Customer Spotlight: Granite City Electrical Supply Company
Periodically, we like to shine the spotlight on our great customer partners – giving them the chance to offer insights about why the company chose SMP, how the company is benefiting from SMP and more. This month, we’re profiling Granite City Electric Supply Company, Inc. headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts. Granite City is the largest independent electrical distributor in New England, with 28 locations serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and NY. The company has remained family-owned since its founding in 1923, and has its eyes set on growing to a half-billion dollar company within the next 10 years.
Greg Smith, Vice President of Marketing, is serving as Granite City’s implementation lead and offered some great insights in a recent interview about the company’s implementation of Sales Management Plus.
What are Granite City’s primary objectives in implementing Sales Management Plus?
Our main objectives are to streamline sales and marketing reporting; capitalize on the CRM capabilities to track sales programs and new customer sales; conduct gap analysis that will allow us to ensure we’re increasing market share year over year with each and every customer; successfully execute pinpoint marketing.
Why did Granite City choose SMP as their Sales Management and CRM partner?
First and foremost, we wanted a partner with whom we had a high comfort-level, both from a performance and personnel perspective – we wanted a partner that had a deep knowledge of Eclipse, really knew distribution, and employs people we’re comfortable working with day-to-day. SMP provided all of that, especially when it comes to their team. We have never had a true CRM package like this before, so we didn’t have a firm idea of what we were getting into, but their team has really been patient, diligent and knowledgeable throughout the process. They’ve made the implementation of SMP easy – almost TOO easy!
What challenges is your organization facing that you’ll use SMP to address?
There are really three things that we will use SMP to address out-of-the-gate.
First, streamlining our sales scorecards for our customers – what we call our Partner Profile – whereby we review, category-by-category, what the customer is buying or not buying, and compare it to industry norms. SMP will make this process so much easier – and more accurate – so we can have intelligent conversations with customers about what they buy and how we can gain a bigger share of their business.
Second, we’ve really faced some challenges with our existing ERP system as it relates to being able to efficiently and effectively build a CRM database that will help us build meaningful relationships with our customers. Our current method uses multiple database sheets, using SMP will allow for the integration of all these sheets into one database that combines sales history and marketing event results. The benefit, increase our ability to be their solution source.
Third, and this goes back to one of our main objectives with this project – we want to use the product segmentation and customer classification data together to help us execute on-target, relevant pinpoint marketing to our customers and prospects.
What are some trends your organization is seeing in the distribution marketplace – what keeps you up at night, and how are you and your team working to stay ahead of the trends?
I think leading off here; it’s all about pricing and price erosion. It’s a huge issue across the board right now. The e-Commerce world has commoditized a lot of Electrical Distribution products, products that traditionally were not readily available in the market place and therefore we were able to make a buck. The online retailers like Amazon are able to sell these products much cheaper, mostly due to our high infrastructure and handling cost. As company executives, we have to prepare now – and improve now – for how we work in the e-Commerce age. It’s about resolving data integrity issues, investing in e-commerce solutions and preparing for a savvier buyer. Part and parcel to this is being able to precisely market to our end-users through social platforms. Target product messages and deliver those messages intelligently when they need it – and not necessarily waiting until they ASK for the info. Because if you do, they’re already shopping somewhere else.
Last but not least, I think we have to continue being change agents within our company’s. We need to be mindful of the fact Block Buster, (Netflix) Taxi’s (Uber) and Canon (iPhone) never saw the “BUS” that literally changed their worlds overnight. Many say it can’t happen in our industry, I believe when profit potential hits a tipping point it is not only possible it is probable. Utilizing SMP will provide additional data that will help us continue changing/improving in an effort to see the lights of the “bus” prior to being hit by it.