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7Summits Launches Collaborative
Salesforce Community to Engage
7SUMMITS CASE STUDY: Distribution Market Advantage (DMA)
Distribution Market Advantage (DMA) is a Schaumburg,Ill.-based national foodservice
distribution system whose shareholders are prominent regional foodservice distributors.
DMA comprises nine companies,fostering collaboration that allows members to respond
with a singular voice to chain operators,which ultimately helps regional players compete
with national distributors.Acting as liaison between food service distributors and chain
operators,DMA is focused on improving communication among their partners and within
“We must collaborate with our distributors to come to a consensus on all of the
components necessary to build a world-class supply chain,”said Jim Szatkowski,Vice
President of Data Management Services for DMA.“I can’t think of any other organization
that has more of a challenge–or more of an opportunity–for collaboration,and we
needed a solution to support these efforts.”
DMA originally had structural segregation between their data record and communication
channel.As self-taught early adopters of Salesforce,the organization took advantage of
its reporting system but conducted communications outside of the application,primarily
over email and phone calls.
Communicating with distributors the old-fashioned way wasn’t ideal: information was
individuals were sometimes inadvertently excluded from conversations.DMA’s chief
process relied on siloed email threads and sporadic phone calls,which led to bottlenecks,
making it more challenging to respond on time.DMA needed a streamlined
communications channel that would foster engagement both within the organization
and among distributors and sought a system that would allow them to respond promptly.
the distributors themselves had also been asking for an effective tool.DMA had been
using Salesforce as their system of record for eight years,and selected Salesforce
Communities as their solution after considering various other options.By using
Salesforce,DMA could leverage their existing data and a familiar user interface,which
would accelerate time to launch and simplify the user acclimation process.
AT A GLANCE
process fostered mistrust among
members due to a decentralized
Email correspondence between
Salesforce was used as a system of
record, but DMA was not taking full
advantage of the solution’s features
eliminated email silos by capturing all
conversations about new business
opportunities within the system
Salesforce is both system of record and
system of use, allowing distributors to
engage with each other and interact
with their business data in one place
INDUSTRY: Food Service
“We needed an expert to avoid deep
customization and get the results we wanted.
7Summits stepped in and provided exceptional
guidance. They were integral in helping us
DMA sought a Salesforce Community partner after starting to
distributors’privacy concerns.Salesforce recommended 7Summits
7Summits team would be able to create a comprehensive
solution without extensive customization.
“We needed an expert to avoid deep customization and get the
results we wanted,”Szatkowski said.“7Summits stepped in and
DMA opted for an incremental approach,starting small and
implementation was to provide the highest level of visibility to
partners,so that everyone could see the same data and have
access to all relevant conversations.7Summits kept DMA’s
commitment to collaboration in mind and built a Salesforce
Community that allowed DMA and their partners to track
opportunities,analyze and discuss data,and engage with each
other more effectively.
determine how we could extend those processes to their
partners,”said Rob Murray,Senior Vice President of 7Summits.
and engagement with their partners,but also allow their partners
to easily engage with one another.So we asked ourselves how we
could cultivate a space where DMA’s partners could come
together and provide value.”
creating an intuitive interface that incorporated the logos of all
was so important to DMA.7Summits also developed a secure way
for partners to upload their geographical coverage and
cost-to-serve data privately,so that other DMA members
could not access this data.
7Summits ran a live,two-hour training session for all partners
and internal users at kickoff time.DMA also conducts regular
bi-monthly calls with users to gather feedback and offer
occasional training sessions to address user adoption issues.
approach made the transition simpler for users.After years of
communicating via emails and phone calls,partners and internal
team members were initially concerned about how the new
platform would work,where their posts would go when they
clicked Send and who would be able to see what they posted.
7Summits allayed these reservations by focusing on security and
permissions throughout the training process,and the reception
JIM SZATKOWSKI, VICE PRESIDENT OF DATA MANAGEMENT SERVICES, DMA