Novembre 19, 2021

Fratelli Carli: how Bit2win CPQ responded quickly to the pandemic related problems

Interview Fratelli Carli

Last year we had an increase in sales linked to the pandemic situation; this happened thanks to the tools to be able to manage this situation. Bit2win is at the center and has two merits: it is able to express the articulation of promotions in a complete way and is “open” in order to be able to place itself centrally in a multi-channel perspective.

Edoardo Flumiani | IT Manager @Fratelli Carli
How did you meet Bit2win and how long have you been working together?

Our meeting with Bit2win was born from the need to change our CRM and website management systems: originally we had our own mainframe solution but for some time we had been looking for a cloud solution that could take us into a more technologically advanced future. After some research we chose Salesforce, Service Cloud and Commerce Cloud solutions.
These solutions were chosen with the support of Accenture, with whom we later decided to start a project. During this project, Accenture proposed Bit2win’s platform to us, specifying how Bit2win’s CPQ was fundamental: for us, catalogue management, promotion management and the possibility of being able to align Commerce Cloud with Service Cloud was and continues to be absolutely strategic.
From a promotional point of view, we have a very important business need, similar to that of the large-scale retail sector, in terms of articulation.

We met the Bit2win team in 2018 and the project started on August 5, 2019.

The relationship with Bit2win was initially mediated by Accenture, but later the consulting firm decided to make Bit2win’s positioning in the market autonomous, making interactions with Bit2win itself more direct and fluid.
This choice was appreciated by our company as we were able to build an even more direct and transparent relationship with the Bit2win team.

Among your answers, we were intrigued by the one related to the relationship you have built with Bit2win: “taking charge of and effectively resolving open tickets and the willingness to take charge of suggestions and product innovations”. We would like to ask you for more details about these open tickets and, if possible, to give us a concrete example to better understand how you work and how Bit2win follows you.

As with all software products, small issues can arise that need to be resolved, perhaps in conjunction with a new release. Sometimes tickets were used to interpret answers that came from systems but depended on our configurations or usage.
In general, these tickets are taken care of in a timely manner: some we open directly, others we open through Accenture with whom we have an Application Maintenance contract.  We can say that we always have good responses both in terms of quality of the response and timing.

Earlier you were talking about the fact that, in the past, before Bit2win, you used an “internal custom” solution. If you had to define the focal point of this transition, thinking about the periods before and after the use of the Bit2win solution, what would you say?

Before Bit2win, we were already working in a multi-channel perspective: on the one hand, we were using a classic process, what we call “mail order”: remote sales through mail and telephone contact. On the other hand, we also used and use the web channel: our first web order dates back to the end of 1996. With the adoption of Bit2win, we were able to consolidate a multi-channel way of working, Bit2win enabled us to move to the cloud, within the service world, maintaining and expanding promotional possibilities.

If we introduced the relationship with the team in a positive way earlier, it’s only fair to also take a moment to address the willingness to take on suggestions. We can say that Bit2win colleagues showed a lot of willingness to listen to us, and a lot of patience in following us. This immediacy of contact with software suppliers is not always possible: with Bit2win we had different moments of confrontation and explanation, some of our suggestions have been included in the just-released release, others are under consideration; in general, however, this relationship of confrontation is simple and constructive.

We want to ask you a tricky question. Do you think there is something to implement or improve in Bit2win?
In all companies, whether large or small, there is always something to improve. We would very much like to know your opinion.

From the application point of view in every software there are always points that can be improved, and also in this case it is so.
In promotions we are quite “volcanic” and that’s why we organized Bit2win’s functionalities differently than we were advised to do at the beginning. In particular, we were advised to define and bring the promos into a staging environment and then bring them into production once they were ready. However, the staging environment is, for us, an environment disconnected from the full production reality: this therefore makes effectiveness testing very difficult.
Again, the Bit2win team made themselves very available for several comparisons and, at the end, we agreed to define new promotions in production. Therefore, the need for a feature from the product point of view arises spontaneously, which can allow us to do some tests in the real world, without making public the promos and the canvases that are still being defined.

