Like most companies, the end of December is usually a very busy time for our employees with payroll year-ends for our clients and many customers going live. Usually we are too busy to do many blog entries, press releases or e-newsletters, but I had to write right away about a very successful launch of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation last week. Unfortunately, because of stringent non-disclosure agreements we can’t disclose the identity of the manufacturing and distribution organization, but we are allowed to share some high-level information about this implementation.
With the launch of Dynamics CRM 4.0, The TM Group and Microsoft started utilizing the term XRM. This term is used to emphasize the fact that Microsoft Dynamics CRM with its easy-to-use customization features and configurable workflows can be used for more than just customer relationship management. It can be used to manage any relationships or mission-critical business processes. Our client, who went live the fourth week of December, was definitely an XRM type of implementation where we leveraged Microsoft Dynamics CRM core functionality and enhanced it with many custom entities, custom fields (called attributes in Dynamics CRM) and relationships.
This client had very unique business requirements and we spent an entire month in early 2009, following our standard implementation process, of doing a full Business Process Review, a Statement of Work (SOW) followed with many detailed Design Documents (DD) to be sure we identified all custom entities, custom attributes and integrations needed by other business applications. Upon approval of the SOW and DD, we started to build the custom entities and custom attributes as well as define how the client’s users would use the application. They have an order cycle which is an entire year, with a very short delivery window.
During the year they track multiple incidents with their customers which they need to categorize in two types. They had a very sophisticated, worldwide and proprietary monitoring system that tracked these incidents which we integrated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Service as cases so they could track resolutions and schedule follow-up activities if they were needed. This was the first of two major integrations that were required for this project. The other was integration to their Logistics application. All the orders were uploaded into the logistics application where they were route optimized and scheduled for delivery. These scheduled delivery times which included the date and exact time were then updated on the orders in Dynamics CRM. Once the orders were delivered by their special delivery team, the actual dates and times of delivery were then also updated in CRM.
Another special business requirement for this project was that the customers had to be grouped and managed by households and relationships between parents and siblings were tracked. As the households grow and the children grow and have their own children, these family trees needed to be retained and expanded as more children are added.
Late on the night before Christmas, I got a phone call from the President and CEO of this organization on his satellite phone. He told me how nervous he had been about this project. Millions of customers depend on him to deliver the right order to the right household on the right night. He has to track both the customers’ wish lists and allocate his inventories according to their lists and cross reference it with the customers’ incidents and decide who’s naughty and nice. He said that the "go live" went off without a hitch and was very impressed with Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s functionality and The TM Group’s business and technical expertise. He also said he was very happy his CTE (Chief Technology Elf) had convinced him to undertake this project. He ended our conversation by saying “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
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