CRM gives PSC the big picture

While companies like Siebel, Microsoft and might come to mind first when thinking of customer relationship management (CRM) software, PSC Industrial Services chose a product from a small Toronto company to automate its North American sales force.

Based in Houston, PSC Industrial Services works in the industrial cleaning, environmental services and transportation industries with US$520 million in annual revenue and 110 sales offices across the United States.

Brad Clark, PSC’s vice-president of sales and marketing, said PSC sold its Canadian operations six months ago but it was through the Canadian division that it was introduced to Atum Corp., a Toronto-based CRM developer and reseller.

The Canadian division had been working with Atum for a number of years and using its Luxor on-demand CRM product when the U.S. parent company began looking for a company-wide CRM tool.

At the time, Clark said PSC didn’t have any kind of CRM tool, relying on everything from Microsoft Excel to sticky notes to track sales activities.

“Our challenge was to put together a more organized and streamlined front-end to our sales process,” said Clark.

PSC looked at offerings from companies like and Microsoft, but Clark said none of them were a good fit. “A lot of these guys were selling a drink of water from a fire hydrant, and were giving us functionality and bells and whistles that didn’t really reflect [our] needs,” said Clark.

A team from Atum came in with members of PSC’s Canadian division for a demo, and Clark said it had a product that was already 75 per cent of the way to meeting PSC’s needs.

An initial roll-out company-wide began last August and was completed this spring.

Clark points to an annual company initiative called Market Sweep, where the sales force is challenged to touch base with 500 to 600 clients in two months, to illustrate Luxor’s impact.

Last year it was a difficult, cobbled-together exercise, but this year Clark said the sales team was able to easily complete 800 client calls, tracking progress in the system, documenting feedback and generating new client leads and insights.

Lukas Szczurowski, Atum’s director of business and product development, said there are a number of things that set Luxor apart. One is that customers aren’t required to sign a contract. Instead, they pay month to month and last month in advance, putting the onus of the deployment on Atum and encouraging the company to really understand each client’s needs.

He added Atum also gives clients the option of bringing the Luxor suite in-house and hosting it in their own data centre once deployed and configured, and works with each client to customize the suite to its business needs.

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