5 Minutes with Keith Robertson, Worldwide Customer Database Manager, JCB Sales
In every corner of the world you'll find a JCB machine. JCB is one of the world's top four manufacturers of construction equipment. JCB employ over 7,000 people on 4 continents, have 20 factories and sell products in 150 countries through 2000 dealer locations.
Throughout their 66 year history, as a family owned company JCB have always invested heavily in research and development, keeping JCB at the cutting edge of innovation.
JCB approached Geoplan around 15 years ago as they required a tool that would assist with Dealer Territory management on a global basis and also in support of marketing initiatives. In overview, we provide JCB with the GeoAnalyser solution supported by the Distribution Module, Census Data and Global mapping capability. An integrated link between the global online JCB Sales system and Salesforce.Com is under construction and will facilitate an easy transfer of data, saving both time and resource.
1- Please could you tell us a little about your role for JCB and how the Geoplan system is used?
My primary role is to run the JCB CRM projects and manage the customer databases. We are rolling out Salesforce.com CRM within JCB and to selected dealerships around the world. In addition to this I am part of a team that runs the company’s customer experience programme. In 1995 I was given Tactician to use and have been using it ever since. It fits very well with my primary responsibility and on a number of occasions it has helped me do complex data manipulation. Today we mainly use Tactician for market planning, defining regional responsibility and general statistical analysis. This is in addition to the territory planning. We have progressively bought more data sets to extend the coverage of Tactician outside of the UK. Today it is a service used quite comprehensively and we are now at a stage when we need to train additional resource to use the package.
2- Please could you confirm what key benefits are associated with your Geoplan System?
The ability to model quickly scenarios, produce maps that help us make decisions and also to plan our coverage. People within our industry tend to be very visual and a map seems to be the best way to present data.
3- In terms of quantifying the benefits of the Geoplan Solution, what savings in terms of time or revenue have JCB seen over the last circa 15 years?
Hard to quantify but we feel that by having the capability in house we have saved many thousands on external consultancy. JCB is a very practical organisation and we always prefer to do things in-house wherever possible.
4- If you could outline three areas where Geoplan excels, what would those be?
- The flexibility of the package
- The ability to easily answer people’s requests
- The quality of the support from Harrogate
5- If you could outline three areas where Geoplan could improve, what would those be?
- More work is still needed to make it work more like Microsoft packages – make the buttons do the same things as Office. Improve integration with Powerpoint
- Improve Plot Layout capability – auto update when map changes, moving labels, add images, undo button!!
- Outside the UK – map projections can be an issue.
- Non UK map availability through Harrogate “off the shelf” rather than as a custom development.
6- What makes Geoplan different as an organisation?
I am extremely happy with the support and assistance from the Harrogate team – some of whom I have known for many years. They certainly understand their product and you get value for the ESP fee.