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SmartCost harnesses the power of data with Salesforce
Bangkok-based abrasives company SmartCost grew from a single manual sandpaper stamping machine into a network spanning 850 factories and 650 car body shops across Thailand. The company used digital transformation to enable success through a partner-centric model.
SmartCost is in the business of providing solutions. The Bangkok-based company has built a strong reputation in Thailand’s abrasives industry based on a fundamental commitment to solving problems for the company’s more than 1,500 B2B customers.
Founded by current CEO Krittakorn Wongsuttipakorn in 2004, SmartCost began operations with a manual stamping machine used to convert raw materials imported from Italy and China into sandpaper.
By 2012 the company had upgraded to an automatic stamping machine capable of producing 100,000 shots per day. One year later, SmartCost extended to a second factory.
Since those early days, the partnership-focussed company has also become a distributor of major global brands in the abrasives industry.
In 2009, SmartCost became a distributor for Sunmight and MO Air tools. Distribution partnerships with pneumatic tool makers Triens and U-TOOLS, polishing compound brands Puris and FINIXA, abrasives manufacturer PFERD and DC Electric Fastening System of Ingersoll Rand followed in subsequent years.
Today, the company spans an impressive network of 850 factories and 650 car body shops across Thailand.
Overcoming process complexity
Mr Krittakorn founded the company on his vision to become a partner for every business. That requires a professional, committed and fast response to every customer, with a solution-centric approach at the heart of every customer interaction.
However, delivering on that vision across a rapidly growing network presented significant management challenges.
“We first used Google Sheets to manage our data and workflows, however, our product and sales process are complicated so we developed an in-house CRM,” Mr Krittakorn explains. “But this created challenges with performance, flexibility and time to market. We also could not scale our business as fast as we wanted.”
Adopting a systematic approach
Mr Krittakorn knew that digital transformation was the way forward for the company. The sales team needed a more systemised pipeline to improve productivity, and management needed the ability to track sales activities to support the sales team to achieve strategic goals.
Sales Cloud was deployed to systemise lead flow and track opportunities. Service Cloud is used to deliver a 360-degree customer view with real-time insights into every order progression.
“Salesforce has high flexibility,” Mr, Krittakorn explains. “We can easily customise the sales pipeline and process. We are moving fast and we adapt our business strategies all the time. Without this flexibility, starting a new business direction would require a lot of effort and time to change processes in the system. But with Salesforce we can do that overnight.”
“The sales team now works in a more systematic way with increased productivity. Management can track sales activities, and support the sales team to follow the team strategy.”
Harnessing the power of data
Mr Krittakorn also moved the company from Google Analytics to Tableau. This enables the planning team to analyse Salesforce data in Tableau to assist with inventory, manpower and production planning.
“Data is the key for every business,” he explains. “We are driving ourselves to become a data-driven organisation. But it is difficult to make business decisions with the fragmented data from the many different sources that we are using, which makes it difficult to compete in the market.
“But Tableau can collect data from all necessary sources to create a complete-view business dashboard. This helps us to understand the big-picture performance of the business so we can make the best decisions for SmartCost.”
The company has also deployed Pardot for email marketing automation. This is integrated with Sales and Service Cloud to track all emails sent to customers.
“Pardot helps us design content that relates to customers’ interests,” adds Mr Krittakorn. “Our sales team can analyse data collected in Salesforce and prepare information based on the customer's interest before calling or visiting the customer.”
Delivering on the vision
The results so far have been strong. With almost the entire organisation on the same platform, collaboration and productivity have increased across the board.
“The sales team now works in a more systematic way with increased productivity,” says Mr Krittakorn. “Management can track sales activities, and support the sales team to follow the team strategy.”
This has contributed to a 50 per cent increase in revenue gains, driven by a 30 per cent improvement in measurable services levels and a 40 per cent boost to lead conversions.
“With Salesforce, we can use data and learnings from one business unit to enable cross-sell opportunities across the organisation,” he explains. “Salesforce is the piece that completes our big data jigsaw.
“We would like to be a trusted partner for our customers in every industry. Insightful customer data from Salesforce can make this plan come true.”
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