Digital Strategy for a Service Organization
Background – Digital Transformation
ITDirections was engaged by one of the largest uniform rental and linen supply companies in North America with approximately $650M in annual sales, operating more than 115 production facilities and service centers throughout the United States and Canada, servicing over 150,000 customers each week. ITDirections assisted the Client through five separate digital projects over the course of nine years, helping them manage through their lifecycle of digital transformation.
The Challenge – Evolving Business Model
In 2006, the Client was an early adopter in the business-to-business (B2B) E-Commerce and ITDirections assisted by developing an initial strategy for their online web catalog. Subsequently, ITDirections led an effort to select an e-commerce platform (BlueMartini), and managed the implementation. In 2013, the Client knew they needed to evolve their digital presence to a new level to continue as a premium commercial service provider. The Client’s business model had also matured to include selling products in addition to renting, resulting in new requirements.
The Solution – B2B E-Commerce
In 2012, ITDirections established the Client’s next generation Digital Strategy to support and facilitate future business plans. Industry trends and drove the new digital transformation. Their vision was to be an innovator with a high-impact strategy to achieve customer service excellence. The multi-pronged roadmap included:
- A new e-commerce site (InsiteCommerce)
- Custom web stores
- Niche micro-sites
- Lead generation and digital sales tools
- Marketing campaigns
- A customer service portal
- Improved call center tools
ITDirections was then engaged to assist with the implementation of the strategy, which included overcoming key challenges of providing an easy-to-use decorator tool, the ability to customize garments, and handling many customer-specific eStores to provide customers with the ability to manage their ordering and spend. Additionally, a Customer Portal was developed that enables customers to view and pay bills online, access program details and better communicate with their service team.
The Results – Benefits Exceeding Plan
The speed to benefits exceeded the plan. Custom eStores were added initially at the rate of one new store every week, trending toward 150 eStores per year. Customers readily chose to place orders online themselves rather than calling a sales rep to place the order for them. The new tools have helped them increase market share and grow higher value, more complex opportunities.
As said by the VP of Marketing & Customer Operations:
“Our focus is not reduction in sales force, but enabling the force to better differentiate our product and increase sales, and for CSR’s to better manage the relationship and improve satisfaction. Results from sales reps and customers are enormously positive and we fully expect the eventual ROI numbers to reflect that…we’re extremely happy. These projects further differentiate ourselves from the competition and enhance our leadership in the industry through technology. Our goal is to enhance customer service through self-service and allow people to do business how and when they want to do business. Technology is changing the way our customers do business and we are excited about how our recent innovations are enhancing our customer service leadership. For this reason, digital innovation has become an essential component of our strategic plan and we are increasing our investment in this area. I’m very excited about the strategic direction we are taking and the great progress we are making.”