Berner Foods C a s e Going Beyond Generic CRM: Berner Foods Implements Pivotal CRM to enable IsO Compliance and Improve New Product development s t u d y Customer Details orders, requests and issues. Not only was Berner Foods Berner experiencing a disconnect between www.bernerfoods.com Background the outside and the inside sales teams, but the Berner Foods is a market-leading supplier inside sales reps were physically separated Challenges of quality food products, including natural from the rest of the company. • Needed to cost-effectively ensure high level cheese, specialty performance cheese, of customer service “This physical disconnect within the sales processed cheese and soy beverages. organization and between sales and the rest • Required better system for ISO compliance With entrepreneurial beginnings as a Swiss of the company was creating a number of purposes cheese maker dating back 60 years, the communications problems,” said Jason Ulrich, • Improve the internal knowledge of customer company offers leading-edge products to IT business analyst at Berner Foods. “We data the supermarket, drug, mass merchandiser, needed a way to ensure that everyone was on club, dollar store, specialty food distributor, • Rapid growth expedited the need for a the same page at all times.” foodservice and contract manufacturing CRM system channels. Berner offers the fullest range of The communications challenge was Solution packaging and process options in the industry. exacerbated by Berner’s rapid business • Pivotal CRM for Process Manufacturing Its facilities are USDA- and AIB-approved and growth. Ulrich said, “We have a meeting every ISO 9001 certified and meet the demanding week that’s designed to get everyone on the Benefits standards of virtually every major retailer in same page, but you can’t rely on one or two • Improved new product development by North America. hours a week. You need to enable effective streamlining requests and feedback on new communications at all times.” products Challenges • Improved Berner’s purchasing process Increase Visibility Into Program Results through the supplier relationship module enable More efficient IsO Compliance Yet another challenge for Berner was its • Successfully track ROI on customer samples Berner’s biggest motivating factor for seeking inability to accurately track marketing campaign • Better enterprise view of customers from a CRM solution was its need to cost- success, ROI of product samples sent to all departments minimizes errors and time effectively ensure a high level of customer existing and prospective customers, new delays service. As an ISO-certified organization, the product requests from customers and the • Flexibility allows adoption to unique company needed a more standardized way success of new products. Reporting was business requirements to track and manage customer interactions, burdensome because of the disparity between interdepartmental communications, product systems and databases, and the quality of the labels and customer orders. data was often questionable. Part of the ISO auditing process requires Ulrich and his team realized they needed a that Berner be able to track and report quality centralized system and database that could issues, nonconforming materials, corrective provide not just a unified view of customers and actions and preventive actions. Additionally, prospects, but also real-time information on because Berner is a private label manufacturer, orders, quality control, product data, product its customers continually audit its production samples and marketing activity. Moreover, facilities to ensure that quality levels are because of Berner’s projected growth, the being met. system had to be able to operate on a large scale. Berner recognized that its reliance on disparate data sources and a manual approach to These challenges required much more than a managing these critical processes was hindering generic CRM system—they required a robust its ability to meet customer expectations. and comprehensive solution designed for food and beverage manufacturers. Improve Internal Communications Solution Berner was also looking to improve interdepartmental communications. For A long-time Ross Enterprise customer, instance, some of Berner’s salespeople are Berner came across Pivotal CRM for Process continually traveling; others work in an office Manufacturing in 2005 and immediately began daily as internal coordinators, supporting the external sales team and processing customer Pivotal CRM | Case Study evaluating the system and its potential fit with its departments to track issues affecting quality and customer unique requirements. satisfaction—something Berner previously managed with a series of spreadsheets. Pivotal CRM for Process Manufacturing is a process manufacturing–specific solution designed for the complex For instance, Berner can now track and manage needs of all process manufacturers, helping them to integrate nonconforming materials and finished product more and manage the entire business while increasing competitive efficiently. Customer service can also log and resolve advantage. customer issues faster. And if a customer issue is related to quality, a rep can now easily associate a nonconforming After extensive evaluation, Berner purchased and deployed material’s report number—as well as the issue’s severity—to Pivotal CRM in early 2006 and has since enjoyed a number of the customer’s record so that an adequate priority can be significant benefits. issued. Results Better Organizational Cohesion Much More than traditional CRM Ulrich commented that Pivotal CRM has also improved internal communications within the sales team. An internal “Traditional CRM answers questions like how many salesperson can now see what an outside sales rep customers do I have? Which ones are the most profitable? discussed with a customer during an on-site visit. Outside “ sales reps can easily see all daily activity for a customer, Having all of this information centralized and including inbound and outbound calls and e-mails, as well as orders placed and shipped. And Berner’s marketing team can available to so many different departments has been now better track and trend promotional campaigns and other a boon for our business. It keeps all of us on the marketing activities. same page, and that helps us avoid time delays, But according to Ulrich, the benefits reach far beyond costly errors and inconsistencies. the sales and marketing organizations. “Having all of this ” Jason Ulrich IT business analyst - Berner Foods information centralized and available to so many different departments has been a boon for our business,” he said. “It keeps all of us on the same page, and that helps us avoid time delays, costly errors and inconsistencies.” What products are they purchasing? When did I last speak to them?” said Ulrich. “But [Pivotal] takes this to a different level. ability to adapt to unique Business Requirements You can manage much more than customers and prospects.” For Berner, the flexibility of Pivotal CRM has been a key factor According to Ulrich, Pivotal CRM has enabled Berner to in the system’s success. One area where the company has improve its new product development by streamlining new made a number of customizations is Pivotal CRM’s label product requests and customer feedback on new products. management area. Berner routinely sends out samples The system’s supplier relationship management module to customers and prospective customers. This process has also helped improve Berner’s purchasing process. And involves managing and tracking more than 350 labels and Berner’s quality control team uses the system to efficiently an enormous amount of product information. Pivotal CRM track nonconforming materials, corrective actions and allows Berner to better track these samples—along with preventive activities. their recipes; label data; product cost; where the samples where sent; and what, if any, orders were generated from the By having a truly unified view of all customer-related activities sample. and processes, Berner can now perform detailed analyses of how assets are being used from sales all the way down to production, enabling it to better analyze trends, identify the Future: Full Integration With Ross eRP potential issues and capitalize on opportunities. Ulrich is excited about the upcoming expanded integration “For example, we can now easily determine how many quality between Ross ERP and Pivotal CRM. A long-time Ross ERP issues a specific customer has logged with us this year, how user, Ulrich said that while the benefits from both solutions many samples a customer has requested and how many of have already been significant, this expanded integration will those samples have turned into orders,” explained Ulrich. be a key factor in the company utilizing the systems to their “We can also see what the ROI on those samples is, as well fullest potential. “Being able to take data straight from our as calculate our cost of sale. And we can take it to an even ERP system to generate more and better reports through deeper level and see what our ROI is on specific marketing Pivotal CRM will be extremely beneficial.” efforts.” Improved support of IsO Requirements Pivotal CRM has also enabled Berner to more easily comply with ISO requirements. 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