"We can see case types and the reasons behind them. It is those things that drive workflow and automated assignment to the right people at the right time"

OfficeMax: Rewiring customer systems

OfficeMax, one of the world's largest office product supply companies with a major B2B presence in Australia, is finding new ways to do old business. A new unified communications platform and contact centre consolidation has refreshed core infrastructure. More recent investment in B2B e-commerce websites OrderMax and MyDesk, and new client service initiatives, have boosted sales and client retention. However, with so much more going on across different platforms and channels it was getting harder to see critical information and keep promises.

Managing director looks to collaboration

OfficeMax Australasia managing director Charles Agee saw the challenges and settled on a vision: collaboration. "A more services-centric mindset is about outcomes and solutions. This is a culture change, which technology will help bring about. This is why we're excited about our investment. It will help us to capture and share all our conversations and consistently deliver good client experiences," said Agee. "It will put our entire organisation on the same page and remove the cost burden of manual processing."

Pascal Kouknas, Sydney-based OfficeMax CIO, Australasia: "We were a collection of silos. Conversations weren't connected and we couldn't close the loop on service interactions. We had to find a way to resolve client issues faster," he said. "Sales required attention, too. There wasn't an easy way to collect data or generate an accurate picture of demand that could be used for business insights."

To address these shortcomings Kouknas looked to the cloud. At first glance he saw a rich seam of benefits that come with the territory. Absent physical IT infrastructure, seamless service updates, quick and simple deployment, a per-user subscription model, and services architected to serve multiple clients from a single shared platform. For Salesforce the key word is intuitiveness, which means the best user adoption rates," said Kouknas.

OfficeMax got down to work with and in just six weeks introduced a new enterprise-wide client sales and service platform that has brought order to its information and established new workflows that keep everyone in the picture.

Six weeks later

A top-down view of services, which are integrated with the company's Pronto ERP system, shows Sales Cloud strata comprising lead management, account management, contact management, and pipeline management. Service Cloud includes case management. Real-time reporting, activity management and email sit between the two Salesforce clouds. An automation layer comprises workflow, email alerting, time sensitive activities, field updates, lead and case assignment, and case escalation.

OfficeMax has also dipped into to build and run custom apps, including sales order history and account specialist relationships. And social app Chatter is used by 12 groups to share ideas and questions.

On the case

Iain Moore, OfficeMax director, client operations said he likes the sound of an imaginary clock ticking against client cases. "From a management team perspective, to know that there is an escalation process and a clock ticking on resolutions is a good thing," he said. "It's an entirely different world to the email inbox."



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