CRM: Case File – Apollo Tyres: Dealers’ Choice

Apollo Tyres Ltd was searching for a long-term CRM strategy and
solutions to add value to its stakeholders/dealers. Finally, ATL took the plunge
last year. The company had 147 locations spread across India to cater to its
dealers, the primary customers, with approximately 5,000 dealers to cover the
entire country.

Dheeraj Sinha, head of IT division, Apollo Tyres, said, "A
key future direction was to enable our exclusive dealers to get access to our
central database and directly track various information fields relating to their
performance instead of depending on Apollo regional office for the same,"
said Sinha. "We felt that the dealers should feed in their requirements in
the system, which will be tracked for their status. Also, it was thought that
customers should have the option to feed their stock into the system, which will
allow them to track their stock status on daily basis," he added.

"Our exclusive dealers
can now access to our central database instead of depending on regional
offices for information"

-Dheeraj Sinha
head IT, Apollo

Also, providing customers with the status of their requirements
with tentative delivery schedules, enabling dealers to have their financial
accounting for better financial management and track their achievements vs their
quarterly targets, creating a mailing system under the company’s domain were
high on the agenda.

Apollo’s Approach
The company chose standardized SAP solutions to implement dealer portal
solution. "It was a comprehensive solution which gave us a self service
window, feedback window, e-mail facility, and a marketing communication,"
he added.

The solution enabled the company to view and download reports
(of statement of accounts, credit details, commitment vs achievement,
outstanding/ageing analysis, deposited cheques details/status, status of
participation level in different annual schemes) transactions with dealers etc.

Technology Involved

The technical infrastructure
that has been put up as a part of the customer centric initiatives are:

  • SAP as the central
    database catering to all the add on applications (Dealer portal and

  • Dealer Portal based on
    the SQL database with SAP Connector with interface to mailing system
    of dealers

  • DIRS with workflow
    automation and e-mail integration of complete Apollo Tyres domain
    mailing system (Both Internal ATL mailing and dealers mailing with
    Apollo domain)

  • Robust and sufficient
    Internet bandwidth

  • SMS Gateway Server with
    interface to SAP

  • Collection of Customer
    data base

"The feedback window gave us details on product
performance, market trends, annual schemes. Moreover this window had a feature
of workflow where all these feedback goes to the concerned person and the
emailed reply from them go back to the dealer," Sinha said. Besides this,
email facility for dealers under the company’s domain was also created.
"Anybody anywhere with an Internet enabled PC and a valid user ID and
password provided by ATL, can access the Dealer Portal of the company," he

Innovative SMSing
The company started its SMS based solution to reach out to dealer in areas
where infrastructure was very low for providing the customers with details of
the invoices, and status of the cheques deposited. This initiative helped the
dealers to know their key information at their fingertips without approaching
Apollo Tyres Ltd, Sinha said. The company has decided to leverage the same
infrastructure for internal customers also.

The SMS facility was extended to the sales force, wherein the
sales force can have the outstanding and credit details of the concerned dealers
on a daily basis. The sales force also had the facility to the query system for
the stock status at the relevant godowns.

Sinha further said that the company also implemented DIRS
(Dealers issues Redressal System), to receive the dealers’ complaints for
addressing them immediately.

Team DQ

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