New BSI CRM release motivates APG|SGA staff

One of the oldest industries in the world, as you may have guessed, is outdoor advertising. As far back as 5,000 years ago, hieroglyphics on obelisks pointed out the way to travelers. And 2,500 years ago, Egyptian merchants chiseled sales messages in stone and cleverly positioned them in the streets. APG|SGA specialized in professional outdoor advertising 113 years ago. Since then, the company has evolved from a poster to an out-of-home media supplier to become a comprehensive, service-oriented partner for customers and agencies.

Switzerland blossomed economically at an unprecedented rate in the 19th century. The list of companies founded from 1800 to 1900 reads like the “Who’s Who” of the corporate world, many of which are still among the top names nationally and interna-tionally today. This rapid development led to increasing competition, from which, in turn, arose the modern advertising industry. But what would advertising be without outdoor advertising? The number one in outdoor advertising, APG|SGA, was founded in 1900 and, when it comes to customer and agency relationships, has relied on BSI for the past seven years.

The economic boom at the beginning of the 20th century enabled the new ...
... outdoor advertising supplier, APG|SGA, to gain a solid footing in the advertising industry.

From paper chase to CRM

Through branch offices in all major Swiss cities, APG|SGA markets 75 percent of the outdoor advertising space in the country. Since 2006, APG|SGA has used BSI CRM to handle its customer and agency relationships as well as for the acquisition of new proj-ects. Data that previously was maintained in differ-ent systems has since become available to staff in a single view at the press of a button. The multilayered sales process and the complex interwoven relationships could be depicted for the first time with the solution. While in the past, employees recorded appointments, e-mails, meeting notes, tasks and contact history in various IT systems or even on paper notes, BSI CRM ushered in the era of the 360° customer view.

Everything went smoothly. For six years, around 100 APG|SGA employees worked with BSI CRM, managed their 40,000 contact partners and 30,000 customers and were pleased with the efficiency gained through uniform application and simple administration.

“APG|SGA specialized in professional outdoor advertising 113 years ago.”

Hansruedi Stamm, CRM Overall Project Manager

The seven-year itch

And just as in many a good relationship, after a while, a certain amount of boredom crept in between the APG|SGA staff and their CRM. Following a long period without a new release, user acceptance dropped along with the pleasure in the solution, which had grown somewhat long in the tooth. With overall responsibil-ity for the CRM, Hansruedi Stamm decided to provide a fresh breeze in the form of release 12.7. And with success: The update in 2012 was received with great enthusiasm among staff. Especially the significantly higher performance of the solution and the improved usability are very much appreciated by employees. “An update to release 12.7 really made sense because BSI CRM had definitely further developed. Nearly all our requirements were met and we didn’t have to switch to a completely different system,” explained Hansruedi Stamm, while Zeno Hug, BSI Sales Manager, added: “We implement-ed many of the topics important to APG|SGA closer to the standard. The great user acceptance and the positive feedback from our super users confirm that our efforts towards the greater user-friendliness of our product were worth it.”

From sales to strategic sales

With the new release, BSI was able to completely unfold with its specialty: guided processes includ-ing all relevant links. The target plan for strategic selling was retained. This involves sales management, which means which customer groups are to be visited, how often and in which form they are to be looked after. This includes evaluations, re-minders and actions. Intensive interfaces and processes with business partners to exchange company and personal data are now also part of BSI CRM, as are sales figures and order data. APG|SGA also uses the upgrade for marketing purposes and customer satisfaction surveys. “The new release represents a major relief for our employees, because the APG res-ervation system works more closely together with the CRM, and therefore we were able to automate work steps. Furthermore, the connection with Outlook and the option of placing documents in the CRM with drag & drop simplify our work. Users are motivated and enjoy working with the new CRM,” according to Hansruedi Stamm. What stood out for him in the collaboration with BSI was good personal contact. “In addition to that, BSI understands our requirements and needs and always finds appropriate solutions,” stated Hansruedi Stamm. He listed the transmission of campaigns to customers, the future integration of key figures and expansion to all segment brands as important milestones. “We value the broader and deeper customer view as a major CRM success,” explained Hansruedi Stamm.

“This became clear in one of our training sessions: a new release often provides new motivation for employees.”

Hansruedi Stamm,CRM Overall Project Manager

Modern formats – also in training

APG|SGA is moving with the times not only with the new release; training is also being modernized. Since 2013, APG|SGA offers its employees webinars for using BSI CRM. “The webinars last 60 minutes and are very practice-oriented. In a compact and concentrated manner, the teams exchange experiences and quickly arrive at the objective without travel time or other expenses,” says Hansruedi Stamm, praising the advantages of the webinars created by Zeno Hug. “In the 60-minute webinars, we are in very close proximity to the users and can better understand their logic, processes and challenges, their level of use and improvement wishes. Through the webinars, we can filter out potential key users, employees who are really enthusiastic about the project who can spread the CRM spirit throughout the company as multipliers,” according to Zeno Hug, who is also planning a series of webinars in the future together with APG|SGA. Internal project marketing and occasional new initiatives bring fresh impetus to the relationship between users and their tool – and, in turn, supply BSI with new ideas for the new release. “This became clear in one of our training sessions: A new release often provides new motivation for employees,” concluded Hansruedi Stamm.


APG|SGA is the leading outdoor advertising company in Switzerland, and is specialized in digital and analogue out-of-home solutions at heavily trafficked locations. With its Airport, Mega Poster, Mountain and Traffic segments, APG|SGA covers all outdoor advertising sectors throughout Switzerland. The brand stands for passion, integrity, partnership, and sustainability. More than 550 employees work with property and real estate owners, authorities and the advertising industry to ensure that brands and institutions can effectively present themselves in public.

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