Kubota’s large network of around 1000 dealers who distribute Kubota products across Europe together with its complex internal processes resulted in a number of potential business threats that needed resolution. At the same time in 2013 Kubota had launched its strategy to expand its European Agricultural market, with investment in a new factory, a new product range (including the M7001 tractor series) and a new marketing and sales strategy delivered through their network of dealers.
With the help of SOA People Kubota now has an innovative implementation of SAP Cloud solution. As a result Kubota has a highly industrialised and accurate sales tool for the dealers to use, keeping Kubota abreast of the competition, a fully mobile product configuration platform that integrates with Kubota’s SAP ERP systems, including finance and production, to deliver complete end to end management. Kubota also has visibility of the sales process, customer data and dealer performance achieved for the first time and pricing has been streamlined and standardised, improving dealer relations and customer satisfaction.
Business threats lead to powerful SAP cloud solution
Kubota has a large network of around 1000 dealers who distribute Kubota products in France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain among other European countries. In 2013 Kubota launched its strategy to expand its European Agricultural market, with investment in a new factory, a new product range (including the M7001 tractor series) and a new marketing and sales strategy delivered through their network of dealers. The market landscape and Kubota’s internal processes presented a number of potential business threats that needed resolution:
- All actors on the market were already investing in bespoke tools to help the network of non-exclusive dealers sell their products.
- Kubota needed to enhance the success of their sales and order execution, as the existing catalog and email ordering system was not tailored for the new product range.
- There was a need for additional visibility about the sales process, with Kubota mainly having sales information once a dealer submitted an order.
- The sheer complexity of the new pricing model required to make the quote creation process more fluid for the dealers.
- While a cloud solution seemed the best fit, any cloud solution had to be able to run independently at times, as many customers are in remote areas.
The dealers and sales teams are very happy as they wanted SAP Product Configurator for months. There was a lot of anticipation for it, and now they are motivated to use it. The feedback is that it is very user friendly and intuitive.
Renaud Lissowski, Project Manager, Kubota
Boosting sales and accuracy of performance reporting
Kubota wanted to achieve an end to end solution covering the whole spectrum from campaign lead management to quotation and pricing configuration. They wanted to capture, in one single system, all customer related information with the right level of data segregation depending on who was accessing it and for which level of granularity. Ultimately their aim was to boost sales through a clearer sales strategy with enhanced marketing features, and to be able to measure and report on their performance with accuracy.
Mobile application enables dealers to self service via iPads and tablets
SOA People worked with Kubota to develop the detailed business proposition and then helped Kubota gain buy-in from their senior management team through a series of stakeholder meetings. The project was divided into stages with Wave 1 incorporating the development and piloting of SAP Product Configurator.
“The mobile application enables our dealer to “self-service” the customer quotes, and the system works both on and off line, as our customers are often in remote locations. It retrieves the latest product information from our SAP database so it is always up to date. As well as creating quotes for customers, dealers can follow and manage all prospects through to completion. It is an invaluable tool for our Regional Sales Managers too as they see all the activity of their dealers” Renaud Lissowski, Project Manager, Kubota
The Movilizer middleware is used to provide mobile software for iPad and tablets. It allows Kubota to customise the app for the users and there are network connectors back to Kubota’s central SAP systems. In the back office SAP transforms the quotes into sales orders, and feeds into the whole SAP system for production, order fulfilment and invoicing.
Kubota gains visibility of sales process
Kubota had already implemented SAP ERP and SAP ECC in their main subsidiaries, so this provided the opportunity to build on these reliable and robust business processes, with SAP Product Configurator and CRM underpinning the new sales strategy.
The strategy was to implement a dynamic, agile and mobile frontend for Products Configuration and CRM, so that we could control and structure the sales quotes produced by the dealers for our customers. SAP Product Configurator can create contacts, quotes, leads and prospects, and gives us far greater visibility of our sales.
Renaud Lissowski, Project Manager, Kubota.