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SONAX and the portatour® route planner

The long-sought-after solution following the search for a dynamic and user-friendly experience

Success Story
Florian Behmer

SONAX sales representatives like working with portatour® because they can reschedule flexibly on the road and the software is very user-friendly. What more could a sales manager ask for?

Florian Behmer,
Sales Management Assistant


SONAX has been a German pioneer in car care and vehicle surface preservation since 1950. Regardless of whether it's a small car, a mid-size vehicle or a luxury car - whether in motorsports, in the tuning scene or in the world of classic automobiles, SONAX is always at the side of car fans and experts when it comes to the perfect automobile appearance.

Today, SONAX GmbH is represented in over 100 countries with around 450 employees, and the leader in Europe. SONAX shelves are best placed in specialized retail outlets, DIY stores, gas stations, car washes and garages.

Consistent customer orientation and an uncompromising commitment to innovation are behind their steady business success. Over 50 SONAX field service employees make their way every day to their customers in the Germany-Austria-Switzerland region to uphold this long-standing record of excellence.

Why automatic route planning?

Years ago, routes were planned manually by the field service. This sometimes led to a game of chance on the road. In large sales territories, representatives had to consult a map to see where the next customer was located. Unnecessary radial trips and high frustration were the result.

I always detested route planning during my time in the field. You come home on Friday evening and then sit for at least four or five hours to create a reasonable itinerary. The first customer call on Monday would then mess up the entire schedule, so I had to start all over again.

Florian Behmer, Sales Management Assistant

Route planning software was thus introduced - but not yet portatour®. This represented a small improvement. But the solution was not flexible and could not react to unforeseen events common in daily field service. Unexpectedly changed appointments disrupted the entire schedule for the week. Nearby customers were not taken into account. For Florian Behmer, based on his 27 years of field service experience, it was clear: SONAX must continue to search for a solution that could cope with the daily bump and grind of field service. A customer who calls should not unleash planning chaos, but rather should be dynamically scheduled right away.

Following the end of the contract with the old route planning system, the time had come. Florian Behmer, in his role as assistant to the sales leadership, created an overview of the top providers. portatour® met all selection criteria: dynamic, user-friendly route-planning software that could be fully integrated into the main data system, Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Excellent customer references spoke in favor of portatour® and thus made the decision very easy.

Launch of portatour®: Fast implementation and first-class support

During the implementation, SONAX sales management attached great importance to a structured onboarding of the field staff in order to convince even the less tech-savvy colleagues of the advantages of portatour®. In turn, portatour® was to be understood for what it is: a helpful travel companion that saves the field sales staff significant planning effort.

The system was launched as part of a three-month pilot project with a selected group of sales representatives. After comprehensive online training by the portatour® team, the pilot users were ready to go straight away.

I thought the option of starting on a smaller scale was very good. We didn't want to throw anyone in at the deep end, but rather take the feedback from the test group into account and learn from it for the rollout.

Nadine Anspacher, CRM Support

During the pilot phase, portatour® was installed in the production Dynamics CRM system. It was essential to work with real data, to get to know the configuration options and to put the synchronization between both systems through its paces.

People are creatures of habit. If you have to win over more than 50 sales representatives regarding a new way route planning, then everything stands or falls on the user-friendliness of the system and good training.

Florian Behmer, Sales Management Assistant

Day-to-day field service with portatour®: rescheduling on the road at the push of a button

The daily routine of SONAX field staff has become more flexible and efficient with portatour®. Be it last-minute appointment cancellations, traffic jams or impromptu customer visits - with portatour® the existing daily route is rescheduled mileage-efficiently in a matter of seconds. A push of a button is all it takes to create a new weekly plan departing from the current location. The artificial intelligence planning algorithm always takes all customers, individual call intervals and other essential planning parameters into account. No customer or prospect is ever left behind with portatour®. Route planning is finally enjoyable: if a customer calls, you gladly schedule the visit, since portatour® instantly takes care of the rest at the push of a button.

In the gas station sector, the sales staff is responsible both for implementing the store concepts and for setting up the car washes. The beauty of portatour® is that they can schedule their three or four store appointments in the calendar and also react flexibly during the day if an urgent problem at a car wash arises.

Florian Behmer, Sales Management Assistant

Sales management also benefits from portatour® thanks to greater transparency and shorter communication lines. Numerous analysis options also provide a useful basis for developing new sales strategies.

The first-class support provided by the portatour® team is very much appreciated by all SONAX employees.

At portatour® I have a designated contact person and always have the feeling that I am being listened to. Every one of our requests is always answered within the shortest possible time.

Florian Behmer, Sales Management Assistant

Employee testimonials: spot-on results

The investment in portatour® was spot on. For Florian Behmer, the software's instant rescheduling capabilities and the unparalleled quality of support provided by the portatour® team are among the greatest strengths of the portatour® brand.

I see the advantages of portatour® above all in getting people off the street and into more stores. Because that's where we can earn money as a company and it follows that the sales force also benefits.

Florian Behmer, Sales Management Assistant

SONAX attaches great importance to employee satisfaction and honest feedback from the field service team. In an anonymous questionnaire, actual satisfaction with portatour® was surveyed both quantitatively and qualitatively.

The answers speak for themselves:

  • For 71% of the field staff, portatour® makes it easier to react to unforeseen changes and to flexibly reschedule the existing itinerary.
  • The effort for weekly planning was reduced by 36% - from an average of 64 minutes with the old route-planning software to 41 minutes with portatour®.
  • The successful onboarding and the excellent support by portatour® were highlighted by 88% of the respondents in the SONAX field service.
  • portatour® was easy to learn for 86% of field staff. Ease of use stood out in the feedback.
  • When asked how the planning would be without portatour®, the field staff answered with the following disadvantages: longer working hours because of much more planning effort, a step backwards to a rigid planning system, loss of the necessary basic framework for the upcoming weekly itinerary, which portatour® creates at the push of a button.

portatour® is a professional route-planning system that the field representatives enjoy working with. What more could you ask for? We have found a great partner in portatour®.

Florian Behmer, Sales Management Assistant

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