Isuzu Motors Extends SAP Landscape To Drive Improved Sales, Customer Experience

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One of South Africa’s most beloved motoring brands, Isuzu motors has sparked a digital transformation process that has helped it break down internal silos and gain a real-time view over each customer to help it deliver a consistently superior customer experience.

According to says Loren Meyer, Department Executive for Information Technology at Isuzu Motors South Africa.“We had been reliant on the systems and processes of our US-based parent company until they divested in 2017,

“We had to build local capabilities, and since it’s our aspiration to be a leader in the manufacture and supply of vehicles, and to exceed customer expectations, we needed a technology solution that would support our growth plans. We chose SAP technology and Dimension Data as our implementation partner, and have achieved outstanding results to date.”

Divestment Sparks Innovation Drive

Isuzu develops, produces and sells commercial vehicles, light commercial vehicles and diesel engines, of which it is the world’s largest producer, having sold more than 85 million diesel engines in the year to date. Isuzu sells vehicles in more than 120 markets and has manufacturing facilities in 30 countries.

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Following General Motors’ (GM) divestment from South Africa in 2017, Isuzu was restructured, with Isuzu Japan buying out GM’s production facilities. A new company, Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf) was formed, which today employs 1000 people locally and boasts a network of more than 115 dealers across Africa.

READ ALSO: Nissan to set a Car Assembly Plant in Kenya

“During the GM divestment in 2017, an agreement was signed to allow Isuzu Motors South Africa to utilise certain GM systems for a period of time,” says Meyer. “However, as part of our localisation, we had to develop our own local systems and in-source our resources.

We had been working on a locally hosted Isuzu enterprise SAP system that incorporates both the commercial vehicle and light commercial vehicle business processes, and wanted to compliment this with an extended landscape that includes a unified SAP Service and Sales cloud solution.”

From Spreadsheets To Service Cloud

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Previously, Isuzu’s sales team were relying on Excel spreadsheets, CRM tools, emails and portals to log, track and manage customer enquiries. This left them without a complete view of each customer and unable to accurately track the progress of the sales pipeline.

“We wanted an integrated service solution with a single point of reference to create, update and track a customer enquiry,” says Meyer. “We chose to implement the SAP Service Cloud, which helped us reduce the number of systems an agent has to use to resolve a call and enables our teams to resolve customer enquiries more quickly.

The built-in analytics tool has empowered our managers to get a real-time view of each call to allow for personalisation according to each user’s preferences or role.”

The project was not without its challenges. The previous system that GM used was isolated outside of South Africa, and the local teams had little control over the data. “We consolidated all our data in an SAP master database that is applied through to the call centre,” says Meyer. “Working off our own data set that we control and can access in real-time has been one of the great outcomes of this project.”

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Isuzu chose the cloud solution as it forms part of the business’ longer-term hybrid cloud journey. This provides the benefit of automated upgrades and patching provided by SAP. The full integration into the existing SAP system also gives call centre agents real-time access to accurate customer data.

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“From a sales point-of-view, SAP Sales Cloud has given us up-to-the-minute information about each customer as well as insights into their preferences,” explains Meyer. “We now have full visibility over private buyers as well as our direct customers, and can take a closer look at precisely who is in our system and who is interacting with the business.”

Partner Support ‘Invaluable’

The Isuzu team were supported throughout by implementation partner Dimension Data. Natasha Govender, SAP CX Manager at Dimension Data, says the implementation has enabled Isuzu to reduce the number of legacy systems and improve the overall customer experience. “By empowering users with a 360-degree view of each customer across both the sales and service teams, Isuzu is now better placed to deliver a seamless and consistent customer experience.”

Meyer says the support from Dimension Data has been invaluable. “Having partners that understand our landscape, business challenges and pain points has been hugely beneficial, as we can collectively discuss, analyse and take action on any changes, allowing us to make more efficient decisions while minimising risk to the business.”

Enabling Business Continuity In ‘New Normal’

While there are still further developments and innovations planned, the implementation has already produced outstanding business results.

“Our implementation coincided with the global COVID-19 outbreak and South Africa’s first lockdown, which meant our user community were required to work remotely,” says Meyer.

“Call centre agents could access the SAP Cloud Service solution from their offsite working locations and seamlessly continue to provide the high levels of service and support to our valued customers.”

Other benefits provided by the SAP Service Cloud module included:

  • The ability to effectively manage increased activity and numbers of customers showing online interest in Isuzu products and aftersales services;
  • The ability to offer financial relief options as well as introduce several service support campaigns relating to vehicle warranties, roadside assistance and other technical services;
  • The ability to route all enquiries and requests directly from the website into the Service module where each lead and service request could be recorded, qualified by a customer care agent, and sent through to the nearest or most convenient dealer.

“This proved invaluable to our national dealer network, who were able to contact and continue to serve our customers during a challenging time when normal business was regulated by the national lockdown protocols,” says Meyer. “The solution also afforded our fleet sales department the ability to continue engaging and building key relationships with. Our direct customers remotely during what is now a completely different – and very challenging – business environment.”

Meyer adds that flexible accessibility and the ability to work off a centralised customer and product platform has greatly benefited the operational teams. “As a company we are pleased that our business operations have been able to continue uninterrupted during these extraordinary times, resulting in a strong finish to the year.”

