Interface hopes for quick return on global CRM

Manufacturing giant Interface has embarked on a global customer relationship management implementation which it hopes will...

Manufacturing giant Interface has embarked on a global customer relationship management implementation which it hopes will provide a return on investment within nine months.

The company, the largest modular carpet manufacturer in the world, with an annual turnover of £655m, is rolling out the sales force automation system, based on software from IBM and Relavis, across 20 countries and in four languages.

Interface was attracted to the Relavis software by its low start-up cost and the promise of rapid return on investment.

"We wanted multiple language capability and out-of-the-box functionality without having to change the software - the big players such as SAP and Siebel could not offer this," said Patrick Riley, senior vice-president for business development at Interface "With less than one-year payback, why wouldn't we do this?"

The web-based e-sales system will be used collaboratively by 220 Interface employees across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It replaces manual, paper-based processes in many countries and an ageing legacy system in the UK that Riley said was becoming inefficient.

"We have a highly customised version of Overquota [CRM software] that we put in 10 years ago," he said. "It was heavily implemented in the UK and was never really successful, although it stores lots of data."

With sales data easily accessible in the new system, the time to get new staff up to speed will be reduced by three months, Riley said. With a turnover of 15-20 sales staff a year, this will allow Interface to recoup the cost of the roll-out within nine months, he said.

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