Monday, 14 October 2019 03:09

Healthy benefits for Blackmores with transformation of business with Microsoft Featured

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The Blackmores Group natural health products company is now reaping the rewards of an enterprise transformation of its business through its deal with Microsoft which sees the company deploying Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics 365 across its multiple consumer brands and expanding geographies.

Microsoft says Blackmores has created a holistic solution for new product development, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to consolidate disparate systems when conducting project development – and using Power Apps to equip sales reps with key customer information to help them engage in more meaningful conversations with clients for the future.

“With these systems forming robust and trusted digital foundations, Blackmores Group is creating innovative new solutions to support its employees and accelerate growth,” says Microsoft.

“Following the successful transition from a legacy CRM to Dynamics 365, Blackmores Group has turned its attention to making information more accessible to its teams across the business, ensuring that all the relevant data was captured in Dynamics.

In the past two years, Blackmores Group has rolled out Dynamics 365 for its advisory service and customer management, a bespoke module for trainers, migrated the PAW brands pet healthcare sales to Dynamics 365 and deployed the system to its New Zealand sales team.”

Tijn Tacke, Blackmores Group Dynamics platform lead, explained how Power Apps has allowed the company to develop tailored solutions for different stakeholders and capture important insights from teams out in the field to feed back into the data.

“For instance, we’ve built a coaching app for state managers that helps them coach their team of Customer Business Managers when they’re out in the field. The state manager will accompany them on customer visits, observe them in the store and assess them on pre-agreed areas. They use the app on their tablet in the store to quickly view the information they need and capture feedback that can be used to coach the Customer Business Manager and help them improve their skills.

“Blackmores Group has also used Power Apps to develop solutions for their National Account Managers to provide functions they need in the field and to collect information that might otherwise go unrecorded.

“These managers deal with Blackmores Group’s large accounts such as Coles, Woolworths and Chemist Warehouse. The challenge was that the interactions between managers and customers were not being recorded in the CRM. Integrating the app with the manager’s calendar means that once a meeting has taken place the app will push some data into Dynamics where it can be available for future use and insight.

“With this solution, a PowerApp retrieves data from the manager’s Exchange calendar and they can capture notes and actions in the app which can then be saved or shared by email. If needed, the app will automatically copy the details of the meeting to Dynamics 365 and allows them also to broadcast actions or alerts to sales representatives.”

Recognising that insight is the key to success, Tacke said a key priority for Blackmores Group was to unlock the information it its data warehouse – and to that end, the company has integrated Power BI widgets into Dynamics.

“If a Customer Business Manager is on the phone to a customer, they can get all the key information about that account on one screen. How are they tracking against their sales targets, how engaged are they with the Blackmores Group learning platform?” says Tacke.

“This helps them have a more effective conversation with the customer and provide the right advice and information without having to use multiple systems.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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