Fortop monitors everything in Archie
Fortop Automation & Energy Control is an importer and wholesaler in the field of industrial automation and energy monitoring. Not one email is sent to a client or phone call made without a record being kept in Archie. “We monitor everything in Archie: revenue, margins, development of customer groups, responses to email newsletters. It's basically the foundation of our company.”
Sixteen years ago Harmen Sikkema and Ton Kanters founded Fortop, wholesaler and importer of a number of brands in the field of industrial automation. Client by client, they built their company. In those first few years, they used Act as their relationship-management solution, but they soon found that its functionality was too limited for their needs. Harmen: “It's the details that make the difference to a client. The more information you record about your client and the better you respond to their individual needs, the more successful you'll be.”
Archie was one of the parties Fortop contacted in its search for what Harmen calls ‘functional tools for effective relationship management’. “We had a list of ten wishes which we sent to each supplier. Archie was the only one that prepared a demo that specifically addressed the items on our wish list. The software provided for all of our needs, and more.”
More relevant e-mailings
Those were initially parked for a bit. “Our use of the available functionality has slowly grown over time. Right now, we're using just about all of it,” Harmen recounts. A few features stand out to him in particular. “We'd been sending out e-mailings for a while, but we didn't truly master them until we started using Archie. We're now segmenting our client groups more and more, and creating specific mailings tailored to those audiences. After all, the more relevant the articles are for the reader, the higher the response rate will be and the lower the number of unsubscriptions.”
“Archie is a functional tool for effective relationship management.”
Another frequently used feature is the Attention Monitor. Harmen: “Of course I check the Sales Monitor every day, but I get most of the real opportunities for improvement from the Attention Monitor. With the Attention Monitor, we map out how much contact is taking place with which clients. It shows you things that would normally remain invisible, such as clients we spend a lot of time phoning and emailing even though they only generate a very small amount of revenue for us. Or, even worse, very important clients with whom we hardly communicate at all.”
Insight into customer database
Harmen also makes a lot of use of the Customer Value Optimizer (CVO), which generates a customer pyramid with the push of a button. “Well, pyramid... For us, it usually takes quite a different shape. I create CVOs per industry, per country and per product group or brand. I can easily compare the segments to each other and over time. How are the different segments developing? What's the effect of a marketing campaign in a particular industry? How come I generate a lot more revenue per customer in one country than in another? Without Archie, it'd cost a lot of effort to get this kind of overview.”
Since Fortop receives a marketing budget from its suppliers, this far-reaching insight yields immediate financial benefits. “For example, I can show that one particular campaign very effectively turns prospects into clients, while another results in existing clients placing more orders. You can tell suppliers are really impressed by this level of insight. It's one of the reasons why they're pleased to do business with us.”
A grip on margins
Elisabeth Sikkema, manager of Fortop's administrative back office, also doesn't know what she'd do without Archie. “Everything comes together in Archie: purchasing, sales, returns, repairs, emails, phone calls, you name it. For instance, if I want to know whether someone has ever made a purchase with us, I check Archie, not our ERP system. One of the great things about Archie is that when we prepare a quotation, we also see the products’ purchase cost. And I can tell right away if a supplier gave us a volume discount, for example. This way, we keep a very firm grip on our margins.”
"We bring in our money with Archie."
Elisabeth and Harmen praise the software's user-friendliness. “Employees love to use it; we never need to convince anyone. In the uncommon event that we do have discussions about Archie, it's more about: how shall we capture this? Because it's a flexible package, and there are many roads that lead to Rome. ”Finally, they're also very happy working with the Archie team. Harmen: “We frequently sit around the table with them to discuss possible ways of improving the software. They review our ideas, and when they believe our suggestion will be relevant for more of their clients, it becomes a part of their standard package. The result is that there's very little custom software involved; it's really just linking with other software packages. The rest is standard software. Still, it feels like the package was designed entirely based on our wishes. It just matches our needs perfectly.”
Fortop is a specialist in the field of industrial automation and energy control. Fortop realizes that the safety and reliability of machines and installations as well as insight into energy quality are critically important to its clients’ operations. Their ways of working are central to the solutions Fortop provides and the way the company does business. Would you like to learn more about Fortop's personalized and solution-oriented approach? Check out www.fortop.nl.