How Lubrication Engineers obtained greater control over its business with Zoho One

About Lubrication Engineers

Established in 1951, Lubrication Engineers manufactures high-performance lubricants for customers from various industries around the world. It focuses on helping customers maximize uptime at their organizations by promoting lubrication reliability programs and minimizing operational challenges.

The company employs 100 people globally, with a manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas and a warehouse in Knoxville, Tennessee. Its trained and certified consultants and international distributors provide 2,000 different products to individual customers.

Major results

6 monthsPayback period
15-25%Productivity increase
25%Time saved
1:10Cost-benefit ratio

The Challenge

Until 2017, Lubrication Engineers relied solely on its ERP system to track business growth and KPIs. An ERP system simply wasn't capable of offering the company accurate data on usage rates, conversion rates, and other metrics.

The company used Highrise CRM for a while, which is a system limited to contact and task management features. Since the CRM was designed for small businesses, Lubrication Engineers needed a solution with a much bigger scope.

The greater the scope, the better

Paul Grimes, the Chief Operating Officer at Lubrication Engineers, handles the task of finding solutions to create value, reduce costs, simplify process complexity, and, ultimately, turn those into actionable realities that affect the company's bottom line. Lubrication Engineers evaluated several CRM systems, including Salesforce, Goldmine, and SAP CRM.

In pursuit of a suitable CRM, Lubrication Engineers found the Operating System for Business, Zoho One.

Kevin Chieff of Soft Skills LLC, a Zoho Advanced Partner, was instrumental to the implementation of Lubrication Engineers' Zoho One instance. "We had a dedicated team of six that met twice a week for a year with Kevin Chieff," says Grimes. "Kevin played an essential role as a partner, teaching us and introducing us to features we didn't know existed, and getting us through our business process."

The Solution

Generating leads from multiple sources via integrations

Lubrication Engineers has 70 sales consultants across the USA supporting customers at a local level, combined with approximately 100 employees working remotely or at the Wichita plant location. Outside North America, the company sells products through international distributors. The International Operations Vice President interacts with Zoho CRM on behalf of the 55 distributors, while the sales teams manage 10,000 active customers in CRM.

Lubrication Engineers generates leads from various sources. By integrating Zoho Forms and CRM, the company created forms called "LE Recommends" and "Contact Us" on its website, which bring in ample prospective contacts who are directly funneled into CRM. The integration with Zoho Bookings accelerates that process, allowing leads to directly book an appointment with a representative from the company.

Zoho SalesIQ has also been actively implemented on Lubrication Engineers' website and integrated with CRM. This customer and lead engagement system is a huge benefit to the company, as it receives a minimum of 15 web-chat requests per day. Depending on the query's subject, the customer service team can forward it to the sales reps and push the data into CRM. Lubrication Engineers finds this integration seamless and effective.

With Zoho Social, leads are generated from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These leads are captured on CRM and, according to customized assignment rules, assigned to specific users based on the prospect's region and type.

Using automation to minimize time spent

With a 100% CRM adoption rate, each of Lubricant Engineers' sales representatives manages nearly 30 activities on a daily basis, amounting to over 1,800 activities per day across the company. The team leverages automation and uses workflow rules to chase leads and close deals more quickly.

The company has created numerous ready-to-use email templates for sales representatives. These templates also ensure that there's no missing information on the company's side. This means following up with customers isn't just less exhausting for the sales teams—it saves time, too.

Quoting is an important aspect of a sales process. Lubrication Engineers applied custom scripting to the quoting module to manage this particular process by incorporating the company's rules for discounts on products, the time limits on quotes, and more. With this customization, the company has a clear understanding of the purchase orders and the ability to track them efficiently. The quoting process is covered using the Blueprints feature as well.

Lubrication Engineers also utilizes workflow automation effectively with 100+ workflow rules in place. One workflow rule that sales reps find beneficial alerts the user when a quote is close to expiring. The company also understands how important it is to have fun and acknowledges events worth celebrating among day-to-day tasks. For example, when a quote beyond a certain amount is generated for a customer, the system triggers a celebratory email, along with a cowbell sound effect.

