Cloud Service Salesforce 28 February 2020

A Reliable System for Customer Management


Indesso needed a reliable system for its customer management. Salesforce CRM offers a solution.

The '60s was a golden era of Indonesia's clove commodity. The domestic demand spiked fueled by the country's growing cigarette industry and pushed the government to open clove import in 1968.

However, the demand was mostly for clove bud. Clove tree's (Syzygium Aromaticum) leaves yet considered a valuable commodity. It was Robertus Hartanto Gunawan who saw the opportunity to make essential clove oil from the leaves and made it valuable.

Essential oil is natural oil produced though distillation process of plant's flower, root, leaves, or fruit. The extraction process is done with steam distillation and cold press. And different from other oils that contain fatty acid, an essential oil is a pure extract oil.

Through a simple distillation process done by Robertus in his house in Purwokerto, the oil content in clove leaves was later extracted to obtain the essential oil. The distillation paved the way to the establishment of a home industry producing essential oil owned by Robertus. The company was later named PT Indesso (Indonesia Essential Oil) on 2 August 1968.

From a home industry, Indesso has grown to be one of the leading manufacturers for food ingredients, flavor, and fragrance in the world. Three main products of the company are aromatic chemical & essential oils, natural extracts, and savory products. Especially from essential clove oil, Indesso has exported the product to 35 countries around the world and controls 70 percent of global market share.

The company's trust in research and development led Indesso to allocate 15 percent of its total human resource to improve product quality, develop research, innovation, and product application. The company's R&D Center has made innovation in products like botanical extracts, seasoning, sweetener blends, and thermally processed products.

Beyond food flavor industry, Indesso also expanded to the distribution of imported ingredients for multinational companies. Through its subsidiary PT Indesso Niagatama, several multinational companies like Firmenich, Nexira, PureCircle, Chr. Hansen, and Ballantyne trusted Indesso to distribute their products in Indonesia.

Along with the company's business development, Indesso did a company restructuring on 1 January 1998. The restructuring was meant to focus PT Indesso Aroma as a manufacturing company. Meanwhile, the trading activity is done by PT Indesso Niagatama and PT Indesso Primatama act as the holding company.

New Version of the Same Brand
Indesso Business Support Manager Durman said that in the past ten years, the company business has been growing above 60 percent. As the number of business partners and customers grow, Indesso deals with more projects. Indesso then searched for an IT system capable of supporting project management as well as client's historical record. So when client rotation occurred, the customer data's could be well handed over.

Indesso chose Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as a trusted system capable of supporting the company's business growth.

Salesforce CRM reliability is proven to support the company's business, especially in the sales & marketing division. However, the CRM system applied in 2011 can no longer keep up with the company's rapid growth in the past few years.

"The previous CRM was no longer fit with Indesso current growth rate. Besides growing customer base, our lab application also adds up. So, as the business grows, our organization is evolving," Durman explained. 

The idea to revitalize the Salesforce CRM came up in 2018. The intention to update the old system, in the process, changed to build a new design. Durman said system revitalization was harder to do since the system has to be torn apart. There was also concern that the update will not result in the company's expectation.

To implement the new version of Salesforce CRM, Indesso invited several vendors, including Mitra Integrasi Informatika (MII), a subsidiary of Metrodata Group focusing in ICT solution. The selection process took six months. Each vendor was interviewed and had its background checked. The option led to two candidates, and Indesso made its choice with MII.

Indesso Product Collection & Digital Marketing Supervisor Melinda Silviana said that MII was chosen because of its experience in CRM implementation in a similar business to Indesso. Another critical factor is the flexibility offered by MII, which wasn't found in other vendors. Flexibility was the crucial factor because the management wants to build a customized CRM.

"The cost was also a concern, but we look more on the flexibility side. Sometimes the vendor is too stiff and wouldn't listen to our demand, whereas we want a customized system to fit with Indesso needs," Melinda explained.

With MII, Melinda said, the implementation of Salesforce CRM started in mid-February 2019 and went live at the end of June. The data migration process from the previous CRM took quite a time. The data transferred to the new CRM are data's like sales visit in the last five years since 2013.

Besides helping with the implementation process, MII also provide after-sales service in terms of assistance after the system go-live. To build the same perception on the new Salesforce CRM implementation, MII and Indesso held a one-day training. 

Cutting Stepping Sales & Marketing
Indesso Account Executive Edison Sutiono said that the training was meant for Salesforce CRM account holder at the company. From 56 users, besides customer service that handles complaints and warehouse supply chain, mostly account holders are from the sales and marketing division.

The implementation of Salesforce CRM is meant to support sales and marketing activity, with tools to record customer data, product sample request, and report collection by the management, project proposal, to project progress monitoring.

Edison said the definition of a project is an opportunity coming from outside of the company. "We take note of customer needs, such as the need for new product development. So far, the CRM scope in Indesso is for sales and marketing," said Edison.

Although it's just months after the implementation in June 2019, Salesforce CRM has shown satisfying results to the company. The new CRM, Edison said, can cut several stages in sales performance, which was unavailable with the previous CRM.

Product sample request, for example, that used to be made one by one can now be produced simultaneously at a time. With the new CRM, the sales team only needs to send one proposal for 10 sample requests.

The new CRM also made a project proposal easier. One project usually consists of various categories like flavor, natural color, and natural extract. Although still in one project, with the old system, the categories are separated, making it hard to make a project proposal. The new system allows a project along with the categories to be gathered in one data.

The system automation in the previous CRM, which couldn't support sales performance, is also no longer an issue. With the previous system, the sales team has to push a button to get manager approval before getting a sample request sent to the lab division. As sales team activities are mostly in the field, the approval process often skipped, resulting in the application not being processed by the lab division.

The customer generally requires having the product sample immediately. If the customer doesn't get the sample on time, there will be fatal consequences, including project opportunity loss. "Since using the new Salesforce CRM, we no longer experience the problem. Everything is now automated," said Edison.

The benefit from the new Salesforce CRM also goes beyond the sales division. Melinda who oversees the marketing division said the marketing team no longer has to export data from the RCM and process it manually. All the sales and marketing data's is already transferred to the dashboard so the team need only to check the dashboard to monitor the progress of a project.

The implementation of Salesforce CRM, Melinda continued, is one out of four-phase to be developed with MII. Besides CRM, Indesso has applied SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and digital platform for pricing. The three systems are Indesso digital backbone currently running separately. 

Based on the company roadmap designed for the next three years, Indesso will integrate ERP, CRM and the application into one system to optimize the company's performance.

"Currently, our main focus is to optimize the CRM role in the company. However, we have discussed about the next phase including ERP integration to obtain Account Receivable, Monitoring Contract, Delivery Information, Sales Achievement, and Master Product & Pricing information. We will also create product suggestion for cross-selling to the customer, sales expense & settlement process, and to activate marketing campaign including the middleware to integrate the three systems in Indesso," said Melinda.


  1. The previous CRM system no longer keep up with the company’s business growth.
  2. One proposal for one sample is not efficient.
  3. Separate categorization in a project.
  4. Insufficient automation.

Implementing Salesforce CRM to support the company’s business growth, especially the sales and marketing division in managing customers.


  1. Cut stages in sales and marketing performance.
  2. Sales team only required to submit one proposal for ten sample request.
  3. Various category in a project gathered in one data.
  4. Automation in CRM system assure no more skipped approval.
  5. All sales and marketing data can be monitored in the dashboard.

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