Co-construction and agile method: the two key dimensions of the Salesforce deployment for GEODIS

Since April 2019, EI-Technologies has been supporting GEODIS group in the gradual implementation of a Salesforce CRM platform. We asked Romaryc Pelissié, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and Fabien Hyvonnet, Customer Experience Manager to tell us more about the project challenges.

co-construction, teamwork and discussion agile method

Defining the roadmap and its stakes

Providing a transparent solution for all GEODIS sales representatives, a challenging, though not impossible task. “We started with a series of deep dive sessions “, Romaryc Pelissié, Solution Architect, explains. For several days, all teams, including GEODIS sales forces, worked on aligning as much as possible the sales opportunity processes with the client life cycle, in order to identify the actual requirements. “Based on this analysis, we chose to build the entire solution around 4 major versions, interspersed with intermediate versions for application enhancement. This is our first roadmap. The second roadmap shall apply, in parallel, to the deployment with the users, per country. We delivered an initial version in November 2019”, Fabien Hyvonnet says, as Customer Experience Manager at EI-Technologies.

Initially deployed in two areas (Germany and Asia), this first version includes for the time being the “Sales” module and addresses the requirements of two businesses: Air & Ocean Freight and Contract Logistics. “This version is also interfaced with a customer repository for a consolidated and hierarchical view of the various GEODIS portfolios worldwide, and integrates Business Intelligence tools, to make financial follow-up accessible to all”, Fabien Hyvonnet explains. GEODIS developed and delivered two interfaces. “This is crucial: the client perfectly anticipated the development of essential blocks for a high-performance CRM.”Another interface, a standard feature of Salesforce, also makes it possible to synchronise contacts and agendas between the CRM and Outlook to improve team productivity.

Agile method

With this application core, the solution evolves and gradually integrates new countries and complementary businesses. “We have built a core model compatible with clients’ life cycles, specific attributes and service repositories adapted to each line of business, Fabien Hyvonnet stresses. We will gradually enhance this core model with new versions, thus guaranteeing flexible and smooth deployments”.  It enables GEODIS sales forces to manage its clients’ specificities, while sharing a 360° view common to all.

A version is delivered every two months or so. To maintain this steady pace, “we adopted the agile method”, Fabien Hyvonnet explains. “Each version is organised in two sprints, allowing the business to mature its requirements, prioritise them and define intermediate deliverables in line with the Roadmap of each version. At the end of the sprints, integration testing and end user testing are conducted The latter can escalate any defect identified over the last two weeks, and for us to gradually fix them”, Romaryc Pelissié details. Then, the pre-production environment helps make sure that everything is working in conditions. This constitutes the dress rehearsal before go-live“.

Regarding design, the Salesforce solution provides a rich and powerful platform. The EI-Technologies team makes sure to adapt the solution to the needs and the everyday use of GEODIS sales representatives and their managers. “For example, we make sure to reduce scrolling without increasing the number of clicks”, the architect explains. “At first, we build screens one by one to make sure all the business processes will be well integrated in the solution, in an ergonomic way” , EI-Technologies’ project manager adds.

Smooth integration

Recently, a mobile application was deployed. The next version will integrate two new business lines (Road Transport and Supply Chain Optimization) as well as advanced management of the RFP with “score cards”: One “score card” is an assessment grid, to define an indicator.

And to ensure a smooth geographical deployment in parallel, “each country or area shall schedule its own training dates. The data migration from the existing systems shall take this schedule into account, to gradually migrate the users to the new CRM”, Fabien Hyvonnet explains. The former CRM tools will be maintained throughout the transition. Once migrated, these tools will be available in read-only mode to the new Salesforce users. “Until today, the users had their own tool and worked in a silo-based manner in terms of businesses and clients. We can now rely on a transparent approach of clients and ongoing opportunities, while preserving business specificities”, Romaryc Pelissié concludes.

To better understand the challenges of the Salesforce solution deployed by EI-Technologies, kindly refer to the strategy article here.