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kristine H

kristine H

Twenty years ago saw a change with the initiation of special sales, incentives, bonuses, and perks as businesses attempted to reward loyalty.

ERP Software

The Cost of CRM, Part 1b

Twenty years ago saw a change with the initiation of special sales, incentives, bonuses, and perks as businesses attempted to reward loyalty. CRM Software made this possible by setting up categories based on sex, age, income, education level, family status, and location as a way to sort customers and their purchasing habits. Organizing buyers in such a way facilitated more select marketing, and thus a more efficient use of company resources. Needless to say, as CRM software evolved into more functional and informative software, CRM implementation grew at an impressive rate and CRM Cost went up. This left businesses to figure out whether the benefits of CRM equaled the expense of the technology.

When comparing CRM costs, prices, and features, the first thing a company should do is consider the exact results it expects from its customer relationship management software. Then it will be time to begin the process of researching how much a Customer Relationship Manager system will cost.

CRM projects can be broken down into three main areas of costs: 1) the price of software licenses and software maintenance. A license can cost in the range of two-hundred dollars to a six zeroes investment. The range depends on the number of users involved, the size of the company, and –of course- on which application is being bought.

The second main area of cost is the price of professional services which are needed to get the CRM system installed and operating.

 

 

 

CRM refers to Customer Relationship Management. It is the acronym for the software that companies use to keep track of their interactions with customers.

ERP Software

The Cost of CRM, Part 1

CRM refers to Customer Relationship Management. It is the acronym for the software that companies use to keep track of their interactions with customers. The Software also tracks customers’ buying patterns and surveys possible future needs for more product. Companies buy CRM as a way not only to keep customers loyal, but to bring in new customers, too. If a company cannot continue to attract new customers, it cannot grow. Thus, by supporting companies in their attempt to deal expertly with current customers as well as with potential customers, CRM Software helps sales and marketing teams make the most of their time and expertise in order to generate more profit and revenue.

CRM Software evolved from marketing strategies that first began setting up customer-service groups once companies realized that even this basic surveying practice rewarded them with increased business. As a result of observing how the customer relationship market was one worth pursuing, CRM designers began to target the development of software systems capable of tracking what customers bought, what they spent, when they did their spending, and what they might purchase down the line.

A smarter approach is one that seeks to resolve functional gaps in a company’s operational performance. It is an approach that focuses on customer-centric processes, including improved contact center, IVR and Web self-service; customerpermitted, proactive, outbound, multichannel notification; and, where there is an advantage to be gained, multiple language support.

CRM Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 7b)

It also incorporates marketing, scripting and localization to serve global customers, with procedures for data collection and use. It identifies and targets specific metrics of performance so that the potential benefits of improved efficiency, productivity, and greater revenue can be projected as part of the justification for CRM. Lastly, it entails integration with other vital processes, including accounts receivable/billing/collections, ERP and shipping/receiving (i.e., supply chain management) to help serve, support, attract and keep customers from end to end.

The case for a smarter approach to CRM is not just about a return on investment (ROI) or a payback analysis; it is also about the opportunity costs of not implementing an effective CRM solution. For the marketing manager, how long can poor response rates to marketing initiatives be justified? For the customer service manager, how can conversion ratios be improved and call handling times be reduced in a tough economy? Companies seeking more functionality from their

current management systems can make the case for a CRM platform that can help close these functional and ROI gaps while expanding on performance capabilities.

The global economy is in slow or no-growth mode. The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook predicts a lower than three percent rise in U.S. output through 2013. The European, Japanese and Canadian economies will also experience sluggish growth. The IMF warns of inflation risks and increased financial volatility in this environment.  The world, and businesses, still look to the U.S. for growth.

Continued in Part 8

 

Modularity and open source. As the IT teams in midsize firms are investigating and buying Cloud-deployed CRM solutions, they are purchasing those tools and others like analytics that have modular or service-oriented architectures (SOA). They can then source pieces such as contact or order management as needed.

CRM Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as  Your Customers? (Part 7a)

Modularity and open source. As the IT teams in midsize firms are investigating and buying Cloud-deployed CRM solutions, they are purchasing those tools and others like analytics that have modular or service-oriented architectures (SOA). They can then source pieces such as contact or order management as needed. Modularity can save time, enables realized benefits and ROI sooner and spreads resources over a longer period than “lump sum” traditional CRM designs. Firms are also acquiring solutions written in open source software. Open source software gives developers and IT teams access to the core or kernel code, permitting them to rapidly and less expensively create customized applications. In contrast, proprietary software is “locked,” which means some companies may have to adapt—at great expense—their existing applications around it. In software, few apps are more entrenched (and interdependent with other systems) than CRM.

