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Vax UK Ltd

CRM system evaluation and RFP process management



Vax UK Ltd is the number one floor care brand in the UK, having grown its market share to 25% over the last ten years despite an aggressive and crowded market.   The brand is distributed and represented in over 50 countries and is part of TechTronic Industries (TTi), a $4bn global organisation that owns world famous electrical brands such as Hoover, Oreck, AEG, DirtDevil, Ryobi to name a few.

The organisation has embraced CRM techniques in their marketing approach for a number of years, but the existing technology was limiting Vax’s capability in accelerating their progress in this area. The main users of CRM systems at Vax – Marketing, the Contact Centre and Commercial Sales – were already using a range of systems, but these did not integrate with each other.  As a result, important customer and sales data were stored in separate databases with little shared insights and data to inform their marketing and sales efforts.  Vax recognised that this lack of integration had been holding back their progress in developing their CRM strategy and achieving stretch targets for several years.

The requirement

  • To evaluate the stakeholders’ requirements for an integrated CRM system/approach for Vax UK and recommend the best way forward for Vax with regard to the number of CRM systems required
  • To project manage the selection and supply of a CRM system and associated supplier that will service the needs of Vax’s Contact Centre, Sales and Marketing teams

Our role was to ensure that the Vax stakeholders came to a consensus on a single CRM system within a fixed period of time, and to expedite the appointment of a supplier and system, while following a structured objective evaluation process.


The challenges

  1. Diverse requirements
    Four stakeholder departments were involved in the project, of which three departments would be key users – their requirements were not in alignment increasing the challenge to find a single solution
  2. Conflict of ownership
    A common issue, it was not clear as to who was the natural owner of the CRM system and therefore who would have administrative rights and direct access to the source data.
  3. Time
    The implementation of the new CRM system had to be completed in just three months, with a fixed completion date due to the relocation of the Contact Centre later in the year.  The evaluation and selection process had to be completed in 8 weeks from start to finish.
  4. IS governance and infrastructure
    The recommendations had to be compliant with IS governance and strategy, taking into account both the existing and future infrastructure.
  5. Vax UK strategic direction
    Although we were asked to look only at the UK market, we had to be mindful that there could be a requirement to extend the system to Vax’s overseas markets.
  6. Extended requirements
    Vax did not have a preferred system in mind, so we were tasked with identifying systems and suppliers in parallel.


What we did

We completed the project in two distinct phases:

1. Immersion Phase -
In this phase we needed to fully understand the background, challenges and requirements of Vax UK, undertake desk research into the CRM market and prepare our findings in a formal report.   This had to be completed in a very short of period of time due to the urgency of the overall project.

Interviews were conducted with not just the stakeholders, but with other departments from the wider organisation to ensure that we understood the business challenges as well as to identify if other departments would benefit from the usage of a new CRM system.

2. RFP process
This was comprised of completing the following tasks:

  • Primary research into CRM suppliers
  • Primary research into CRM systems
  • Requirements documentation
  • Preparation of the RFP document
  • Setting up system demonstrations
  • Management of the RFP process
  • Managing supplier queries
  • Design of scorecards for the stakeholders to assist with objective decision making and evaluation of systems and suppliers
  • Evaluation of RFP responses
  • Closedown activities: notifications and feedback to Suppliers

Below is the project timeline and key activities (click for a larger version):

Our approach

Vax and Aszent established a Project Steering Board and Project Support Team, both of whom were required to attend the weekly Checkpoint meetings.  The Steering Board was comprised of the Board members, so it was not without its challenges in getting meetings booked and decisions made!

These meetings were used to discuss progress, actions and issues.  In addition daily communication was maintained with the members of both teams to expedite completion of action points.

We designed easy to use Scorecards to facilitate the decisions on selecting a CRM system and associated supplier.  These were used to remove as much subjectivity as possible from the decision making process, as previous experience of systems and suppliers was colouring opinion and slowing down the process.

Benefits to Vax

  • Completion of evaluation project on time enabling Vax to appoint a supplier to meet  the deadline
  • Minimal impact upon existing Vax resource configuration, enabling Vax to focus on business as usual, as well as preparing for the enhanced CRM programme
  • Transfer of knowledge and process on RFP and bid management from Aszent to Vax  – this was an area in which they previously had limited  experience
  • Unbiased decision which was accepted by the Global Board without resistance, funding for Cap Ex approved quickly
  • The project management communication structures provided an arena for the Senior Managers to debate and discuss their requirements openly and honestly.


Aszent has proved invaluable in automating SeachStar’s web analytics and statistics; we’re able to save time and focus on our core business as a result of their innovation and dedication. They have delivered 100% customer delight & are hugely recommended for their intelligent solutions and genuine customer service. — Dan Fallon, MD, SearchStar

Call Aszent on 07887 653595