Recognizing common customer issues

With certain blueprints and workflows, tickets are assigned to users based on whether they're related to customer service or technical issues. In Zoho Desk, Lubrication Engineers tracks various metrics, including the following:

  • Time spent on tickets
  • Returns
  • Delivery time
  • Invoicing

Lubrication Engineers uses these metrics to determine where and why problems most frequently arise so it can prevent them from recurring.

The company also measures customer satisfaction with surveys. By integrating Zoho Survey with CRM, the process of collecting responses is never a tedious activity for the team, since surveys are sent to customers via CRM. Once submitted, the surveys are quickly captured in CRM, making it easy to measure customer satisfaction.

Lubrication Engineers manages and analyzes data and activities using Zoho Analytics. The main sources for this data include the company's ERP system, spreadsheets, and a few Workspace apps. The company tracks the following metrics through dashboards:

  • Revenue
  • Velocity and sales rates
  • Account retention
  • Operational metrics
  • Warehouse capacity

The company hadn't implemented a business intelligence tool before Zoho Analytics. After deploying it, Grimes noticed a 25% reduction in time spent on analyzing data. The biggest advantage, according to Grimes, is that the entire organization has access to the same metrics, leaving no room for miscommunication or confusion. Teams have a clear view and understanding of the data, and therefore they're able to strategize and improve certain metrics as needed.

Zoho Campaigns is the company's core email system within the CRM database. With the Campaigns to CRM integration, the marketing team can identify which customers are interacting with the biweekly newsletter campaigns. After deploying Campaigns, the company saw a 3% increase in its click-to-open rates, as it's targeted at specific segments.

Increased Sales

Since 2017, Grimes has seen how implementing and actively using a CRM has benefited the business.

The company observes conversion rates up to 20%

The biggest advantage of a CRM from the perspective of a salesperson is the ability to deliver quick responses to the customer, providing what they want, when and how they want it. The sales team derives value from the Zoho CRM mobile app, too; it's a convenient way for them to manage prospects and quotes on the go, as most of them meet customers in person.

"The entire company has gotten better, faster, and more efficient in supporting customers. We all understand the business better because of the availability of the information that's being presented."

— Paul Grimes, Chief Operating Officer, Lubrication Engineers

Leveraging internal communication and teamwork

Zoho Connect is used across the entire organization for internal announcements and communication. 70% of company projects are carried out using the task boards on Connect that help teams keep track of their work and activities. The tool is a comprehensive solution for employees and has made communication across different departments much easier.

Zoho Sign is a tool that Lubrication Engineers greatly values for internal use. The company uses it for the following purposes:

  • Approving marketing flyers and project management requests
  • Processing ISO documentation
  • Signing annual reviews

Zoho Expense is another tool that Lubrication Engineers uses to create internal expense reports for employees.

Initially, the company only used Zoho Recruit to identify candidates for sales representative roles. Upon seeing the tool's efficiency, the entire company adopted it to locate candidates for active job openings across the country.

Key benefits

With the implementation of Zoho One, Grimes finds it incredibly easy to understand where the business stands. Articulating important information quickly and clearly represents a huge advantage when it comes to making key decisions.

Lubrication Engineers was able to see Zoho One's impact within six months of implementing the system, making it clear that the legacy systems previously in place were not equipped to handle the company's unique processes.

Direct (80%)Indirect (20%)

Grimes notes that Zoho One has brought benefits to the company that represent 10 times the yearly cost of all Zoho licenses purchased.

The benefit Lubrication Engineers gains from Zoho is 10x the amount spent on Zoho licenses annually

"Our business has grown over the last few years. Zoho has helped us become more efficient and more effective within our current structure of employment. Zoho One has increased our internal productive information sharing and capacity as much as 15 to 25%."

— Paul Grimes, Chief Operating Officer, Lubrication Engineers

Looking forward

Lubrication Engineers is currently working on creating custom modules in Zoho Creator for product development. Additionally, the company plans to expand its usage of Zoho Expense.

"Zoho continues to modify, adapt, grow, and add things to the platform that our business sees value in. It's absolutely been a perfect marriage in terms of the ability to adopt new ideas and new concepts to create an ecosystem of apps that talk to each other and operate within our business."

— Paul Grimes, Chief Operating Officer, Lubrication Engineers