Unified Customer Data Paramount for Growing Businesses

Barney Beal, Former Content Director

February 12, 2018

Alton Lane, a maker of customer-tailored men's apparel, is not like most retailers when it comes to capturing customer data. That’s because each customer record includes not only the basic data – contact information, buying history, etc. – it includes the specific measurements of every customer to ensure the custom clothing they buy fits perfectly.

Alton Lane’s high touch customer service is on full display when customers enter any one of the eight showrooms around the country. They pose for the company’s proprietary body scan system and then can relax with a drink while they select the material, style and color of their custom-made suits, shirts and jackets. When they make a new purchase, whether a lightweight suit for the summer or a new batch of dress shirts, their measurements are already in the system, they simply have custom fitted clothing shipped to their home or business.

For many businesses seeking growth, acquiring new customers is one of the great barriers. Hot products and innovative marketing can go a long way, but outdated, disconnected and dirty data on existing customers can create issues not only holding on to existing customers but finding new ones. For businesses with data spread across sales spreadsheets, standalone financial systems and other applications, there is no way to know which data is most current, accurate and reliable. Abandonment figures rise as potential customers look to other companies that understand their entire experience across order history, billing and customer service.

For BioMonde, a Bridgend, UK-based life sciences company that is using the ancient practice of larval debridement therapy (or Maggot Therapy) for use on chronic, infected and necrotic wounds, a comprehensive understanding of its customers is vital to its growth, particularly as it expands globally. It must track sales, order and financial data in not one, but three countries, each with their own highly complex regulations. For example, BioMonde distributes its product predominantly through primary care and the NHS in the UK, with some distribution to pharmacies as well as veterinary operations. In Germany, it distributes directly to hospitals but faces strict requirements about who it ships to and how it tracks products. Its US operations, a newer endeavor that has been growing since it received an FDA license in 2014, works with a complex array of businesses including the Veterans Administration, long term acute care and burn hospitals, and regional hospital groups, all with different requirements.

Golden Star Technology (GST) has its own challenges managing customer data. The IT integrator and reseller, supplies more than 2,000 customers with services and technology from HP, Dell, Cisco and others. It needs to track customer data across a 30-person sales team and a 60-person professional services organization. It also needs to track hardware, project scoping and per-project financials.

All three of these companies found a unified, cloud-based business software suite(opens in new tab) that can manage a business end to end from product to service, to financials, customer and inventory data(opens in new tab).

Companies like Alton Lane, BioMonde and GST will be sharing their experience and lessons in overcoming the barrier of acquiring new customers at the upcoming SuiteWorld18 in Las Vegas, April 23-26.

Register for the event(opens in new tab) before Feb. 16 and get a $400 early bird discount.

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