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Miree Le Roy, IPM Global

6 Reasons Why Project Managers Need Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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As many construction companies are in the business of managing projects, not relationships, they can sometimes be mistaken in thinking they don’t need a CRM system to help manage their projects. Many people consider CRM to be a sales and marketing tool, used to manage leads and contact lists. However with developments in CRM technology in recent years, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is about more than just sales and marketing. So here are 6 reasons why project managers need a project management tool that’s built on a CRM platform:

 

1. Stay up-to-date with your project activities

With a CRM based project management tool, you can view lists of outstanding project activities in your project management system. What’s more, CRM features such as conditional formatting are available in the project management system as well, meaning it can automatically highlight items in the list that are due soon, or even overdue. This makes it easy to see at a glance which items need attention.

 

2. Monitor and manage your supply chain

In order to deliver a job on time, you need to have all your materials delivered on time and your subcontractors finished on time. By using a CRM tool, you know exactly who your suppliers are and have their contact details at your fingertips to keep track of everything that is supplied to site. With CRM, you can also integrate all your project information with your accounting software, so accounts and payments are kept up to date.

 

3. Track your enquiries and tenders

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has one of the most advanced email tracking facilities due to its tight integration with Outlook. Unlike other email tracking tools, the CRM tracking facility has the ability to file emails against individual transactions, rather than the whole job. This means it can automatically file all your emails relating to a particular enquiry or tender to ensure you also easily keep track of your project communication.

 

4. All your customer and project information is in one place

Using CRM to manage your projects means you have a central database store all of your contacts, accounts, and project data in the one database. And due to the nature of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, this can be accessed by everyone in your organization, and from anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection. This central database helps everyone on your team stay up to date with everything that’s happening on your project and also ensures there is only one set of data, rather than multiple versions.

 

5. Get a single view of your customer and project data

Not only does having a CRM system mean having a single database, features like the Microsoft Dynamics CRM dashboards, which were added to CRM 2011 give you a great overview of the data on your project. Users can customize these dashboards to display the information that is relevant to them and also to ensure the information they see is laid out in a way that suits them.

 

6. Focus on retaining your customers and growing your business

Even though project managers like to think they manage projects, so much of managing a project is about managing the relationships you form on a project. From relationships within your project team, through to your relationships with subcontractors, the relationships you form on a project are of vital importance. You never know who you may need on future projects, or how far someone else’s recommendations of your work will take you. A CRM system can help you keep up to date contact details for all your project stakeholders and identify new projects that may be in the pipeline.

 

So even though CRM systems are traditionally used for managing customer relationships, they can also be invaluable when it comes to managing your projects. Although there are a few CRM systems to choose from, we believe Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the best features that can translate across to project management, and that is why our project management tool is built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform. If you’d like more information about managing your projects with IPM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please do not hesitate to contact Scott Drushella at IPM Global USA.

By Reef Fielding, IPM Global: the creators of IPM – a Project Management Solution Certified for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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