Axopar’s dealer portal and spare parts online store on the same platform in Salesforce
Axopar is an international, market-leading boat manufacturer that produce more than a thousand boats a year. The company’s turnover has grown at a 30% annual rate and is more than 100 million euros. Since the sale of Axopar’s boats and accessories works through dealers all over the world, there was a strong need for a unified system. Salesforce® enabled the wishes of all parties on the same platform.
Dealer portal to Salesforce
A portal was built for the dealers, which seamlessly communicates in both directions with Axopar’s order and production control systems. The dealer can handle boat orders, boat inspection reports, certificates, handover documents and warranty documents directly from the portal. In this way, the entire sales process, from the order to the handing over of the boat, can be handled from one place. And the messages, events, documentation and documents related to the process are also stored in the same system and are thus easily accessible and reportable.
Axopar’s CEO Ari-Pekka Saarikangas feels that Salesforce is an important help for them:
“Communication between dealers and Axopar has improved with the portal, and at the same time the measurement of different things is now possible in a completely different way than before.”
From Axopar to dealers, from dealers to end users
An allocation tool was built into the portal, with which Axopar can offer production slots for dealers’ boat orders. From Salesforce, you can see at a glance how many slots have been allocated for September, for example, and how many are still available. This ensures that there is available dealer for each finished boat and that possible changes to the plan can be quickly communicated and agreed upon between the parties.
A dedicated tool was also implemented in the portal, with which the dealer can confirm the production slots allocated to him and book the boat’s manufacturing date on a weekly basis. The information of all slots can be seen on the portal, it is updated in real time and the dealer can follow his boat order through the entire process.
When ordering a boat, the dealer determines with which accessories and engine he orders the boat. This configuration of the boat takes place directly in the portal, so the dealer can directly see the final price and delivery time of the boat. The configurator guides the dealer by telling which accessories are available for the selected boat model and which are mutually exclusive. In Salesforce, you can also define mandatory information to be filled in as well as optional additional information. In this way, Salesforce guides its users through the “order path”, helps maintain data quality and only displays relevant information based on the choices made by the user.
Dealers’ online store connected to Salesforce
An online store is also connected to Axopar’s Salesforce, from which retailers can meet the end customer’s additional wishes by easily ordering additional and spare parts for boats. The online store works like any other online store, i.e. the view can be navigated and filtered to find the desired product, products can be searched using the product search, offers or products related to purchases can be highlighted with product promotions and purchases made can be re-ordered. In addition, the online store automatically calculates the delivery cost for the ordered products to the selected address, so the retailer can easily see the total amount of their purchase.
Forecasting sales and managing the overall picture
A Forecast feature was also created in Axopar’s Salesforce, which can be used to estimate boat sales in advance and compare them with actual sales. With the help of Salesforce, Axopar is able to maintain its production capacity, i.e. information on how many boats can be delivered to retailers for resale, and to match this information with forecasted sales volumes. So, sales and production talk to each other in real time.
Overall, with the help of Salesforce, Axopar is able to:
- to predict future boat sales,
- to control boat production slots,
- to provide the dealer with a boat configuration and ordering tool,
- to enable up-to-date information for tracking boat delivery,
- to prepare handover and review documentation,
- to deal with warranty issues and
- to provide a channel (online store) for additional and spare parts sales directly from the dealer portal.
The implementation made extensive use of Salesforce’s basic functionalities, but many features also required more extensive customizations so that the system could serve Axopar’s needs as comprehensively as possible.
The implementation project of the dealer portal proceeded according to plan with the close cooperation of Axopar and Ceili. The first features ordered for the dealer portal were available to Axopar about half a year after ordering the project, and the last ones within a year.
“The cooperation with Ceili worked very well from the beginning. The schedules and costs were kept and were as agreed, and we rely on Ceili’s support also in terms of support now that the portal is in use. Ceili acted like a good business partner at his best and looked for the best solutions in accordance with Axopar’s wishes and goals, and genuinely wanted to understand the cornerstones of Axopar’s business.” – Axopar (CEO) Ari-Pekka Saarikangas
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