A US digital agency partnered with Elinext to build a custom product for a large multinational manufacturer of chainsaws and other handheld equipment.
The manufacturer has been working with dealers across the globe. It needed a custom web application that would allow its marketers to find dealers in a region, study them, and analyze local markets.
The requested application was conceived to have the following features:
- An analytical engine calculating metrics using multiple complex formulas based on the data imported from multiple third-party sources
- Сharts and grids allowing data to be analyzed from different angles
- Maps on which you could visualize metrics
- Business profiles of clients and dealers
- Sales data by customer/dealer
- Order management system
- Communication history (meetings, calls, emails, messages, etc.)
- User management system
Our client had a platform that could be the perfect base for the application. The platform used IBM Cognos BI to visualize dealer data on the map. However, at some point, it became evident that Cognos did not satisfy the needs of the new product.
Our first scope of work on this project was all about adjusting Cognos. We cleared that scope swiftly, and the client began to increasingly allocate more tasks to us.
Soon Cognos’s capabilities proved limited. It did not allow us to display data on the map as required, add the requested data filters, configure heat map functionality, or map all dealers. Finally, we suggested rebuilding the product with a different technology stack. The client approved it, and the main stage of the project began.
The nature of this project, with priorities and requirements changing on the fly, required agility, which suggested Scrumban as the most suitable methodology. We narrowed down the requirements for the product together with the client and presented the results of our work at regular demo meetings.
We used varied charts and grids to visualize data based on set parameters and filters. For example, this allowed for demographic metrics to be superimposed on sales and sales reps’ KPIs to identify specific patterns.
Furthermore, it allowed that data to be visualized on the map, outlining areas of interest, and positioning dealer offices and other objects.
In addition to the development of the platform, we also helped our client process valuable competitor data. We collaborated at every step of the way, including data collection, parsing, validation, and entry.
As part of the CRM functionality, we created client and dealer profiles to store respective contact information, sales data, and communication history (e.g. meetings, calls, emails, messages). We also enabled lists of orders, featuring details of each deal, and a stock monitoring system.
Taken that there were multiple users doing different things on the platform, we built a multi-layered system of managing permissions and roles. Based on their permission level, a user may be allowed to create, read, update, and delete other user-profiles and entities.
At some point, it became evident that one product was not the best solution as it needed to meet the varied needs of different territorial divisions and user roles. We split it into three products that could be integrated with each other or used solo.The first product is an application for market research. It allows the manufacturer to check the commercial potential of a particular area and discover what sales strategies work best there. Using this application, the company can expand its dealer network based on data.
The second product zeroes in on dealer management. With its help, the manufacturer’s managers can keep track of dealers’ performance, monitoring the product mix, customer diversity, and customer base coverage in an area.
The third product is all about customer relations. It provides agents with information such as customer profiles, communication and purchase history, field notes, and more.
The project took us a total of 2.5 years to complete, whereas the main stage of the development took one year. The rest of the time was dedicated to building additional features and support.
The software we have built allows the manufacturer to process around 30 million records of dealers, customers, and sales on a daily basis.
And the quantity has not been the only advantage. With the insights that the software enables, the company has been able to better understand its customers, their needs, and the specifics of each dealer. This has resulted in a more targeted approach to sales and partnerships, and, ultimately, revenue growth.