The question behind the questions of HCS.

Brightfox Cases

BRIGHTFOX answered HCS’s question with a hundred new questions – and got the answers that really helped this organization move forward.

Quick wins:

  • One-day assessment leads to better quotation
  • In-depth knowledge prevents surprises
  • Flexible approach leaves room for learning effects

HCS is the service provider for everything that has to do with work in the Netherlands, with service offerings in the field of sustainable employability, absenteeism, social security, and training & secondment. With approximately 450 employees, HCS offers professional and personal support to employers, employees, consultants, and insurers. After being acquired by “Nationale Nederlanden” in 2019, there was a budget available to replace an outdated CRM

Why Salesforce for HCS?

Director James van der Spek of HCS on their choice: “Salesforce was an obvious choice. It’s a very adaptive platform that fits in very well with the rest of your tooling. Even though you can expand it endlessly, the basic configuration is already very powerful. After all, Salesforce was already used at ‘Nationale Nederlanden’ (one of the largest insurance and asset management companies of the Netherlands) and at one of the companies from which HCS emerged. Salesforce is not the cheapest platform, but the added value was the key factor to us.”

HCS wrote a short RFP for their CRM implementation that reached out to Salesforce. BRIGHTFOX and two other candidates were given an hour each to ask questions.

 Be carefull with assumptions

Managing partner, Robert Buisman:As usual, the RFP raised more questions than answers for us. It’s understandable from the customer’s point of view: they don’t want to be endlessly busy with the selection process. Moreover, the purchase of a new CRM seems like a straightforward matter. We know, however, that a limited understanding of the situation can easily lead to false assumptions.

James on the choice of BRIGHTFOX: “We went for a concise briefing, and then looked for a party that would take us through a thorough analysis. Like BRIGHTFOX.”

Making too many assumptions leads to disappointment

Robert:As a partner, we should not make assumptions. In the RFP, for example, we came across a request to adhere to the ‘golden record’ principle. One database for everything; all changes in the same record. Such a single source of truth is powerful, but it has organization-wide implications: for master data management, for example, and for matching and merging of data. Was HCS willing to risk those implications in the implementation? We didn’t want to assume that. We support our customers throughout the entire lifecycle of their CRM. That includes a thorough analysis beforehand.

One-day assessment

BRIGHTFOX decided to close the question time with a condition for our participation in the selection. The non-binding ‘one-day assessment’ is a BRIGHTFOX proprietary format in which no fewer than one hundred questions are reviewed. Robert:We developed this questionnaire specifically to be able to quickly and thoroughly come up with suitable quotations for CRM implementations. An intensive questionnaire session that nevertheless does not take longer than one day.

A selection of HCS employees took part in the one-day assessment; some were there all day, and others – whose knowledge was partly relevant – only needed to be present for a shorter period. Subjects such as desired functionality were discussed, but we also looked at the expected integrations, migrations, business processes, 3rd party tooling, roles and responsibilities, desired post-project situation and of course the adoption process. In this way, we arrived at a proposal that really fit – and without demanding days of time from the client.

Benefits for HCS and BRIGHTFOX

James van de Spek:It was very pleasant to visit all the different angles and relevant domains. We looked in detail at our business processes and discussed the possibilities. The designed application of Salesforce fits so much more closely to our reality.” For BRIGHTFOX, this day provided a vision of the new CRM for HCS that we could implement with much more confidence.

There are no surprises we didn’t foresee 

The project team is now up and running and is very happy with the thorough Q&A process beforehand. As the project manager for BRIGHTFOX, Daniël Stoker puts it: “There are no surprises we didn’t foresee – we know much better what we’ve gotten ourselves into.

Agile and flexible

HCS also learned during the one-day assessment that they themselves still lacked knowledge about the desired situation. “That’s quite normal,” says Daniël.Many of the more detailed requirements can only be filled in properly once you have gotten to know the new CRM yourself. That’s why we start quite small. HCS can gradually fill in the gaps in the big picture over the next few years. The flexibility of our Agile approach is perfectly suited for that.

James:The great thing about BRIGHTFOX is that we immediately sat down with real specialists – but approachable specialists. We were able to get to know the platform intensively beforehand and know so much better where we stand with HCS.

About the implementation, starting small

Yoeri Weekhout, project manager at HCS:We deliberately started ‘small’ with BRIGHTFOX. The first delivery is about replacing the old processes in Sales with new versions in Salesforce. That’s done and immediately lays the foundation for a solid, further development.

The introduction of the first functionality in Salesforce does mean a substantial change to the back end: “First of all, we can start switching off the old CRM system in the short term, which will save a considerable amount of money. We have hooked up a new data warehouse, which means two things: a daily synchronization of all actions in a ‘golden record’ database, both by colleagues and by our customers. Not only is that synchronization a real improvement in data reliability; we now keep track of all operations in one place, but we are also well armed in terms of privacy and security.

Future Features

For the future there is still a lot on our plate, says James van der Spek, director of HCS:Soon we will start the rollout of the ‘uniform customer view’. All the interactions we had with our customers over the years will then potentially be viewed by all those involved: colleagues in the company, but also by the customer himself. We are also working on faster and more reliable document generation, and digital signing. It makes our administration easier, and we also unburden our customers in this way.

Developing through feedback

The further development of Salesforce is done based on feedback, from the Sprints, demos, and backlogs from the Agile working method. “We let their wish list grow as they use the system.

In the initial run-up, gathering feedback was really challenging,adds Yoeri.COVID-19 was raging around us; it was all hands on deck for the business. There was hardly any time to communicate good requirements to IT. Initially, our solution was to focus on existing Sales processes and assume that our users were at least satisfied with them.

The great thing is that we now see the feedback coming in – simply because people are using the new system,Yoeri laughsFor many people, it was a theoretical exercise to start with, which meant that the urgency was lacking. This is how we are now reaping the benefits of BRIGHTFOX’s Agile approach. We assumed that feedback would come once delivery was up and running – and that’s exactly how it went.


Anyway, Yoeri is satisfied with the cooperation, he says.BRIGHTFOX is professional, and they know what they are talking about. If we meet a bump in the process, they recognize it from previous implementations and suggest a counter-move. They leave us at the wheel, but they know full well how the racetrack runs.

Director James van der Spek is also enthusiastic about BRIGHTFOX.They are very focused on the added value of Salesforce for our specific situation: customization, in other words. We always discuss technology from the business case at HCS, and not because of the technology itself. In their project organization, in the coordination they are very functional, there is little ‘superfluous ballast’ in the cooperation. They are patient but also switch quickly when necessary. That works very well!

Also want a CRM proposal that really fits with what you want to achieve?

Then get in touch with our CRM consultants at BRIGHTFOX.

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