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Cameron Beveridge, Regional Director for Southern Africa at SAP, points to Isuzu’s ability to understand each customer at an individual level and in real-time as a true differentiator. “In today’s Experience Economy, companies that can consistently meet and exceed individual customer expectations will outperform their less agile peers. The outstanding implementation achieved by Isuzu and their implementation partners Dimension Data will serve the business well as it looks to build on its proud legacy in South Africa and beyond.”

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Latest News

Next Meats, Purveyor of the World’s First Plant-based Yakiniku Meats, Is Now in Singapore

The Tokyo-based startup makes its debut in the alt-protein hotspot of Singapore

 

  • Next Meats has collaborated with Aburi-EN to deliver two new meal sets
  • Made with soybean proteins, the Kalbi contains no chemical additives or animal ingredients


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 14 April 2021 - Next Meats, a purveyor of the world's first plant-based yakiniku meats, is making its debut in the alternative protein hotspot, Singapore! The Japanese alternative meat company has collaborated this time with popular Japanese restaurant Aburi-EN, which will offer two types of set meals using the NEXT Kalbi (boneless short rib) for the very first time. Made largely from soy proteins, the NEXT Kalbi contains double the amount of protein and half the fats than that of regular meat and even more, it does not contain any chemical additives or cholesterol due to its lack of animal ingredients. Now, Singaporeans can enjoy yakiniku without the guilt!


Isuzu Motors Extends SAP Landscape To Drive Improved Sales, Customer Experience - Brand Spur

From left to right: Premium Kalbi Don Set and Stamina Teishouku Set

The two new menus available at Aburi-EN are the Kalbi Don Set (S$13.80) and the Stamina Teishoku (S$15.80) — which are available for a limited time only. Next Meats has specifically chosen to work with Aburi-EN as they are a Japanese grilled-meat specialist. The two menus are the culmination of many months of research and development, and they will also be Aburi-EN's first-ever plant-based dishes.


Isuzu Motors Extends SAP Landscape To Drive Improved Sales, Customer Experience - Brand Spur

For the Kalbi Don Set, Next Meat's Kalbi is grilled and served atop a bowl of fragrant Japanese steamed rice. Equally indulgent, the Stamina Teishoku features the Kalbi stir-fried with cabbage along with egg imported from Okinawa. The meat is then served with fragrant Japanese steamed rice, salad, pickles and miso soup. For both dishes, the meats are glazed with a special homemade sauce that packs an irresistible umami punch.

Both the Kalbi Don Set and Stamina Teishoku will be available at all Aburi-EN stores from April to July 2021.

An advocate of sustainable food production and better food security

The NEXT Kalbi is one of Next Meats' innovative offerings, which includes other plant-based delicacies such as the NEXT burger and NEXT gyudon (beef bowl). The company champions the importance of saving the planet and humanity through reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (which is produced from meat consumption and animal agriculture) and utilizing biotechnology to combat protein deficiency.

Through extensive research and development, Next Meats has culminated the knowhow on using molecular binding to mould vegetable proteins from powder. Buoyed by state-of-the-art, proprietary technologies, the company has successfully created vegan substitutes that replicate the texture of real meat.

About Next Meats

Hailing from Tokyo, Next Meats is a food-tech venture company that specialises in the research and development of Japanese-style alternative meat products. Its journey of product development began in 2017, and the company was officially established in 2020. Its portfolio of products includes plant-based burger patties, gyudon and yakiniku meats.

Social Media for Next Meats

Facebook: /nextmeats.singapore

Instagram: @nextmeats_singapore

Hashtags: #nextmeats #nextmeats_sg #japaneseplantbased


About Aburi-EN

Aburi-EN is Singapore's leading Japanese Grill restaurant chain, best known for delicious high quality grilled donburi bowls. Signature dishes include the Premium Buta Don with grilled chestnut-fed pork, Wagyu Karubi Don, and the Wagyu Stamina Don, made using A4/A5 Miyazaki Wagyu, which has won Japan's "National Wagyu Award" for 3 consecutive years, among many others. The homemade sauces give the meats and dishes an extra umami-ness. Aburi-EN is also known for affordable highballs and Japanese sours, which pair perfectly with the Aburi dishes.

Social Media for Aburi-EN

Facebook: /aburiensg

Instagram: @aburien.sg

Hashtags: #aburiensg #aburiendonburi #aburienjapanesegrill

Outlets

- Isetan Scotts:

350 Orchard Rd, #01-K1 Shaw House, Singapore 238868

- Causeway Point

1 Woodlands Square, #02-09B Causeway Point, Singapore 738099

- Jem

50 Jurong Gateway Rd, #01-04 Jem, Singapore 608549

- Vivo City

1 Harbourfront Walk, #01-159/160 VivoCity, Singapore 098585

- Novena Square

238 Thomson Rd, #01-89/90, Singapore 307683

- Guoco Tower

1 Wallich St, #B2 - 09, Singapore 078884

- Orchard Central

181 Orchard Central, Central, #01-16 Orchard, 238896

- Suntec City

3 Temasek Blvd, #B1-121 Suntec City Mall, Singapore 038983

- Nex

23 Serangoon Central, #01-63/64/65 Nex, Singapore 556083

Operating Hours

11am – 10pm, Daily

Isuzu Motors Extends SAP Landscape To Drive Improved Sales, Customer Experience - Brand Spur
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