Case study

Finding the right mobile tool to support change management at Bridgestone

About Bridgestone Europe NV/SA

Bridgestone Europe (BSEU) is a key regional subsidiary of the Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corporation. The world’s largest manufacturer of tires and other rubber products. Bridgestone Corporation and its subsidiaries employ over 140,000 people around the world. They operate 178 plants in 25 nations and sell products in more than 150 countries. One in five vehicles in the world drives on the Bridgestone tires. “Serving Society with Superior Quality” has been the company’s mission since Shojiro Ishibashi founded Bridgestone in 1931.

Facts and Figures

12,500 employees throughout Europe / 6 regional sales companies / 9 tire manufacturing plants / 3 logistics centres / headquarters in Brussels / major R&D and testing centre in Italy

Bridgestone Business Challenge

Bridgestone employs hundreds of field workers across Europe. Thus, mobility was one of the key requirements when the company looked for a CRM solution. One that would help define and harmonize its sales process across 6 regions and 20 countries.

One of the priority business requirements was to use the future CRM application also in an offline mode. It also had to offer an easy-to-use user interface and dashboards. Marcel Gottlieb, Senior Manager at Bridgestone recalls.

Based on these requirements, CTG, Bridgestone’s CRM implementation partner, proposed Resco Mobile CRM. “We knew about Resco before, so when the request for offline came in, we knew who to approach.” Geert Maurissen, Senior Project Manager at CTG, reveals. Bridgestone started evaluating Resco Mobile CRM in the summer of 2014 with an initial purchase of 15 mobile licenses.

We started with just a few licenses, so we could figure out what it would be like to configure Resco on top of Microsoft Dynamics CRM—we needed to review what impact it has on the total cost of ownership. Marcel Gottlieb explains.

After the initial investigation, Bridgestone came to the conclusion that Resco Mobile CRM was a good fit. Even despite the fact that the user interface of the mobile client looks different from that of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Solution

Now, Bridgestone equips its tire dealers, area sales managers and field engineers with Resco’s Mobile CRM solution. Altogether, 700 of the company’s field workers rely on mobile access to their CRM system.

Seeing as they visit customers, Bridgestone’s high-level sales process guides them through a series of pre-visit, visit, and post-visit activities.

Solution Applicable Roles

Application for tire dealers and area sales managers:
Tire dealers typically visit garages that fix people’s cars—they’re the re-sellers of tires. Each dealer takes on a salesperson role. Showcasing new products, their features and going through the purchase plan with the customer.

Additionally, Bridgestone’s dealers also visit other types of customers, which are consumers—truck fleets and farms with a number of tractors. Here, the Bridgestone dealer triggers the sales process by taking on the role of a quality consultant rather than a sales representative. “Starting with a few licenses, we could figure out what it would be like to configure Resco on top of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We needed to review what impact it had on the total cost of ownership.” Marcel Gottlieb Area sales managers also utilize Mobile CRM as they manage teams and visit customers.

Application for field engineers:
Field engineers use the application purely for activity tracking. Inspecting tires based on claims raised by the customers, they look into the customer’s data to see where to travel. On site, they log in the visit and share the information they enter into CRM with sales people. This way, everyone has a full overview of the customer. All field workers at Bridgestone typically plan their visits for the week in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Once on the road, they only use Resco Mobile CRM on their tablets.

They were excited about Resco from the beginning— they really liked the flexibility in the planning that the Mobile CRM app provides. Some synchronize the app once at the beginning of the week and once at the end of it. Others do it daily. Geert Maurissen, Senior Project Manager at CTG, notes.

Apart from activity planning and visit reports, Bridgestone utilizes the customer master, a 360° view of the customer, and a built-in connection to an application that provides field workers with product stock availability and manages orders.

“When you launch this app within Resco Mobile CRM, it takes the customer data, so you don’t have to navigate twice. You’re immediately in the right context.” Marcel Gottlieb explains.

Benefits of using Resco Mobile CRM realized by Bridgestone

Offline Capability

The desired mobile solution had to satisfy one challenging requirement; that is the possibility to work offline. Even in Europe, where Internet connectivity is generally perceived as very good, there are areas and countries like Norway, Sweden or Ireland with poor 3G and 4G support. Bridgestone’s remote workers can now work regardless of Internet connectivity.

Higher User Acceptance/Adoption

Some of Bridgestone users were inquiring about the different user interface of Resco Mobile CRM compared to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but a larger group claims that the application is actually very easy to use on the tablet. Even to an extent, that the app is actually easier to use than the CRM system itself, so they prefer to use the tablet. In one of the regions, people actually use Resco Mobile CRM only on their mobile phones, as it seems to be more convenient for them.


Ease of Implementation

Having already experience with additional developments, Bridgestone anticipated that using Resco on top of MS Dynamics CRM could be potentially risky and would lead to significant effort in the configuration and development. But, as Marcel Gottlieb declares, that was not the case.

Resco Mobile CRM was easy to install and the configuration effort proved to be less than originally expected. When we have new developments on the Microsoft side, to have these developments available in the Resco client is less demanding than originally thought. We know we have an overhead if we do configuration in MS CRM—we have to change that in Resco as well. But it’s not huge, so it’s not a problem.Marcel Gottlieb assures.

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