From the world’s largest rotating mirror ball to the amazing Helix Lift Bridge in Falkirk and the Carpenters Road Lock at the Olympic Park Stratford, when it comes to bespoke engineering solutions, Sheffield based Mayflower Engineering leads with innovation. Founded in 1974, Mayflower Engineering’s core business was initially the manufacture of quality engineering products for the Coal Mining and Steel Industries. Over the years, the company developed an impressive reputation for manufacturing products which were built to last.
A change was coming
The business underwent a management buyout in 2008 with the new management team, led by Managing Director Kevan Bingham.
In 2010 the British Steel industry was rocked by a series of events that caused Kevan and the management team to reconsider their business strategy. It led to diversification into a range of sectors such as sub-sea, off-shore exploration, renewable energy, nuclear, rail, waterways gates and bridges, construction equipment, military vehicles and waste recycling. This diversification saw them undertake a number of prestigious projects.
By 2015 the business had achieved internationally recognised certifications in Quality (ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, EN ISO 3834 – Part 2) and had deep expertise in welding and factory control. These standards were helping Mayflower access new markets, but the lack of a CRM system was slowing their growth.
In conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University, Marketing Manager Joe Wright undertook a review of the company’s sales and marketing processes. They identified an issue common within many manufacturing companies. Their review concluded that years of focus on improving manufacturing processes and compliance with quality standards delivered great benefits for customers, but acquiring, developing and retaining customers required something else… a CRM system that could bring together customer and market knowledge in one place.
How CRM helped
In 2016 he approached independent CRM consultancy Collier Pickard to supply and implement a CRM solution. From the range of platforms available, Collier Pickard recommended Maximizer CRM. As part of the solution, they recommended that the solution be hosted in the cloud. This ensured that when Joe kicked off the project, there was no delay in getting the system live.
“We had invested in in-house developed systems over many years. These systems did exactly what we asked them to do – no more, no less. Increasingly, I was aware that if we wanted any changes, we had to design and specify every detail. We had our own developers and all of the risk was ours; there was no other company to turn to. What I wanted was to concentrate on engineering excellence – not software development.”
In addition to the supply of the CRM software, the project involved configuration of the system and user education. The project was broken into phases. The first phase needed to configure Maximizer to replace an existing quote management system. This legacy system was running on an in-house operated and maintained infrastructure. By replacing the quote management system the project could show a rapid return on investment. What’s more, the quote creation and management process was well defined and the legacy data was already in a well-structured database.
Joe takes up the story:
“CRM is becoming increasingly important for manufacturing companies. Indeed, we were supported in our CRM project with a government grant, which was a good start to building a Return on Investment (ROI) case for the project. When we included the cost savings and risk reduction achieved by replacing our old quote management system, the ROI was even better. The key was to ensure that relevant data from the old system was available to users in the new CRM system.”
The second phase of the project was built on the first by recreating and enhancing the reports available. Maximizer provides easily configurable dashboards and pre-configurable Excel Reports. By developing management information using these tools, Joe was confident he could use data to help refine and develop the sales and marketing functions within Mayflower Engineering.
Continued success with CRM
Key to the reports accuracy was the need to ensure that everyone used the system consistently. For some, this would be a major change in the way they managed their working day. The project included time to work with the users and to demonstrate how CRM could help them. The education process guided the users through the new terminology and processes. For specific “how to” instructions, the excellent online video tutorials provided by Maximizer reduced the time the sales team were off the road. By focussing on what the user needed to accomplish, a single page “cheat sheet” was produced that guided the user in the use of Maximizer in their specific job role.
The support from Collier Pickard didn’t end with the live operation of the system. Within the project was additional time to help the Mayflower Team to get the best from the system. Whether this was onsite meetings with their account manager or online technical and business support, let’s hope the relationship between Mayflower Engineering and Collier Pickard lasts as long as the impressive engineering it supports.