Established in 1986 Candicar is a SME working in the field of automotive accessories and cleaning products. Today, six salespersons make up the sales team of the Charleroi-based company. This team is expected to grow in the coming months following the company’s expansion into Flanders.
Daniel Nicoletti, Managing Director and founder, is behind the use of the SmartSales mobile application by his sales team.
My job is to be one step ahead. I've been saying that the future is not on paper for years. My salespeople are on the road every day. They meet with professionals in the automotive world in garages, between car repairs. The sheets they wrote orders in would get lost, tear up, become illegible... This was clearly not a solution for the future if I wanted to optimise the use of our tools to improve sales”.
One goal: to reduce the time between ordering and delivery
To speed up delivery times, the time between placing an order and it being sent to the logistics centre had to be reduced drastically. How? First, by allowing for orders to be sent for validation from the meeting place. Goodbye paper, hello technology.
Before hearing about SmartSales, Candicar had opted for an custom-developed Android application. Being unusable for a salesperson without the ability to work behind a desk, the Candicar team was quickly disappointed by both the software and the hardware.
“Our salespersons work in difficult conditions: they go from garage from garage, despite the rain, despite the wind. Regardless of the temperature, they take out their tablets to show the catalogue, take orders... They must be able to hold it on one hand while typing with the other. This wasn't possible with the first app we chose.
“Truly mobile solutions are in indeed rather rare. By chance, EASI got in touch with me at the moment we decided to look for another solution. The EASI engineer who came to present SmartSales to me was extremely motivated and professional. He knew his product well and believed in it. From the first minutes of his demo, I understood that this solution met our expectations better. First of all, the tool revolves around the Apple universe, with an app available only for iPad. The quality of these devices doesn't need evidenced, I'm personally a great fan. At the level of intuitiveness and ease-of-use, the solution was very interesting to the team, I was persuaded”, remembers Mr Nicoletti.
For his part, the Candicar sales manager isn't a fan of technology. An app to place an order? This wasn't enough for him, a piece of paper could do the trick. “To each his own. I personally knew we had to move forward, to modernise. And, most importantly, don't let ourselves be overtaken. If my sales manager accepted SmartSales, the rest would be convinced easily”. The reaction was positive. The team could no longer stand the old system, which went from one bug to another and made us waste time: SmartSales came at a great time
Thinking about one thing: sales
“When my salespersons are on the road, I want them all to be comfortable enough to think about one thing: sales. All administrative and other problems need to be solved at the office, in the back office, without wasting their time. Everything else has to flow”.
At their meeting at the beginning of the year, Daniel Nicoletti had the opportunity to share excellent news with his team. While they had stagnated at a growth of 1 or 2% for the past few years, sales grew by 12% in 2017.
“However, the clients remained the same. Practically speaking, two aspects of the sales business evolved in 2017:
- We implemented a sampling policy. For each product sold, a sample is now offered to clients.
- The use of SmartSales. I'm not the only one who says so: it's what the entire team say. The feeling is extremely positive.
The “catalogue” feature is especially used and appreciated, as well as order placement.
“It may sound anecdotal but the fact of bringing out an iPad and using the app in front of our clients and prospects brings real added value to our salespersons. They no longer know how to work without the tablet to show the catalogue. Even though it remains a working tool above all, it provides a touch of professionalism to our image that can't be overlooked”, explains the founder.
More than one delivery day gained
“Since having the ability to place an order remotely, we've sped up delivery by a day or more”. Specifically, if an order is placed at 9:10, it gets to me and gets confirmed at 9:20. In the past, orders would sometimes be confirmed and then encoded several days later”.
Today, if the order comes in before noon, it leave on the 3:00 pm lorry, on the same day. Candicar guarantees delivery within 24 hours if orders are placed in the morning.
More than a supplier, a partner
“After several months of implementation, we've become more comfortable with the relationship being developed with EASI. When we have a question, we know who to contact and how to do it. If I expect great professionalism and unwavering responsiveness from my sellers, the same applies to my professional partners.
And indeed, I consider EASI more of a partner than a supplier”.
What about tomorrow?
Candicar has no intention to stop in the middle of such a good path. For their expansion in Flanders, the prospecting aspect of the business will be crucial. Finding the rare pearls that will share the values and motivation of the company is already difficult enough. Daniel Nicoletti wants to be able to count on a prospecting tool that makes it possible for him to get a view of headhunters' schedules.
This is a great challenge to be faced with EASI!