We interviewed the marketing and sales director of the company BOKI Industries a.s., Mr. Tutsch. Boki Heating offers floor, above-floor and wall convectors and Boki Metal concentrates on the manufacture and supply of custom-made metallic parts. The company co-operates with many business partners from areas such as engineering, construction industry, electro industry and railway transport, to name a few.
Mr. Tutsch, can you introduce the company BOKI Industries in your own words?
BOKI Industries follows the tradition of the company Frigera Metal which manufactured metal custom parts. In 2011, the company BOKI GROUP became part of this company which lead to the expansion of its production program. Moreover, BOKI Group introduced its know-how and enriched the offer with thermal technology products, such as floor and above-floor convectors. BOKI is divided into two divisions with a common production program. BOKI Metal manufactures metal parts for a wide range of business partners. BOKI Heating, on the other hand, focuses on the manufacture and supply of heating convectors. Since our company consists of two divisions, we use eWay-CRM in many different ways.
How many employees do you have?
On average, we have about 135 employees.
How would you describe your business partners?
The metal division is focused on the cooperation with Austrian, German and Swiss companies. Czech businesses create a smaller part of our group of partners. Regarding convectors, 20% of the turnover is covered in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the rest is generated by the Rettig ICC Group which is the Europe’s leading supplier of heat emitters and convectors. The main markets for these products include Poland, Scandinavia, the Baltic republics, Russia, Kazakhstan, Romania and Austria.
Are you the marketing and sales director of both divisions?
I am in charge of the heating division. We have another sales director, Mr. Otto Hála, who is responsible for the sale of products within the metal division. The way the divisions do business and communicate with partners is completely different, therefore, we need two business teams. However, I oversaw the launch of eWay for the entire company and had my IT colleagues behind my back, because they were focused on the implementation and functionality of the entire system.
What was the reason you decided to implement a CRM system?
Well, I worked with CRM in my previous posts, in some companies more, in others less. So, it was not about whether we should implement CRM or not, the question was which one we choose. Anyway, today it is a must-have to work with a clear and perfectly organized software system.
Let's go back to 2011. We became part of the Frigera Metal Group and, honestly, we were shocked because there was no knowledge about this software and its use. In this respect, we were way ahead. Therefore, it was essential to find a system that will be accessible for all employees and will not cause panic. In other words, we did not want our employees to spend hours learning how to work with a completely new and complicated software. This was one of our most important requirements.
Why did you decide for our system?
Lots of your competitors offer a standalone application with cloud data storage. We did not want this. Our requirement was to implement a system which would be operated on our servers and so we would have a perfect control over the data storage, data updates, etc. The offer was very limited. I looked for solutions on Google and CRM portal where I came across eWay. I downloaded the demo version and was pleasantly surprised, because the system is integrated with Outlook, which makes it very user-friendly. In fact, this was the main reason we decided for eWay.
How did you proceed?
We had a discussion concerning the worklflow of deals. Your sales rep, Mr. Tvorik, convinced me that it is very easy to adjust eWay to our needs and, I have to say, this was the beginning of our cooperation. We implemented the software, participated in the first training, carried out various modifications, took part in other trainings and then started to work with the software. At this moment, we use about 60% of all functions, because at the beginning we focused on the basic modules such as Contacts, Companies and Opportunities. We needed to make an improvement in this area, because before the implementation of eWay, it was a total mess. Each employee had his own way how to store data and contacts and we lacked an organized system. Currently, we focus on the modules Projects and Marketing.
Is there any advantage of our system, you'd like to highlight?
We really appreciate the continuous development of eWay, especially the revised module Tasks which we are about to use very soon. It is a question of information discipline; with this I mean that people fill in the data and follow the procedures. We are still preparing for this; we want our employees to solve problems by fully using the system and not by sending emails to all colleagues or writing them down on a piece of paper stuck on their screen.
What do you think about our mobile app?
We use it very often, because our sales representatives travel a lot and they need to have all the information “with them”. Today's life is like this, not everything can be arranged and prepared in advance. It is a fast-changing world and our employees must be flexible and need to have the opportunity to change the time of their meetings or places they visit. And I have to say that the mobile app makes this chaos much easier to organize.
For example, when a colleague goes to Prague to visit a client and the meeting is cancelled, he looks into Opportunities and in a second, he can change the direction and visit another client. Moreover, if an employee receives important information while he is out of office, he can store it to the system for the needs if his colleagues from the back office.
Can all your employees access the system?
Currently, the production and accounting departments do not use the software, because they work with an ERP system. eWay is part of our sales department which provides sales support and technical service. In the near future, we would like to make the software available to all departments, especially because of the possibility to NASTAVENÍ WORKFLOW.
How do you deal with the system of rights?
We are working on it right now, because it is strongly linked to workflow. We would like to set different levels of access rights depending on tasks and their approvals. Some tasks will be accessible to all employees, some will be confidential, such as issues related to company’s strategic development, finance and human resources.
The software is very user-friendly. Did you notice the reluctance of some of your employees to work with it?
eWay seems very simple, just like Outlook. However, proper methodological work and the formation of bonds is a different discipline. There is always a group of people who refuse to use a new method or system and they decide to criticise it. They are looking for flaws, simply because they do not want to follow new procedures.
Do you think that there was a change in the attitude of these “opponents” when they realized the system helps them?
They do not say it loud, but I am sure they were convinced by the fact that the system is perfectly organized, they can easily find any data, follow their deadlines and make reports easily. Simply, the system is like one easy-to-use unit. Nowadays, this is something the group of opponents considers automatic, but it was not always like this. Before, they had to look for information in folders or emails...
Regarding the implementation of the system, we have decided for a gradual approach in individual departments. As we have two divisions, the employees had a completely different character of questions. If there are more than eight participants in a training and they have different questions, it turns into an ineffective chaos. Some of the participants might get bored, because the discussed topics are not part of their work. I must admit that on the recommendation of one of the eWay representatives, I changed my requirement for an eight-hour training and decided to organize a four-hour session which was organized in two days. It gave our employees the possibility to better process the acquired knowledge and so the following lessons were much more efficient.
How long have you been using our software?
The heating division has been using the system for three years, the sales department for two years and the metal division for a year and a half.
Our colleague and sportsman, David Pejsek, who implemented the CRM system at your company, said you love cycling. Are you a company of cyclists?
Personally, I love cycling, I dedicate it all my free time and David Pejsek shares this passion with me. So, when we meet our conversation begins like this: “What about your cycling? How many kilometers do you have in your legs?" (Laughs) I decided to implement the system during the ultramarathon ISOMA 1,000 miles, because during the race I had enough time to get everything straight in my head ...
And the world is small, so I recommended eWay to my friends who became its regular users. I explained them that eWay is not just an improved version of Outlook, but a sophisticated and user-friendly CRM system.
I realized that eWay-CRM and the race have a lot in common. Both represent the path to success.
Do your colleagues enjoy cycling as much as you do?
The company has a relatively large team of recreational cyclists and thanks to the management of the company, whose members love sport, we support a regional amateur team and organize MTB races. Moreover, some talented juniors compete in the Czech Cycling Cup. The aim is to attract young people to do sport. We are also involved in regional activities of the Pardubice Region. Specifically, in a project called “Looking for a Winner”, which is a series of children's bike races organized in various cities of the Pardubice Region with the aim to support school children and youth to fall in love with sport.
This reminds me of our client, the company Brilon whose members also love cycling. We should organize a race together! Is there anything you would like to say to conclude this pleasant interview?
We are really satisfied with eWay-CRM. Our cooperation has always been great, whether I worked with David Pejsek, or Jiri Tvorik.