Over the next few months we will be implementing some great technology to improve some of our repetitive daily tasks and ensure we keep track of our business. In order to choose the best technology enablers we have engaged the services of Brendan Gunn, an experienced engineer with a passion for data analytics and business intelligence. He has experience in rolling out ERP solutions and data science projects. We have a desire use business data and machine learning to create deep insights so that our customers can enjoy the best product and experience with SoGud. We feel that this is the beginning of that incredible journey.

Odoo

Odoo is an all-in-one management software that offers a complete suite of enterprise management applications. It’s ideal for small companies like ours as well as big companies such as Toyota and covers the main business processes including CRM, manufacturing, warehouse management and inventory. It is a suite of open source business modules that are all seamlessly integrated which eliminates the need for expensive integration later on. Being open source it leverages thousands of developers and business experts which has helped them build hundreds of apps in just a few years

Customer and Sales Management (CRM)

The first module which we have installed is Customer Centric CRM (Customer Relationship Management). It is central to our sales function and has become indispensable as a planning and tracking tool.

This is how it works:
  1. Firstly we create a customer record with all their contact details
  2. Then we create ‘Opportunities’ for each customer, with the anticipated value of the order and related percentage probability of closing. For example, we visit a new Farm Shop which is interested in ordering 4 boxes of squares in the next month, but they need to get Manager’s approval. We set the Opportunity to 50% and add a date when they think they will have an answer. On the date logged against the customer, we contact them to find out if a decision has been made.
    This allows us to track leads, close opportunities and get accurate forecasts which are calculated at the correct % probability. This helps us to monitor the value of our pipeline for the coming months.
  3. This is also a fantastic way to keep a To Do list and not lose control of all the myriad activities in the sales function. Since its in the cloud, the information can be viewed and updated while out visiting customers and saves lots of after work- at the end of a busy day on the road.

Of course, what you get out will depend on what you put in. So we are working hard to keep our CRM system current and be disciplined about managing this information. Although it super-easy to use, I am sure that there will be busy periods when we are not as good at updating the system. Time will tell!