Microsoft Dynamics CRM
“The migration was highly complex, as the CRM was integrated with the ERP and all the company’s decision-making analysis was supported by a BI platform.”
Anderson Martins, Gerente de Tecnologia na Apas
Associação Paulista de Supermercados was founded in 1971 as a class entity that unites supermarkets in the state of São Paulo. Since then, the entity has registered a successful trajectory. Its objectives are: provide for the sector growth, assure a professional customer service and indicate retail trends, not forgetting of sustainability and social responsibility.
With the demand for more dynamic functionalities to improve data analysis and decision making, APAS (Associação Paulista de Supermercados) opted for migrating Microsoft Dynamics 4.0 to the 2015 version.
APAS worked with AlfaPeople in the diagnostic and planning phases of the project. It was 8 months of work, more than 4000 hours to migrate thousands of lines of code and hundreds of plug-ins.
“The migration was highly complex, as the CRM was integrated with the ERP and all the company’s decision- making analysis was supported by a BI platform”, said Anderson Martins, APAS’ IT Manager.
Anderson also said that the project involved every department of the association, especially Commercial, Marketing and Contact Center, that have direct contact with external clients and use the tool in routine actions.
With 1,328-associates that represent more than 2,830 stores, and due to increasing demand in the sector, it was necessary to renovate the service process and continue supplying all of São Paulo’s supermarket chain, without affecting day-to-day work. Besides the primary concern of using a version (4.0) with no support from Microsoft, APAS was also searching to improve its goal distribution mechanisms, together with its business processes, mobility, and outcome assessment. With the growth of associates and stores, the number of everyday activities increased and so did the need to optimize the business processes and the teams’ workload. To keep the collaborators in the right direction and motivated, the adoption of goals and the result of business initiatives were important.
The simplified presentation of progress and results of the business initiatives was also fundamental for the association plans, being one more element that encouraged the version upgrade. Another historic factor was that the work was limited to the association’s dependencies, what made remote interactions between APAS collaborators and its associates difficult, motivating the company to search for mobility alternatives. Internal and more technical questions, like the use of other browsers other than Internet Explorer, also were motivators to the revaluation of the project stage and change alternatives. All these business needs summed up gave birth to a Migration Business Case, that allowed the association council to decide for the upgrade project.
The idealization of the new solution for APAS began with an AlfaPeople executable. The tool identified and evaluated all developments (code), workflows, data models, and other components of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform that were part of the previous setup. With the diagnostic results, the effort and execution planning was prepared, considering the code and process reviews, the new functionalities that would be made available and the need for professional recycling.
Dashboards and Panels, Goals and Mobility were the main functionalities of the new version to support the training sales processes, the subscribers growth of magazines Acontece and Super Varejo, and the main product of the association: Feira APAS, the world’s biggest supermarket event. The intuitive interface of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 made the service processes more agile and, contrary to initial belief, recycling the users interface knowledge ended up to be painless.
At the end of the process, the new system brought benefits in mobility, agility, management, relationship and productivity, making APAS’ employee’s routines easier. Now it’s possible to access the software from different platforms, allowing the commercial areas to work on mobile devices, for example.
Following the success with AlfaPeople, APAS is already considering to advance the upgrade process, including areas like Marketing and Social.
The new CRM version enables real-time report access, dynamic list update and a centralized goal management inside the very system. With the 2015 version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, processes were simplified.
One of the big challenges was impacting the employees and show them that CRM is more than a system. It’s a philosophy and a management method totally client- oriented. To provide a wider view, APAS developed a series of training exercises. Examples and practical tests helped to demonstrate the tools’ concepts and objectives.
Ease of Use
While using Dynamics CRM, the employee work routine was facilitated, especially by the better navigation, accessible in all kinds of devices and browsers. Another differential is in the user’s ability to easily create reports and online filters, much like in Excel, making also for a smaller learning curve.