Sunstar Case Study

Sunstar replaces Lotus Notes with a custom CRM solution

Case Study


Sunstar is an international manufacturer that operates in the business sectors of Oral Care, Heath & Beauty, Motorcycle parts, and Chemicals. Founded in Japan in 1932, Sunstar has expanded globally, with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Sunstar strives to help people everywhere achieve better health and enhance their quality-of-life through their products and services.


Sunstar tracked their sales leads using a highly customized CRM built into Lotus Notes. But Lotus Notes had become cost-prohibitive and Sunstar’s leadership decided to replace it with Office 365, which doesn’t include a built-in CRM. Since they relied heavily on their CRM system, this created a delay in their rollout and left Sunstar with a couple of options.

Option 1: They could purchase an off-the-shelf option, but it would require massive customization and wouldn’t meet their long-term needs. Additionally, purchasing an off-the-shelf solution would be costly. The CRM solution that Sunstar was considering would cost $100,000 - $200,000 in initial setup fees and upwards of $120,000 per year.

Option 2: They could build a custom solution, but this would be time consuming since they didn’t have many web developers on staff. A project of this magnitude could take years to complete. Years they didn't have as they were on a deadline to move away from Lotus Notes.


Sunstar turned to the m-Power Development Platform for a solution. Having purchased m-Power 2 years earlier to deliver basic queries, they really hadn’t unleashed m-Power’s potential to develop any type of web application. m-Power allowed them to create a custom CRM system, using their current staff and skills.

With some assistance from mrc’s consultants to guide the Sunstar IT team through the design concept, they built their own custom CRM. An unintended benefit of this was they could harness the flexibility of m-Power to better meet their end-users requests. Ultimately, for the end user, it means the product they were left with is significant better than the product it replaced as they were able to make suggestions along the way for various enhancements, such as mobile functionality. They now have a CRM that fits their business, and can be easily enhanced with new features in the future, as they are requsted.


After requirements gathering, development lasted a bit over 3 months and the system went live in December of 2017. It is now being used throughout the US and Canada to track leads, schedule appointments, and track any customer service concerns that may arise. Sunstar has realized the following benefits as a result of this project:

  1. Enabled them to move off of Lotus Notes, creating significant cost savings. Not only did this eliminate the costs of Lotus Notes, it was far more cost effective than purchasing an off-the-shelf solution. When compared to the CRM solution they were considering, the choice of m-Power saved at least $200,000 in the first year, and $100,000 per year moving forward.
  2. The m-Power Development Platform lets them easily respond to user requests. Their IT team can quickly add new features as needed, which improves business agility.
  3. The cross-platform solution enables users to access the CRM from any device, delivering real time access to Order/Shipping data, which greatly improves customer service in the field.
  4. They created their custom system in less time than it would take to deploy and customize an off-the-shelf system. This approach saved time and money, and left them with a solution that fits their exact needs.

To learn more about Sunstar, you can visit their Web site at:

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