CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a strategy used to learn more about customers’ needs and behaviors in order to develop stronger relationships with them. It plays an important role in understanding customer’s needs by gathering the information about the customers that helps in marketing and selling the company’s products. With an effective Customer Relationship Management strategy, an organization can increase revenues by providing better services and selling products effectively what the customers want. CRM is the key to better customer services. Through CRM, it is possible to discover new customers and retain the existing ones. For it to function effectively, it is of importance for the organization to understand about their customers, their needs and develop a strategy to meet those needs.
Therefore, an organization must look at how the information can be saved and how useful it can be. (Wailgum, 2007) Minitex is a company that sells its products which mainly centered through finance and insurance. These 2 divisions are administered by 4 systems namely marketing, insurance, finance and CFO. (Reddy, 2015) George Degas is the director of sales at Minitex. Harold Blufmen is the VP of insurance division and Mariella Hopkins head of the finance division. It consists of the administration system that works on the billing and payments of the customers, a General Management system that keeps track of the customers are the two back-end systems for the insurance division. (McKeen, 2008)
The main Problems at Minitex are:
Unprofessional Sales Calls to same customers because the data in Minitex is not centralized, so as the Sales people cannot keep track of customer information with current systems. Mariella Hopkins, VP of the finance who is IT enthusiast is open to collaboration with other department do not want to compromise existing systems. Another drawback is its divisions have specialized system terminology. (Reddy, 2015)
Figure 1: CRM relationship and Management (Mckeen, 2008)
Aspects for Flow of Information in Minitex
The Customer Contacts System: The Customer Contacts system was created recently by Degas’s boss, Jon Bettman. This system gives sales people a better way to keep track of customer information. This system schedules, sales call on a periodic basis and provides mechanisms for generating and tracking new leads and it also forms the basis on which the marketing department pays the sales people’s commissions. Real- time information on sales by product, salesperson, and region gives Bettman and his team excellent feedback on how well their centralized marketing strategies are performing. For purposes of invoicing and servicing the accounts, the Customer Contacts system also feeds data into the insurance and financing divisions systems after sales are made.
The Management Business Center System: Mariella Hopkins the VP of financing, and her division funded the development of a management business center application. This system acts as an online customer self-service system. By this system, customers can obtain statements and online financing and often can get credit approved instantly. Customer service representatives use the same basic system, with to track customer transactions and to provide customer support as needed.
The Credit Administration System: Minitex is using a Credit administration system which was developed 20 years ago. Harold Blumfen, VP of insurance is a major profit maker at Minitex, he and his division uses a credit administration system to track customer billings and payments. The General Management System: Minitex uses a general management system to keep track of which products a customer has bought and what services the customer is entitled to. Both Credit Administration System and General Management System fundamentally back end systems. (McKeen, 2008)
1. Explain how it is possible for someone at Minitex to call a customer and not know (a) that this is a customer and (b) that this is the third time this week that they had been called. With Minitex’s systems, both of these seem easy to accomplish. With the divisions not sharing the same system, they may not have the most updated information when one person is looking up information. This would explain why an employee may call and not know that they are calling a customer. This is especially true, because some of the employees track their own information to their own records, thus not updating the systems. It is possible to not know that a customer has been contacted three times, because the employees use their own memory to keep track of who they have called.
2. Outline the steps that Bettman must take in order to implement CRM at Minitex. In your plan, be sure to include people, processes, and technology. To start this process of implementing CRM, Bettman needs to get everyone on the same page. He also needs to take leadership of his department, making final decisions based on evidence of the best choice for the entire department, whether or not everyone agrees. Bettman needs to get with Harold Blumfen and Mariella Hopkins and create unity between the two departments of things such as terminology, explaining that both divisions need to collaborate. The next step would be to get a handle on the current system, until they can obtain a new system. This needs to start by making sure that all information is input into the system, ensuring all employees have the most accurate and up-to-date information.
This will prevent blunders, and can be a major example to put in Degas’s business case petitioning for a new IT system. Degas, meanwhile, will be working on his business case to give to IT, explaining that a new centralized system is needed. The system needs to be able to have a customer interface, but functionality for both divisions to input information and receive the information output related to their department. He can show the difference of customer interaction with less and more information flow. Degas needs to get Bettman to network with IT in the request for the new system, having the main boss involved will give it more importance. Finally, with leadership and CRM at Minitex, the department will be back on track. (McKeen, 2008)
McKeen, J. D., & Smith, H. (2008). IT strategy: Issues and Practices (2 nd Ed) Reddy, A. (2015, February 12). Crm at Minitrex. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.papercamp.com/essay/147554/Crm-At-Minitrex Wailgum, T. (2007, March 6). CRM Definition and Solutions. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.cio.com/article/2439505/customer-relationship-management/crm-definition-and-solutions.html