Trek builds one-stop shop for managing retailer relationships with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Trek Bicycle recently adopted Microsoft Dynamics CRM to bring all of its customer information into one place, standardize workflows, and make it quicker and easier for its employees to find vital information. In addition, the company also deployed a hybrid solution of SharePoint 2013 on premises and SharePoint Online with Office 365 to bolster the team’s collaboration and enterprise social activity.

“Trek is trying to consolidate processes and make things more consistent,” says David Peterson, enterprise collaboration manager at Trek. “We want to bring efficiency to the organization. We want to help people make better decisions faster.”

Building an integrated, one-stop shop

Trek has always depended on its network of outside sales representatives to build deep, lasting relationships with thousands of Trek retailers across the country, most of whom run independent shops. But with so much information coming in, the bicycle maker realized it needed a more efficient and effective way to capture and manage the wealth of information its sales reps accumulated, as well as to facilitate employee collaboration.

“In the past, Trek had a culture of using whatever tool necessary,” Peterson says. “The focus was on results rather than specifically how you got the job done.”

Sales reps used a hodgepodge of handmade spreadsheets, email, and pen and paper to track customer relationships, making customer information difficult to log, manage and share. If a rep left the company, the information needed to maintain the relationship was often lost, and new sales reps had to spend a lot of time rebuilding those relationships. Without a central repository and strong enterprise social tools, other teams at Trek could not easily access important dealer information or collaborate efficiently.

To solve this, Peterson and Steve Novoselac, Trek’s business intelligence and .NET development manager, worked together to roll out a revamped, simplified Dynamics CRM solution in early 2013 to Trek’s inside sales teams, which provide support to the outside sales reps. The team also developed a hybrid solution using SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online, in addition to Yammer, to enable easier sharing across teams. The difference has been dramatic.

“Suddenly everybody just finds more value. Everything is more transparent, and everybody has a better understanding of what’s going on,” says Novoselac.

Now each Trek team that interacts with the retailers has access to exactly the same information, and new sales reps have every detail about the dealers in their territory at their fingertips. The switch to Dynamics CRM has had a huge impact on response times as well, which are nearly 30 times faster than before. It used to take Trek’s technical representatives as much as two weeks to respond to a customer email; now it takes no more than eight to 12 hours.

Trek also uses the full Office 365 suite, which keeps the company up-to-date with the latest productivity tools. Office 365 integrates seamlessly with Dynamics and SharePoint, providing employees with easy-to-use tools they can access from anywhere. And because Office 365 is a cloud-based solution, Peterson and Novaselac have more time to focus on other IT priorities for the company.

“We use Office 365 and Microsoft BI heavily, the whole stack, and we figured if we went with Microsoft platforms, we would have deeper integration to the stuff we have already in that regard, as well as the skill set to figure it out,” Novoselac says.

Trek also began to use Yammer in an exciting way. It started about two and one-half years ago when one of Novoselac’s development teams made a pretty radical decision: Use Yammer as the only form of communication for an entire week, and see what happens.

“All of a sudden it was like, boom — all of this information is out in the open, transparent. Things were getting done because everyone had a new kind of awareness of what was going on in the group,” says Novoselac.

Since then, Yammer has spread throughout Trek, and Yammer feeds have been embedded in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Some teams use Yammer exclusively for communication — no more email or instant messaging. For example, the team that supports Ascend, Trek’s point of sale solution, has replaced email with Yammer as it allows them to communicate without ever having to leave Dynamics CRM.

A simple solution for complex problems

Nearly 40 years after its founding, Trek’s goal is to help the world use the bicycle as a simple solution to complex problems, a philosophy that Peterson has followed closely in solving Trek’s IT and business challenges. Moving to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, along with SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online, has also set Trek on the right path for global growth, and plans are already in motion to expand the solution to every single one of its offices around the world.

Says Peterson, “In my job, there are always a couple of things I am trying to kill: bad process and hardware, and Microsoft has helped us to do that. The less stuff I have to manage, the more time I have to focus on the important things in life.”

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Microsoft News Center Staff