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Case Study - Edminston Yacht Brokerage

Case Study - Edminston & Company-Yacht Brokerage


Edmiston is a distinguished name in the world of super yachts. Established over 10 years ago and with offices in London, Monte Carlo, Golfe Juan, Antibes, Los Angeles, New York and Mexico City. Edmiston sells some of the largest yachts in the world, has a charter division of an unparalleled reputation, and is involved with new construction projects, working with the world’s pre-eminent designers and shipyards.
The company approached M4 Systems with a requirement for a 60 user CRM system whereby the primary focus would be yacht-related opportunity identification and management. The system needed to be able to handle Edmiston’s multi-level relationships, in particular client-client and client-yacht relationships. Analogous to estate agents, Edmiston can represent both buyer and seller. Edmiston brokers act as central agent when they represent the yacht owner or as retail agent when they represent the buyer or charterer.
The system Edmiston sought also needed to manage an extensive database of yachts, including linked yacht images, which would feed Edmiston’s web site and brochure production. The database had to be easy to maintain and update. Other requirements included configurable access privileges and remote usage from home computers, laptops or hand-held devices, such as PDAs.
When Edmiston contacted M4 Systems they were performing most CRM activities manually, assisted by Microsoft Office, e-mail and Goldmine for basic contact management. However, Edmiston wished to become more pro-active and systematic in its approach to finding, developing and monitoring sales opportunities. Edmiston’s management felt that the latest generation of flexible CRM systems (such as Microsoft Dynamics) developed for medium sized companies, should, if well planned and sensitively implemented, be able to streamline and optimise the process of developing and converting opportunities to sales.
M4 Systems offered Microsoft Dynamics CRM Version 3.0 with SharePoint Server 2007 portal integration as a combined solution to give Edmiston considerable ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality with only minimal requirement for add-ins and customisation by M4 Systems’ highly skilled team of .Net developers based in Belgrade, Serbia. Some of the customisation and configuration components include creation of custom entities, industry-specific data values, a lookup facility to select and attach yacht details to a specific opportunity, a product history link, a Gantt style report pictorially showing charter status of yachts as well as industry-specific workflow and development of the SharePoint portal environment to “manage yachts” to include i.a. an events page with calendar format, an announcements page, a record of document changes and security configurations.
After in-depth discussions with M4 Systems, it also became apparent that Edmiston would benefit from a fully integrated front and back office system and so the specification was extended to include Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) – which of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions is the first financial management software to offer ‘out-of-the-box’ Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration. As with Dynamics CRM, Dynamics GP is fully optimised for the Microsoft platform – developed from scratch as a 32-bit application for the Windows environment.

Customer centre

"M4 has provided us with an excellent service from day one. The successful completion of a second, very high profile project has only increased their credibility within the business..."
Natasha Towns
Business Applications Manager,
Logicalis UK

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