Arden Photonics
Case Study with David Robinson
Meet The Client
and the challenges they faced...

“Arden Photonics design, manufacture and sell test equipment to optical fibre makers all around the world.

We had been using ACT CRM for some time but it was very unpopular with the sales team; it was unreliable, didn’t integrate well with our other systems and was server based which didn’t help colleagues who were working outside of the office. As the business grew our old CRM was really holding us back” explains David Robinson, CEO of Arden Photonics.

The Solution

“Arden Photonics contacted us with a request for a CRM system. During our scoping calls it became clear that Zoho One would be a perfect fit for them as they were interested in looking at many more of the applications that Zoho had to offer.

They needed a system that integrated with each area of the business and that could support them to grow. They had never worked remotely with a supplier like us before (this was pre-pandemic but everything from scoping to design and build was performed online)” explains Sue, Director of Training and Client After-Care of Creative Analysis.

“David (CEO at Arden Photonics) was keen to learn how the Zoho applications work and what the capabilities are so that he could investigate and always be thinking about how they can be implemented into the business.

Zoho One: Due to the requirement for many of the Zoho applications both in the short and long term, we recommended that Arden use the Zoho One suite.

Zoho CRM: Arden were using ACT and were looking for a replacement, so during the design of the CRM it was important for us to discover what the team loved about their current system and where their current pain points were so we could ensure the new system provided the solution that all the staff were looking for. The Sales pipeline and Qualification journey were the focal points of the customisation.

Zoho Books: Zoho Books and CRM were integrated so that the creation of Quotes, Sales Orders and Invoices could be managed from the CRM. Template design was key to ensure that any information specific to Arden was captured. The requirement for multi country and multi currency meant there was a need for multiple templates.

The following significant elements were developed within the CRM:

Blueprints: Lead and Deal Blueprints were developed to match the lead pipeline and qualification process, to help the team capture the essential information required. These blueprints are also fundamental to ensuring a consistent approach and to help guide users through the business processes.

Additional to the CRM developments, we also implemented the following:

Data Migration: We worked with Arden to restructure, cleanse and enhance the data from ACT, the existing CRM system. The data was migrated to Zoho and managed by us.

Development Blocks included: Following their shift to using Zoho, the Arden team worked with us to implement the following further Zoho Applications; Desk, Workdrive, Inventory and People.

They have also extended their use of the CRM system by adding two Custom Modules – The Digital Assets Module and the Machines Module.

The team see the benefit of bringing as many of their processes and as much of their data into Zoho to ensure consistency and information sharing throughout the business.

Training: to upskill all users on how to use and get the most value from the system.”

The Outcome
Q&A with David Robinson, CEO at Arden Photonics

1. What were the benefits of the system for you and your business?

“I was initially only looking for a replacement CRM system but Creative Analysis advised us to go for Zoho One, which gave us access to a wide range of apps.

The business benefits have been huge. We now use Zoho One right across the business, covering not just the sales process, but almost all our key business processes. We use it for tracking engineering changes, new product introduction, product database/price list, stock control, demonstration stock, plus much more!

Because everybody in the company has access to it and it is cloud based, the visibility it gives us is invaluable. Over a couple of years we have pretty much moved all of the spreadsheets on the in-house server onto Zoho because the analysis we can do on the data we collect is so powerful.”

2. What was the highlight of the whole experience?

“Whenever I pose a business problem to the Creative team, they usually suggest more than one way which Zoho one could solve it, and then work with us to discover the best solution.

For example we recently introduced a new customer feedback system, which has been a great success. Creative Analysis suggested using Zoho Desk. We are not using Zoho Desk in a typical fashion so it did not occur to me to use it. But the powerful automation tools and the data analysis which is possible has been a game-changer for us.”

3. Did you learn anything about your business that you didn’t know?

“There is even more talent in the company than I thought. Zoho gives the team democratic access to data so they make better decisions and hold each other accountable in a very positive way.”

4. What was it like working with the team?

“The Creative Team are very creative! Zoho One is very powerful and wide ranging but it is therefore quite complicated and there are usually several ways to achieve any goal. Creative Analysis really simplified the process of finding the best solution for us. They understand our business and the strengths and weaknesses of our team really well now, which helps.”

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