About Enterprise Inns plc.
Enterprise Inns, plc. is Britain’s biggest pub company. It makes running a pub accessible to many people even without purchasing a freehold for a site. To its publicans, it also offers extensive support – from marketing advice, trade building ideas, collateral to award winning training courses.
The company owns approximately 5000 pubs throughout the UK. Each pub is run by its own publican, employing local people and supporting local suppliers. Enterprise Inns employs 600 people split equally between the head office in Solihull, and a mobile workforce spread across England & Wales.
Enterprise Inns Business Challenge
CRM is among Enterprise Inns’ core business process tools, but the desktop version wasn’t particularly loved by the company’s mobile workforce. Originally, they used to access it through Outlook. However that wasn’t very user-friendly, nor particularly fast, when out in the field. So the company looked for a way to mobilize Microsoft Dynamics CRM for its 300 field workers.
Initially, they went with a solution based on Android devices. Hiring an offshore software development company to build a mobile app from scratch.
However, the result turned out to be more of a container for the web browser application. Unfortunately, with limited functionality on a touchscreen device not a native mobile application. Additionally, the implementation wasn’t as fast as projected and the costs were nowhere near the initial quotes. We soon realized we needed a different solution and started researching different software and hardware options. Andy Darby, CRM Development Manager at Enterprise Inns, clarifies
The new solution needed to be mature and reliable, and easily customizable for Account Management and Property Maintenance use case scenarios.
We evaluated Resco against another market leading solution. We engaged with Resco and its competitor’s partner company to produce a mobile CRM for us. After our initial review of both solutions, we felt the Resco solution was superior. We then launched a trial with part of our field-based team to collect their feedback. says Andy Darby
Working directly with Resco’s team, we were able to provide a high quality solution in a short time frame. Which was very well received by our end users and compared very favorably to the solution by the other company. This gave us confidence in Resco Mobile CRM to deliver our requirements and Resco, as an organization, to support us. Andy Darby recalls why Enterprise Inns chose to supply its employees with Resco Mobile CRM installed on iPhones and iPads.
An app for the operations team
Enterprise Inns’ operations team is in touch with people running the pubs on a daily basis. The regional managers use Mobile CRM to plan their visits to each pub. With doing so, they record their interactions with publicans, and get an instant access to all required information. From the details about the last supply order to an overview of the pub’s planned business activities.
Each regional manager is looking after and is regularly visiting about 50-60 pubs. Mobile CRM allows them to record practically any related actions. Thus, efficiently plan their entire schedule, and also react to any unexpected inquiries right on the spot. Andy Darby explains.
The application is also planned to be used in a similar way by the company’s recruitment staff.
They’re interviewing aspiring publicans and, with Mobile CRM, they will be able to record the information to the system straight after the interviews. he adds
Property maintenance inspections made easy
The property maintenance team members, who also visit the pubs, are responsible for the buildings and equipment condition. Andy reveals:
We have created a surveying record, which simply guides them through a top-to-bottom inspection of the property to ensure that everything is in order. If they find any defects, they can immediately record them so they can draw up a schedule of repairs. And if there’s an issue that is the publican’s responsibility, our guys can quickly create and share a report, so the publican knows what needs attention.
Offline mode functionality
For our users, reliable offline functionality is extremely important – it enables them to “do more CRM” out in the field rather than once they get home. confirms Andy Darby
With pubs spread across England and Wales, the company’s field team can now access the key data and processes even in areas where the Internet connection becomes unstable, or there’s no Internet at all.
Reducing the number of devices
Enterprise Inns were able to reduce significantly the number of devices mobile workers are required to carry around with them day-to-day. Instead of lugging a phone, laptop, camera, memory stick and GPS, employees now use only smartphones and tablets.
Investing in great hardware helped us achieve this goal, but it is the software that really made a difference. Without Mobile CRM, the iPads and iPhones would not have had anywhere near the impact they have now. Andy states
In-house customization and maintenance
From an IT perspective, the goal was to keep the maintenance and development with the in-house CRM development team.
During the initial testing phase, we were able to have a detailed look into the Mobile CRM’s code and customization process. And we could see that it’s within our IT team’s skill set to pick it up quickly and be able to do the customizations we required. Andy Darby describes
Additionally, the solution allowed the company easily incorporate the user feedback to the application.
We were able to build it the way they wanted it, so they have a sense of ownership as well. The app is tailored specifically to each user group, rather than being a one-size-fits-all tool. In the end, that really showed in the enthusiastic reception and quick adoption of Mobile CRM. he confirms
Providing the app to more users than planned
The initial plan was to deploy Mobile CRM primarily with the staff that’s out in the field on a daily basis.
When we rolled out the map view, and our line managers have seen it, they went ‘Actually, that would be really useful for us as well.’ They’re spending half of their time at HQ and the rest out and about. And with Mobile CRM, before they drop in a pub, they can open up an overview from the map and go over the essentials. So the line managers found Mobile CRM to be a very handy information, planning, and comparison tool as well. as Andy Darby remarks
Interacting with external partners and suppliers
Recently, the company also started to provide the app to external users, as the property maintenance team subcontracts work to various partners. Those can utilize a modified version of Mobile CRM that lets them update their schedule of works, deliver progress reports or create costing forecasts directly.
The second project for external users is aimed at drink suppliers. They attend regularly run roadshows where they meet with publicans and discuss new deals. Enterprise Inns is looking to give the suppliers a Mobile CRM based app where they can record deals they’re doing with the publicans – which are then fed to the company’s CRM system to speed up the processing and delivering of orders.
The ability to provide Mobile CRM functionality also to people who are not part of our organization, and to have them integrate directly with our Dynamics CRM data & processes, has allowed us to explore solutions to problems that we did not previously think possible. Andy Darby concludes