Customer Success story: wacom

“CRM is the tool that allows us to have as much of a 360-degree view as possible.”

- VP of Global Customer Support, Robin Walsh robin_walsh-1.jpg

In order to consolidate their global business and better compete, Wacom relaunched and reinvested in CRM.

Who is Wacom? 

A Japan-based organization with offices around the world, Wacom develops, manufactures and sells tablet pens and displays that support creative industries from movies, games and photo imaging to auto and consumer product design. Their technology solutions are integrated into smartphones and tablets, and enable general consumers to create, capture and share ideas across the globe.

Wacom Project Fast Facts:

  • Vertical: Manufacturing
  • Industry: CPG/ Retail
  • # of Employees: 1,055
  • # of Users in deployment: 300
  • Platform: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online

Wacom believes in the power of CRM.

Wacom has used CRM software since the days of Goldmine and Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premise. Just ask their VP of Global Customer Support, Robin Walsh. “Is CRM absolutely necessary? YES.”

This long-term relationship needed some attention when they realized they weren’t using the tool well enough to accomplish their goals. To better understand Wacom’s need for a reinvestment in CRM, you need to understand the company’s history, in particular how they functioned on a global scale.

Why reinvest in CRM now?
Up until two years ago, Wacom was a publically traded Japanese company divided into separate regions that operated autonomously. These regions viewed themselves as individual entities and as a result each did things their own way, which differed greatly from how the other regions functioned. Not only did operations differ by region, but objectives and products sold had little to no consistency. The US, Japanese, and European divisions operated as parallel organizations that disjointedly rolled up to one global entity.

All of those different processes do not a streamlined company make. Thus, Wacom made a conscious choice to replace the loosely connected companies with one set of systems, one CEO, and a full commitment to truly operate as one organization.

From niche market owners to B2C dominance.
Not only did Wacom need CRM to support their structural and organizational goals, but they needed CRM to support growth goals. Historically Wacom created very niche products and as a result were considered to be the gold standard of graphics tablets for creative professionals and owned the space.

In the past two years Wacom made a big move to become an active player in the B2C space, requiring them to move faster and be more innovative in order to compete.

CRM as one piece of the greater whole.
CRM is just one component in the comprehensive restructuring of Wacom. In order for them to be successful in executing their “one organization” initiative, they need to globalize all of their business processes including CRM, SAP, and the web.

Here are just a few reasons the previous implementations of these tools weren’t working at their full capacity:

  • Information was siloed. With all of the regions operating independently, there was no way to share or access information across the company, resulting in lost opportunities and missing product information. Furthermore, this made introducing a global branding, marketing, or sales initiative nearly impossible because there was no way to coordinate between regions.

  • Duplicate information was an issue. Duplicative content creation created an administrative nightmare for employees who had no way of pinpointing master records.

  • Flaws in supply chain. Wacom needed to revamp the supply chain to make it more nimble and efficient to meet customer demands.

  • Inefficiencies in selling channels. Wacom sells through retailers and distributors, using SAP to manage orders. Because each region has their own laws and compliance regulations, business processes weren’t being adhered to on a global scale.

The CRM Selection Process.
Wacom is no stranger to CRM. As they entered this round of the CRM selection process they knew they would be moving from On-Premise to Online and entertained demos from both and Microsoft Dynamics, ultimately selecting Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online based on Wacom’s existing commitment to the Microsoft stack.

Not only did they vet platforms, they interviewed multiple CRM consulting partners during the selection process. It was essential to Wacom that their consulting partner bring a team of expert advisors to the table to guide them through the implementation. Previously Wacom worked with a vendor that always turned to them to answer the question of, “What do you want?” In their opinion, this is the worst question your vendor can ask. As a result, this particular CRM project ended up with the consultants conceding to whatever their development team wanted aka a hot mess of a system.

Wacom needed a partner that wasn’t afraid to say no, understood the ins and outs of their industry, and was able to outline the strengths and weaknesses of their organization and highlight how CRM could enhance the existing fabric of Wacom.

For the relaunch and upgrade to Dynamics 2015, Wacom chose Sonoma Partners as because they knew we would keep them on time, within budget, and focused on the parts of the project that would deliver the most value to their organization.

We aren’t yes-men and yes-women. We’re their strategic partner.

The proof is in the process.
Since the relaunch it’s clear to see how early successes are pushing Wacom closer to the organization they want to be and where future opportunities exist.

As an entire global organization, not just individual regions, CRM is regarded as the central hub of information that allows Wacom to have as much of a 360-degree view of as possible.

  • Wacom can better know their customers. CRM helps them understand what they are selling, what they are buying, when they are making purchases, and better predict future purchases in relation to manufacturing schedule.

  • Wacom can better forecast. With the CRM and SAP integration Wacom isn’t eating inventory that just sits there. They are able to manufacture more accurately against their forecast.

  • Wacom can be more efficient. More efficiencies translate to a leg up on the competition. If they are driving the bottom line, driving eCommerce, and increasing revenue they are able to compete with the Amazons of the world.

  • Wacom can better serve. CRM gives Wacom the ability to manage product feedback, properly address customer issues, and enhance future product development. Their service team finally has the tools they need to see the entire history of their existing customers and provide them with the customer care they expect.