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Datasound Laboratories

Our business supplies custom printed circuit boards (PCBs), electronics and industrial computing products to customers who don’t have their own engineering teams.

We previously used a locally hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM and before that were using an older CRM system called GoldMine. Any issues on our local server meant that no one could get any access to the CRM.

The past CRMs we had weren’t flexible and we were unable to view the sales figures and other information needed to help us make good business decisions.
Access was so difficult that data had to be regularly exported to Excel before being processed and analysed there – a task that could take us hours on each occasion.

Changes were needed to our recording processes, to help us comply with the UK government’s Making Tax Digital requirements. So, along with a change to our accounting software, we were looking for a new CRM that was fit for purpose.

A word of mouth recommendation led us to CRM Insights, and we started discussing a long wishlist of requirements.

We have a complex business so we started by setting out a list of all the requirements our team had, and then we met with CRM Insights in person to discuss the project in more detail.

Upgrading to a newer version of MS Dynamics would have been an obvious option, but when we saw a demo of Workbooks, that was enough to convince us that it was an ideal alternative that could give us everything on our wishlist.

We didn’t want to steer things too much in case we ended up with a system that wasn’t much different from what we had before. So, we trusted Trevor and the CRM Insights team to guide us. Their plan was to use a phased approach, starting with the implementation of a minimum viable product (MVP).

Our timescales for implementation were pretty short, and we were expecting the team to get things done within a couple of months so that we could hit our deadline of the start of our new business year.

A lot of planning went into the early stages of the work, and we were a bit concerned that this might affect the timescales for release. But it turned out to be a good decision, and the team obviously knew what they were doing. That time they took to plan and prepare meant that the execution was quick and smooth even though we’d given them a long list of complex requirements.

We were given a staging CRM environment so that we could check in and see how the system was progressing. That was useful because it meant we could raise queries along the way. Every time we asked a question, the team had an answer.

Because we work with suppliers around the world, our internal systems need to cater for switching between currencies. This meant we had to ask the team to add multi-currency support. They quickly created custom fields to hold the relevant pricing information, and that’s going to save us a lot of duplicate effort down the line.

Trevor trained me directly so that I could roll out my own training to the team. Not everyone wants to be that hands on, so we could have asked them to train us directly. I was impressed because the level of training I received meant I really became an expert.

It would have been easy for CRM Insights to do the bare minimum and then charge us for lots of consultancy afterwards. Instead, they gave me the knowledge which means we can develop our in-house expertise.

We couldn’t afford to make a mistake with this CRM, and the new system has really solved all my reporting problems. I’ve now got a master dashboard where everything is monitorable. You name it, I can monitor it.

We wanted delivery in 8 weeks – the team got it done in just 4 weeks. The new CRM went live in the first week of our new business year. Our sales staff can now see their activities and quotations, giving them a much more reliable view of the data. There was a natural resistance to change, but this passed after a settling-in period of around 3 months.

Our team members are now really happy with the system, and we get good notifications and the ability to send out order confirmations. We’re also better than ever at keeping customers in the loop.

You don’t have to be techie to get a CRM that produces results. In some ways, the implementation would have been easier if I were less technically minded, because I would have asked fewer questions and just let the team get on with it. But asking those questions was helpful, and the team always had the answers.

When any minor issues came up during the installation, Trevor was quick to rectify it. Even when there were changes to Workbooks itself, we received patches quickly and without any extra charges.

We benefited from being shown the idea of “managing by exception”. This meant we had an automated report that sends alerts to the relevant departments if any data has been logged incorrectly. That in turn means we can address issues as and when they occur rather than storing them up for future reviews. So, we have a pretty much perfect view of our data all the time.

Looking back at our requirements for the CRM, we ticked off every item on our wishlist. Despite us having a complex business, the CRM implementation was quicker than expected, cheaper than we’d budgeted for and has paid for itself inside 6 months. “I can’t recommend CRM Insights enough.

They’re trustworthy and have always been there instantly – it’s been fantastic to work with them.” Rory Dear, Datasound Laboratories

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