Large companies have high demands when purchasing workwear and equipment for their employees. For Wenaas Workwear, maintaining full control over customer agreements is essential to fulfilling their commitments. Here's the tool they use.
"We must ensure that the right person at each company can order the right products from us. This requires a deep understanding of how each individual company operates and is organized. Only then can we do a good job."
This quote belongs to Sales Controller Inger-Anne Oswald at Wenaas Workwear. This is the story of how they address these challenges.
International commercialization success – from the Norwegian coast to the world
Managing around 250 contracts with deliveries of physical products to global customers, worth nearly 1 billion Norwegian Kroner, demands robust and predictable contract management. This is an exceptional story of how an innovative sales department has adopted Complete Control to ensure that complex deliveries adhere to agreed-upon parameters.
World-leading companies with high demands for employee attire often have one thing in common: they purchase all their workwear directly from a traditional company on the Norwegian northwest coast. For over 90 years, Wenaas Workwear, located in Måndalen near Åndalsnes, has been supplying uniforms and other attire to oil workers, sailors, construction workers, drivers, firefighters, retail employees, and more.
Every day, over 1 million people go to work in equipment from Wenaas Workwear. It's not just clothing; it's "head to toe" coverage – helmets, safety glasses, gloves, shoes, hijabs, and much more are also provided. Product managers are referred to as veterans in their niches, such as gloves, shoes, and textiles with high protection standards.
For readers familiar with Norwegian companies, Equinor, Odfjell, Hydro, Aker BP, Norgesgruppen, Vy, Mesta, and Posten are among the largest and most well-known customers.
Wenaas sells directly to the end customer
The concept of direct sales is central to this story. Approximately 90% of Wenaas Workwear's sales are negotiated directly between the customer and Wenaas Workwear, and they are delivered from their state-of-the-art Autostore warehouse outside Åndalsnes. Often, uniforms need to be customized, Wenaas Workwear handles inventory, and there are high standards for deliveries, which often go to locations worldwide. How does Wenaas Workwear ensure they meet these substantial commitments?
In day-to-day operations, Key Account Managers (customer responsible) follow up on agreements and ensure that customers always have what they need, where they need it. A significant part of the responsibility for customer relations and keeping customers within agreed-upon deliveries rests on the shoulders of Sales Controller Inger-Anne Oswald and her closest colleagues.
We spoke to Inger-Anne about how they handle this significant responsibility:
"As a controller for sales throughout the company, I have several areas of responsibility. It starts with training new hires, including an introduction to the programs we use for sales support. I also work extensively on the implementation of new solutions, contracts, templates, and agreement design. Additionally, I track the budget for each salesperson."
Requirements: Access to customer contracts, E-commerce, and AI
"Ensuring customer satisfaction isn't necessarily about selling as much as possible; it's about selling what has been agreed upon. The customer's demands regarding quality, design, fit – there are many choices defined in the agreement. Our job is to implement the agreement within the customer's organization, and in doing so, we should not deviate from what has been agreed upon centrally."
Wenaas Workwear was an early adopter of e-commerce, which has helped mitigate many challenges associated with contract-bound deliveries. Extensive digital experience has made it easier to meet significant customer demands for trade, deliveries, and settlements. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now used to assist customers in their ordering processes. They aim to facilitate a seamless customer journey from order to delivery and invoicing.
However, human contact remains crucial. With large, direct, and customized deliveries, human contact will always be essential. Agreements are both established and serviced at all Wenaas Workwear locations. Previously, agreements were stored locally, making it challenging for all involved parties to know the types of deliveries covered.
"When our customer relations managers interact with a significant number of people at various geographical locations within our customer base, we often receive requests for deliveries that later turn out to fall outside the agreement. Typically, it benefits neither the customer nor us to deviate from the agreements, so to adhere to the agreements, it's crucial that we have easy access to the contracts to determine their obligations" Inger-Anne Oswald
Lacking a central contract overview
"We have historically undergone several acquisitions and have many locally employed staff around the world. This resulted in many employees being unfamiliar with the details of all agreements. There was also a lot of information within individual departments that we, at the central level, were unaware of. Add to that the occasional arrival of new customer relations managers who previously lacked a comprehensive view of the agreements they were handling. This created too much unnecessary friction."
“A suitable solution for our needs”
One of her most important tools is Complete Control, a SaaS solution for contract management. Currently, around 250 contracts are stored here. When the agreements are immediately available in Complete Control, she and the customer responsible always know where to go to find the content of the agreements.
"We could definitely have used CRM for this, but we made a choice. We want our CRM to be open to everyone and very informative. Here, as many as possible should gain insights into documentation and the pipeline. When the agreements are signed, we also have the opposite need: only central contacts should have insight into the contract. Therefore, Complete Control is a great solution for our needs."
"It has been a journey to define what an agreement should contain, establish an authorization structure, and create a central archive for the agreements. We also needed to know when the agreements start and end and be notified in good time. We have good control over this now."
Part of professionalizing the company
Oswald says that using Complete Control has been a crucial element in professionalizing Wenaas Workwear:
"With a central archive of agreements, we have a complete overview of our obligations. The archive is a reference that we can quickly access when we need to find various parameters within an agreement. We have clarity. We don't need to search. It's right there. We have a complete overview of our agreements and continuously register new ones. With employees in several countries, it's practical to have a shared archive. The archive also makes it easy to transition customer relations management responsibilities to others."
"If we didn't have a central agreement archive, we would have a poorer overview of our agreements and when they expire. We simply wouldn't have control. If everything were stored locally in a drawer, it would be like going back to the Stone Age. That could lead to many unpleasant surprises."
Customer Success Manager Karoline Rønsdal at House of Control is impressed by Wenaas Workwear's innovative use of Complete Control. It means that responsibility lies where it should, reinforcing colleagues' ownership and contributing to achieving common goals. Karoline says that Oswald and her colleagues have become highly advanced users of Complete Control. It's a compliment that Oswald returns:
"Complete Control is incredibly user-friendly software that makes us feel like advanced users. In the beginning, and sometimes along the way, we needed assistance from Karoline and the team. The service has been prompt, competent, and friendly. We greatly appreciate this in our busy daily routine."