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Customer experience to a higher level at Forbo


Really get to know your customer and use the power of actual insights to recognise sales opportunities immediately.

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We believe in successful projects and even more in successful customers. The implementation of SAP software must take place within the lead time, scope and budget. But does this also mean that your organisation will automatically be more successful?

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The success of an SAP Customer Experience implementation will be clear only after the Go-live moment. That is why we think it is important to continue supporting organisations, also after your Go-live.

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“Together with Acorel, we have taken our CRM processes to the next level globally. Not only the technology side, but also our way of working is standardized. This is how we make a difference in dealing with our customers.”

Floor expert and world market leader in linoleum floors

Forbo Flooring Systems is a leading global manufacturer of professional flooring solutions with a portfolio of natural linoleum, vinyl, textile carpeting and building and construction adhesives. The Flooring Systems division counts 15 production companies located in Europe and more than 25 sales offices worldwide. Forbo is known as a leading sustainable producer of high-quality floors, with linoleum, a floor made from natural materials. Forbo has four production locations in the Netherlands, including the linoleum factory in Assendelft. Forbo Flooring B.V. is part of the Forbo Group, based in Switzerland, and in total the Forbo Group employs almost 6000 people.

From a tailor-made solution to standardization

For the implementation of SAP Customer Experience solutions, Acorel has been the go-to partner for Forbo for ten years. We are currently working together on the migration from Forbo to SAP Sales Cloud. With this, Forbo’s management wants to take the CRM processes to a higher level. They also want to gain more insight into the CRM activities of the countries where they are active, so that they can make better adjustments.

Previously, several branches did not yet have a CRM system available. Other industries had to make the transition from a custom SAP CRM on-premise solution to SAP Sales Cloud. The goal was to eventually use the same standardized system in all countries. An unambiguous way of working offers many advantages. This makes it easier to onboard new employees, roll out new countries and keep the CRM application manageable.

Defining a new standard

“The first question in a CRM system is always: who is the customer? But at Forbo, this question cannot always be answered immediately. For them, it often starts with an empty site or new building plans. Because if something is going to be built somewhere, you know that there must also be a floor. A lot of people are involved in this. Therefore, it is important to first find out who ultimately makes the decisions,” explains Joost Goudriaan, Account Manager at Acorel. 

Although the solution at Forbo is standardized as much as possible, although limited, a Forbo-specific configuration was still required. “Together we have defined a new standard. We have found a good balance; a strict core, with a flexible layer around it,” says Gerben Flinkert, Divisional Information Officer at Forbo. “Because of that flexibility, Acorel is a good fit for us. They work professionally, but don’t close everything up.”

Measure acceptance rates and results

A dashboard has been set up to present the results of the new CRM system. “This allows management to see what the acceptance rate is within a country. To what extent is the system used? How many activities are registered? And what is the result of all the sales efforts? Management can then compare these with the results of other countries. Is a country performing less well? Then this country can learn from countries that achieve better results,” explains Gert-Jan Stolmeijer, Solution Advisor Customer Experience at Acorel.

Bringing old data into a new system

A migration of this magnitude is of course not without a struggle. Stolmeijer explains: “What we often received back from the different countries is that they had already built up a long history in a different system. And that they didn’t want to lose that information. Ultimately, it was therefore decided to include this data in the new system. This did have an impact on the lead time of a rollout.”

But according to Goudriaan, they still managed to maintain speed in the process. “It is really great how Forbo got their people involved in this process. In addition to a high-quality migration, there was also an enormous internal focus to get it done as quickly as possible.”

A healthy basis

According to Flinkert, the reactions of the countries that are already using the system productively have been positive and enthusiastic. Even in countries where there was initially resistance. Flinkert: “After a go-live, it always takes some time to learn to work properly with the system. We provide hypercare for that. This means that, if necessary, we make adjustments or provide additional explanations. In this way, a healthy basis is created from which they can grow in the future.”

Proactive thinking and inspiring atmosphere

Acorel works with a solid core of people at Forbo. Flinkert: “Sometimes they know Forbo better than many people who work for us. This allows them to proactively think along with us. They also provide a good and inspiring atmosphere. Together we worked weekends and evenings to get everything done.”

In addition, Flinkert particularly appreciates that Acorel links them to other organizations that have already gone through the same process. “Normally we are mainly in our own tunnel. That is why it is nice to talk to other organizations that have already done this. Acorel can of course tell us what the pitfalls are, but it is even better to hear this directly from an experienced expert.”

Faster onboarding

Although the rollout is still underway, the results are already promising. The standardization has made managing the solution a lot easier and the onboarding of new employees is much faster. “New employees can serve customers in no time in a way that is recognizable to the customers. This has a huge positive effect on the customer experience,” says Goudriaan.

Customer experience to a higher level

Flinkert: “Acorel has made a major contribution to our new Customer Experience landscape. With the right balance between standardization and flexibility, which allowed us to really take our CRM processes to the next level. Not only the technology, but also the way of working has been standardized. This allows us to offer employees the right quality of data. And this has changed the way in which we deal with our customers significantly.”