Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Rise of the A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.: The Abbreviation Coalition for the Regular Overuse of Nothing You Meant Is Now Called to Order

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Rise of the A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.: The Abbreviation Coalition for the Regular Overuse of Nothing You Meant Is Now Called to Order

Article excerpt

WHEN I HEARD THAT this month's issue of CRM had as its theme VRM--vendor relationship management--I felt a distinct sense of loathing. Not that VRM is a bad idea: As the power dynamic in the vendor-customer relationship shifts ever more in favor of the latter, it's only sensible that an acronym comparable to "CRM" would come along to connote the individual's ability to manage interactions with the brands vying for her attention.

However, if there's one thing this industry doesn't need, it's another TLA (three-letter acronym). We have enough trouble keeping CRM safe from those who feel that CEM (customer experience management) or CIM (customer interaction management) deserve pride of place. It doesn't help that "vendor relationship management" isn't even the only application of "VRM"--there are more than a dozen alternate meanings, including:

* Variable Rate Mortgage (a sure sign your mortgage broker hates you)

* Vehicle Registration Mark

* Venus Radar Mapper (not common, but cool; see image)

* Voltage Regulator Module

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Clearly, none of these has anything to do with the VRM we're dealing with--though the voltage regulator module might be handy in a "Don't tase me, bro" kind of way. Yet even within business technology, "VRM" still has too many players on the field (to borrow an NFL phrase). At least four pre-existing uses of this TLA have the weight of business behind them:

* Value Reference Model (Value Chain Group)

* Vehicular Radio Modem (Motorola)

* Virtual Resource Manager (IBM)

* Virtual Rights Management (VMware)

Mainly because of space considerations, let's not even start on the countless ETLAs (appropriately enough, an extended, three-letter acronym that stands for "extended three-letter acronyms") we could deploy here. (Letters add up, after all.)

Instead of providing TMI, acronyms often provide too little, becoming a barrier to communication when they cause confusion. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.