Earlier this year we had a client that started with Salesforce.com to simply replace their Microsoft Dynamics to better track sales. They had been using a scaled down version of Microsoft Dynamics that was provided by a vendor of theirs - but they realized the limited usage was holding them back.
The client's business model was primarily focused on buying, reconditioning and selling larger vehicles like street sweepers. I say was because, since transitioning to Salesforce and seeing the power it has to track their business - they have broadened their scope to include servicing vehicles not from their stock throughout the year as well.
We worked with the Salesforce rep to help the client understand how Salesforce would not only address their need to better track their sales process, but potentially replace their Mitchell Repair Center system. They didn't really trust the latter could happen; but moved forward with Salesforce for their sales process.
Sure enough, within six weeks of starting with Salesforce, they started realizing the power to not only track their sales process, but how it could potentially replace Mitchell - and their contract with them was almost up.
With a brief review of how they were using Mitchell, we realized how we could leverage their Salesforce Enterprise edition to replace it...by adding only one force.com license at $20/month. That's what we do - find creative solutions with CRMs to attack common problems.
They were using their Mitchell system to create repair orders, work orders and manage their timekeeping for their shop mechanics - we were able to replace it all for only $20/mo + 1 additional EE license - much less than they were paying for Mitchell.
How did we do it?
We created a few custom objects to provide visibility to their inventory (tied to opportunities), repair orders (tied to inventory), work orders (tied to repair orders), timekeeping (tied to repair orders) and a new force.com license for all of the shop mechanics to manage their time for each repair order.
We created custom visualforce pages to render as pdf for each of the mechanics to work off of. We leveraged contacts to allow the mechanics the ability to piggy-back one force.com license to 'log-in' to record their time. We create a custom login page and custom visualforce page allowing each mechanic to clock in and out of the associated repair order.
By leveraging the power of Salesforce Enterprise Edition and a little creativity, this client can now clearly see from the moment a new used piece of equipment is purchased at an auction, the path it takes through reconditioning and the profit upon sale - in one system.
Oh and not to mention they have vastly improved their sales tracking as originally envisioned.
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David Edkins started his career at Hewlett-Packard; in finance. He thought he wanted to become a CPA and that HP would look good on a resume. After a year or two he realized he wanted to engage with customers directly by selling their consulting services.