De Mandemakers Groep (DMG) is the market leader in kitchens, furniture and bathrooms, has an annual turnover of over €1 billion and over 5,000 employees. The Netherlands is its primary market, but it also does a lot of business in other European countries.
Customer-friendliness and quality come first for DMG. Great prices and excellent service are also of great importance. The customer always comes first at DMG. To ensure that the customer can receive even better service in upcoming years, DMG implements a CRM solution.
Currently, DMG works in a product-oriented manner in kitchens, furniture, and bathrooms. Each of these divisions has its own marketing, sales, order processing and service department, where information is often transferred ‘on paper’.
On the short term, DMG wants to structure its service processes more efficiently, be able to offer its customers self-service and be able to better follow and follow up on customer contact processes. On the long term, DMG wants to implement a company-wide CRM solution to break down the walls between the individually operating departments and further professionalize the work methods and system support within the company. The ultimate goal is to transform into a more customer-oriented and fully digitally operating organization.
As the project is complex and comprehensive, it has been divided into multiple stages. The project objective of stage 1 is to be able to more quickly and better help customers in the Kitchens department with service requests. It is important for DMG to know who the customer is and to promptly execute the required actions.
In order to achieve this, we are implementing Pega CRM with e-mail and telecommunications integration, as well as a complete custom process with integration of existing systems for service provision. We are executing this project with an expert team of nine people (BA/Dev/Test) in a predominantly agile way. Of course, this requires minimal, but relatively comprehensive, functionality to be able to go live with a product that is acceptable to the business.
In the execution, we work very closely and openly with the client. Everyone has the same goal, knows what the goal is, and knows what is expected of his/her contribution to the project. To be able to do things, like to communicate quickly, we work in a communal dedicated workspace, which definitely contributes to the excellent collaboration. Of course, this project also has its obstacles.
The biggest challenge in strategic application projects is aligning the business wishes to the functional and technical possibilities of the standard application as well as possible. If something can be used out of the box, and it works, a solution can be realized awfully quickly. If this isn’t possible, it takes a relatively large amount of time to get everything in the context of the customer and (cloud) environments working properly.
Three releases were carried out in 2018. The largest was on November 20, 2018 when we went live with the service request process. That is a comprehensive custom process in which customers’ service requests can be handled end to end using the Pega application. The e-mail handling, customer recognition and customer-360 functionality had already gone live. We rolled out to all the kitchen formulas at the end of the first quarter of 2019. Then over the course of 2019, many new functionalities were added, such as a customer portal.
The intermediate result is that the Kitchen’s service department is able to better and more quickly and digitally handle customer contacts and service requests, with fewer errors. This supports DMG’s ambition to focus even more on the customer.
The most important lesson we learned is that it’s crucial to properly and completely know the functional and technical possibilities offered by the standard application. Some choices make a lot of custom work necessary and can cause unforeseen problems at a later stage of the project (desired lead times and costs).