Multi channel process management

Estradas de Portugal: get closer to users by being efficient

The Challenge

Estradas de Portugal is the company that keeps most of the roads in Portugal working smoothly. A very large company, with several different departments spread out nationwide, and many, many employees. The organization also has a wide variety of customer touchpoints, and it was getting harder and harder to make sure each customer interaction was handled in a uniform and efficient manner.

The Solution

In such a large organization, the strategy was to start slow, implementing a stable, flexible and scalable solution for one department, and later using it as a showcase inside the organization. SugarCRM was the platform of choice for this initial step, and it proved to be the right one. Adoption was tremendous, with users quickly becoming evangelists to peers from other departments, and KPIs extracted from the platform convincing management this was the way to go.

The Result

SugarCRM is now a key part of the global IT panorama of Estradas de Portugal. Several departments have made it their tool of choice for managing several business processes, and it has also assumed a role of inter-department facilitator. SugarCRM was eventually integrated into several of the company’s websites and a custom built portal was also brought into commission, to serve as a communication tool between EP and its service suppliers.


The whole story

EP Estradas de Portugal is a public company of the Portuguese state. It’s mission is to provide a public service of financing, maintaining and operating all the roads presently in Portugal’s road network. It’s also the company’s responsability to make sure this network keeps growing and evolving.

Searching for the ideal solution

To ensure maximum quality across all areas of activity and in order to accomplish it’s annual and multi annual goals, EP did a search for a flexible tool to work as a process management application across several company departments.

The long term goal was to integrate, in a single piece of software, all the information required for an effective and timely management of all companies and people that interact with Estradas de Portugal. As they grasped the full potential of SugarCRM, it became clear that the world’s leading Open Source CRM was the way to go.

The initial plan was to have a small, quick requirements gathering and specifications phase and have small, incremental deployments. A custom solution was built, with a common block of functions, information, specific modules, and flows to coordinate departments and cross department cooperation. Eventually, each department had enough logic to have its own sub-application, a set of functions inside Sugar that mimicked the business processes that took place.

Diferent business processes, the same efficiency

SugarCRM’s flexibility was the key factor that allowed the perfect match between requirements and end solution. Besides integrating specific components that are adapted to each department, the developed modules and flows reflect a set of business processes and functionalities that are common across all the company.

  • Unified customer view;
  • Department reports specific for each process;
  • Integration with the company’s document management solution;
  • Stakeholder management (partners, road users, contacts, media);
  • Deadline coordination (and fulfilling);
  • Alert and notification management.

The SugarCRM version that was developed for Estradas de Portugal integrates several sub applications created as a response to each department’s needs:

Estrada Livre service

  • Complaint and suggestion management;
  • Management of the handling process between various internal and external stakeholders;
  • Integrated with several entry points in several websites;
  • Follow up coordination;
  • Integrated with an external portal for sub-concessionaries;

User Management Touchpoints

  • Multi channel user request handling (email, fax, letter, over the counter, phone, online);
  • Centralized management of requests submitted from all over the country;
  • Internal forwarding to competent entities.

Municipality Relationship Management Office

  • Management of meetings and other interactions with municipalities;
  • Multichannel request administration;
  • View of requests, complaints and suggestions for each road in the country.

Institutional Communications Office

  • Management of documental workflow within the Office;
  • Management of media related requests.

The implementation of this solution in EP’s User Management Portal brought us the initial foundations for monitoring quality in customer service, so that we can better understand and provide for a more adequate service to each user’s reality, in his region, corporate or governmental entity.— Teresa Afonso, head of Quality and Security for Estradas de Portugal

Globally, there are currently over 100 users from various EP departments that use SugarCRM on a daily basis. By automating workflows specific to each department, EP has managed do add value to its business processes:

  • Process management is no longer dependent on excel spreadsheets laying around the company;
  • All information is aggregated to the right stakeholders and efficiently stored;
  • Simplicity is king;
  • Deadline management and tracing of processes throughout the application.

Increasing productivity

Having finished the implementation and seen the productivity increase that SugarCRM brought to the table, as well as the general user satisfaction, there are clear possibilities of expanding platform usage to more departments.

The technological platform has been quite easy to implement, and has proven to be quite easy to integrate with others. It has, beyond the shadow of doubt, brought in a lot of added value with a single vision of each user of the Portuguese roads, as well as a very simple and simple interface that is used by people with several backgrounds that work in several circumstances, like call centers, customer service desks and that have requirements ranging from simple process management to business development — Rui Ribeiro, Head of Information Services for EP