Interview with Estelle Esparcieux, then Practice Director - Upstream Marketing at ENGIE Cofely, now ENGIE Solutions.
In an effort to improve working methods, ENGIE's B2B Business Unit, which at the time included several Group entities (ENGIE Axima, ENGIE Cofely and Endel ENGIE), in collaboration with the consulting firm BCG ( Boston Consulting Group), wanted to help the sales teams submit offers at the best price in order to maximise its profitability.
With a fine analysis of the commercial data of the last few years, ENGIE Cofely and the BCG have created an Excel calculator, based on an analysis of the sales data, suggesting, in an automatic way, the best margins to apply according to multiple market criteria.
Once the realization of the calculator on Excel was completed, the question of its implementation quickly arose
A solution had to be found:
The other important points, apart from speed, simplicity and confidentiality, were to be able to :
First option: use Excel. But it soon became impossible for the Business Unit to disseminate this information via a simple Excel file because it did not ensure the confidentiality of the model, it would force a double data entry with the CRM, and would not allow to measure the use and efficiency of the model. In addition, the cost of training several hundred sales people could be significant;
Another option: create a dedicated application, with a specific development. But the development cost and especially the implementation time quickly became unreasonable. And the specific tool risked being much too rigid and making it almost impossible to update the model regularly.
"It was either Excel (but it was too complicated because there was no confidentiality, no tracking, no integration with Salesforce) or a specific application (which wasn't considered for very long because we were running behind schedule and the tool wouldn't have been in our hands enough to make it evolve, which would have happened several months after it was put in place). »
The agile, flexible, secure option remained: TimeTonic.
"We very quickly turned to TimeTonic rather than to a solution where we would have hired someone to build us an application, which would have taken time and would have been much less adaptable for us. »
Native Excel integration with TimeTonic allows you to associate TimeTonic input or output fields with cells in an Excel file. A rules engine compatible with the Excel file is automatically called for each modification, then the results of the calculations are transferred to TimeTonic's smart database (smart-table). Thanks to this innovative option, it was a breeze to keep the original file almost identical.
Not only was the integration done quickly, but by keeping the calculator directly in an Excel file, the ENGIE Cofely and BCG teams had complete freedom to upgrade their calculator without having to wait several weeks or months each time they wanted to change the model's parameters.
After a successful test phase, TimeTonic was interfaced with Salesforce inbound and outbound, allowing sales reps to launch TimeTonic in a single click from their CRM offering and to quickly calculate and view recommendations.
The pilot phase lasted about 2 months, tested on 3 agencies with about 40 people and its success allowed the implementation of TimeTonic in any Cofely ENGINEERING.
The pilot allowed to see the power of the solution which had to manage a large number of variables, combinations and conditional calculation rules.
"With its speed of implementation, flexibility, ergonomics and user satisfaction, TimeTonic was unanimously acclaimed by the teams. »
The choice of this solution is therefore a real success, because according to the 3 issues at the beginning of the project (speed of installation, ease of use and data security) TimeTonic perfectly met the need.
"For me, if there is something to be highlighted is the efficient, pragmatic and flexible side of the tool. Efficient and agile is the general idea. It's a very adaptable solution that can be put on different situations quickly with quick results in a few days or weeks compared to a solution developed specifically for months or even years".
The company is an energy and environmental efficiency services company that offers companies and communities solutions to use energy more efficiently and reduce their environmental impact.
The ENGIE Cofely entity is made up of a sales force comprising several hundred people spread over some fifty agencies throughout France.