“Microsoft Dynamics CRM has become a very important business asset to us and was crucial in achieving our goals for the SSC.”
Adriana Cunha, Maintenance & Systems Coordinator
Supplying a country’s residents and businesses with energy is arguably one of the most critical and pressured responsibilities for a company in today’s world. In Brazil, CPFL Energia does just that, as a vertically integrated energy company which generates, distributes and sells electricity and related services. Operating for over 100 years and currently the third-biggest player in the sector, it supplies electricity to around 18 million domestic and business consumers. It is a leader in the renewable energy field due to investment in a range of hydroelectric plans, wind farms, biomass plans, oil fuel and most recently, the first solar power plant in the state of Sao Paulo.
With such extensive and complex operations, the senior management team took a strategic decision that it should create a separate sub-business called the Shared Services Centre (SSC), to standardise internal services and operations as well as reduce costs across the group. The SSC was to incorporate the output of the Human Resources (HR), Purchasing, Information Technology (IT) and Applications Infrastructure functions, which together can receive daily orders, enquiries and requests from more than 5,000 employees.
In order to manage the volume, importance and variety of this workflow, an integrated CRM solution in the form of Microsoft Dynamics CRM was evaluated, selected and tested over a three month period prior to the SSC ‘opening for business’ in Indaiatuba, Sao Paulo.
As an initial requirement, processes in each of the business support departments were extensively mapped. It was identified that the end tool needed to be capable of managing and controlling orders, applications, training, requests for approval by senior staff – on their desktop and smartphone – and lastly create a self-service portal to help reduce incoming calls and emails.
CPFL Energia assessed that Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which one of its directors was already familiar with, was fit for purpose as a user-friendly, flexible and cost-effective way to address business needs, ensure business continuity, as well as help to establish the new SSC business as a whole.
Eber Gustavo, Project Consultant at AlfaPeople Brazil, sets the scene at the start of the implementation: “Before Microsoft Dynamics CRM was introduced, CPFL had no significant level of management information available which really aided decision-making or informed strategy.”
While the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics CRM would soon address this (and as a result achieve a standard set of services at a reduced cost than the current operating model), providing excellent service levels to the internal customers of CPFL Energia’s SSC was also high up on the list of priorities, as that value is a strong part of CPFL’s culture. The group wanted to create a model of excellent customer relationship management (CRM), which, widely used as a sales and marketing concept related to customers, is seldom applied to employees.
The project implementation was managed by AlfaPeople Brazil within three months. Adriana Cunha, Maintenance & Systems Coordinator at CPFL Energia said: “Microsoft Dynamics CRM has become a very important business asset to us and was crucial in achieving our goals for the SSC.”
Today, there are around 700 Microsoft Dynamics CRM users in the SSC and every month:
- It receives more than 300,000 data inputs for the HR, Purchasing, IT and Applications Infrastructure departments;
- 600 assistance guides (scripts) are processed; and
- The self-service portal, which acts as the ‘user front end’ has 14,000 internal customers placing requests, consultations and other interactions with the SSC.
Eber Gustavo continued: “With this Microsoft solution, all the in-depth information has been made available to CPFL Energia and its SCC, to enable better decision-making. The tool allows the company to meet business demands, increases productivity and enhances the level of management information.”
The intended goals were clear from CPFL Energia initial ERP search
Enabling shared services to become standardised
The implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM has made it possible to centralise all the services which the HR, Purchasing, IT and Applications Infrastructure offer to CPFL Energia and its teams, in a single system. Crucially this is possible by providing the same quality of information, level of attention, response time and recording as had been in place before the project began.
Improvements in managing the cost base and service level
In creating the Shared Service Center (SSC), CPFL Energia has achieved a 60% cost reduction, largely due to the outstanding implementation and integration of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution. One of the resulting benefits is that it frees up and allows teams to ensure resources are redeployed to where they can best add value: providing service to the internal customers of the SSC.
A self-service model supported by mobile compatibility
Combining the query and data processes into a single tool and organising the information held with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the SSC teams became much more efficient and productive in a short time period. Response times were reduced, in part due to managers having the efficient ability to access and approve requests on their smartphone or tablet.