Seven months ago, CEZ Electro begins a large-scale project for thorough digitalization and modernization of their business using contemporary technology. Their goal being to ameliorate the service for their clients and their existing sales process. The company achieves this with the support of a market-acclaimed team of business consultants at Next Consult and the number 1 solution for customer relationship management – Salesforce.
CEZ Electro operates in the local market since 2006 and ever since then, has proven itself a market leader in Bulgaria. The company is the biggest in size and in territorial influence in the country, where it sells electrical energy to more than 1.7 million clients. It delivers electrical energy to Bulgaria under the Electricity Trading License. And in West Bulgaria, it operates in its role of End Supplier and Last Resort Supplier.
The company believes that its success is due to the excellent relationships and trust that it has with its clients. One of the basic principles that CEZ Electro stands by is providing reliability and security, a professional and responsible attitude, complex services, and an individual approach to the client. To achieve an even greater level of satisfaction, the electrical energy supplier undertakes action to develop and modernize its internal organization simultaneously with the fast-paced digital world.
The main reasons to provoke the need for digitalization are not only the big number of clients and the aspiration to deliver different, complex and innovative solutions but also the legal changes that liberalize the electricity market. Starting the 1st of October 2020, all clients using electrical energy for economic purposes are to be launched on the free market.
In view of the upcoming mass liberalization of the market, the logical question is:
“Can we continue using our current approach with the liberalization of 110,000 more business clients, which we have now, as well as with new ones? Let’s not even talk about the 1.6 million households that will come onto the open market in the next few years.”
Dimcho Stanev, Executive Director of CEZ Electro Bulgaria
“In one system, you draft the commercial contract, in another, you import data so that it can be invoiced. At night, sales reps report the sales in another system, and in this way, you track their activities. This was very awkward to do and didn’t respond to our plans for retaining clients on our territory, as well as expanding to new territories in the future.”, he adds.
Having analysed its processes, current and future needs, the electricity supplier decides that it needs an integrated solution that must encompass their entire process – from generating a lead, making an offer and turning it into a potential client, to signing a contract, to devising prices, reports, and statements, to the real-time work done, to maintaining an accurate information database. After in-depth research on the market and the solutions offered, the company decides on Salesforce as the proven best platform worldwide.
“Our aim was to find the most reliable, fastest, easiest to use, and most comfortable system that would ensure not only a good present but a stable future for the company.”, says Dimcho Stanev.
Dimcho Stanev, Executive Director of CEZ Electro Bulgaria
As for choosing a partner for the implementation, they decide on the business and IT consulting company Next Consult because of their reputation on the local market as the most successful implementation partner and reseller of Salesforce.com. Another important reason for choosing Next Consult is the experience that the consultancy already has with another company from the CEZ group – CEZ Trade which trades with wholesale electrical energy. The project in CEZ Trade has been an exceptionally successful implementation that has received honors from the Czech group’s side as well as from worldwide organizations auditing the process.
So, CEZ Electro takes on a path of complete optimization and digitalization of its processes, related to managing its relationship with clients. When choosing a system, what has been shown to be key is not only the desire to increase profit, but also the opportunity to optimize the processes and the information shared, integrated, and available in all systems at all times. To achieve maximum efficacy with the goals set, there is a necessity to clearly define the internal tasks, the scope of the project, and the actions that should be undertaken.
The beginning of the project is marked by serious challenges for the team. Fifteen days after the start, the government decides to launch to the open market not just a few thousand, but all 110,000 clients that CEZ supplies at the time. Thus, the span of the project and the needs change in a matter of days, and the team immediately takes over redefining the plan.
The initial stage of the implementation focuses on the sales process, the purchase of electrical energy, the connectivity between all the processes, the document management, and the crucial overall look at the sales units by traders, products, and for every individual client.
An interface between Salesforce and SAP is built to synchronize and preserve information at its fullest, which allows for a much faster and accurate focus on cross-sales opportunities.
CEZ looks to extend the basic functionality of the system to guarantee its future development such, as the link to new products, sales, after-sales business, and constant optimization of the business processes, which is an assured prerequisite for success. The energy supplier achieves this with the help of the consultants at Next Consult.
Dimcho Stanev defines working with Next Consult thus:
“We believe that we have found the best partner in the face of Next Consult. The team demonstrated agility and partnership. I would say that together, we managed perfectly on such short notice – June to December!”