Tempur: an american company with branches in more than 80 countries, including Italy. It represents an example of the Made In Italy brand. An example of an organization who pays attention to inefficiencies in the processes considered obsolete today and who had the intuition and courage of changing and evolving. This makes the difference in the digital age. A time where information sharing and speed are essential. Consequently, why not changing now?
An interview with Alessio Porcellati, IT Manager & Development Tempur Italia, who explains how the Sales Ceremony has changed in the Italian points of sale, thanks to the digitalization change.
Tempur: the best sleep starts here
Tempur studies, develops and produces mattresses, pillows and other supports for the rest and relax, where most of the products is based on its exclusive Tempur material, sensitive to temperature and able to distribute uniformly the body weight, in order to ensure the maximum comfort to all customers.
“The best sleep starts here” is what the company payoff mentions, and it is really true for whom have the pleasure to try a Tempur mattress.
This company not only offers high quality products, but also is focused on ensuring to its clients a multi-channel customer experience. For this reason, in every shop around the world (including the 6 shops in Italy), it is available a modern e-commerce solution, providing a rich amount of information.
With such a wide and different offering, it is essential to manage data coming from these shops in a correct and efficient way. This is important not only to provide an high quality service to the customer, but especially to reduce inefficiencies due to obsolete processes in data communication.
That is the reason why Tempur Italy, whose IT infrastructure is lead by Alessio Porcellati, has started a digitalization process for the Sales Ceremony, in the whole italian territory, with the aim of changing the inefficiency found in the quotation and sales orders management, and transform them in a growth opportunity for the company.
Pen and paper, precompiled forms, bulky hard-copies archives difficult to manage: now all of them have been set aside, replaced by an ad hoc web application, based on 4WS.Platform, used to manage in a simple and efficient way the sales process inside the shops.
Starting from the information gathering about prospects, moving to quotations, until the conversion of quotations to sales orders, sent to the central information system, with a simple click!
In this way, the whole process has been transformed in something coherent and standardized. Collected data is shared and easily accessible, since everything is managed inside a single web application.
All marketing activities and follow-ups about clients and prospects, limited in the past, now are managed quickly, monitored by the headquarters and tuned in autonomy by the sellers themselves, maximizing the conversion rate.
Tempur Italy: a True Story
We interviewed Alessio Porcellati, to review together the transformation process within the points of sale in Italy and what inspired him to undertake the “digital strategy” along with Sinesy Innovision.
“Alessio, we came a long way since the first email message exchanged in May 2015 and we are glad to hear you again now, an year and a half after the project kick-off. Now we would like to know what it has changed in Tempur and the outcomes reached with the digitalization of the sale process.
Let’s start from the beginning: would you like to explain us which issues and inefficiencies you found in the points of sale, before digitalizing the sale process?”
“Problems arose from an inefficient information management in the stores.
Before implementing the web application, data was destructured, not shared, and every shop was let to decide freely.
This situation lead to a data disalignment when collecting orders from every shop, because every shop used a different procedure about how to collect information.
Moreover, even though there were precompiled forms to fill out, clients writing was not easy to understand and this slowed down the data collection to send to the headquarters to elaborate the order.
The innovation process involved two main areas:
1. having a central system (DataStore) from which enquiring data and information related to products and clients
2. standardizing the process about orders acquisition, both on client side and on the custom service side.”
“How did the sale process work before using the web application and how was it improved, thanks to the adoption of the new application?”
“Before the web application, the seller used to access technical forms about products and collect data about clients, in order to create a quotation using hard-copy forms. When a client wanted to proceed with the purchase, the quotation was sent by fax or email to the headquarters. This process involved a series of tasks, slowing down the work of the seller as well as the time spent by the customer service to interpret and load the order in the ERP system. Last but not least, there was also a high rate of transcription errors.
In case a quotation were not confirmed by the client, it was archived by the seller without any data transfer to the central site. It goes without saying that such a procedure made it difficult any follow-up activity, after the visit of the customer at the store, like giving the customer fresh interest or simply resuming relations with the prospect.”
“When introducing the web application, you made it possible to get a better control on the entire sale process. From quotation management to order insertion, until the upgrade of the order state on a regular basis: how does it work?”
In the web application, we planned to include an events calendar, through the insertion of information, used to plan follow-ups about quotations and to check out and manage orders through the monitoring of the order state.
This is possible thanks to the straight integration with the central information system, that allows to keep updated the seller regularly about the order state, from the order acquisition to the products delivery and again to the customer, without the need to involve the customer service repeatedly.
“Which new implementations have you planned?”
First of all, we are going to include a more efficient procedure to manage returns directly in the store. The current version of the web application already includes a partially completed module to manage returns. In a short time, we will make it available.
Moreover, we are about to change the central information system and later we will improve the integration between the web application and the new ERP system, in order to automate the uploading process of documents, without further waste of time. That means that since the time a store confirms an order through the web application, the customer service will have simply to validate the operation by means of a workflow and make it available to the information system or apply everything needed to fix the order.
Another planned development is the implementation of a mobile version of the current web application. In this way, the sellers will be able to access to the same application inside the store from multiple devices, so that the sale will be easier, immediate and more interactive.
The benefits will be not only for the seller, but also for the customer, who will be able to complete his order in any store.
Change to innovate and improve
Accepting the digitalization within the company represents an essential step today, because of the choice of abandoning obsolete procedures and implementing new standardized ones, which are integrated and shared in the organization. That really improves the quality of the work and, most of all, reduces the costs and increases the profit margin.
The ones who can efficiently manage data, who can improve information integration and sharing, the ones who can change mindset about innovation and improvement, these will benefit from the digitalization.
Tempur is an effective example to take a clue.
Thanks to the introduction of the web application, Tempur was able to:
- digitalize the sale process, by making it more efficient and effective
- create a rational and standardized workflow for the whole process
- constantly improve the monitoring of quotations and orders management
- monitoring the order state
- simplify the workload, by avoiding errors on data inputation
- plan the follow-up procedure related to the customers and prospects loyalty
We are grateful to Alessio Porcellati for his intuitions and support in this project.