark sums up, “Sage CRM supports a culture of constant progress. With Sage CRM, the next step is automatically built into the process, so we’re always moving forwards together to make the most of sales opportunities and build closer customer relationships. It reinforces the rigorous discipline of how we need leads to be followed up and the business developed. It’s not just on the most visible ‘top ten’ projects that Sage CRM adds value. It helps us to check that in chasing a new lead, salespeople are investing their time where it will bring best return.”
Kaysersberg has already achieved its immediate goal of better management of the flow and quality of sales opportunities. Now it is focused on the longer term. The solution is also set to grow to 60 users and more functionality is on the cards, too. Looking ahead, Mark says, “We want to add to the current basic functionality with customer service, to equip our staff to handle customer queries more efficiently and strengthen relationships. We also plan to add in marketing support. This will enable us to target our resources more efficiently by helping us to understand the sources of good quality leads and analyse the effectiveness of our campaigns.”
Learning Points and Results
We considered six companies – four UK, one French, one Spanish. We chose Seelogic because they gave us quick, good quality feedback during our pre-contract evaluations, they had a good customer reference, they are specialised in CRM, and they were the right size for us – large enough to support the project and small enough to care. The Seelogic language skills have come as an unexpected bonus! We put a fair amount of effort into the selection of our project partner and believe we have got excellent support from a knowledgeable and capable team as a result. The project has been well structured and implemented, with good quality communication throughout.Mark LightowlerManaging Director, Kaysersberg Plastics Ltd