While many organisations have announced their latest generation of AI capabilities with a lot of promises, Infor has gone a step further. Infor announced its Coleman AI in 2018. Since then it has quietly enhanced its AI capabilities integrated into its suite of products. The most recent example of where it has made a difference is with the global outdoor furniture manufacturer Grosfillex. Grosfillex believes that with the help of an AI-powered customer grading process, it has increased revenues by 10% and its sales productivity by 83%.
Grosfillex has used Infor solutions for several years. First implementing Infor M3, which then migrated to the multi-tenant Infor CloudSuite Manufacturing solution in 2021. It is now leveraging a combination of Infor Coleman AI, Automation and Infor Birst to further improve efficiency and business value.
Andrew Rinehimer, Grosfillex e-commerce Account Manager, commented, “In the first week of using the AI dashboard, we saw a 10% increase in revenue for a particular set of accounts. Each salesperson has access to a personalized dashboard with a profitability grading for their accounts and uses this information to create the right sales strategies. What’s powerful is that the AI system is generating these insights for us across hundreds of customers, so sales can focus its time on improving the business and customer experience.”
Begin with a business problem
Grosfillex was founded in 1927 as a small family-owned woodworking manufacturer with its corporate headquarters in Oyonnax, France. The firm has grown since then to become a leading global manufacturer. Offering a wide range of resin products for residential and commercial use. In North America, its locations include manufacturing facilities and distribution centres in Pennsylvania.
As the company have modernised, it took advantage of the trend towards online buying. But found that the medium did not provide as rich an experience as physical stores. Where customers could quickly view everything available, seeing products in a natural environment where scale and colour are recognised quickly.
The challenge with the commerce site was that dealers and consumers could not see the full extent of the product range. Missing the best sellers or items specifically suited to their circumstances. It meant that the Grosfillex sales team needed to spend more time understanding requirements than explaining and informing customers and dealers what was available.
With hundreds of customers, Grosfillex struggled to understand how they could make a difference. Without spending hours analysing customer data one customer at a time. This was exacerbated by the data required being located in different silos. It meant that salespeople spent most time working with high-value accounts to maintain business. Rather than identifying the growth opportunities that were out there.
Another challenge was that if a product was out of stock, sales were quickly lost. As, most of the time, the salesperson did not know about the hundreds of SKUs available to offer an alternative that would match the original requirement.
Using Coleman AI and an Infor Birst Analytics dashboard
Grosfillex implemented a combination of Coleman AI and Infor Birst. This brought together the data insights it needed to manage the sales operation more effectively. Now deployed, the solution has made a significant difference. Data is sourced from across the organisation automatically, analysed and presented within a Birst dashboard. It enables the sales force to identify the high, medium and low accounts. And enable the sales force to strategize and take appropriate actions to increase revenue. Rather than focus on individual accounts, it analyses data from hundreds of accounts. Delivering salespeople the information to make a difference.
There was an immediate improvement. Within a week, the team saw a 10% increase in revenue for the accounts targeted. In a video supporting the release, Reinhimer gave an example of how it can further accelerate revenue, “Somebody showed up on my Birst dashboard, and we didn’t even know we were doing business with them anymore. The first call to action was me getting on the phone with them and saying, Hey, I’m glad you’re still doing business with us. So, it really opened up lines of communication right away. There was one order in the past 12 months. We hope that we’re gonna have 100 orders in the next 12 months.”
It was not just customer sales that were analysed. Within a month the company had increased gross margin by making tweaks in pricing.
To answer the challenge of out-of-stock products, the AI can present viable alternatives for the customer if their first choice is out of stock. The selection is very similar to the original choice. The sale is not lost, and the customer order is fulfilled quickly.
Grosfillex can also quickly identify not just the products that are selling well. But perhaps other lines that might also do better if given more prominent positioning on the eCommerce site.
Grosfillex CEO Frans Govers, commented, “Managing thousands of products makes it impractical for employees to provide such intelligent recommendations without extensive experience or a tool such as AI. Equipped with Infor’s product recommender, we anticipate fulfilling more orders, leading to increased revenues and heightened customer satisfaction.”
More than AI and Birst
Grosfillex is also taking advantage of the automation features within the Infor products. Using the workflow feature, the team created a new customer activation process. The new workflow has improved the time to activate a new customer. It eliminated the previous manual, email driven, process to an automated one. This updates data automatically and manages the stages with task assignments. It has reduced errors and reduced the time taken by over 90%, from 1-2 weeks to 1-2 days. It has also given visibility into what is happening to the onboarding.
Massimo Capoccia, Infor’s Chief Innovation Officer, said, “Infor is excited to partner with an innovative company such as Grosfillex that is committed to staying at the forefront of its industry. Our cloud technology platform, which provides integrated AI and automation capabilities, is enabling Grosfillex to enhance customer service, employee productivity and more. We started by helping Grosfillex utilize AI and automation to grade customer accounts faster and more efficiently, and we look forward to helping the company further leverage these capabilities to grow its business.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Grosfillex provides a practical example of how AI and a datalake can make a significant difference for an organisation. Innovation is not always easy. However, Grosfillex quickly identified a real business problem and then turned to Infor to help them solve it. Infor has proven it has the tools to deliver a solution. That not only delivers immediate value but will continue to help the firm increase revenue and profit margins where it needs to.