ACAL Technology

ACAL Technology is an electronic components distributor which has divisions across Europe. In order to maximise the potential sales with each customer, ACAL must track complex product design and manufacture projects across geographies.

“A product might be designed by an agency in the UK, but it might be manufactured by a company in Germany,” explains Simon Rush, divisional sales and marketing information manager. “And that company’s manufacturing plant might be based in the Far East.”

An inability to track projects across these locations has in the past cost the company business, Rush explains. “Quite often, data would have been lost between the regions,” he says.

In 2005, the company restructured its UK sales operation, and in doing so decided to implement a new salesforce automation tool to reflect the new structure. The company selected NetSuite’s CRM offering, at first drawn to the functionality of the application rather than the underlying SaaS delivery model. “But when we saw how it would improve the availability of the application, that is when sparks began to fly,” says Rush.

For one thing, ACAL could roll out the system to its UK field sales agents without any supplementary infrastructure investment. But more importantly, the company also realised that it was a whisker’s breadth away from rolling out a unified global salesforce automation system.

In 2007, once NetSuite had added functionality that allows regional divisions to use their own currency as the base for accounting, ACAL rolled the NetSuite OneWorld application out to its regional divisions in a matter of months.

The resultant consistency of business processes has kept ACAL competitive in a difficult market, says Rush. “The fact that we have streamlined our business over the last couple of years means that we are now outperforming our competitors.”

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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