She Managed Me with Science

Akibia aids Bose CRM

February 7, 2001 -- Years ago, Robin, a friend of mine, resurrected the thoroughly tired sound system in his sixty-something Z28 with the addition of some Bose speakers. After about an hour of installation time, She Blinded Me with Science never sounded so good. (I said it was years ago.) I doubt he still has the Camaro, but if he does, and he wants to once again upgrade the sound system to enable Thomas Dolby to wail from the back deck (the eighties are back, after all, if they ever really left), one company aims to make it even easier to get wired with Bose than it was lo those many years ago.

Akibia Inc. recently announced its successful implementation of a customized CRM solution to improve sales management and customer service for Bose Corporation, the most respected name in sound. With the success of products such as the Wave radio, the Bose sales organization has experienced significant growth around the globe. This customer relationship management initiative is helping Bose improve its sales management processes and streamline communication throughout the organization.

Bose's sales group outgrew traditional conference calls and call reports, said Adam Honig, president of Akibia's consulting group. Akibia delivered a tailored CRM solution that now matches the sophistication of their products.

The Bose sales organization is comprised of regional groups that at any given point are working on hundreds of activities ranging from direct-to-consumer promotions to large, nationwide reseller programs. Before the CRM solution was implemented, communication between the sales groups was lacking, which meant that countless teenagers ran the risk of not experiencing the Backstreet Boys at their fullest sound integrity. (Such as it is.)

Akibia's implementation approach allowed Bose to quickly capture a return on investment while continuing to add new functionality as needed. Akibia first built an overall foundation for sales management functions by standardizing the process for planning and managing sales activities, tracking leads, and monitoring reseller programs. With a consistent sales management system in place, communication between the sales groups is simplified and improved.

Akibia then taught the Bose field service organization how to use the new CRM system as a strategic tool to create business plans and programs tailored to specific retail customers. To better manage dealer/reseller promotions, the system includes an automated method for tracking reseller funds and inventory records of product/promotional displays. Akibia also streamlined the onerous but necessary task of submitting expense reports by allowing sales reps to create them online. With these features, the CRM solution provides a means for all sales groups to measure cost of sales, an increasingly important objective for corporate management.

Bose is dedicated to creating experiences for our customers that are enlightening, unique and delightful, said Tim Arnold, manager of eBusiness Strategy at Bose. Akibia's solution allows us timely access to critical information, and is a major contributor in helping us exceed the expectations of our customers. Based on this initial success, Bose is expanding its corporate commitment to CRM and plans to work with Akibia to expand the application throughout the company.