Life science company Eppendorf must respond to rapid changes not only in one market, but in many markets simultaneously. Eppendorf increased the flexibility and agility required for this by using Microsoft Dynamics 365. The CRM solution forms a reliable basis for quick decisions based on current data.
For more than 75 years, the Eppendorf Group has been equipping laboratories in a wide range of industries. In addition to consumables, the company’s product portfolio includes numerous devices such as pipettes, automated pipetting machines, centrifuges, bioreactors, and ultra‑low temperature freezers. All of these products, as well as the comprehensive services of the Hamburg-based company, are used in university laboratories as well as in those of the pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries. So, the company must react to diverse and rapidly changing market requirements simultaneously.
“That’s why we opted to introduce a new CRM system, which is one of the most difficult projects a company can undertake,” says Benedikt Geldmacher-Voss, Head of Commercial Excellence at Eppendorf AG. “This is especially true for companies like ours, which have a large number of different stakeholders and a wide range of tools used to prepare business data—from highly complex partial solutions to Excel lists.” Conflicts among different working methods and the lack of a common data basis were slowing Eppendorf down. With a modern CRM solution, Geldmacher-Voss planned to transition the manual data-entry processes to a globally uniform platform. The list of requirements was long, because no two Eppendorf customers are alike, and the needs of the operational, sales, marketing, and service departments were widely diversified. In a preliminary project led by Alexander Gerritsen, Head of Customer Business Management, the team defined what globally uniform processes would look like for the Eppendorf Group, thus forming the basis for selecting the new CRM system. The life science industry is in constant flux, so the new CRM system needed to be flexible and easy to adapt so that it could provide optimum support for customers and partners in every situation. In addition, their status should be traceable along the customer journey at any time.
One particular challenge was to map Eppendorf’s different market situations and sales channels in the CRM system. The goal was to record the complete customer portfolio, including the various sectors such as the medical, pharmaceutical, and food industries; the education sector and private enterprise; and the various fields of work such as diagnostics, research, and quality assurance. All data from direct customers and from those who order via distributors needed to be centrally available, in a uniform format, and updated in real time. “No more, no less,” according to Geldmacher-Voss. “This forms the basis for strategic decisions. Maximum transparency is the only way we can answer the question of where we will stand with our services in the future.” With all this, Eppendorf didn’t want CRM to lead to more complexity in the system, as that would incur additional costs and additional personnel expenses. So the company turned to Microsoft and its partner HSO to equip all departments in the best possible way and to meet the complex requirements. Today, Eppendorf is using Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, and Dynamics 365 Field Services. The initial results are outstanding.
Eppendorf’s infrastructure had already been shaped by Microsoft once before. “As a result, we could incorporate Dynamics 365 perfectly into our existing IT landscape,” Geldmacher-Voss says. “We were able to generate significant synergies, and acceptance of Dynamics was very high among our employees from the very beginning.” This was confirmed by the first Dynamics 365 user acceptance survey conducted by Microsoft Customer Success management. Very early in the process, the requests of all departments regarding the new CRM system were recorded in detail and refined based on concrete use cases.