Experlogix Configurator Speeds Quotes and Orders for INNOTEX’s Global Dealer Network
INNOTEX is a rapidly growing Canadian firm with a major presence in North America, and an expanding footprint in South America, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Africa. They manufacture tailored firefighting turnout gear for some of the largest fire departments in the world, including 36,000 in the US alone. The company is gaining acclaim and a loyal customer base by providing a superior quality/price ratio to its extensive, global dealer network – and unsurpassed fire protection for its customers.
In the early 2000’s, INNOTEX made a decision to consolidate product lines and focus exclusively on firefighting turnout gear. An “off-the-rack” approach would never ensure complete protection, so each suit for every fire department crewmember had to be tailored to the individual to ensure critical ease-of-movement in life threatening situations.
“Firefighting suits are very complicated,” says Rene-Frederic Roy, Financial Director for the Richmond, Quebec manufacturer. “There are thousands of options that can be considered.”
At the same time, there has to be a high level of quality assurance in the suit design – ensuring that all options mesh seamlessly. INNOTEX’s quote/order process had been dependent on Excel spreadsheets. Dealer requests for quotes were placed by phone, then faxed back for confirmation. When orders were finalized, spreadsheet-based orders were so large that they had to be mailed for confirmation. If options were added or deleted, it required mailing a new spreadsheet.
INNOTEX needed an easier quote-and-order process. It also required a solution that would tightly integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Dynamics GP. The driving factor in the three product implementation was the product configurator. This was to ensure intuitive ease-of-use so dealers could configure their own orders. But also to guarantee smooth, flawless process and data flow between systems to eliminate duplicate data entry.
“Experlogix is easy and fast – which the dealers really like. It also enables us to internally focus more on providing quality customer service.”
Rene-Frederic Roy, Financial Director at INNOTEX
After carefully reviewing eight solutions, the Experlogix Configurator was the decisive choice for INNOTEX based on ease-of-use, deep Dynamics integration and strong portal capabilities.“We were really impressed with how easy it was to select product features and options and also with the caliber Experlogix team,” says Roy. “During the implementation and training phase, they were always there when I needed them – including the company president. It was clear that we were important to them.”
“As a small company with about 120 employees,” Roy says, “we have limited resources with no dedicated IT staff, so we needed an easy-to-use tool that could be maintained by business users. Experlogix is so easy that I can manage it myself.”
Experlogix is so intuitive that dealers are increasingly configuring their own quotes and orders. Experlogix has a user-friendly web portal where dealers can sit with customers and work up complicated quotes and orders in as little as fifteen to twenty minutes. There’s no faxing or mailing, no delay in deleting or selecting additional options. “Experlogix is easy and fast – which the dealers really like,” says Roy. “It also enables us to internally focus more on providing quality customer service.”
Experlogix is seamlessly integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and with Dynamics GP ERP system. Orders generated by Experlogix flow flawlessly into CRM and then Dynamics GP, generating the “cutting sheet,” or manufacturing order, and routings that go to the floor to start production.
The Experlogix rules-driven system is also foolproof. It provides alerts if selected options create a design or production issue that compromises the integrity of the gear. “Experlogix also enables us to post photos of various options. That was never possible before,” Roy states.
Experlogix ensures customers receive their orders without errors or unnecessary delays. The fact that Experlogix is tightly integrated with Dynamics GP eliminated the need for a separate, stand-alone system for generating manufacturing orders, again providing gains in accuracy and speed in not having to rekey information.
“The fact that Experlogix is integrated with CRM is another benefit,” he says. “Now we know how many quotes we’ve done, which helps us anticipate the work load on the floor.” Spreadsheets never provided that kind of visibility. “We now see trends and have a clear view of the number of quotes done daily, weekly, and monthly.”
Roy likened the company’s decision to eliminate other product lines to focus solely on firefighting gear as “giving the company bigger shoulders.” It helped spark consistent double-digit growth year-over-year in business and employees. Experlogix has likewise further broadened the company’s shoulders, enabling it to ably manage the growth while also providing a solid foundation for continued global growth into the future.