Projects and Solutions

Asian Paints: Simplify Complexity

For India’s biggest paints manufacturer, Asian Paints, it’s hugely important to understand what the customer wants. Until now, this was a difficult undertaking for the company: Rather than sell its products directly, it distributes them through some 30,000 retailers throughout India, ranging from simple corner shops to wholesalers. Manish Choksi, CIO of Asian Paints, explains how the company has become much closer to its customers – thanks to SAP. 

A few years ago, Asian Paints began introducing an integrated service for end customers in India “so that we could offer our customers something new in India, and differentiate ourselves from the competition,” says Choksi. To implement this plan, Asian Paints chose SAP Customer Relationship Management, which has allowed the company to centralize its ordering process and introduce a call center. Previously, paint resellers ordered products from one of the 130 nationwide warehouses. By bundling order entry, the process has become more efficient, and the company can leverage cross-selling opportunities. Customer feedback means that the company can employ more targeted advertising, and develop new products more easily that meet the needs and tastes of customers.

Integration of Social Media
Asian Paints has also entered the world of social media in order to better understand customer needs. SAP NetWeaver® Gateway allows the company to transfer leads and opportunities identified during various advertising campaigns to SAP Customer Relationship Management. A Web sentiment analysis is a useful tool allowing Asian Paints to filter out complaints on social networks, while the company’s Web site includes a “Your Voice” section where customers can discuss their experiences of products and services with other users.

As an example of a particularly successful advertising campaign that ran both in the classic media and on Facebook, Manish cited the “Surprise Your Spouse” campaign: In the commercial, a woman surprises her husband with a bright pink wall in the living room painted by Indian actor Saif Ali Khan. Viewers could like the campaign on Facebook.

Centralizing the business processes had a significant impact on the relationship between sales employees in field sales and retailers. No longer tied to routine tasks, they could now concentrate on building their relationships with customers. And to further improve the quality of their sales interviews, they could also access key information about each retailer on mobile devices via SAP’s Mobile Platform. Sales employees use the apps to access SAP CRM and SAP ERP data, which helps increase their revenue.

Simplify Complexity with SAP HANA®
Big Data is a hot topic at Asian Paints: On average, 20,000 invoices are issued each day, each comprising 15 individual items. But with SAP Business NetWeaver® powered by SAP HANA®, things have gotten a lot easier for Asian Paints. The company has been able to reduce load times by 95%, and the compression rate has improved immensely. Even more importantly though, thanks to the receivables analyses, Asian Paints now receives its money within three days, which has significantly improved overall operating costs. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer gives the company a better overview of the sales pipeline, and offers a wide range of useful functions such as following the performance of products or sales campaigns. The CIO is delighted: “We can now analyze sales performance across all sectors in real time, and better respond to fluctuating demand.”