Forest Enterprises Ltd gets ahead with Maximizer CRM
“Our first challenge was to manage the whole forest management process, from marketing and sales through to planning, planting, thinning and eventual sale of the crop “, recalls Little, Managing Director, Forest Enterprise LTD (FED). At the time, the company was attempting to do this with a basic computerised system built around spreadsheets, alongside a paper backup.
Little explains: “We were managing everything in Microsoft Excel, and it never felt quite right. We needed a system that could not only store, but also disseminate information to our foresters around the country “. Emails and documents had to be organised against particular forests and then making them readily available to employees in remote locations was key. To meet these needs, Maximizer CRM was installed.
“Whatever promises you are making to them, I don’t think it’s ever easy to get buy-in from your staff when it comes to adopting new software “, says Little, who encouraged his staff to warm up to the system in stages. “They started working with documents and were happy with that as it was solving their most urgent problems. Feedback was gathered on all stages of the CRM development so that the staff felt included and relevant”.
Now, thanks to mobile access, Maximizer CRM facilitates the flow of data between the foresters and Head Office. “It has made us a much more efficient company “, reveals Little. Data alone, he maintains, is not what’s useful to the company, rather the data analysis made possible by the system. “As our employees have gained confidence in using the system, it’s become an invaluable analysis tool that provides key business intelligence”, he says.
Slice, dice and analyse
When asked about what Maximizer CRM enables the company to do, Little has a short answer: “We can analyse the hell out of our data! ” A number of dashboards help measure productivity, analyse projects and easily digest sales figures, whilst quota management shows how the business and its team are performing against budgets. Little has also customised the system with all of the businesses’ KPIs, enabling management to make both short and long term decisions based on the real-time information provided by the dashboards.
Foresters update the system from wherever they are, with this information instantly visible back in Head Office. Updating sales opportunities as they happen means that dashboards and reports are instantly renewed with current information. Little adds: “The sales funnel analysis available within Maximizer is an invaluable asset. The ability to search with a huge amount of parameters and to find out how to get things to work better is a core function of Maximizer that really contributes to our productivity “.
The future is bright
FEL was the first company in the Irish private forestry industry to introduce a CRM system into their operations. Maximizer was chosen over two other competitors because of its usability. “It’s really very easy to use. The foresters can use it on their iPhones and in the office we access it through a web browser “, explains Little. He also values Maximizer CRM for its customisability, which he considers to be the most important feature of the system. “Once the customisation of the system was complete, all the staff could immediately see the advantages of using it. For example, it works in conjunction with our mapping software, giving us a visual output of our sites and assisting the foresters when they plan site visits “.
At the moment, FEL uses the latest version of the software. “We can track all the ongoing operations “, Little explains. He is in no doubt that implementing Maximizer CRM allowed his company to come to the forefront of the Irish forestry sector: “Maximizer CRM is indispensable to our operations. We couldn’t do without it”.
Forest Enterprises Ltd
Forest Enterprises Ltd (FEL) was founded in 1990 to give independent advice to woodland owners and investors. Today, despite being just a small twelve-person team, the company manages 14,000 hectares of forest throughout Ireland and Scotland and leads the pack in Ireland’s forestry industry. Combining the best sustainable forestry practice with a passion for impeccable customer service, FEL’s client list is four hundred names strong and growing.