CRM User Experience Improved to Build Deployment Velocity

Employee in office working on her laptop

This case study deals with a large manufacturing organization’s need for an improved CRM user experience and an increase in the deployment velocity of new features.

With the improved features delivered by AIM Consulting, management can successfully leverage their CRM free of frustrations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Improved user experience that minimized data entry and streamlined team efforts
  • Automated workflows and notifications
  • Parent-Child Opportunity Structure opportunities, autofills, etc.
  • 35% increase in sandbox deployment efficiency
  • Enhanced views and opportunity views
  • Reduction in manual data effort through cloned
  • 35% increase in sandbox deployment efficiency

Case Study Contents:

  1. Situation: Need For Improved CRM User Experience
  2. Challenges: Inconsistencies Between Environments, Solutions, Best Practices
  3. Solution: Agile Approach, Redefine Process & Address Bottlenecks
  4. Results: Increase in Deployment Velocity, Enhanced User Experience

Situation: Need For Improved CRM User Experience

As a Japanese Multinational manufacturing company, the ideas and products of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd (MHI) are well known throughout the globe.

To prospect opportunities and navigate its sales landscape, MHI was leveraging Dynamics as its CRM tool.

Despite the successful implementation of the CRM platform, they struggled to use it effectively due to a relatively vanilla base configuration that did not adequately support specific US business units and some retroactive stopgap customizations that were applied without adherence to best practices.

AIM Consulting was brought on as a strategic partner to improve the user experience of the MHI Parts and Services Division by increasing the deployment velocity of new features while simultaneously addressing the deviation from Dynamics 365 best practices.

Challenges: Inconsistencies Between Environments, Solutions, Best Practices

MHI previously worked with an implementation partner; however, due to the sheer size of MHI and unique needs across business units and geographic landscapes, their initial implementation of Microsoft Dynamics required complex configuration and web resource customization to better their user experience.

While these modifications were needed to extend functionality, they often lacked architectural consistencies and failed to account for unmanaged, multi-environment deployments.

If you’ve ever worked with a heavily modified instance of any major Customer Relationship Management system, you’re aware of how quickly it can become cumbersome to manage without proper solution architecture and deployment rigor.

For MHI, this was no exception. With inconsistencies between environments, the solutions themselves, and a lack of best practices being used, the MHI team was regularly frustrated and felt devoid of critical features necessary to accomplish their jobs effectively, leading to a lack of adoption and incomplete use of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.

For our consultants to be successful, they would need to start from scratch to enable the MHI team to expand their usage of the tool, gain new features, and ultimately be better positioned to upgrade to the latest version of the Microsoft Dynamics UI.

Solution: Agile Approach, Redefine Process & Address Bottlenecks

Our experts worked with the client to understand its needs and opportunities, leveraging an agile approach. After detailed discussions with MHI’s IT team during the discovery phase, AIM Consulting planned the deployment of new features and enhancements geared to improve user experience.

While there was a myriad of features to be implemented, some of the most important were:

  • A Revised Parent-Child opportunity structure
  • An opportunity workflow automation (complete with triggers and notifications)
  • Enhanced sales forms and views.

With a plan in place and some of the key features identified, our experts could finally roll up their sleeves and begin addressing MHI’s procedural bottlenecks. Though MHI was married to unmanaged solution deployments, there was a tremendous advantage to be gained in redefining MHI’s process.

The current deployment environment was built on a 2 tier sandbox environment consisting of a “Global” Sandbox and a “Japanese” Sandbox. Both environments doubled up as development environments and testing environments by different teams, leading to compromised solution deployments and general confusion.

We expanded this sandbox structure to create a different US-based development environment. This setup also sought to ease troubleshooting efforts and build a stronger partnership with the deployment team in Japan.

In one instance, our experts translated an XML file from Japanese to English to troubleshoot deployment errors and guide the team to a solution.

After addressing deployment concerns, we went to work on addressing quality issues by aligning regression testing processes and reviewing the current implementation for inadequate solutions and failed best practices.

We resolved to utilize Dynamics configurations (workflow, business process, etc.) over JavaScript-based web resource customization and plugins where possible.

As our technology experts chipped away at the defined scope of work, each improvement opportunity was formally tracked in a backlog and prioritized with the help of MHI. Once cataloged, each backlog item was broken out into sprints for successful development, testing, and deployment.

Project Timeline

Step 1

Discovery & Backlog Creation

Step 2

Refining Deployment Environment Architecture & Defining Testing Procedure

Step 3

Iterating Through Backlog of Dev Requests

Step 4

CRM Administration Training

Step 5

Curate Continuous Improvement Plan

Results: Increase in Deployment Velocity, Enhanced User Experience

AIM’s deep understanding of assessing CRM tools and providing improvement opportunities helped overcome user experience issues and implement features the client was not aware of, resulting in a 35% increase in deployment velocity.

Leveraging world-class methodology and best practice development, we spent approximately 13 weeks creating an in-depth analysis of the current environment with newly-encompassed features, process improvements, and enhanced user experience.

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