The changing customer, the implications for CRM and CRM trends have combined to make the case for a smarter approach to CRM: a menu of best practice methods and solutions, designed to work together. On it are Cloud-delivered, modular, open and mobile-enabled CRM, social media monitoring, filtering and analytics, data integration, BI including predictive analytics, data warehousing, marketing automation and collaboration applications. While traditional and many newer CRM solutions have these other tools built in, these wares may not be suitable for individual companies’ specific requirements.

A smarter approach is one that seeks to resolve functional gaps in a company’s operational performance. It is an approach that focuses on customer-centric processes, including improved contact center, IVR and Web self-service; customerpermitted, proactive, outbound, multichannel notification; and, where there is an advantage to be gained, multiple language support.

Continued in Part 7b

 

Customer power changes the fundamental sales dynamic for most companies.  Customers are more aware of what their rights are when engaging with companies. They are demanding greater control over the data that companies collect from them, and want assurance that their data is secure. They are also insisting that they be contacted on their own terms— for example, by e-mail, fax and automated or live agents.

ERP Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 2a)

Customer power changes the fundamental sales dynamic for most companies.  Customers are more aware of what their rights are when engaging with companies. They are demanding greater control over the data that companies collect from them, and want assurance that their data is secure. They are also insisting that they be contacted on their own terms— for example, by e-mail, fax and automated or live agents.

The breadth and reach of business is also changing. Broadband access, improved logistics and the rise of easier international payment methods such as PayPal have opened international markets to companies of all sizes, so that global reach is no longer exclusive to large enterprises. The playing field is leveling at an unprecedented pace. To successfully serve an increasingly global client base, business managers must now understand their customers culturally as well as linguistically, and to serve them in compliance with local laws and rules.

While customer time to access to information and the speed at which decisions are reached has decreased, companies are simultaneously finding it difficult to control the brand experience across multiple platforms—even more so in a crowded marketplace that makes for fragmented interaction. Instead of absorbing advertising, browsing through stores and catalogs, finding something and buying it, in a continuous sequence, for example, customers are using online tools to engage and disengage in the process according to their own time and location.

Continued in Part 2b

 

What was once an uninterrupted flow is becoming a series of moments–from the point when the consumer first becomes aware of a new product or service, through the investigative process, up to the purchasing process–all of these moments may become discontinuous and be separated by days or weeks.

ERP Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 2b)

What was once an uninterrupted flow is becoming a series of moments–from the point when the consumer first becomes aware of a new product or service, through the investigative process, up to the purchasing process–all of these moments may become discontinuous and be separated by days or weeks. The speed of information access and processing means that a business’ opportunity time frame to influence the process is decreasing, and they are increasingly less able to exert control over the other influences on the consumer, including the social network and Internet search engines. No more does an ERP system reside solely within the walls of the enterprise; the customer, reaching through the CRM portal, is altering processes across a very wide swath.

That’s good. The empowered customer has leveled the playing field among competitors, and businesses are faced with a critical challenge: how do we remain relevant to the customer? To deliver value instead of competing on cost alone, and to provide a brand experience strong enough to earn repeat business, businesses must change the way they operate and compete. They must meet the elevated personal expectations of the new, smarter customer.

Beyond marketing strategy, business development, advertising and creative, there is one fundamental key to addressing these massive shifts in the relationship between customer and business: the choices you make in the evolution of your CRM system.  The savvy, digitally connected and smarter customer is a challenge for businesses, but not an insurmountable one. With new CRM strategies, companies can deliver the experience that will ensure competitiveness and efficiency and, that will build brand loyalty over time.

Continued in Part 3

 

What was once an uninterrupted flow is becoming a series of moments–from the point when the consumer first becomes aware of a new product or service, through the investigative process, up to the purchasing process–all of these moments may become discontinuous and be separated by days or weeks.

ERP Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 2b)

What was once an uninterrupted flow is becoming a series of moments–from the point when the consumer first becomes aware of a new product or service, through the investigative process, up to the purchasing process–all of these moments may become discontinuous and be separated by days or weeks. The speed of information access and processing means that a business’ opportunity time frame to influence the process is decreasing, and they are increasingly less able to exert control over the other influences on the consumer, including the social network and Internet search engines. No more does an ERP system reside solely within the walls of the enterprise; the customer, reaching through the CRM portal, is altering processes across a very wide swath.

That’s good. The empowered customer has leveled the playing field among competitors, and businesses are faced with a critical challenge: how do we remain relevant to the customer? To deliver value instead of competing on cost alone, and to provide a brand experience strong enough to earn repeat business, businesses must change the way they operate and compete. They must meet the elevated personal expectations of the new, smarter customer.

