From Paperwork Piles to Customer Data at their Fingertips: How Aurea CRM Catapulted Pluradent into the Digital Age
Pluradent is a group of companies that provides services and products for dentists and dental technicians. With over 1,300 employees, 35 subsidiaries across europe and revenues over 300 million Euros, the company is one of the largest retailers in the European healthcare market. Pluradent offers not only dental products, but also logistics, professional training and conference services, as well as consulting on accounting, quality management and more.
With so many lines of business, Pluradent’s IT team is focused on implementing easy-to-use, robust tools to support employees. Since 2000, the company’s sales department has used Aurea CRM to help manage and improve client relationships. Today, half of the company leverages our software for everything surrounding customer interactions, with around 200 super users who rely on the Aurea CRM mobile experience every day. The software tracks all the information they need about customers, generates consultation reports and visualizes key sales workflows around the clock.
We recently had the chance to speak with Roland Gell, CRM system architect and long-term employee at Pluradent, about his company’s nearly twenty years on Aurea CRM and what he finds most remarkable about the solution.
Copyright "Pluradent AG& Co KG
Aurea: If you had to sum up what Aurea CRM means to Pluradent in one sentence, what would you say?
Roland Gell: Aurea CRM is of fundamental importance for our success today. It keeps our sale representatives on top of their game, providing them with all of the indispensable facts and details they need about their customers, while delivering outstanding usability.
Aurea: Why did Pluradent initially choose Aurea CRM?
Roland Gell: Our search for a suitable CRM provider started in 1999 before I even joined Pluradent. Back then, the company had paper cards and written reports for everything, so sales reps were carrying around file folders to customer appointments. It took people much longer to gather information or answer customer inquiries because they always had to call the back office to get the details.
I was hired after the company selected what was then called update.CRM, because they wanted to ensure a smooth rollout and ongoing administration of the new tool. In those years, the focus was on capturing customer data and making it available at any time—something Aurea still provides today. The system did everything we needed at the time, and has improved quite a bit over the years.
Aurea: How did you drive adoption for Aurea CRM?
Roland Gell: It took some time for the company and our employees to understand the importance of a well-functioning CRM solution. When we first introduced Aurea CRM, some people were a bit suspicious and reluctant to change their workflows. The biggest challenge was to convince especially older co-workers of the benefits of the system, as they were afraid of being too transparent or doing something wrong.
We offered helpful trainings and, once we got our top management on board, many others followed. The executives led by example, so the employees quickly learned to use the software and started enjoying the advantages of having all our customer data in one place. Now they work with Aurea CRM every day and can hardly imagine life without it. These are great accomplishments, given that the dental industry and dealers in Germany are pretty “old school.”
Aurea: What do Pluradent’s sales reps like best about the solution?
Roland Gell: Aurea CRM really changed their daily work. Today our sales representatives have customer information at their fingertips and can gather details about offers, complaints or pricing before (or even during) a customer meeting. Afterwards they can easily share a recap, so that everybody in the company has insight into what’s been discussed.
The modern and intuitive interface of Aurea CRM is easy to understand, and our sales representatives work with it naturally from any place at any time. Now, they can generate all necessary reports and documents without paper, and knowledge becomes immediately accessible to their colleagues. Our reps especially love the mobile app that lets them work on the go and switch seamlessly back and forth from the desktop version. In the words of one of our oldest employees, who has been with Pluradent for more than 40 years: “If I had Aurea CRM 25 years ago, my job would have been so much easier all the way through.”
Aurea: What are your future plans for digital transformation?
Roland Gell: Pluradent definitely wants to become more digital and use state-of-the-art technology. That is on the top of our priority list for the coming months and years. For Aurea CRM, we are also planning a roll-out across company borders. Our logistics division will be the next adopter of the technology in order to streamline complaint management and make their work easier. With this step, we will probably increase usage by 20%, and I am sure many more groups will follow as soon as they have seen the benefits.