Magazine article CRM Magazine

Don't Put the Cart before the Horse: CRM Success Starts with Process Excellence and Ends with Supporting Technologies

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Don't Put the Cart before the Horse: CRM Success Starts with Process Excellence and Ends with Supporting Technologies

Article excerpt

PROCESS EXCELLENCE is red-hot. Leading companies worldwide are turning to it to enhance such business processes as streamlining new product development and improving CRM. The strategy of business process management is working for companies before and during their CRM initiatives.

A leading footwear and apparel manufacturer, for example, opted first to document its account-team collaboration processes prior to considering CRM technologies to support these processes. This company knows that in a successful CRM implementation process must always precede technology. To drive success the manufacturer is following a six-step methodology:

1. Form a cross-functional process team comprising players who are responsible for looking after customers (e.g., sales, service, finance, logistics).

2. Let the cross-functional team chart as-is account-team collaboration business processes.

3. Validate documented processes with customers.

4. Work closely with customers to enhance as-is processes to create to-be business processes.

5. Train users on the new to-be processes.

6. Use CRM technologies to support the enhanced to-be processes.

Similarly, to reboot a stalling CRM initiative a Department of Defense (DoD) agency temporarily halted its multiweek CRM pilot, which was meant to test its new customer account management application, and applied a five-step approach:

1. Document as-is business processes.

2. Provide these business process flows, and the resulting prioritized business functional requirements, to the CRM software's technical programming team.

3. Set baseline metrics prior to the commencement of the pilot, and then update these metrics weekly during the pilot.

4. Properly train pilot users on the new business processes and the CRM pilot tool.

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