SSI claims that the partnership comes in response to customer demand for more accurate sales intelligence. "We have developed modules and extended our ERP offering to include office-based CRM as a fully integrated part of customer and order management," said SSI's sales and marketing director Neville Merritt.
"The one thing that was missing was support for the off-site field sales staff. A number of our customers had come to us asking what we could recommend."
VECTA sales intelligence software monitors, analyses and measures customer relationships and sales processes, helping sales professionals to increase their share of customer spend by highlighting sales opportunities. The software provides the sales staff and management team with a comprehensive view of all customer and sales activities.
SSI says that sales intelligence is particularly useful for outbound sales executives as it provides them with access to information they have not had access to before. For example, sales history information that is relevant to them and their customers is proactively delivered to their laptops or pocket PCs, allowing them to research their customers before every call.
"We looked at solutions like ACT and Goldmine but they are essentially standalone contact management packages and are not designed to integrate with an ERP system," said Merritt. "We are really impressed with VECTA. There isn't anything else on the market that comes close to providing what somebody out in the field actually needs."
The TROPOS ERP solution has been selected by many companies in the food and drink, manufacturing sectors. It manages the planning and control of the manufacturing process; inbound and outbound logistics and supporting business processes. TROPOS includes integration toolkits that enable out of the box VECTA to TROPOS integration.
"Many customers haven't provided much support for the sales function beyond how you log the orders in the ERP system," said Merritt. "They hadn't developed the relationship management side of it so as soon as you turn the spotlight on sales intelligence they realise that there's a whole lot more that can be done by including VECTA. And it's not just for the sales representatives. It also provides business intelligence for management throughout the business."
Supply chain software is increasingly being installed by manufacturers to achieve significant financial and performance benefits in supply chain management, logistics and asset management.
While traditionally manufacturing was about producing one or a narrow range of products on a make-to-stock basis, enterprises today need advanced planning and scheduling because customers are demanding new and diverse products.