1. In a competitive world, every organization that wishes to survive, has to try improving its product/service to suit customer’s (internal or external) requirements and satisfies his needs. The idea is to recognize, analyze and systematically and constantly improve processes. Information system’s central role is transforming data to information by organizing, filtering and summarizing it. It also helps to implement the knowledge during decisions making. Amagansett was interested in functionality that lets a company keep track of past contacts with its customers and plan future ones.
Wholesalers were to use the system and enter details of their meetings with investors. Amagansett managers considered CRM software important. President of sales envisioned that the system would help generate reports so that sale managers could keep track of what wholesalers were doing and make sure that each customer was appropriately served. 2. Information system shouldn’t be treated as technical system only. Its development and integration are organizational project with all it implies. During system implementation process there is a need of system builders to cooperate with future system users.
Successful implementation of IS in organization depends on users’ willingness to change their behavior and performing tasks following the new process. Amagansett employees involved in the CRM implementation were mainly from the IT function. Standard system was used and its customization to future users didn’t get enough attention, therefore those couldn’t (or weren’t interested to) integrate the system efficiently in their work. Most users hated the system. Wholesalers didn’t have time to use it, the screens weren’t well-designed (required to enter duplicate data for one site), and therefore data entry was done incorrectly or incompletely.
As a result sales managers distrusted the reports and had a poor idea of what was going on with their organizations and at their customers. 3. 1. Redesign CRM system’s screens, used for entering data. This improvement can be done by finding some specific formats, usually used by wholesalers (contact data, meeting details, people worked at some office, etc. ), and design the screens for that use. That way, entering data process will be much easier and quicker. The format should be produced together with wholesaler’s delegates and the CRM consultant.
This solution shouldn’t be expensive, because the screens already exist, they should only be redesigned. 3. 2. Make some interface (programs) which allows wholesaler entering data to the system not directly to the CRM system, but through some mail format or web form. For example, can open some site, (which should be secured of course), enter all relevant data, this form would be sent to the server of the CRM’s system, and through the interface would be translated to the CRM’s database. This improvement makes it possible to the wholesaler enter data to the system almost online, very close to the time of the contact.
As a result the data will be extended and more accurate. Another benefit of this solution is that it could be applied not only for laptops, but also for palms, smart phones and others. This improvement shouldn’t be expensive. The web form can be very simple and the interface only translates data from one source to the desired format on the CRM’s Data Base. 3. 3Another way for allowing the wholesaler to enter information “from the road”, is by transforming the duty of entering data to the system from wholesaler to someone else (secretary for example). Most of the time, wholesaler doesn’t sit in an office, but traveling, meeting the clients.
The wholesaler can make a phone call to the secretary (or leave a voice message), describe all needed data, and the secretary will enter it to the CRM system. That way the data will be fully entered to the system and no details will be missed. For this solution to work there is a need of teaching secretaries to work with the system and it also may require hiring additional personnel. In any way it should be quite inexpensive. 4. Availability of platform like iPad changes a lot our analysis. This technology can make every system available “online”. Having the iPad, no one can say “it’s too big, too heavy”, as was said about laptops.
Having an iPad, the system can be installed on it, and everyone can enter data to the system almost online (very close to the time of the meeting). The data can be saved locally on the iPad (if there is no web connection) and when connected to some computer with connection to CRM system, will be synchronized. If some data is needed, it can be produced from the system very quickly, and saved locally on the iPad, allowing future easy and fast access to this data. But the system should be designed with the collaboration of wholesalers to make it usable and convenient.