Is your data management strategy informational or transformational?
Suzuki GB PLC wanted to consolidate and migrate legacy on-premises systems to the Microsoft Cloud. The aim was to transform their customer relationship management (CRM) system with Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft Azure to improve speed to value and reduce the inherent risks of data management while creating a holistic view of the customer.
An emphasis was placed on humans at the center of the transformation, whether this be the agile methodology approach, the use of automation to release internal resources to core business areas, the support and governance via Microsoft application support or the use of data to improve customer communications.
The result is an on-going transformational collaboration, reduction of technical debt and a customer relationship management system that provides a foundation for growth and innovation at scale.
Suzuki has more than a century of engineering milestones behind them, selling to customers in the UK for over 50 years. Today, Suzuki GB PLC (Suzuki) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation, and continues to sell cars, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and marine engines in the UK.1
With a recognizable heritage, reputation for consumer trust, and growing hybrid vehicle product line-up, Suzuki identified that their legacy system increased risk and hindered the company’s future growth.
Their customer service and marketing teams were relying on an outdated system built around multiple interfaces and third-party manual processing, which ran the risk of unreliable data, with customer communication and insights suffering as a result.
Suzuki understood there was a requirement to migrate their on-premises CRM system to the Microsoft Cloud to build a platform for growth, mitigate risk and increase automation. To reach these objectives, they chose the Microsoft platform and the EY Microsoft Services Group, part of the EY-Microsoft Alliance.
Russell Brown, Suzuki CRM Project Manager, explains: “Rather than run a straight migration, it made sense to review the processes and to improve usability and integration at the same time. The experience of the team in technology transformation helped consolidate and migrate legacy systems, maintain and continue to improve data quality, automate processes and mitigate risk, alongside continued support from the team via Application Support.”
To shape the future roadmap, the team used tools and apps from across the Microsoft ecosystem to support seamless data integration, to help achieve the goal of eventually moving toward a centralized system that offered a holistic view of the customer.
This enables Suzuki to continue developing a seamless, future-fit platform with a portfolio of business applications, including finance, supply chain and human resources.
Migration to the Microsoft Cloud means accurate, centralized data
To understand the business objectives, the EY Microsoft Services Group and Suzuki collaborated closely to identify opportunities and risks, defining a robust Microsoft solution and agile project plan. The team then embarked on a migration, which focused on innovating the end-to-end data management process.
“We knew what we wanted to achieve together, and the agile implementation approach, with both teams dedicating the volume of time required, aided quick and effective decision-making as we help managed change across a large project, started by an incumbent partner,” recalls Livvy Cowley, Manager, Technology Consulting, Ernst & Young LLP.
The EY teams worked to simplify the architecture, improve data quality, and embed robust data management and security with a Microsoft-first approach. To achieve this, the EY Microsoft Services Group reduced the number of database interfaces and touchpoints and developed a centralized, cloud-based solution through which all data would flow. Being in the Microsoft Cloud, it lacked the overheads of physical infrastructure and the continual upgrade requirements.
Once the Dynamics 365 CRM system was built, a carefully managed migration of existing data took place. The EY Microsoft Services Group teams built in automated cleansing tools for the existing data that had degraded over its time in the legacy system. All new data coming into the system was also quality tested to ensure all data touchpoints are matched against the individual contact record and therefore avoiding any loss of data. It was a complex process that Brown described as “great, accurate and, most importantly, robust.”
This transformation included integrations with key marketing and business systems, the Suzuki dealership network and social media channels. This was supported with the Azure Service Bus, to create the ability to generate a holistic view of the customer at every touchpoint, alongside the development of a Microsoft Power Platform customizable canvas app for data collection at industry events. All elements of this transformation aided data and risk management, and customer communications.
With accurate data comes the ability to confidently deliver information to or about individuals or groups within the system. Suzuki is now able to target engaged social media customers via email or other communication channels and continue to securely build data sources. This in turn, reduces risk and drives positive customer outcomes. This human-centered approach makes life easier for both employees and customers.
“From an operational standpoint, Suzuki now benefits from a significant reduction in human effort due to the automation of many critical data feeds. This opens up a secondary but equally powerful improvement, in that accurate, timely, and centralized data drives significant improvements in the impact of the marketing initiatives that the system manages,” explains Ian Cummings, Senior Manager, Technology Consulting, Ernst & Young LLP.
Transforming data management to build trust and drive growth
The end solution is a wealth of accurate data in one centralized system, giving a comprehensive view of touchpoints of the individual customer, where each interaction becomes a milestone on a longer journey with Suzuki. The company communicates with its customers more intelligently and efficiently — at an appropriate time, about relevant products and through the preferred channels for the individual customer — because by understanding the customers’ past better, Suzuki can accompany them in their future.
The result is a service that not only caters for the requirement of today but one that welcomes changes in the future in response to the company’s strategy and direction.
In July 2022, Suzuki returned to number one automotive brand in the latest bi-annual Institute of Customer Service’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index. This recognition is a testament to the Suzuki team, who continues to develop and build on the new Microsoft solution to strengthen customer relationships and support the manufacturers’ commitment to better communicate its green agenda, a key part of its business growth plans.2
Through the Microsoft Cloud, Suzuki benefits from continued investment in research and development, with two key Microsoft wave releases each year. Each release contains hundreds of new features across Microsoft Dynamics 365, industry clouds and Microsoft Power Platform, providing users with innovation and significant capabilities to transform business.3
This is further supported by the ongoing collaboration between the EY Microsoft Services Group and Suzuki, with the automotive manufacturer investing in Microsoft Application Support. By placing humans at the center, our application support team helps Suzuki stay on top platforms updates, to reduce system disruptions and assist with resolving issues before they reach end users.
“We have been a strategic collaborator to Suzuki from the inception of the relationship and have leveraged our technical knowledge to ensure that Suzuki has utilized a Microsoft-first approach to deliver value and a standardized, robust enterprise solution,” explains James Killian, Director, Technology Consulting, Ernst & Young LLP. “The result is a solution that not only caters for the requirement of today, but one that welcomes changes in the future in response to the company’s strategy and direction.”
Show article references#Hide article references
- “About Suzuki”, Suzuki Cars UK website, accessed 12 August 2022
- “Suzuki GB is top automotive company in customer satisfaction survey”, Motortrader website, Suzuki GB is top automotive company in customer satisfaction survey (motortrader.com), accessed 19 August 2022
- “Microsoft Dynamics 365 2022 release wave 2 plan overview” | Microsoft Learn, Microsoft Learn website, accessed 22 September 2022
Please note: Services to Suzuki GB were rendered by Pythagoras Communications Holdings Ltd which has subsequently been acquired by the EY organization and is now known as the EY Microsoft Services Group, part of the EY-Microsoft Alliance.
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