The second point of improvement concerns the performance between Service Cloud and the Bit2win App: the opening of the shopping cart could be faster. In particular, this upgrade could be very useful for us: we have a significant telephone traffic and the interaction of our Call Center employees with the customer must be very fast.
Nevertheless, we are still satisfied with the performance of Bit2win.

When conducting interviews, we often don’t talk about numbers. However, we’d like you to tell us about the magnitudes that would allow readers to identify what Bit2win has helped you achieve.

One of the main successes Bit2win made attainable was allowing us to bring the company to the cloud through a high-level promotional engine, very malleable and, something not all promotional engines have, with a connector to Commerce Cloud (Salesforce’s product that we use for the web): this was really important to us.

In fact, a characteristic of our company is that communication is multi-channel and that the application of promotions must be guaranteed regardless of the channel used by the customer. This can only be achieved if the same promotional engine gives service to all channels and this was possible thanks to Bit2win.

Bit2win is therefore a very important central point of our cloud solution, the same solution that allowed us to react to the problems related to the pandemic, with extreme immediacy. Within a week, we enabled about 140 employees to work from home. Almost all of the contact center, for example, worked directly in the cloud on the Salesforce platform, and this was also made possible thanks to Bit2win’s contribution. I would also like to emphasize that Bit2win is also open to other systems and this has allowed us to connect all the order acquisition channels with satisfaction.
More than on the reference quantities I like to dwell on the results: last year we had an increase in sales due to the pandemic situation that we were able to manage thanks also to the new architecture and software tools.

Interview Fratelli Carli
Fratelli Carli Customer Service
So can we say that Bit2Win is among these tools?

It certainly is, I repeat that with certainty. Bit2win is at the centre and has two merits: on the one hand it manages to express the articulation of promotions in a complete way and on the other hand it is open so that it can be placed centrally in a multichannel perspective.

Between the new platform and Covid, did Carli’s sales go up a lot last year?

In general, sales increased last year. This is probably due to the fact that we were among the few who had skills and tools to continue delivering while other companies were not ready to support this pandemic.

Talking about the future, instead, do you already have a clear view on future extensions and evolutions? Do you already have some precise information to give us?

We are working in another context on another project related to the evolution of the way we manage marketing campaigns. As I was saying, the communication activity we do is crucial for us. Carli is done through remote communication. It is therefore very important the type of communication that we do, in support of what I said, we have launched an important project: we are developing a project of review and automation of marketing campaigns that uses artificial intelligence to improve the quality of the proposal that we can make to customers.

Regarding artificial intelligence, specifically, can you tell us anything about it or is it classified information?

Basically it’s Machine Learning models that lead to identifying the best proposal that we can make to that customer to be more likely to succeed; so we’re talking about, again, the context of using Bit2win. We also had a chat with the Bit2win team on the subject: they are also working on possible evolutions in the same direction. In addition, we also received a demo from the team on a possible integration of orders via Whatsapp, a solution that could become interesting to define new goals.

So we’re talking about the ability to place orders directly through the Whatsapp channel?

Yes, we had an interesting demo of a collaboration between Bit2win and one of their partner companies that enables the possibility to place orders through the Whatsapp channel. We saw the demo with the sales management and it was deemed interesting. This also demonstrates what I was saying before, namely the flexibility of the product to be integrated with other tools, thus being able to open new channels with greater ease.

Finally, we would ask you to talk about the Bit2win values that your company perceives in order to give a clear and concise overview to the readers.

The answer for me is a bit of a synthesis of what we’ve said and is positioned on two levels: the functional level, or rather that relating to the product, and the relational level with the company. From the product point of view, the strong points are: the possibility of having an engine that allows a high promotional articulation; a tool that works in perfect harmony with Service Cloud, the world’s number 1 CRM platform; and the connector function with Commerce Cloud, a function that is not taken for granted in Salesforce because the product integration of Commerce Cloud within the Salesforce world is a road that not many tools allow you to take. Bit2win’s solution succeeds perfectly in acting as a bridge.
On the other hand, with the exit from Accenture and the autonomous management of Bit2win, we can say that we have been able to find value from a supplier through a more direct contact, clear answers and a welcoming team.
In short, an open table to discuss our needs openly is just what we need.

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