Aussie Labs looks to homegrown CRM

Australian Laboratory Services (ALS) ripped and replaced its CRM solution because it did not synchronize data between sites.

ALS managing director Dr Peter Harman said data synchronization between branches is critical as the organization has 300 active customers, 10,000 contacts and about 750 orders per month.

The provider of life science research products was using Sage ACT, which it has since replaced with Legrand CRM.

After an extensive evaluation process, ALS chose Legrand CRM CORP edition to capture client information and distribute it across its Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth network. The application, built on SQL, manages account and contact details, tracks campaigns and sales forecasting, and can be accessed by remote sales staff via VPN.

"We installed the [Sage] ACT software in February last year to operate as a centralized database so that our people could make amendments on their computers; however, record changes made by staff in different locations would not always replicate to the master database," Harman said.

"For example, if one person in Sydney deleted a customer name, the contact would still remain in the database in Melbourne after the software was updated - it was frustrating and defeated the purpose of using CRM to track and manage customer and sales information."

Harman said Legrand has been "95 percent successful" but customizable interfaces would improve the application.

The company went through the process of converting and transferring Sage data to Legrand via an input field in the new system.

"All sites are using the software successfully - salespeople are using replica databases on notebooks and synchronizing regularly, while head-office staff log into the master database on the internal server," he said.

Staff training was undertaken to ensure application features were maximized. Costs range from $450 per user to $900 for the Pro edition.

Sage was unavailable for comment.

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