CRM4Commodities is behind Meelunie's vast international effectiveness
As a reliable supplier of agricultural ingredients Meelunie has developed into a leading global player. From the start in 1867 the key success factors are quality, market intelligence and customer focus. To keep up with changing international law and regulations – and also to outperform their competitors – Meelunie recently selected CRM4Commodities to support their commodity business.
“The customer and good quality are central to our thoughts and actions,” says project manager Ingrid Beets of Meelunie. “This also applies to Dynamic People and that for sure is one of the reasons that we both match this well. They do what they say and say what they do. In this digital era you need to act faster on the field of demand and supply than ever before. You are simply out of business without an integrated support system that seamlessly links up all processes. The difficult question was if we had to choose for an ERP or a CRM solution? Finally we combined the best of both worlds.”
CRM has become a necessity in our type of industry
“The better you know your customers, the better you can act rapidly and serve their needs. Qualified information is crucial and this valuable data must be easily available and interpretable for everyone who is involved. Very often the data is saved somewhere and that is a good start, but if the various systems are not linked with one another this precious data cannot be shared. In the past it was cumbersome to make a quotation within the ERP system and it was laborious to follow the workflow of a quote to order process. As a modern trader you want perfect insight into all aspects to be able to give the best advice and make profitable deals. The outbound communication needed improvement and had to be lifted to a higher, more efficient level. Therefore we implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM, about five years ago. Nowadays our US branch office starts a sales process with a price quotation in CRM4Commodities and sends it – after completing the approval workflow – as a contract to the ERP system DycoTrade Dynamics AX.”
From the beginning Matthijs van Schaick was involved with the CRM project of Meelunie. In fact, Meelunie already was his client before he switched from DycoTrade tot Dynamic People. Matthijs: “It is a great ERP system for commodities, but just like any other ERP solution it has not been built for trading with a customer mind-set. It was excellent for financials and operations and that is why we have built our solution on top of it and we have made the CRM system leading.”
Ingrid Beets: “By means of customisation and an interface we make it fit to our customers’ needs and our own management. Many of the business-critical processes – like the approval of contracts, the supply portal and the sharing of product specs – have now been captured in the CRM and they can easily be adjusted to changing market requirements. Realising the same in an ERP would have taken at least five times as long and it would not be lean and mean for the future.”
Total control and complete check as early as possible in the trading process
Meelunie is active on all continents and as a result of that Meelunie has to deal with different cost structures, currencies, time zones, certifications, document requirements and so on. Therefore you need a system that covers all. One system that can be filled easily with all country-, client- and product-specific parameters and the system takes care for it that every deal will be handled correctly.
The quote to order process was at that time the first process for redesign, because it used to be a very time-consuming check. “That is why we automated that process first. This way we have won time and we reduced the probability of errors. Trading is less riskfull now because we have checked everything, or better said the system has checked everything in an early stage. In the past the internal and external deals were only handled in the ERP, but today the quote to order process is being handled within the CRM system. In 2018 we will implement this working method at all our trading offices.”
CRM4Commodities is a powerful tool
All the financial and stock transactions are recorded and reported in the ERP system, all the other processes are covered in CRM4Commodities. A good example of that is the sample request process. “It was very difficult in the past to measure the result of sampling and so was the check and follow up of it. Dynamic People developed a sample request module for us. It shows us the shipped batches, keeps track of delivery data of third parties and the system triggers us when it is time for follow-up. As time goes by, history grows and we make use if this information to serve our customers better than ever before. And, and that is also very interesting from a business perspective, we no longer miss a single sales opportunity.”
All international offices benefit from the advantages of CRM4Commodities
The financial departments no longer have to double check every deal because deals have been checked and approved before it is a new transaction in the ERP system. The rep-offices (operations) now have a clear insight into all shipments, planning and the delivery status because everything is linked in the CRM system. Also Quality & Control has been brought to a higher level by making it part of the CRM; from the description of the products to the required certificates. Behind the scenes it is all perfectly arranged, everything to smoothen the trading process from the moment of quotation to the final delivery and after sales. A logical, a close interaction between CRM4Commodities and the ERP system.
CRM modules for Client on Boarding, Quality & Control, Quote to Order and Operations
Matthijs van Schaick: “We developed a variety of modules for our customers in several branches. Depending on our clients wishes we can implement these modules and customise them to their specific needs.” Clients only get and only pay – a fixed fee per month – for what they need of CRM4Commodities. “The product gets richer with every piece of tailor-made functionality that we add to meet our customers’ needs and all our relationships profit from this continuous development.”
Meelunie, now and in the future!
The mind-set of Meelunie has changed in recent years from canalised ERP-thinking into open minded ERP-and-CRM-thinking. “When a certain process needs a modification, in the old situation we would have tried to solve it in the ERP system. Today we start on the CRM side,” says Ingrid Beets. “Many of our processes have been optimised now, but it never ends. CRM4Commodities becomes more and more important to us, because the product gets richer with more functionality that supports our daily business. I foresee a far-reaching integration with third parties and more interaction with clients. In the future we can give them client access to certain data in CRM4Commodities like stock information and the possibility to check their own delivery status and so on. No limits, it is not inconceivable that good customers will get the tooling to make their own quotations in our system.”
“Dynamic People is a reliable and very experienced knowledge partner,” states Ingrid Beets. “They speak the language of commodity business. Their solution-oriented consultants are team players that understand our needs and provide us the tooling to be the best interactive commodity trader in the world.”
Want to take the time to read up on all the ins and outs of this project?Download the whitepaper