Andreas Stihl improves service to its UK dealers with Infor Manufacturing Essentials

Chain saw supplier set to improve its customer relationship management

Infor, the largest global enterprise software provider focused on developing solutions for the manufacturing and distribution industries, announces that Andreas Stihl Ltd., a wholly-owned UK sales and distribution subsidiary of German outdoor power tools manufacturer Andreas Stihl, has just gone live with its contact management solution, from Infor. The solution is expected to help the companys 15-strong salesforce improve service and drive sales amongst its national network of over 600 dealers by providing better access to accurate and detailed account information.

Stihl has been a customer for over 10 years and currently operates all of its software on an IBM iSeries model 720, situated at its head office and distribution centre in Camberley, Surrey. The software will share data directly with its existing Infor Enterprise Resource Planning solution, overcoming data inconsistencies previously experienced when Stihl ran separate systems for its ERP and CRM (customer relationship management) requirements.

Martyn Thomas, Managing Director for Andreas Stihl Ltd., said: To date we have been held back by our older system which was over 10 years old and used old technology. The fact that it ran on a separate database and was not well synchronised with our existing Infor ERP solution, caused us major problems in maintaining different customer records.

This made it difficult to have a clear picture of our customers before we went on to make sales calls, and this also impaired our ability to handle customer queries effectively. Our business grows every year and with our new joined-up view provided by the Opportunity Management tool, we expect to see that growth further enhanced.

The Opportunity Management solution offered by Infor will also be used by regional and national sales managers to undertake comprehensive sales analysis and ensure that all the necessary sales activity is being made.

The solution has also been developed to provide Stihl with a contact database for all distributor personnel who are certified to sell and service its products.  In this way it is possible for Stihl to identify gaps in a distributors qualifications and, by offering further training courses, it can help keep them up-to-date. This is necessary in order to ensure distributors can provide the right product and maintenance advice to their end users as well as adherence to health & safety standards.

In 2005 Stihl undertook another successful project when it adopted web.connect software to provide internet commerce capabilities for its distributors (and named it Stihl.Connect). Prior to placing orders on the web, distributors can now look up real-time stock availability by having direct access to the Infor ERP solution. It has been so successful that 50% of all sales by volume (30% by value) now go through web.connect. It is proving very popular with distributors who can quickly and easily purchase replacement parts and accessories as well as machines. Furthermore it has enabled Stihl to process a significantly higher level of order lines without increasing costs.

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