CRM - Customer Relationship Management

The latest corporate buzzword. This is big company stuff, but you'd better know what they're doing and why.

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CRM is the latest enterprise buzzword, stealing the spotlight from ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), which itself had displaced MRP (Material Requirement Planning). There is nothing uniquely new about what CRM is, except the buzzword itself, but the buzzword greatly helps market the services of SIEBEL, the dominant company in the CRM business.

CRM is designed for large companies that have multiple product or service lines provided by more or less independent profit centers, especially when these profit centers may do business with the same customers. What CRM does is:

  • Provide a single face for the company. All calls go in through the same phone number and can easily be directed to the correct call center group, and easily transferred from one group to another.

  • Provide each profit center with information on the total value of the customer. That way, a profit center will not (we hope) piss off a customer they do little business with when the same customer is doing mondo business with another profit center.

  • Provides a single customer database for "data mining" that covers the activities of all profit centers.

  • Improves cross marketing and coordinated sales efforts across the boundaries of the individual profit centers.
Retrofitting CRM onto the existing systems of a diversified organization is no simple task, and means spending a lot of money - a really whole lot of money - but the "single face" aspects of CRM are held sufficiently worthwhile to justify the expense.

©:Andrew Grygus - Automation Access - www.aaxnet.com - aax@aaxnet.com
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