Case study

Permoseal

Since its establishment in 1949, Permoseal is a leading manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of adhesives, sealants and DIY products for general and specialized applications in the consumer, construction and industrial markets. Among its brands are household names, including Bostik, Alcolin and Evo-stick. Permoseal has branches country-wide, and reaches the rest of the country through agents based in most major towns and cities across the country.

In Brief

Key results

  • Increased sales
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Fewer product returns
  • 3-4 hours less spent on admin per week
  • More effective ordering process

Unnecessary product returns added to Permoseal’s frustration with their immense admin load and slow processing of orders. Skynamo turned this situation around as it enabled reps to spend less time on admin and more time with customers, ensuring accurately and timely information at their fingertips.

Before Skynamo

Admin load was immense, order process was slow

Before Skynamo, Permoseal reps did all their writing on paper, which then had to be transcribed to Excel spreadsheets and Word documents. And before placing an order, reps had to either phone or email the sales admin staff to check stock levels. If errors or missing information were picked up by the admin staff, reps had to redo orders.

‘Thinking back now, it used to be quite antiquated!’, says Sales Manager Kerry Yates.

Incomplete information passed from reps to managers

As one might expect, the manual order-taking and reporting system did not only make for more work and slower processes, but led to errors and incomplete information being relayed to the managerial team.

‘The office admin staff had to double-check all the information reps relayed to them, because they couldn’t just assume errors didn’t creep in. That slowed them down quite a bit,’ explains Permoseal’s ERP System Administrator, Johan Liebenberg.

Errors and omissions will always creep in, but because the sales team only met once a week and information-heavy reports were submitted on a monthly basis, managers never picked up on mistakes as they happened.

‘We only realiszd that relevant information was missing, or certain order details were incorrect once it was too late,’ Yates explains.

Unnecessary product returns

As a result of orders being taken via email and telephone, product codes were mistyped and customers unfortunately did sometimes receive incorrect products.

“This not only led to the cost, admin and frustration of product returns, but also affected our relationships with our customers,” says Yates.

Adopting Skynamo

Initial doubts quickly disappeared as reps recognized the benefits

As everything was done on paper and processed manually, there was initial resistance against switching to a more digital and technically advanced mobile sales app.

‘One of our reps came from a company where Skynamo was used as a policing tool, so she was very opposed to adopting it and it took quite a bit of convincing to persuade her that we’re not here to do that. Ironically, the reps now absolutely love it, because it gives them independence!’, laughs Yates.

The main reason for this independence is that reps don’t need to go into the office all the time anymore, as they have everything with them on the app. All the data sheets they need can be pulled up in an instant, they can look at product stock levels in real-time, can confirm that the correct items are being invoiced, and enjoy the independence to do their own quotes. None of this was previously possible as all documents had to be submitted to the sales admin team for processing first, and only thereafter reps would pick up on any possible errors that crept in during the order process.

"It feels like we have no admin at all!"

Since Skynamo

‘It feels like we have no admin at all!’

‘Our reps can now see their accounts in real-time, so admin efforts are spent where they count.  explains Yates. ‘At least 3-4 hours that used to be spent on admin can now be applied elsewhere.’

‘There’s so much less pressure and stress, which increases our efficiency,’ says one of the Permoseal sales reps. ‘Honestly, it feels like we have no admin at all!’

Regular, more helpful information easily shared between reps and managers

Permoseal managers highlight the ability to create forms according to their needs as their favorite thing about Skynamo. Reps now gather only relevant information from customers during visits onto their Skynamo mobile app. Managers know about problems as they occur and can make quicker decisions based on accurate information. Response time is much quicker when things do go wrong.

This has been particularly useful for campaign testing. Managers create campaign surveys for their reps to complete and receive relevant weekly feedback on active sales campaigns. ‘The feedback happens regularly while the campaign is running, meaning we don’t have to wait until it’s finished to know whether it was successful. Regular feedback means we’re able to make necessary changes while the campaign is running, assuring greater success. I now receive massive amounts of very valuable information that never used to reach me before,’ explains Yates.

Managers feel like they’re out in the field with their reps

One of the great challenges sales managers face is understanding what’s happening out in the field. Not simply knowing what was ordered and by whom, but grasping what happens during customer visits and developing an understanding of customer needs and perspectives. Traditionally, this is something only reps have had real insight into, and information  wasn’t always successfully relayed to managers. Skynamo has helped Permoseal close the information gap between sales managers and their reps.

‘As a manager, it’s so great to know exactly how often which of our reps have visited which customers and what happened during those conversations. It helps me answer customer questions when I bump into them at industry events, directly from a place of understanding and knowing. It’s great, because I can’t get out into the field as often as I’d like to, but it’s almost as if I’m out there with my reps every single day,’ shares Yates.

No unnecessary product returns, increased customer satisfaction

Improved communication between managers, reps and Permoseal’s office-based admin team means virtually no incorrect orders and when an error does creep in, it’s rectified quickly.  One rep states that, ‘Since Skynamo was implemented I receive almost no calls from the admin team because of uncertainties anymore.’

‘It’s now easier to provide reps with product information. Everything is loaded onto the system and available through the app. Skynamo is the central point through which consistent communication happens. We no longer struggle with different versions of the same document that used to cause confusion,’ explains Yates.

The product catalogue feature makes product images and details available on the app and allows reps and customers to check for stock availability and confirm order details together. ‘This dealt with the problem of order errors and unnecessary product returns, and customer satisfaction has definitely increased because of this. Customers love the fact that reps know what’s going on and are providing them with accurate information,’ tells Yates.

Skynamo results in more sales

Easier access to accurate product information means that physical products are picked, packed and delivered to the customer much quicker than in the past.  ‘This helps us get, receive and deliver more orders more frequently and helps our reps to achieve their sales target,’ explains Yates.

‘Skynamo saves time with all the info it provides and its ability to do quotations on site. It gives me more time to spend with the correct people and to focus on sales,’ confirms one of the Permoseal reps.

‘Despite the current economic situation, we’re continuing to process more orders than in the past, and we can do so because Skynamo makes it so much easier for our reps,’ Yates says.

“Interestingly, this growth is coming from our existing customer base. Existing customers are buying a greater number and variety of products from us thanks to the confidence they now have in our product delivery and the additional quality time reps now spend with them.”

Permoseal expects that things will continue to change for the better as they make use of more of Skynamo’s features over time and more of their agents begin to use the system as well. ‘Look at how we’ve gone from sending emails and writing out orders in our duplicate book to this new digital system. There are still so many more benefits that Skynamo can offer to our business,’ concludes Yates.