International manufacturing company gives remote employees access to data with Zoho.

"Projects win/loss ratio is really important to track and we use Analytics to track our sales year over year. Zoho has improved visibility into these numbers and I feel like we're only scratching the surface of what we can do."

Jason Lambourne, Application Manager H&K International

The company

When a company's goal is growth, international success is a dream come true. That said, it also brings its own set of challenges. H&K International is a kitchen manufacturer for a variety of quick-service restaurant chains including McDonald's, Burger King, and Subway. With 45 years in the market, H&K International has offices in ten countries. Working with such giants of the restaurant industry in so many countries means that H&K International can't afford to lose time to disorganization or miscommunication. "I love the international element of my job and working with people to serve our customers in many different countries," said Jason Lambourne, Application Manager for H&K International.

The challenge

As H&K's customers are franchisees of big quick service restaurant chains, they have customers in every town across the USA and have a geographically dispersed team serving those customers. Employees need access to company information while on the road to make decisions and work with their customers on important projects.

Data was housed in spreadsheets and their ERP system, but they needed a single repository of information that could be accessed while on the road and through laptop, tablet, or mobile. H&K wanted a system that would speed up onboarding and make information readily available to anyone who needed it. Zoho was introduced to improve visibility across the organization.

The solution

After looking at their options and being frustrated by opaque sales processes, H&K International landed on Zoho and now use Zoho CRM, Analytics, and SalesIQ. They wanted software that was well established in the market and combined ease of use with flexibility. One thing that drew H&K International to Zoho was the open and personable way Zoho employees communicate with customers. "The sales process was helpful and transparent without a hard sell," said Lambourne.

H&K International worked with a local implementation partner, SERCAA, to facilitate the transition. The international network of Zoho Partners helps companies get off the ground faster with a more stable work process from the get-go, helping to handle more technical and/or custom implementations. Lambourne said, "the implementation partner was a great resource."

Lambourne also mentioned that he likes the customizable nature of Zoho's software. "I like building systems and I like keeping intellectually challenged," he said. Zoho's systems worked well with H&K International's business processes out of the box, but the ability to customize tools and integrations has proven to be key to the adoption of Zoho into their more complicated processes. By using Zoho, H&K International has been able to more closely monitor data essential to their operations. Project progress and scheduled start dates, volumes year over year, and customer contacts have all become easily accessible to anyone in the organization who needs them.

H&K International has also been able to streamline their business model to increase efficiency. "It gives us visibility into information that had previously been difficult to access," said Lambourne. By empowering its employees to find the information they need quickly and easily, they can spend their time doing their jobs, not digging for data. The staff is more efficient and it's easier for them to react to new information.

Not only did H&K International centralize their data using Zoho, but with the help of the Zoho CRM mobile app, they gave their employees access to the data they need from anywhere. Employees can view and update information, upload photos, and check-in to locations all from their iPhones. They can even see nearby customers with the map functionality and plan visits accordingly. The information is truly available at their fingertips.

Benefits and ROI

With the transparency that Zoho has introduced into their company, H&K International has given employees the ability to service their customers more efficiently and, ultimately, make more sales. They needed to keep an eye on key metrics like productivity and sales, and Zoho Analytics made that possible. Lambourne said, "Projects win/loss ratio is really important to track and we use Analytics to track our sales year over year. Zoho has improved visibility into these numbers and I feel like we're only scratching the surface of what we can do."

As Lambourne has become more involved in Zoho and implemented more of Zoho's offerings into the H&K International business process, he has appreciated the easy nature of communicating with Zoho staff. "Zoho is very approachable. There's always someone to talk to when you need to," Lambourne said.

Next up

As things move forward for H&K International, it's all about being ready so the sales process is as seamless as possible.

H&K uses both the web version and mobile application version of Zoho SalesIQ, Zoho's web chat app and it is fast becoming our customers preferred method of communication in some markets. This way, customers will be able to contact the right people and get the help they need right away. Next, H&K is looking to introduce Zoho Desk to help manage customer support.

The first stage of reshaping their business processes was all about centralizing information and tools for employees. The next stage is doing the same thing for customers and they feel confident taking that step, knowing their business has a solid foundation with Zoho.