Optimising sales, service and business processes in ten different countries: that is the main goal of APH Group. APH Group distributes, installs and services agricultural machinery in more than ten countries worldwide. Operating in so many countries brings challenges, as each country has its own working methods, systems and culture. The first steps were taken in phase one: the data of the first country, Russia, has all been centralised in Salesforce. The rest will follow within the next two years.

Hans de Jong, ICT Manager at APH Group, and Boele Terpstra, COO and Product Owner, are working on implementing Salesforce and carrying it throughout the organisation. They tell everything about APH Group’s ambitions and how they successfully approach them.

The key benefits 

  • Top efficiency because of centralised data
  • Improved Sales because of insights in the customer journey
  • Optimal Service because of Field Service Lightning
  • Better leadership towards international teams because of exchanging data
  • Go Live within six months

The goals: high efficiency, maximised turnover and optimised processes

Boele tells about APH Group’s goals in Sales, Service and their business processes. “Regarding Sales, it’s important to know where we’re missing out on potential turnover and where we should focus on. Therefore, it’s crucial to map the customer journey. Regarding Service, our main goal is to organise our field service more efficient with insightful data. Data, which can also be retrieved by our Service Engineers. Another key focus point is improving the role of APH Group’s Management: we need more insights to know where we can support our international teams. So all in all, the focus lies on increasing insights, and therefore efficiency.”

The challenges: 10 subsidiaries in 10 countries

Loads of data need to converge: from the very first customer contact to delivering the machines and the associated service. Hans explains about the biggest challenge: the fact that APH Group has subsidiaries in ten different countries. “Those are ten different markets – and not the most accessible ones – with their own laws and regulations. Each country works in its own way and each subsidiary works with different systems. Think of Excel, SAP, or other ERP platforms. So it is difficult, but at the same time crucial, to collect that data centrally. The ultimate goal is to manage everything from one place.”

Salesforce: endless integration possibilities

APH Group looked for a system which made that possible. Boele: “We choose Salesforce, because it is a world-leading platform and because of the endless integration possibilities. A big plus for us, because of all the different systems we work with.”

‘We felt like we could conquer the world with Brightfox’

Once the choice for Salesforce was made, they needed a Salesforce partner: Brightfox. Hans: “Their initial presentation immediately gave us the confidence that they could handle this project. Moreover, there was a good connection. The people at Brightfox have both feet firmly on the ground and are very approachable. That suits us well. Boele adds: “We do believe in the Salesforce platform, because the whole world works with it. But we got the feeling that we could conquer that world with Brightfox. Also because of their partnership with CBEE Remarkable.”

A successful project because of a partnership with CBEE Remarkable

Brightfox works closely together with CBEE Remarkable on this project. CBEE Remarkable has the lead in managing the project and plays a role in the implementation of Sales Cloud. Brightfox carries out the rest. Both partners complement and reinforce each other perfectly. And together, they managed to go live with the solutions of phase one within just six months.

SAP integration with API

To tackle APH Group’s challenges, the following Salesforce products were implemented: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and the extension Field Service Lightning. SAP was also integrated with an API platform on account-level. This to make sure all customer data can be collected in Salesforce.

Field Service Lightning

Field Service Lightning

Field Service Lightning enables APH Group to exchange data with Service Engineers. And, Service Engineers too can upload updates directly via the mobile app. This clarifies who works on which project and how much time one spends on it. It enables you as well to easily link the employee with the right skills to the right project.

In addition, Field Service Lightning allows APH Group to keep track of machine warranty data. This is a great advantage as it shows which problems are most common. And, this information can be shared with the suppliers. All in all, Field Service Lightning provides valuable insights. And with that, optimal efficiency for the field service department!

Top efficiency for everyone

The first data is now being collected in APH Group’s Salesforce environment. “It’s good to see that all data is being collected centrally and that Salesforce enables you to use the data as well. We can now gain more insights about our international teams in order to offer better guidance. That helps us, ánd the teams, to work more efficiently,” says Boele. “Furthermore, we can start gaining more insights in our Field Service, and work on mapping our customer journey to maximise our turnover .

Phase two: more integrations for more data and further setup

For phase two, CBEE Remarkable will have the lead in the further setup of Sales Cloud – Brightfox will mainly focus on the optimisation of Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning. Hans: “We are happy about the fast communication and agile way of working. There was room to discuss areas for improvement as well during the interim evaluations.” Boele continues: “Along the way, we often got new ideas and questions. And Brightfox always had an answer ready immediately – very impressive. Because of their massive experience, they exactly know how to tackle complex challenges. We got that idea from the very first presentation and they really made it happen.”

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About APH Group

APH Group distributes equipment to companies in the grain, potato, vegetable and irrigation industries. Moreover, they serve as the primary knowledge partner for agricultural processes, spanning from planting and sowing to processing and all related aspects.

APH Group is a valued partner for various well-known machinery suppliers in the agricultural sector. They provide sales, commissioning and after sales service in emerging markets in Eastern Europe, several CIS countries, Turkey, China and South America.

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