Handheld solution provides critical real-time information for major NHS supplier

By | June 21, 2006

A major UK healthcare equipment Group, Huntleigh Technology has equipped its sales forces with a handheld CRM solution in order to cope with the complexity of selling to the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare providers.

The NHS procurement process involves multiple influencers and decision-makers, ranging from clinical staff to specialist buyers and even patients’ groups. Huntleigh Technology has implemented a SalesLogix handheld and mobile CRM solution, heavily customised by specialist integrator Pythagoras Communications, to enable sales meetings to be more useful and productive for all the stakeholders involved.

Huntleigh’s solution provides its sales people with critical, real-time information via always-on Blackberry handheld devices and GSM card-enabled laptops. Critical information available to sales staff includes visit history, customer information and order information.

Business benefits accruing include:

improved responsiveness to customer requirements, cross/up-selling opportunities, management reporting and head office communication, activity management and scheduling and customer retention

increased customer satisfaction, sales meeting productivity and sales

reduced reliance on office-based support staff, customer churn, cost of sales and duplication of effort.

Paolo Beato, Group IT Director for Huntleigh Technology, said: “The NHS has a duty to deliver value for money, quality, execute transparent public procurement procedures and meet patient needs. But the obvious consequence of this is that any purchase involves numerous parties who may be seen all at once, or separately, and this is very hard for sales people to track. Our new system puts customers at the heart of our business and enables us to meet their needs better, and at the same time generates major operational benefits for ourselves.”

Huntleigh’s sales teams previously relied on paper-based systems, which differed from company to company across the Group, and made acquiring an accurate picture of the sales situation difficult for management. The new solution spans all companies in the Group, providing a platform from which to measure current performance through improved management reporting, set new operational targets, and measure progress towards them.

The solution is being phased in geographically and in terms of functionality. Stage 1 – contact and activity management – has been rolled out in the UK, several other European countries and Australia, with the USA to follow shortly. Stage 2 – opportunity management and marketing – will be similarly rolled out, country by country.

System design, integration and deployment was undertaken by Pythagoras Communications, the UK’s leading independent integrator of sales and marketing customer relationship management solutions, to a requirements definition produced by Huntleigh’s Group IT team.

Pythagoras recommended SalesLogix as the base software for its flexibility and because it is easily customised, can be integrated with other systems, was cost-effective and has been designed to use the internet and wireless technologies including the Blackberry device.

Julian Stone, Managing Director for Pythagoras, said: “There is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach to CRM; this project has been highly successful because Pythagoras and Huntleigh worked together to make sure the solution exactly matched their requirements. There was a great deal of bespoke development, such as making sure the information made sense on the small screen of the Blackberry and making sure the Group has a single view of each customer no matter how many sales teams are selling to that customer. But this is what makes it work so well. That it is available on handheld and laptop devices adds massively to the convenience and value of the solution.”

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