Digital Marketing Transformation and Sales Effectiveness
At Fike, a Missouri-based manufacturer of industrial fire-, explosion-, and over-pressure protection systems, every customer interaction and sales transaction used to be something of a fire drill. The company’s global expansion into Singapore, Brazil, Dubai, and other fast-growing markets spawned too many isolated business units, each with its own set of priorities, processes, and systems. “We had 46 different initiatives with no shared focus,” says CEO Brad Batz. “We had no idea what our total market share was, where we were profitable, or how we should compete.”
Now, as Fike embarks on a new strategy, helping customers mitigate risk rather than just selling them products, the company is using cloud technology to manage those relationships differently.
Fike’s salespeople used spreadsheets to capture orders, re-entering the information into an on-premises quoting system and then checking it against product prices and production schedules in its enterprise resource planning systems. It took 30 to 60 days to complete an order, says CIO Michael Lehman. As a result, Fike had to rush production and pay premium freight prices to expedite product shipments. “This was completely unsustainable,” Lehman says.
None of Fike’s hundreds of sales reps worldwide had a complete picture of a customer’s history. Because each rep manages different product lines and sells into different divisions of a single account, “we often had zero insight into what was configured and shipped to a customer’s refinery in North America or its control room in Latin America or its data center in Europe,” says Jeannie Foster, Fike director of business systems.
Fike completed a global rollout of Oracle CPQ and Sales Cloud, helping its salespeople and distributors walk customers through the product-configuration process (70% of company sales come from custom configurations) and submit their quote requests.
By uploading engineering rules, product descriptions, and configuration guidelines into Oracle CPQ Cloud, customers now get a completed work order in a few minutes, says CIO Michael Lehman.
Fike is also processing customer orders faster by using Oracle Sales Cloud, sometimes eliminating the configuration process altogether. “When a customer that’s headquartered in Hungary expands to Brazil or China, it typically wants the same type of product configuration and service contracts worldwide,” explains Jeannie Foster, Fike director of business systems. Before using Oracle Sales Cloud, none of Fike’s hundreds of sales reps worldwide had a complete picture of a customer’s history. Because each rep manages different product lines and sells into different divisions of a single account, “we often had zero insight into what was configured and shipped to a customer’s refinery in North America or its control room in Latin America or its data center in Europe,” Foster says.
70% of company sales come from custom configurations, before the new sales solution it took 30 to 60 days to complete an order causing Fike to rush production and pay premium freight prices to expedite product shipments. Customers now get a completed work order in a few minutes.
Oracle Sales and CPQ Cloud.
With Oracle Sales Cloud, all customer information is consolidated into one place. And now that Oracle Sales Cloud is linked to Oracle CPQ Cloud, Fike’s sales teams not only can see the company’s entire history with each customer, but also “the activities going on in all their facilities,” Foster says.
It’s serious business. Nearly 40,000 fires occur at industrial and manufacturing facilities every year, causing hundreds of personal injuries and more than $1 billion in property losses in North America alone, according to the most recent statistics from the National Fire Protection Association. What’s more, about 16 million people work in industries with at least one recorded combustible dust explosion or fire, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
Fike is working to reverse this trend by protecting machine operators and business equipment using machine-to-machine technologies, wireless sensors, and control gauges. With just milliseconds to contain an industrial fire or deflagration, notes Brad Stilwell, director of product engineering, “there’s no time for a human to stop an explosion.”
Using the cross-selling feature of Oracle Sales Cloud, Fike’s sales teams can better explain how to complement each customer’s current portfolio of products, says Penny Ursino, director of sales operations. “Our sales teams used to spend their time fixing spreadsheet errors,” Ursino says. “In the cloud, we’re spending more time understanding business requirements and helping our customers protect their employees and capital investments.”