Design Thinking Leads To A Mass Rollout Of Crm To Over 1,200 Users

Our client is a highly-respected shipping company that has been around for over 100 years and one of the largest in the world. It specializes in bulk carriers for iron ore, coal, and woodchips; it has tankers that transport crude oil and liquefied natural gas; car carriers, cruise ships, ferries and coastal liners, as well as container ships that deliver a huge variety of finished products. 


Having one of the world’s largest shipping fleets comes with its own challenges. Communication was often cumbersome, and as performance pressures increased, the company’s clients became more demanding. A lack of proper processes created an environment that was not sustainable. Our client required a CRM system that could bridge the gap between employees and customers, and their front line and operations teams.


With its strategically placed teams in Australia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, SMS was able to roll out a bespoke project to meet our client’s objectives. The rollout of the CRM took place in stages. It included a Design Thinking-led discovery that went through to development. SMS used Agile, Scrum, training, implementation, and support. The mass implementation of a global CRM was the eventual result.


Staff and owners of the company now have access to a single platform on which to manage their customer interactions, issue management, and account management activities. This increases results across the board to various stakeholders, including staff and customers. From an operational standpoint, reporting issues and compliance matters can be successfully dealt with.



As with any large company that grows faster than it can implement correct structures and follow-up procedures, our client also found itself adrift in a sea of unprocessed paperwork. The oceanic giant took on more and more customers without the capacity to deal with the requests. There was also the vastness of the ocean to contend with as orders and requests were lost in translation. This caused a breakdown in communication between the open seas and home that inevitably led to disgruntled customers and employees. Without a proper structure, everyone was just following their own direction in a system filled with compliance loopholes.


Apart from allowing SMS to come in to teach the staff the ins and outs of CRM, our client also worked with us to hand over the reins to the staff. Various training initiatives took place under SMS’s guidance to allow the staff to take ownership of the newly implemented model.


The CRM system allowed our client to recapture those relationships that were slowly going under. Each relational contact of the company benefited from the rollout:

  • Customers and Vendors: There is now a unified view and customer experience to all customers around the globe. This allows the provision of much-improved customers service — which leads to customer satisfaction as response times increase.
  • Process and System: Where the system was tedious and difficult to navigate before, it now accommodates flexible, adaptable, standardized and simplified processes. It also empowers the user to make timely and quality decisions through the use of a unified system. Improved sales are the result.

  • Operational: Finally, they now use their assets optimally, and the compliance standards are at an all-time high. There is a noticeable difference in the cost visibility, transparency levels, and accurate reporting, which are all important considerations for investors, not just the higher returns.

  • People: Streamlined processes and defined roles, responsibility, and individual accountability have led to a contented staff. Consistent uplift via proper training has helped foster a culture of continuous improvement.