Malvern Instruments enhances loyalty with better customer service

Malvern Instruments is a UK-based global manufacturer and distributor of highly technical scientific instruments. Their high-value machines enable their customers to analyse the quality and grade of industrial materials by measuring particle sizes.

The business challenge

Like most manufacturers, Malvern Instruments is facing increasing competition from low-cost countries such as China, who are emulating their products, selling them at a lower cost and are increasingly more accessible to customers. Furthermore, customers now expect a seamless customer experience and want goods and services better, faster and cheaper than ever before.

With mounting pressure to remain cost-competitive and show greater value-add, Malvern Instruments decided it needed improve its service offering by implementing a focused strategy to include enhanced customer centricity, improved service management, and product and service customisation. This would help them to...

  • Ensure customer expectations are continually met and exceeded.
  • Maximise revenue opportunities that exist in offering enhanced customer service and increase repeatable service revenue.
  • Stay ahead of competitors - continually improving their service offering keeps Malvern ahead of their competitors, and allows them to differentiate themselves.

To achieve these goals it needed to ensure it had the right supporting systems and processes in place.

The solution

There were inherent inefficiencies in Malvern’s SAP CRM set-up; the sales people were using CRM and the service people were using a dual system of R/3 to manage call recording information and perform service billing and calendar/service activities bookings in CRM.

The requirement was to move all customer facing activities into one central platform while cutting all redundant manual activities and to provide Malvern with a single view of the customer

“We’d invested in SAP a few years ago and used SAP CRM for the sales force. It was time however to extend its use for other transactions, moving other customer-facing type activities into CRM.” Peter Norman, IT Director, Malvern Instruments

Following upgrades of CRM and ERP, a programme of work to enhance the Customer Service function was planned, with SAP CRM Service at the core of the system’s enhancements.

It is noteworthy that during the project, Malvern Instruments made an acquisition in China.

"Like many manufacturers, China is a strategic geography for Malvern. Part way through the project we announced a major acquisition in China.  Bluefin was able to rapidly incorporate the new company using its proven methodology to get the Chinese on stream quickly and effectively by using their people in Malaysia who spoke the Chinese language." Peter Norman, IT Director, Malvern Instruments

Business benefits

Following the successful go live of Phase 1 Malvern Instruments now has 50 field service engineers and 10 help desk operatives live on CRM service. There are also 100 sales reps using the CRM Sales solution. The sales and service team is located across the UK, US, France, Japan, China, Netherlands and Nordics so this was a truly global solution.

As well as addressing the fact that both SAP CRM 4.0 and R/3 were coming out of mainstream support, the upgrades have and will continue to enable a multitude of significant business benefits., including:

Reduced support costs: CRM 7.0 technology is significantly simplified and rationalised. This new technology has been refined through multiple releases to provide a mature and stable platform.

Reduced development costs: CRM 7.0 technology significantly reduces the effort needed to tailor and enhance the service solution that was implemented. Changes can often be made in minutes rather than days.

Easier to embed into the current landscape: CRM 7.0 provides support for Enterprise Services, allowing much greater flexibility for embedding CRM into business processes. It extends the scope of implementation beyond the traditional boundaries, for example, mobile integration, Adobe Interactive Forms, email response management, Outlook/Notes integration and workflow.

Significantly enhanced functionality to better meet business needs: Sales, Service, Marketing and Interaction Centre and industry specific functionality have been significantly enhanced in CRM 7.0 giving businesses the holistic business overview, competitive edge and visibility to meet today's business needs.

User satisfaction & adoption: The new user interface is radically improved, removing a significant barrier to user adoption and critical success factor for a CRM implementation.

“The move from CRM 4.0 to CRM 7.0 was definitely the right move. It provides a completely different interface; in terms of usability our people are very happy with it – it gives them a lot more information, so it has certainly delivered what we were expecting.”      Peter Norman, IT Director, Malvern Instruments

Why Bluefin Solutions

“We chose Bluefin Solutions because of its extensive experience in the SAP CRM space. There are many SAP providers who are very good at the core solutions however CRM is more of a specialised field. What we really needed as a business was a partner who could really help us move forward with our CRM solution and take it into the future”. Peter Norman, IT Director, Malvern Instruments

Functional scope

  • SAP CRM 7.0 (Web UI  + Interaction Center) with ECC 6.0 Ehp4 as backend
  • Master data replication between ECC and CRM: customers, contact persons, products, pricing, equipments
  • CRM Sales: Activities, Tasks, Opportunities, Sales quotations, Groupware integration with Lotus Notes (Calendar, Emails), Smartforms outputs.
  • CRM Service: Installed base, Service products, Spare parts materials, Service contract templates, Service contract quotations, Service contracts, Service order quotations, Service orders, Service confirmations, ECC Billing, Smartforms outputs, CRM to ECC Cost controlling integration, ERMS for inbound email routing to IC agents, IC Account identification, Account overview, Interaction records, Agent Inbox (Emails, IR, Service processes), IC Knowledge search with outbound emails, Solution database with multiple languages.

The project was different because Bluefin Solutions relied on the use of SAP Best Practices implementation methodology and tools to accelerate the delivery and reduce costs. As an indication, the CRM Service project was delivered in 3.5 months.

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