Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales: 6 week global CRM deployment

“Incremental delivered this project in record time.  They clearly have deep expertise and experience of D365.  They preconfigured a lot of the functionality during pre-sales which gave us a head start, and also had a unique approach to training that enabled it to be carried out in multiple time zones in a very short period of time.”

Fiona MacLeod, Global Strategic Account Manager, Swire Oilfield Services

Swire Oilfield Services (Swire), part of the John Swire & Sons Group, hires and sells offshore containers, primarily to the oil and gas industry, as well as offering additional services such as engineering design, fabrication, inspection, testing and maintenance.  It has over 500 staff across 58 bases in 28 countries around the globe.

Swire operates in a highly competitive market place, set against a backdrop of one of the worst oil and gas recessions in history. In 2014, oil prices plummeted from $120 to $30 a barrel within 18 months and have since stabilised around $50. As with all oil service companies and operators, their customers now need the lowest price and best value. Their customers are reducing the number of suppliers they use and are looking for simple and efficient supply chain process. In response to this, Swire has delivered process improvements and cost efficiencies to ensure the most competitive offer, whilst maintaining its high HSEQ standards. In addition, Swire recently revised and expanded its product line, service delivery approach and overall capabilities to meet the ever-changing market demand.

Delivering a Global CRM Solution

Swire needed to improve their understanding of the oil and gas market, its customer base and performance of its business units. More specifically, Swire had to overcome the challenge of enabling the individuals that work within their business units, to set their strategy and align the business with its vision, company goals and objectives.  This required a common platform, language and a set of simplified business processes to capture and manipulate key data.

However, Swire’s existing CRM solution, which had been in place for several years, was unable to help overcome these challenges.  The system was old, out of support and no longer fit for purpose.  Various global business units were using it in different ways and some were not using it at all, and as a result, sales productivity was poor.  The CRM solution couldn’t effectively track or manage opportunities, or accurately forecast sales revenue.  It was therefore considered redundant and Swire needed a new approach to CRM.

The requirement for a new Global CRM solution was urgent as its contract with the incumbent provider was looming. In addition, Swire was also in the process of launching a new website, and the CRM solution had to be live before the website was launched.  Swire quickly realised that to achieve their aim, they would have to work with a partner that could successfully deliver the new solution within 6 weeks.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales

Swire selected Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (D365) as its new CRM system due to the extensive out-of-the-box functionality it offered, which assisted Swire in achieving their tight deadline. D365 also provided Swire with the appropriate level of configurability to allow them to tailor the solution to meet their specific business and industry needs.  Additionally, as an existing user of Microsoft technologies, D365 was beneficial from an integration perspective and allowed Swire to quickly and seamlessly integrate their new Global CRM solution with the Office 365 suite. In the future, D365 also offers Swire the opportunity to integrate their new CRM with their ERP solution which is currently based on Dynamics AX.

After several requirements gathering meetings and D365 demonstrations, Swire appointed Incremental Group as their CRM partner to implement and support the new solution.

Incremental Group led the initial analysis and design workshops, working alongside key Swire personnel and stakeholders. This phase was critical in engaging the business, operating across multiple time zones, as well helping define the specific CRM modules needed to ensure Swire maximised the potential use of the system and met operational requirements.

Subsequent to the initial analysis and design phase of the project, Incremental Group began to configure the solution based on the outcomes of the previous stages. Each individual requirements was agreed, reviewed and tested with Swire stakeholders before being deployed into the live environment, and Incremental Group worked quickly to implement the backlog of requirements under strict timescales.

Having configured the system to the specified requirements, Incremental Group and Swire worked collaboratively to provide in depth training to the global user base.  To overcome the challenge of different time-zones across the globe, Swire appointed a number of Global CRM Champions, who were responsible for cascading training to their respective teams.  Incremental Group held and recorded detailed training sessions using Skype for Business, covering all aspects of the system.  This resulted in increased user adoption and Swire were able to immediately recognise their return on investment through increased productivity of their global teams.

  • Extensive functionality
  • D365 Integration
  • Tailor made solution

High Adoption Globally

The new system is now used by 80 sales people across the globe and adoption has been high.


The data within D365 provides the single source of truth used to drive C-Level decision making; improving resource planning and investment allocation.

The new global uniform system centralises and provides everyone with visibility of all data and opportunities, removing the need for endless spreadsheets and improving communication and team working.  The entire business is now also aligned, in terms of ways of working, language and key messaging.

It has enabled the business to analyse product and service line performance by business unit, region, product line and individuals, helping Swire identify where targeted marketing effort and campaigns should be focused.

The mobile capabilities also mean data is accessible anywhere at any time, and it’s much easier to keep up-to-date when on the move.

“We now have a clean, user friendly system that our business leaders and sales users value. Our business units in Asia Pac, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe are all are now using CRM to effectively manage their customer databases, sales opportunities and performance capabilities of teams.”

Iain Malcolm, Senior Marketing Specialist & Global CRM Lead, Swire Oilfield Services

Extending the functionality

Having successfully implemented and launched the CRM system 3 months ago, the team is currently gathering feedback from its global leadership teams to help inform the roadmap for the future.

In the next phase, Swire will enhance its forecasting capabilities as well as extending the system to its other group functions, including Procurement, Supply Chain and Customer Services.

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