Mayo Group goes mobile to speed industrial sales turnaround

Mayo Group has embraced mobility and business intelligence to drive sales of its industrial products to utility and mining customers, according to the company’s CFO.

Mayo Group is a family-owned Australian supplier of hardware and industrial safety and security products. It has customers in the retail, trade, government and commercial markets, including Blackwoods and West Farmer’s Industrial. Mayo Group also distributes to major retailers including Bunnings, Big W and Kmart.

The company has 200 staff based in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales and New Zealand.

Previously, “our sales representatives would visit customer sites and after the meeting, call or email the customer service desk to recapture orders,” Mayo Group CFO Nicole Hua told Computerworld Australia.

Last year, Mayo Group implemented e-commerce product Pronto Avenue to speed up the turnaround of online orders. The module integrated with the company’s existing Pronto Xi ERP software.

One major benefit of Avenue has been that it is accessible by staff on their iPhones and iPads, said Hua.

“Our close to 100 mobile sales staff can take orders from anywhere, and like a shopping-cart approach, the information is captured once and the order is made.”

Sales staff get “full visibility over orders, and customer-specific information such as pricing, outstanding orders and terms on the go,” she added.

Mayo Group is looking at ways to further increase mobility of staff, said Hua.

“We're exploring options for accounts payable [AP] automation to service our ever mobile workforce, as well as effectively capturing invoice entry, workflow status, online approval and obtain soft copy supporting documentation for approval review without the labour intensity that is currently required.

“It is anticipated that an end-to-end AP automation solution will also facilitate improved visibility for approvers who need not be office bound.”

In addition to the mobility effort, Mayo Group also last year upgraded its business intelligence (BI) capacity.

“Reporting is such an important aspect of the business, and BI allows our reporting to be more automated and streamlined,” said Hua.

However, a legacy BI system – Progress – required too much maintenance after every software upgrade, she said.

Having already implemented Pronto Xi software in 2007, Mayo Group decided to adopt the vendor’s BI service as the replacement.

“The key attraction was an integrated solution, with our ERP package managed by a team of experts and thus reducing the reliance on an internal BI resource or function within the business,” she said.

Unlike Progress, software upgrades in Pronto are “completely smooth and seamless, with all the integration and mapping ready to go out-of-the-box.”

The BI platform provides “access to key informational insights across all facets of the business,” and allows the company to “report in multi-currencies, cross-consolidate, tailor, and manage reports in our own formats, as well as use the statutory framework,” she said.

“We have access to a deeper level of data and best of all, it just works. It’s a true success in my mind when you never hear any grumbles from the business, and I never do.”

Mayo Group has started looking at an update to Pronto Xi, announced in October, which includes additional BI and mobility capabilities. The new version is Pronto’s first release since moving to a shorter, yearly release cycle.

“We are currently in the process of preparing for further Pronto upgrades, scheduled for mid next year,” said Hua. “We are also looking forward to the new functionality released by Pronto on an annual basis, so we can continue providing customers with best-in-class products and service.”

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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