Another acronym for you to ponder, xRM
Posted: Dec 14, 2009 by Marc DiGiorgio | 0 comments
You will be seeing “xRM” quite a bit from Microsoft in the next year.
What is the ‘x’ in xRM? Well, it’s the roman number “x” denoting a variable. Think of it as Anything Relational Management.
Microsoft has realized that while there is a great opportunity with traditional CRM (Customer Relationship Management) projects, the real power in their application called MS Dynamics CRM is just how powerful it is as a platform. It has a built-in workflow engine, customization engine, reporting engine connected to SQL Sever SRS, a mobile platform for your smart phone users, and killer integration with Microsoft Outlook. In fact, your employees wouldn’t even know they are using xRM as they will be living in Outlook as a front end all day long.
Mind you it’s no ERP system, we wouldn’t recommend it for transaction processing as its missing lots of basic stuff underneath the cover, stuff you need an ERP system to do. That said, we are excited to incorporate MS Dynamics CRM into a number of business events that need support in the average food company:
- Basic contact management. Slick Outlook integration, you can have your sales reps or brokers log email communications to and from customers. Get out of the endless loop of serial communication. “Did Bob ever send the quote to Jim at Wal-Mart?”. Well, the answer will be sitting in CRM as all emails from all employees will be logged for you to see.
- Opportunity Management. Most food companies can do a much better job tracking opportunities. “Did I win that quote from Giant Eagle? If not, why”. “What is my win rate for Target? What is Jim’s win/loss record? What is the value of opportunities by sales stage?” Basic questions, often hard to quantify or get answers to.
- Activity Management. Are your reps and brokers spending enough time with your Key Customers? Why is Jim spending so much time with a “C” customer. Is activity translating to business won?
- Product Lifecycle Management. If you are doing custom product or formulations for customers, its often tough to track document approvals, appropriate workflows across all the stages of the R&D process. From Ideation to Production, there are lots of steps from lots of people. xRM lets you centralize all the workflow and tasks, integrating communication to MS Outlook.
- Campaign Management. Have a big show to hit next year? Spending tens of thousands of dollars promoting your presence or a new product introduction? CRM will manage all the workflows and tasks associated to doing the event the right way. No more last minute preparation.
- Lead Management. What’s your best lead source? How quickly are you following up on leads? Are you spending your marketing dollars in the right places?
Beyond this basic sales and marketing stuff, we are excited to use xRM for our upcoming trade promotion management functionality. All the back end pieces are there, but we have always needed a front end that is easy for the sales folks to use, and incorporates a workflow engine for event approval and event management. I think we have it in MS Dynamics CRM.
Marc is part tech geek and business guy. He has had the opportunity to manage the JustFoodERP team since helping conceive the product in 2004. Marc has a variety of experiences in the past 15 years including software implementation, sales, marketing, and product management. He is an avid runner, cyclist, and triathlete. Father of two boys.
Marc DiGiorgio, VP, JustFoodERP, is part tech geek, part business guy. He has had the opportunity to manage the JustFoodERP team since helping conceive the product in 2004. Marc has a variety of experiences in the past 15 years including software implementation, sales, marketing, and product management. He is an avid runner, cyclist, and triathlete, and father of two boys and a girl. He can be reached at email@example.com
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