Printed laminated stand-up pouches and roll-stock are items we take for granted when we’re out shopping for our lunch, but many of us choose our snacks based on the packaging. Alpha Poly helps food manufacturers and retailers create innovative and eye-catching designs that make more people want to buy their goods.
Founded in 1989 manufacturing polythene bags, the company evolved its business with custom designs and HD printing after investing in state of the art printing technology, lamination, slitting, and pouch making in 2012. Sales have rocketed since, and Alpha Poly now plans to double revenues by 2022.
Alpha Poly’s deployment of Salesforce coincided with the company’s most recent phase of expansion. “With Salesforce, we can see if sales development is going in the wrong direction, and take action before it’s too far down the road,” said Patrick Kerrigan, President of Alpha Poly. “We saw significant growth in the first three years after the Salesforce implementation – in the first year alone we grew by 20%. And pipeline growth, my big measurement, has almost doubled in the last seven months.”
Visibility of performance is crucial for any business – especially when you are shooting for ambitious growth targets. Armed with just spreadsheets, weekly sales meetings in Alpha Poly’s ‘war room’ involved writing lists of opportunities on whiteboards and discussing the best approach. “After purchasing new equipment, we realized we needed to get more predictive about sales. We’d get to the end of the month and could see how well we’d done, but didn’t know what was in the pipeline, which made it hard to hit targets. Having invested heavily in capital, we needed to ensure we were successful.”
The need for greater visibility and more efficient sales processes was exacerbated by the business diversifying its product offerings. “When we were just manufacturing printed polythene bags, it was very simple – you print it and turn it into bags,” explained Kerrigan. “But now we’re unlocking new opportunities in the fast-growing food sector, and the opportunities we’re developing can take up to two years to finalise. Trying to track two years’ of information on email would just be a disaster!”
“With Salesforce, we can provide a better and faster response, which makes our customers feel looked after.”
Kerrigan joined forces with an external partner, to transform its sales management processes. Deploying a CRM platform was key to this transformation. After evaluating three options recommended by the partner, Kerrigan decided on Salesforce. Its ease of use and cloud-based architecture were key for Kerrigan, along with the ability to customize the platform to fit Alpha Poly’s bespoke processes. “The day a system is installed, it starts ageing,” said Kerrigan. “With Salesforce, we can take advantage of new features without planning upgrades or paying for development.”
The company now uses Salesforce across its sales, service, and quality control teams.
“Salesforce has created a huge, fundamental shift across the business,” said Kerrigan. “It provides insight into existing accounts, how we are managing them, and what products are trending. It also stops us losing leads - it’s easy to forget about them if you have a spreadsheet sitting somewhere on a network drive.” And with Salesforce seamlessly integrated with Alpha Poly’s ERP system, sales reps can check on their orders and sales stats in real time on a daily basis, rather than having to wait until the end of the month.
The Salesforce Mobile App has proven particularly popular with the sales team for accessing account history and other information while out in the field. “With the Salesforce Mobile App, we can maximize time in front of the customer,” said Kerrigan. The sales team also uses Chatter to collaborate, which captures all conversations about a customer centrally, making it easier to track account history.
With project coordinators able to access the same information as sales, Alpha Poly can provide a seamless customer experience throughout their journey. “Salesforce gives us a 360-degree view of the customer and streamlines the handover process between sales and project teams,” said Kerrigan. “Once the opportunity is closed, Sales Cloud automatically triggers the scheduling of a meeting to ensure everyone is up to speed.”
Project coordinators and quality control teams use Service Cloud to log and review any issues with an order. Automated emails are sent to the customer and internal stakeholders to notify them of next steps and status. “Customers want immediate action if there’s a problem,” said Kerrigan. “With Salesforce, we can provide a better and faster response, which makes our customers feel looked after.”
For Kerrigan, the biggest transformation has been fuelled by the Salesforce dashboards, which are used both by sales and service teams. “The dashboards have become an intrinsic part of our monthly sales meetings,” he explained. “They enable us to share complex information, such as open opportunities, account growth, budgets for each sales rep, and even annual revenue to date, in a simple way.”
Salesforce doesn’t just make it easier for Alpha Poly to capture, analyze, and share such metrics; it also enables the team to take action. “With complete visibility of our performance, we can make sure we are focusing on the right priorities and redirect resources as needed,” said Kerrigan. “With Salesforce, we can look through the windshield and see what’s coming up, so we can achieve our targets, make the right decisions, and deliver a better customer experience.”
“With Salesforce, I can see exactly how we’re doing as a business, and steer us in a different direction if needed.”
Patrick Kerrigan, President, Alpha Poly