Published on 13-Apr-2011
Validated on 28 Oct 2013
"By building on our existing IBM Lotus Notes and Domino platform and implementing IntelliGlobe CRM, we have created a solution that realises the dream of ‘one click’ customer information management, and provides a firm foundation for further benefits in the future." - Bjørn Sibbern, CEO of Max Sibbern
Wholesale Distribution & Services
Customer Relationship Management, Information On Demand, Optimizing IT, Optimizing IT
IBM Business Partner:
Founded in 1950, Max Sibbern A/S has grown to become one of Denmark’s biggest bathroom fittings and plumbing and sanitary installation agencies. The company has its headquarters in Copenhagen, and employs 26 people. Max Sibbern’s main focus is on sales, marketing and after-sales service for products from the Swedish company Ifö Sanitär, including sanitary installations, showers, bathroom furnishings and bathtubs. It also represents Evac, a Finnish company that manufactures waste and wastewater collection and treatment systems for the shipbuilding industry in the Danish spare parts market.
To maintain its leadership in the Danish bathroom fittings, plumbing and sanitary installations market, Max Sibbern wanted to make itself a more customer-centric organisation. The challenge was to make it easy for sales, marketing and service teams to capture, manage and utilise a wide range of customer information.
Max Sibbern worked with IntelliGlobe, an IBM Business Partner, to implement IntelliGlobe CRM. The solution, which is built on the IBM Lotus Notes and Domino platform, was initially implemented in just one month, and will soon be extended with iPhone integration and customer web access.
Improves customer service by focusing attention on customer requests and feedback. Enhances transparency, enabling Max Sibbern to provide more detailed reports to suppliers. Reduces administrative costs by freeing one full-time employee (3.8 percent of the total workforce) to work on more valuable tasks.
To read a Danish version of the case study, please click here
Founded in 1950, Max Sibbern A/S has grown to become one of Denmark’s biggest bathroom fittings and plumbing and sanitary installation agencies. The company has its headquarters in Copenhagen, and employs 26 people.
Max Sibbern’s main focus is on sales, marketing and after-sales service for products from the Swedish company Ifö Sanitär, including sanitary installations, showers, bathroom furnishings and bathtubs. It also represents Evac, a Finnish company that manufactures waste and wastewater collection and treatment systems for the shipbuilding industry in the Danish spare parts market.
Coordinating sales, marketing and service
“We are actively involved in product branding and marketing, aimed at positioning Ifö as the best known brand within its segment in the Danish market,” explains Bjørn Sibbern, CEO of Max Sibbern. “In contrast to certain theories that are currently prevalent, we have remained true to the belief that this can only be achieved through an effective, coordinated effort between the three functions: sales, marketing and service.
“As we see it, optimisation of efforts and results is achieved by ‘listening, then doing’. In other words, all the information that we gain in the course of one working day is collated, structured and utilised in the next to fine-tune our market approach and our work in the field. This information is generated by those who order, purchase, install and use our products, and by those whom we represent in an agency capacity.”
A complex information architecture
The company was collecting a wide array of different types of customer-related information: sales figures, marketing costs, contracts, reports from customer visits, and many other documents. With a customer base including six wholesalers, 150 department stores, 5,000 plumbers, 1,000 architects and 1,000 building engineers, this was a large volume of data to manage, and it was difficult to gain an accurate view of the entire relationship between Max Sibbern and an individual customer.
“Some years ago, we had invested in IBM Lotus Notes and Domino as a corporate email and calendaring system,” comments Bjørn Sibbern. “We were interested in getting more from our investment by using Lotus Domino as an application server too, and we began looking for CRM solutions that could leverage this platform.”
Finding the right partner
After evaluating several options, Max Sibbern decided to work with IntelliGlobe, an IBM Business Partner, and deploy the IntelliGlobe CRM solution on its Lotus Domino server.
“IntelliGlobe had what we were looking for. They showed a real understanding of sales and marketing processes and information flows, and their philosophy regarding customer information management was that ‘one click should do the trick’,” comments Bjørn Sibbern. “This really convinced us that they were speaking our language! Moreover, we quickly realised that the IntelliGlobe CRM solution would be able to meet 90 percent of our needs out of the box, and that incorporating the last 10 percent would be a relatively simple matter.”
Extremely rapid implementation
IntelliGlobe was able to help Max Sibbern implement the new CRM application in just one month – an extremely rapid deployment for a solution of this type. The speed of the implementation was partly due to the comprehensive out-of-the-box functionality provided by IntelliGlobe CRM, and partly to the expertise of the IntelliGlobe consultants, who had previously implemented the solution for a number of other companies in the construction and engineering sector, and were able to turn this experience to Max Sibbern’s advantage.
“The solution gives us a single central system for managing all kinds of information, helping us to track and monitor all interactions with our customers,” says Bjørn Sibbern. “Our sales teams can look up customer addresses and other details, create reports describing their visits to customers, and submit customer complaints and suggestions. Our marketing team can segment customers into different groups and create direct mail campaigns and newsletters. And our after-sales team can manage the whole returns process. It’s really a comprehensive solution for our business.”
Building on success
Since the initial implementation, IntelliGlobe and Max Sibbern have continued to work together to enhance the solution.
“We have just installed a new module that enables integration with iPhones,” says Bjørn Sibbern. “This allows our sales teams to check up on customer information quickly while they are out of the office, without needing to boot up their laptops or find an internet connection – so it should make life much more convenient when they are travelling around and visiting customers.”
In the near future, the company also hopes to extend access to some of its CRM data.
“For example, many consumers want to find out where they can view or buy certain Ifö products,” comments Bjørn Sibbern. “We use the CRM system to register the locations where our products are displayed, and by integrating this with our content management system, we will be able to provide the consumer with the information they need via our new website. We haven’t launched this yet, but we expect it to go live in three or four months.”
Benefits in key areas
With the solution in place, Max Sibbern is already seeing benefits in several key areas.
“Excellent customer service is fundamental to our efforts to promote our products across Denmark,” comments Bjørn Sibbern. “IntelliGlobe CRM helps us demonstrate to our customers that we really focus on them, listening to their feedback and taking steps to continuously improve our services. The solution also helps our Swedish and Finnish suppliers, since we can provide much more detailed, accurate and timely reports on customer activity, product suggestions, and after-sales feedback.
“Finally, from our own point of view, the solution has significantly streamlined many of our core processes, and provides a single source of information that helps us understand our operations better and avoid mistakes. In particular, the ability to automate the creation of reports saves us a lot of time: we have been able to free up one full-time employee for more valuable work – and in a company of our size, saving one employee makes a significant difference!
He concludes: “By building on our existing IBM Lotus Notes and Domino platform and implementing IntelliGlobe CRM, we have created a solution that realises the dream of ‘one click’ customer information management, and provides a firm foundation for further benefits in the future.”
Products and services used
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Danmark ApS Nymøllevej 91 2800 Kgs. Lyngby Denmark. Produced in Denmark. March 2011. All Rights Reserved. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Domino, Lotus and Lotus Notes are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at http://www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. IntelliGlobe CRM is a product of IntelliGlobe. IBM and IntelliGlobe are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor IntelliGlobe makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.