Case Studies

Private Sector - Construction

Improving the sales process and customer experience

Introducing onsite sales systems for 150 building sites of a well-respected house builder automated the sales administration process and provided valuable marketing data.

Westbury plc was a FTSE250 construction company operating throughout England and Wales, well respected for its innovative approach and leading product designs.

Westbury had over 150 building sites, each with its own sales office where all customer details and sales were processed manually. An automated sales administration system was required to incorporate all customer data and reporting requirements to improve the efficiency of the sales process for customers, front-line sales personnel and back-office personnel based in regional offices. The sites would also need to be connected to the regional network and server ensuring information was real-time.

Early on in the change process, several potential solutions were discussed with a number of service providers. An innovative ‘Office in a Box’ solution was preferred. This allowed all the required hardware to be called-off when a site opened, then delivered to site and commissioned. Network connectivity was provided using a service that capped the ‘call’ charges, enabling the costs to be determined and appropriate budgets set.

The initial business analysis was undertaken by visiting several sites to determine requirements, discussing the process with the sales teams. A specification was drafted and agreed and then a technical specification was produced for a third-party software company to undertake the programming and database changes. Extensive testing was undertaken with a six months pilot on three sites. Following this pilot, changes were made to the system and training was undertaken for 250 people, with full on-line documentation. The training of sales personnel was a major undertaking, as many people had not used computers before and the geographical logistics proved to be a challenge.

The software development was managed by the Software Applications Manager, who was a key member of the overall change team. Implementation was undertaken on a regional basis, covering circa 20 sites at a time. A year after the implementation, every site was visited and further enhancements were identified. There was an ongoing process of discussion and software improvement.

Significant business benefits were achieved by the automation of the sales administration process, providing sales and marketing information previously unattainable and improving the customer experience at the point of sale.

“Integrated management information systems were developed by engaging with stakeholders, questioning requirements and expectations, implementing changes effectively and ‘of course’ to schedule. The single biggest change was the introduction of sales systems to 150 remote locations – considerably improving the customer experience when buying a home.”

John Bennett, Group Finance Director – Westbury plc 2005


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