RED speeds up service with Vertscape CRM solution

Solutions ME rolls out Vertscape CRM to give games distributor better business intelligence

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By  Mark Sutton Published  September 29, 2003

|~||~||~|Red Entertainment Distribution Middle East has completed the deployment of a new CRM system to help it better manage its customers. Solutions Middle East deployed Vertscape CRM for RED last month, to provide it with more efficient management of customer supply and business intelligence.

The leisure software distributor hopes that the CRM system will provide it with a number of different benefits, according to Nitin Mathew, RED marketing manager. "It is going to directly help our sales team in getting information to our clients, getting feedback and responding to that, and it is going to give us a lot of business intelligence which we can use to put the right products in the right place," Mathew said.

The system will initially be used by RED's sales team, logistics and marketing personnel. Each user is presented with a dashboard interface, from which they will be able to manage a variety of tasks. The application links into RED's existing SQL-based customer database, and provides a range of reporting options.

"For the management, you have enormous benefits like business intelligence on what products are performing and what products are not," explained Balakrishnan AP, product manager for CRM and ERM with Solutions Middle East. "It gives them the capacity to drill down into every sales transaction, you also get history of all interactions.

"The way RED operates is they have specific sales people who look at specific retail outlets, so Vertscape gives you a complete 360 degree view on every activity done with that particular retailer," he said.

Deployment of the application took around two weeks, although Solutions ME had already carried out a pilot deployment for RED to demonstrate the value of the solution. Solutions ME did the implementation and design, while Vertscape provided coding to customise the product to RED's requirements.

Vertscape fit the needs of RED because it allows advanced customisation, and can work over multiple locations, Balakrishnan said. Solutions Middle East has already done a prototype deployment of Vertscape on PDAs for RED, and the distributor expects to introduce GPRS-enabled PDAs for its mobile sales executives shortly. This will assist in the distributors value-added functions, such as category management. RED is responsible for managing the games shelf space for several major hypermarkets, and by giving sales people the ability to check stock levels and order while on site, the distributor aims to speed processes considerably.

"One of the things our salespeople do everytime they walk into a client's store is the title checklist-the ten top titles in each format, PC, Playstation2, and so on, that we need to make sure are available from that retailer. If these products are not available, then he needs to find out why it is not on the shelf," Mathew said.

"A sales person with a PDA can check the shelf, check the customer warehouse, check if we have stock and then and there generate a pro forma order. Right now this is all paper-based, which takes time and manpower," Mathew added.

The customer data gathered by the CRM application will allow RED greater insight into which products perform best in which retailers. RED has some 3,000 different products across a variety of platforms, each with a shelf life of around three months, so ensuring a fast turnover of stock is important.

"We have different types of products in terms of content, and price ranges, and sometimes you notice that certain budget promotions do well in some outlets whereas they don't perform that well in others. This will allow us to get a clearer view of what performs where and how, so we know where to focus our marketing activity," Mathew said.||**||

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