For over 75 years, Connecticut-based Dexmet Corporation has been working closely with customers—including well-known brands including Boeing and Airbus—to engineer and manufacture custom precision expanded metals. Due to their iterative product development process and very specific use cases, the company’s sales cycle can exceed 10 years and contain incremental orders that lead up to the production of a final approved product. Keeping track of these projects— and assessing their lifetime value—was a cumbersome, time-consuming manual process that took both management and sales team focus off of customer service and company growth.
Grappling with Costly System Inconsistencies
As is typical for companies operating with legacy technology systems, Dexmet’s data was being maintained in multiple places. This means that someone had to copy and paste data from their ERP system into disconnected Excel spreadsheets whenever they needed to run an analysis, perform comparisons, or get basic business productivity questions answered. And what’s more, there were inconsistencies with how employees coded their product items and prepared customer quotes — requiring additional manual processes that were at once inefficient and error-prone. These administrative limitations made it increasingly difficult for decision-makers to stay on top of alreadycomplex project timelines and ever-evolving customer orders.
Streamlining the Many Moving Parts
MIBAR was tasked with automating Dexmet’s project management workflows to achieve more streamlined customer project pipelines—and deliver the rich data insights that go along with them. The MIBAR team leveraged Microsoft Dynamics 365 to create a custom process while embedding visualization tools to give users a quick yet comprehensive snapshot of business by sales rep or management level.
Because Dexmet employees were accustomed to using Excel spreadsheets to manage their reporting, MIBAR built Excel-based report templates—within the new system—that are connected to their live CRM database. This way, users tap into familiar tools inside of a completely unified, centralized environment—without having to rebuild and reformat every time they want to run reports. And since their accessing a wide breadth of CRM data, each report is capable of providing more detail along any dimension for slice-and-dice data analysis.
Fine-tuning the Details
To that end, each business user can optimize their dashboard to display information that’s most relevant to them so they can get the information they need in seconds. For example, managers and salespeople can look at a project pipeline by segment to track actual goals versus the pipeline; they can show a fulfillment schedule by dollars to see how projected shipping dates correlate with payments.
Finally, MIBAR used the software’s flexibility to address Dexmet’s various data inconstancy challenges. They created a quote template using Microsoft Word template integration, so in a single click users can generate dynamic, professional quotes that contain customer details pulled in from the CRM. They also used the Dynamics 365 API to improve the way Dexmet codifies the items in their system, so now it’s more organized and automatic. Additionally, MIBAR implemented a blanket order release process to make it easier for employees to manage incremental sales and show more accurate order details on each new order.