Our work — Uponor

Uponor: One unified sales team

Uponor understood that choosing the right technology is only half the journey when it comes to digital transformation. To truly succeed, getting people onboard and changing company culture is equally important.

Many manufacturing companies are undergoing digital transformation, and for a good reason: they are seeking to connect employees, processes and customers more closely together. Uponor needed to transform their sales operations, as they had a large regional sales team in Europe relying on legacy customer management systems, disconnected from their customers.

Uponor was founded in 1918 as a carpentry firm in Finland. Today it is one of the world’s leading solution providers for safe drinking water delivery, energy-efficient radiant heating and cooling, and reliable infrastructure for residential, commercial and municipal construction projects. The company operates in 26 countries in Europe and North America with total revenue of 1.3 billion euros.

Towards deeper customer relationships

There were two main strategic challenges that Uponor sought to solve. The first challenge: engaging customers better during the customer lifecycle. The second challenge: considerably increasing sales productivity. Uponor saw that account development was key to their success in the future construction market, and recognized the need to develop sales from a transactional process to a way of building relationships with customers.

Uponor also struggled with a fragmented and complex system portfolio that was ageing fast. Both their digital and physical channels suffered from low levels of integration: marketing automation, CRM and ERP all operated as separate systems, disconnecting the customer journey.

“We wanted to future-proof our technology capabilities. It was essential that we remove the silos we had between marketing automation, CRM and ERP systems that were all running on Oracle. We wanted to get closer to the customer, to serve and understand them better,” Christoph Holtze, Director Sales Excellence, describes the starting point for the transformation.

It’s not just the technology

Uponor set out to win more engaged customers as a driver for productive growth. They created a shared customer-centric view and vision of how they wanted to be perceived in different markets across Europe to support this mission.

“We selected Salesforce as the platform for unifying different sales processes throughout Europe. We also wanted to improve internal communication and collaboration and share best practices between the different teams,” Christoph says.

Uponor chose Fluido as their partner for embarking on the Salesforce journey. The project was a multi-cloud implementation, where business processes were digitalised at the operational and management levels. From the Salesforce solutions available, the project touched upon Salesforce Sales Cloud, Pardot, Service Cloud, Salesforce CPQ, and Tableau. Fluido helped Uponor from strategic planning to implementation.

But having the right technology is only half of the journey: this project was also about adopting the lean methodology and, with Fluido’s support, changing the culture inside the company.

“The best craftsman is not anything if he doesn’t know how to use the hammer. The vendor or tool won’t do it for you. You need to engage and work with people in your organisation to make those tools work for you,” Christoph underlines.

One unified sales process

The 18-month transformation project involved six different project teams, two business divisions, and various company functions from sales to marketing and customer service. It had almost 100 people working together in a cross-organizational cooperation model between the Uponor and Fluido teams in over 20 countries.

“At Fluido, everyone was committed to delivering value in every sprint. Your openness to share your thoughts and any possible obstacles, together with transparent communication, really helped us in working together and growing together,” Christoph says.

"At Fluido, everyone was committed to delivering value in every sprint. Your openness to share your thoughts and any possible obstacles, together with transparent communication, really helped us in working together and growing together."

Christoph Holtze, Director Sales Excellence, Uponor

Now Uponor’s sales processes are aligned towards one shared purpose and goal. They have a new, unified Salesforce platform in use, with different clouds such as Sales Cloud and Service Cloud integrated within the platform and the ERP system. This platform can be used to create a business ecosystem between customers and partners in the future.

Over 20 different sales processes have now become one unified process, making it easier for sales teams across markets to collaborate and ultimately win more deals. All relevant customer information — such as leads, opportunities and quotes — are available instantly on the Salesforce platform without switching between different systems.

Christoph highlights that another remarkable feature of the collaboration is that the Uponor and Fluido teams worked together completely remotely:

“I actually never met the team face-to-face for the first ten months, so what we did together with Fluido was done in a completely remote setup. It was a unique experience.”

“We had two different companies working together as one team. You could feel the mutual commitment, respect, and openness. This really made us successful,” Christoph concludes.

 

As the speed of digital change increases, there is a need for new, more agile strategies. Fluido Manufacturing Forum: Speed of Change event drills into why and how manufacturers need to keep up with the fast-changing world. Watch the webinar here. 

 

Written by Mirka Kurkela

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