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The customer is king – Konica Minolta South Africa intensifies CRM focus

JOHANNESBURG – September 09, 2010 – In a business climate clouded by uncertainty and instability, the most effective businesses are targeting investments in areas that promote profitable growth with improved margins as well as bottom line cost containment and reduction. This means that making the most out of technology investments and focusing on marketing - without a marketing budget increase - will continue to be critical within most sales organisations for the near future.

In the 2010 "Gartner Predicts" report for marketing, Ed Thompson, Gartner vice president and analyst, states that: “For most organisations, the single most logical way to differentiate the business is through great customer experiences, rather than having the lowest cost or most innovative products and services.”

Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa has certainly taken these sentiments to heart, focusing strongly on maintaining customer satisfaction at a premium level. In order to do so, the organisation invested in a SAP ERP system to draw real time information, and improve efficiency, thereby affecting a better service to its clients.

According to Andrew Griffith, product manager for office products at Konica Minolta South Africa, CRM is at the top of the agenda for many companies today and, thanks to its new system, Konica Minolta South Africa is able to maintain a competitive edge and stay ahead of the curve.

“Our intrinsic and holistic SAP ERP and CRM system gives us a 360 degree view of each customer through one entry point,” he explains. “From a marketing and campaign management perspective, this enables us to target specific customers with appropriate information on new solutions instead of taking a ‘blanketed’ approach. This is critical to maintain satisfaction levels as your market must be segmented and targeted appropriately and proactively in order to achieve success.”

The Konica Minolta South Africa sales force has also benefited greatly from the new system, with immediate access from anywhere to customer ERP transactions, such as stock overviews, service history, contracts, stock requirements and real time business intelligence reporting, providing them with a previously unseen speed of execution which has become a critical factor in the client decision making process.

From a management standpoint, a constant rolling dashboard of the company’s activities as compared against targets is available, allowing for the improved proactive supervision of the sales force. “This feature also enables management to monitor the performance of each sales person and give assistance if and where needed, enabling proactive instead of reactive coaching. Talent retention and development has obvious and significant benefits in both the short and long term to any organisation.

“In view of the fact that customers are our most valuable assets, it is imperative that Konica Minolta South Africa seek to retain and maximise the effectiveness of every customer interaction – from sales and services to marketing. We truly believe that by harnessing our technology, we can better anticipate customer needs and build lasting, profitable customer relationships by making the most of every customer interaction across the entire customer life cycle, ensuring that each interaction is consistent and relevant.

“Utilising SAP as our ERP and CRM system is symbolic of our investment in the area of product and customer services technology, and with it, we hope to redefine the fundamentals and very meaning of customer service within our industry. Our investment in these key areas is another reason that our bizhub range of colour multifunctional devices (MFDs) provides customers with the best value - from the front office right through to the back office experience,” Griffith concludes.


Konica Minolta South Africa, wholly owned by the Bidvest Group, stands at the forefront of business solution providers as the principal importer and distributor of the innovative and award winning Konica Minolta range of bizhub digital multi-functional devices, laser printers, fax machines and business solutions, into South Africa as well as Namibia, Malawi, Botswana and Swaziland.
Konica Minolta South Africa's head office is based in Johannesburg and its distribution network is supported by 14 branches and 43 dealerships. With an operational stance of consultative business partnering, the group provides clients with holistic document management solutions: through pre-sales analysis, audits to sales, installation, ongoing onsite technical and software management as well as the supply of spare parts and consumables.

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