Getting the "C" out of CRM

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I recently met with a client of mine who was telling me about the frustrations his employees were experiencing with their current service call management system.   He listed off the improvements that the staff had been asking for, things like improved visibility into customer information and history, tracking past work performed, scheduling routine maintenance, simplification of data entry, use of mobile devices, cost and inventory tracking, dashboards for snapshots of key metrics.  I mentioned that CRM might be a possible solution to all of his requirements, rather than a number of separate tools he was considering to address the issues we were discussing.  His response, "We're not selling anything.  I don't need a sales tool."

CRM is a great sales tool, there is no argument about that.  But Microsoft Dynamics CRM is capable of so much more than optimizing the traditional sales functions. We could go in to a hundred and one uses for CRM, but instead I'd like to highlight a few to try and get your mind off of the "C".

Document Process Flow Management - manage the process around the completion of required documentation and the auto-completion of forms based on information stored in the system to prevent double and triple entry of data

Central Data Repository - gather data on all customer touch points from every department so the left hand was aware of the right hand's actions, integration of data from the ERP system and customer-facing website to bring all relevant customer data together for all staff

Light-weight BI Tool - using the data gathered from various systems to provide comprehensive financial and non-financial metrics together for detailed analysis of key success factors and presenting them in easy to read dashboards, graphs and charts

Project Management - Configuring workflows, scheduling of resources, tracking of related costs, assigning tasks to staff and identifying overdue items with automatic notifications

Dispatch and Crew Management - tracking customer requirements and preferences for servicing, sourcing available equipment and staff, tracking metrics to ensure regulatory compliance (days off requirements, electronic daily safety checklists), customer-specific business rules and collection of payroll data

Member Management - tracking all related information for various membership organizations including student unions, Co-ops, First Nations band membership, and providing automated tracking of billing, event management, equity management, etc.

Asset Tracking - managing maintenance schedules, tracking usage and availability, assigning costs, analyzing repair trends to optimize asset life cycle management

And yes, Property/Maintenance Management - tracking inventory consumption for service calls, identifying opportunities for multiple maintenance activities in a single site visit to improve efficiency, work order approval process management, mobile access to maintenance history, easy access to cost analysis data and customer-specific service preference information

With just a few simple examples of how CRM can be leveraged to improve business processes and access to information that can improve efficiency, cut costs and provide greater visibility into the key success factors that drive the internal and external relationships of your organization.

BDO Solutions is a national firm with local practices throughout Canada, including Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Reseller of the Year in Canada for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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