Custom FileMaker app integration with Salesforce makes business metrics visible on big-screen monitors throughout the company, powering bottom-line improvements
- By integrating FileMaker Server with Salesforce® and creating a custom app to project the resulting sales and service metrics via a dashboard on monitors throughout the office, Ingram Micro, the world’s largest distributor of computer and technology products, is increasing sales and improving customer support.
- Distribution, Fulfillment, Technology products
- Custom FileMaker app based on Progress Software ODBC extracts data from Salesforce and parses it into understandable reports and graphs projected on screens throughout the Ingram Micro open-layout office.
- More than $1.2 million in cost savings; 368% ROI; helps balance employee workloads; improves motivation and productivity.
With the rise of e-commerce, more companies than ever before ship products to far corners of the globe, spurring demand for enterprise logistics experts such as the Ingram Micro Commerce and Fulfillment Services division. Providing direct-to-consumer and business-to-business solutions, the division provides instant access to 130+ warehouses through more than 100 e-commerce connections, including Amazon, eBay, and Shopify.
Responding to every customer quickly requires fast access to information. Rather than having Customer Care Representatives undergo the time-consuming process of combing through their back-end Salesforce CRM system, Ingram Micro integrated Salesforce with a custom app built on the FileMaker Platform. Today, that custom FileMaker app selects and analyzes the most urgent data, and presents it in easy-to-read reports, charts, and graphs.
Making customers a priority
The custom app created using the FileMaker Platform integrates with CRM information from Salesforce and presents it on displays, making impromptu collaboration easier.
Tracking shipments is a complex business. Goods may pass through multiple hands before the products land in a warehouse, at a port, or on a doorstep. This complexity requires Ingram Micro support associates to be able to solve hundreds of different customer problems effectively. The same urgency applies to Ingram Micro salespeople, who nurture relationships to boost revenues and loyalty.
“We pride ourselves on providing a great experience, regardless of whether a customer ships 100 or 100,000 orders a month through us," says Darwin Stephenson, Senior Vice President Sales and Account Management, Ingram Micro. “Our customers expect us to handle every order with the same care that they would take."
The custom FileMaker app integrates easily with Salesforce and lets us present business data in ways that aren’t possible in Salesforce alone. And, to save money, we were able to complete the integration without any internal or external IT resources.
— Darwin Stephenson, Senior Vice President, Sales and Account Management, Ingram Micro close-quote
Sales and support information for all to see
Displays, with charts and graphs powered by the custom app created using the FileMaker Platform, make it easy to assign sales and support tasks.
How do sales and customer care representatives track when their caseloads have spiked, if productivity has dropped, or if a customer inquiry is due for follow-up? The answers to these questions are contained within the Ingram Micro Salesforce CRM system. The trouble was, reports containing this valuable information were not easily accessible to the employees.
However, today, employees see details such as case loads and follow-up due dates as they are collected and rotated on dynamic layouts displayed on monitors throughout the Ingram Micro open-layout office. Thanks to the custom app running on the FileMaker Platform and an ODBC integration connector from Progress Software for Salesforce, customer-facing employees stay constantly aware of shifting priorities and team performance.
As this dynamic data updates in Salesforce, the FileMaker app regularly synchronizes tables and other back-end data and presents it visually to the employees. This seamless flow of visual data can be customized to reflect the performance needs of different managers throughout the organization.
“Designing a custom app with the FileMaker Platform was the natural choice because it provides an easy way to combine company records and data to Salesforce, and present the results through on-screen reports and charts," says Stephenson.
Senior Vice President…and DIY FileMaker developer
On his own, Stephenson integrated FileMaker Server with Salesforce through an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) connector. Although he heads up sales, account management, and customer support for a global, Fortune 500 company, and is not an app designer, the simplicity of the FileMaker Platform empowered Stephenson to create the integrated app himself. He notes that a similar solution generated within Salesforce would have been a time-intensive task requiring expensive outside consulting expertise.
“My job is to help Ingram Micro increase revenue," he says. “I can’t take time away from engineering activities that generate ROI. I ‘speak’ FileMaker, and have since its early days, so it’s easy for me to visualize solutions and rapidly build them without asking someone else to do it for me."
Improved sales and support
With real-time business metrics displayed using the custom FileMaker app, Ingram Micro employees can more readily meet performance metrics and serve customers better.
Giving employees real-time visibility into sales and customer support information at a glance is boosting responsiveness and productivity. Customer care representatives’ workloads can be balanced quickly and easily, shortening wait times. This is especially important during the holiday season, when support cases spike, and customers are particularly eager to have goods delivered on time and at the best rates.
Using this app, the management team streamlined their process for managing cases related to receiving and inventory management. As a result, Ingram Micro was able to eliminate most of these cases, saving almost $160,000 a year. Projecting growth over five years, Stephenson estimated cost savings of more than $1.2 million—or an annual ROI of 368%.
“Our FileMaker app integrates easily with Salesforce, and lets us present business data in new ways," Stephenson enthused. “It gives us visibility into paths that allow us to save money, and we were able to complete the integration without any internal or external IT resources," he added. “The beauty of the solution is that it has brought a high level of accountability and workmanship to our team. If something’s not right, people are motivated to fix it immediately.“