That holds true for leading players in the industry, whose main survival in the fiercely-competitive field of local and international providers, lies on the efficiency of its internal data systems that provide crucial information on key aspects of operations to its management and staff for proper decision making and action. This will, in turn, translate to enhanced services that will strengthen its brand and furthermore encourage customer satisfaction and loyalty.
For top Filipino provider Air21, this became a tough challenge.
Using its customized enterprise resource planning software, Air21 struggled to keep tabs on critical corporate data necessary to drive sales and grow revenue in real-time due to lack of integration. This has led to inconsistent processes, data inaccuracy and regular delays in the availability of information. Sales management was also difficult, as information on sales activities and results were not readily available that resulted in time-consuming manual work in gathering data, increasing the risk of incomplete and inaccurate information.
And, after much thought and wise analysis of their dire situation, Air21 took a leap of faith—to the cloud. It envisioned that through this jump, it would realize its goal of having its data infrastructure web- and mobile-enabled, easy to administer and use, secure, and extensible for cross-selling across affiliated companies of the Lina Group, a conglomerate that operates Air21 and other businesses in logistics, information technology, food, environment, waste management, business process outsource, travel, communications and media.
Banking on cloud computing’s anytime, anywhere dependability on any platform or device, Air21 integrated its core business processes, such as sales force automation, customer relationship management, and customer service and support to a single cloud management system developed by San Mateo, California-based NetSuite.
According to a top Air21 official, this led to process improvements, faster turnaround times, and real time customer updates. Above all, it enabled the company to leverage data on hundreds of thousands of customers it has accumulated in much of its 34-year history and provide them better depth and insight on these data for relationship management and sales efforts.
“The biggest challenge for AIR21 was how to leverage the growing amount of robust customer information we had accumulated over the years and continue to collect while allowing us to effectively execute our sales and marketing strategies,” said Theresita Eisma, Air21’s Group CIO. “We needed a technology solution that was ready to go at the time of purchase. Our IT organization did not want to be saddled with the usual headaches associated with traditional software solutions. Our sales organization wanted something user-friendly and as easy to use as Facebook.”
In terms of sales management, Air21’s new cloud-based system has made it possible for the company to realize stark improvements in visibility, translating to informed decision-making and process efficiency across the lead-to-opportunity-to-cash lifecycle. This is particularly evident in the system’s mobile capabilities, which allow Air21’s nationwide field sales personnel on-demand visibility into customer contact information, account history and activities, and opportunities for cross-sell and upsell to improve sales effectiveness while on the road.
“NetSuite gives users a quick snapshot of what they have accomplished and provides insights into future opportunities,” said Eisma. “Now we don’t have to generate numerous reports to get to the bottom line. The reporting capabilities of NetSuite allow us to keep stakeholders informed in a simple, yet elegant fashion.”
Deployment was a cinch for Air21 users because the new system is easy-to-use and only requires a short learning curve. Because of this, rolling this out nationwide was possible without a large amount of training costs.
After the success of migrating its CRM and sales processes to the cloud, Air21 plans to also integrate its financials into the NetSuite cloud-based system.