MACS Maritime Shipping puts Maximizer CRM at the hub of its businessPDF Option
MACS Maritime Shipping was founded in 1970, nine years later the company commenced a Multi-Purpose Liner Service between the United Kingdom, Europe and Southern Africa. Today this has become the main activity of the company which now runs a fleet of fourteen vessels, shipping approximately two million tonnes of cargo a year.
When Nic Real joined as IT Manager at the Cape Town offices, MACS had already invested in a Maximizer CRM system, however adoption was poor and they weren’t realising the full potential of the solution. “Coming from a company that had used CRM heavily, I fully understood the benefits it could bring to our customer facing staff and our customers,” Nic says, “The biggest barrier is often the human factor because people don’t like change!”
Working alongside Maximizer’s South African partner Camsoft Solutions, Nic has put strong emphasis on training. “We have a monthly training session with Camsoft which all key users attend, users can log into the session online too.” A key element which the company have utilised for this is Maximizer’s Company Library feature, which enables users to store documents and literature within the CRM. “The Company Library is fantastic, once we’ve had our monthly training all the session notes are loaded in there, making them available for everyone to refer back whenever they need,” says Nic, “I’ve found that once people have a better understanding of the system and see the benefits it brings to the business and our customers, they really embrace it.”
Building better customer relationships
And so far the benefits have been substantial! Although the main servers are located in South Africa, currently staff from MACS’ offices in the US, UK and Europe are able to log into the system. “I’ve published the application via Citrix and our staff overseas can log in using a Citrix client,” Nic explains, “The response has been brilliant, it’s so quick it’s as good as if the user was sat here at a desktop. The biggest advantage of this is that all our staff can now see the same information and virtually in real-time.” This means that whenever a colleague is talking to a customer, they have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips, which is allowing MACS to provide better all-round customer service to their customers.
The customer feedback has been great. “We use Maximizer’s Marketing Campaign Manager to send out the weekly sailing schedules” says Nic. This is helping to keep customers informed and drives repeat business. “And now with all the information stored in Maximizer we are able to report on and even pre-empt our customers buying cycle and predict trends” Nic says, “To the point where we could, for example, reserve shipping containers before the client has even booked. This gives them great confidence in our abilities and the service that we provide which in turn is improving the relationships we have with them.”
Maximizer as the hub of the business
Looking to the future, Nic sees Maximizer CRM playing an integral part in how the company goes about its day to day business. With plans to fully roll out the system into the overseas offices as well as looking to bring more of the external systems into the Maximizer interface. “We’re going to bring the financial system into Maximizer, and I want to look at linking in our ship’s booking system which, after all, is our core system. I see Maximizer as the hub of our business, it’s a core application. I would like it to be the front end to all our systems, accessing data from our other core systems, such as our cargo and voyage booking system and our financial systems, from a customer point of departure.”