Graphite Electrode importer and distributor GES, from Birmingham, AL was looking for a tool that would allow their rapidly expanding company to more accurately forecast sales and service customers. After researching several possible solutions, the team decided on Microsoft CRM because of the depth of the application and the ability to easily customize it to fit their needs. They teamed up with 2B Solutions, a local Microsoft CRM partner to help them customize the system and integrate it with their back end applications.
GES customers are large factories that process steel and use the Graphite Electrodes to melt the steel into a molten state. The GES business model is designed so that they always have inventory available for their customers. “If the factory shuts down, you’re shut down” says GES president Keith Kearney. Of course, the challenge in that is making sure that both your back office people and front office people are on the same page when it comes to forecasting customer demand against existing inventory. The challenge becomes even more complex when you need to consider that product is being manufactured overseas and lead times of 90 days or more are not uncommon.
The solution for GES was to use a “best of the best” approach by taking a premier back office system designed for import export companies and integrating that with the leading CRM application on the market. Now sales reps can easily access customer orders and see how that links to shipments they have allocated to the customer that are in the warehouse, on the water and even still in production over seas.
GES continues to customize and enhance both tools as well as the integration between them to stay on the cutting edge and providing the best possible service to it’s customers.