Beyond marketing strategy, business development, advertising and creative, there is one fundamental key to addressing these massive shifts in the relationship between customer and business: the choices you make in the evolution of your CRM system.  The savvy, digitally connected and smarter customer is a challenge for businesses, but not an insurmountable one. With new CRM strategies, companies can deliver the experience that will ensure competitiveness and efficiency and, that will build brand loyalty over time.

Continued in Part 3

 

Customer power changes the fundamental sales dynamic for most companies.  Customers are more aware of what their rights are when engaging with companies. They are demanding greater control over the data that companies collect from them, and want assurance that their data is secure. They are also insisting that they be contacted on their own terms— for example, by e-mail, fax and automated or live agents.

ERP Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 2a)

Customer power changes the fundamental sales dynamic for most companies.  Customers are more aware of what their rights are when engaging with companies. They are demanding greater control over the data that companies collect from them, and want assurance that their data is secure. They are also insisting that they be contacted on their own terms— for example, by e-mail, fax and automated or live agents.

The breadth and reach of business is also changing. Broadband access, improved logistics and the rise of easier international payment methods such as PayPal have opened international markets to companies of all sizes, so that global reach is no longer exclusive to large enterprises. The playing field is leveling at an unprecedented pace. To successfully serve an increasingly global client base, business managers must now understand their customers culturally as well as linguistically, and to serve them in compliance with local laws and rules.

While customer time to access to information and the speed at which decisions are reached has decreased, companies are simultaneously finding it difficult to control the brand experience across multiple platforms—even more so in a crowded marketplace that makes for fragmented interaction. Instead of absorbing advertising, browsing through stores and catalogs, finding something and buying it, in a continuous sequence, for example, customers are using online tools to engage and disengage in the process according to their own time and location.

Continued in Part 2b

 

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is an integrated software solution used by businesses to organize their operating processes and procedures.

ERP Software

ERP system: do you need one? Part 1

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is an integrated software solution used by businesses to organize their operating processes and procedures. Business planning systems have been evolving since the 1960s, and ERP represents only the latest generation. Before ERP systems were available, there were software systems called MRP (material requirements planning) and MRP II (manufacturing resources planning). These initial two systems kept their focus more on basics: the manufacturing and accounting resources of a company.

ERP was a natural design development that evolved from these two systems when the industry realized the benefit of being able to combine all business management functions, including planning, inventory, materials management, engineering, order processing, manufacturing, purchasing, accounting and finance, and human resources under one ‘umbrella’.

The technology of an ERP system encompasses a wide scope by putting together software and hardware working towards streamlining a business.  Constructed from a chain of modules that are seamlessly linked together through a common database, an ERP system enables various operating units such as Accounting, Purchasing, Finance, Human Resources, Production, and Distribution to coordinate activities, share information, and collaborate. It truly operates like the brain in the sense that the human brain is what receives and coordinates feedback and signals from all parts of the body and then coordinates these in a pivotal.

 

 

 

 

The technology of an ERP system encompasses a wide scope by putting together software and hardware working towards streamlining a business.

ERP Software

ERP system: do you need one? Part 1

Constructed from a chain of modules that are seamlessly linked together through a common database, an ERP system enables various operating units such as Accounting, Purchasing, Finance, Human Resources, Production, and Distribution to coordinate activities, share information, and collaborate. It truly operates like the brain in the sense that the human brain is what receives and coordinates feedback and signals from all parts of the body and then coordinates these in a pivotal.

So, does every business need an ERP System? This is an individual decision which only business leaders can make for their company, but there is no doubt that deploying a comprehensive ERP system across a business tends to lead to better performance, improved workflow synchronization, standardized information exchange, complete overview of the enterprise functioning, global decision optimization, speed enhancement, and more gains.

The ability of an ERP system to provide the correct, time-relevant information across diverse functions is precisely what makes the application so valuable to enterprises. In addition to the low cost of ownership and savings achieved by getting one system to administer multiple business functions, using the right ERP also promises that top executives can have a consolidated view of sales, inventory, and receivables at the same time.

Even more benefits realized by companies that purchase and implement an ERP system are: improved visibility, standardized business processes, lower operating costs, and improved compliance. To break this down benefit by benefit -improved visibility is important because it helps businesses track inventory levels on a daily basis thereby mostly controlling the working capital requirements. This visibility also makes it possible for businesses to make quick decisions and pursue upcoming opportunities.

ERP systems are designed around standardized best-business practices allowing a firmer, more accurate view of the company.  This then allows the business to generate improvements as the healthy synergy between departments thrives.

 

 

 

 

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