Superfoam was established 38 years ago with the sole aim of providing families, manufacturing, motor, farming and the hospitality industries with a range of sleep solution products such as mattresses and pillows ‘for a good night’s sleep’.
Since then, Superfoam has grown and diversified their range to include foam sheets and cushions, which are manufactured using world-class technology in a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Ruiru on the outskirts of Nairobi.
Whilst the company enjoys a large market share in Kenya and has established a presence in Uganda and Malawi, their ambition is to expand further into Africa and scale their market reach.
Superfoam has a business model comprising nine sales divisions that focus on the company’s target markets, including Wholesale; Route Sales; Online; Supermarkets; Institutions; Industrial (such as foam for bus and truck seats); and Depots in Mombasa and Kisumu. The systems which were in place were largely manual and they required a reliable Customer Relationship Management strategy that would suit their Consumer Goods operations.
The project commenced with a trial that would see its Route Sales business migrated to Aforza. Aforza provides a range of mobile and cloud-based applications, which are specifically built to address the requirements and processes of businesses operating in the Consumer Goods industry.
Superfoam’s Route Sales division is responsible for 45 routes on which they service many small towns and retailers.The teams were essentially working blindly in terms of the individual customer’s credit terms and account status. Critically, they needed a system that would provide visibility to the Sales Representatives while out on their routes and even while offline.
“Ours is a volume-based business and a classic example of Consumer Goods. Our Route Sales division has a team of twelve Sales Reps, Supervisors and Managers and we required a system primarily to track the sales team activity and provide them with constant access to customer credit limits, credit terms and outstanding balances. We had a database which was managed using a Google spreadsheet,monitoring targets and movements for each of our 3 000 retail customers.This became near impossible as the business grew” says Anurag Shah, Head of Sales, Superfoam.
“We had a look at many other CRM solutions, but most of them did not include the full functionality we were looking for. CloudSmiths and Aforza was a winning combination for us.”
Anurag Shah, Head of Sales, Superfoam
Collaboration with CloudSmiths
The project required an industry based Consumer Goods tool built on Salesforce, to automate the entire ordering process. The goal was to integrate an easy-to-use, mobile-based tool which would address the requirements.“We had a look at many other CRM solutions, but most of them did not include the full functionality we were looking for. CloudSmiths and Aforza was a winning combination for us,” says Anurag. As a strategic Customer Success Alliance Partner (CSAP) of Aforza in Africa, CloudSmiths had the industry insight and experience Superfoam wanted, and Aforza was able to provide out-of-the-box, automated functionalities such as order-taking, recommendations, and cross-selling.”
The CloudSmiths team, led by Tej Bedi, (Regional Director of CloudSmiths in Kenya), worked with Superfoam to recommend Aforza as a Salesforce solution for the business.“CloudSmiths leveraged their experience of the Aforza product to deliver the majority of the requirements out-of-the-box and then tailored the processes to fit local business needs.” says Tej. This was the start of a strong collaboration of which Superfoam would reap the rewards early on.
Superfoam’s Route Sales division is the largest of the nine, and for this reason was chosen as the first to be migrated to the new application. The division grew quickly from an almost zero base, to being the company’s biggest in terms of turnover and gross profit. With its database of 3000 customers and approximately 5 000 monthly orders in Ruiru alone, the division operates with different dynamics to its other seasonal or direct channels, which necessitates unique functionalities. Superfoam’s aim is not necessarily to increase their customer base rapidly, but to service their regular customers at regular intervals. Aforza is able to align with these goals.
CloudSmiths implemented the Aforza Consumer Goods Cloud built on the Salesforce Platform to manage their Sales processes, including visit tracking, surveys and order taking.The project scope utilised many of the native Aforza capabilities, including the online application, mobile offline app, and industry-specific reports & dashboards.
“We’ve seen increased efficiency already start to happen in Phase 2 of implementation. The man-hours we’ve saved have allowed the Route Sales Manager to focus on more strategic priorities and to lead the team in a more effective way”, says Anurag.
Timelines for Integration
The first phase of the pilot project started in mid-November 2020 and involved setting up the Route Sales database on the Aforza platform. It was tested on the customer routes in the field to see how the communication would work between the Aforza mobile app and the back-office in Ruiru, which is northeast of Nairobi.
Phase two focused on implementing the change from a manual order taking system to the new mobile platform. Superfoam were satisfied that the system worked perfectly well for them, as the Sales Team could work efficiently even when offline. On the back end, orders could be easily copied into Superfoam’s SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, eliminating time-consuming manual capturing.
Phase three will see Aforza integrating with Superfoam’s existing SAP ERP, linking stock reporting and movement. Tej Bedi from CloudSmiths explains that this integration is expected to be completed without any challenges, as SAP has open APIs (Application Programming Interface). He says,“Over the 20-plus years that Salesforce has been in business, none of these integrations have ever broken.That is something that Salesforce is very proud of.”
CloudSmiths is the official representative for Salesforce in Africa and with access to the Salesforce ecosystem, which includes an App Exchange, the development team can tailor make the solution to suit the client’s needs. For Superfoam, Aforza incorporated the features they needed to effect a 180-degree change in direction, including:
- Tracking of customer visits
- Order taking via mobile device
- Access to pricing and discounts
- Sales management has a view of Sales Rep activity
- Real time reporting on orders
- Mobile offilne
- Streamlined receiving and processing of orders
- Sales Reps have immediate access to customer credit terms and outstanding balances
- Time saved enables Sales Teams and Management to focus on strategic action
Awaken to Future Innovation
The benefits of the Aforza platform were immediately evident and Superfoam anticipates continued growth over the next six to eight months. With the possibility of extending the project to include Superfoam’s Van Sales division, with truck drivers having access to verification of stock, delivery tracking and confirmation of payment before releasing stock.
Strategically, a valuable feature of the app is the facilitation of market research. While out in the field, surveys will prompt the Sales Rep to gather information in respect of the competition and market representation. By delivering this efficiency and sales intelligence, Aforza has transformed the entire planning and execution process for Superfoam’s operations.
CloudSmiths as the Ideal Bedfellows
In CloudSmiths – Salesforce’s largest partner in Africa – Superfoam found a strategic ally that gave them a perfect solution, providing a springboard for growth which was previously unattainable. More so, the service excellence and willingness from CloudSmiths combined with the technical support and capability of Aforza, resulted in a competitive dream team.