Victoria university information system consulting (VUIS) is a consulting firm that provides information system consulting services including development of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and electronic commerce (eCommerce) solutions for small and medium sized companies. The firm prepares a scoping report for one its client called Barry’s Beans, a small-sized coffee company. The company blends and imports its coffee from different countries. The company wants to enhance its business by incorporating a system so that the total customer experience (prezi.com 2018). The following section of the report discusses about the proposed information system solution, including the working of the information system and the different models of the information system. Then the report explains the key concepts of the proposed information system solution and determines issues and benefits that is related to the proposed system. Next the report recommend about how the understanding of the key concept is related to the business scenario. Finally, the implementation section determines the specific elements of the proposed information system solution such as people, risk, roll-out and security.
Considering the existing business issue of Barry’s Beans company, VUIS consulting firm proposes CRM information system for the company as this would be the best to resolve the company’s issue. CRM is basically an information system that strategically manages company’s relationship with the customers, service users, suppliers and colleagues (Khodakarami and Chan 2014). A quality CRM consists principles, strategies and technologies and the business studies customer interactions by using these elements with the intention of boosting customer relationships and attracting probable customers. The primary idea behind developing customer relationships and CRM is that every customer must be asymmetrically or uniquely treated since their needs and individual values are also to be considered. However, besides attracting and retaining customers CRM also provides new insights into the behaviours and requirements that enable a business in tailoring products into the segmentations of targeted customer (Segoro 2013).
A CRM based information system functions with the help of applications and programs that gathers and interprets customer data including personal and contact details, customer preferences and taste and other big concerns. By using multiple touch points customer data are gathered and analysed by CRM. It is notable that physical interactions, social media, direct message or telephone are the touch points that the company uses to record and gather data (Saarijärvi, Karjaluoto and Kuusela 2013).
The web 2.0 is very important for CRM business marketing due to development of the social networking over the past years. With the evolution of Web 2.0, the negatively experience customer quickly spread their messages through web platforms and thus the company business can also spread a resolution or positive message if used correctly (Herring 2013).
1) Organized and arranged information: If the company will have more information about the customers then it will able to deliver or provide better service to them. Each interaction with the customer has to be identified, documented and arranged properly and CRM helps in accomplishing this. This enables company to help customers accordingly since the details of any customer can be retrieved within seconds from a large amount of stored data (Laudon and Laudon 2016).
2) CRM helps company to attract new customers while retaining existing customers: It is imperative that in case a customer facing problem requires solution and if the problem has not been taken care immediately then it will make the customer unhappy and dissatisfied. As a result the company has the chances of losing the customer. However, when a customer contact the company then the company records all information that is related to customer such as previous purchase history, preferences and tastes with the help of CRM. This can result providing better customer service since quick solutions can be found out as soon as any problem arises (Stair and Reynolds 2013). Alternatively, if the company has not able to generate a solution then it can generate solution by means of crowdsourcing through customer portals or the company can brought in various representatives. Now exceeding customer service will result in greater customer satisfaction and satisfied customers are likely to be returning customers (Mullins et al. 2014).
3) CRM helps in ensuring appropriate communication of data and information with the customers and within the company: If the company has got a single point of contact then it is likely that contact may not available all the time. This will lead the customer to work with someone who does not know or understand their preferences and choices which will ultimately make the customer unhappy. However, CRM makes it possible to have customer information available to anyone who require it. Likewise, communication among various departments of the company will also get improved since same customer data will be accessible by every department within the company (Peltier, Zahay and Lehmann 2013).
4) CRM makes it easy to plan strategies of future business: CRM allows to store large volume of information and data within a single database. This makes it easier for the company in interpret exclusively the customer data and make proper predictions about product and marketing development. In a similar way, the company will have the knowledge of the customer’s purchase history, preferences and tastes. The various available CRM applications integrates word processors and spreadsheet makers thus makes it easy for the company to create improved reports and correct estimates. As a result good decision are taken easily and more feasible target can be selected (Hajdul and Kawa 2015).
1) Through building and maintain good relationship is very important for company’s business, yet CRM cannot able to recognize other important functions of business such as human resource management, employee motivation and project management. The CRM system could not deliver all functions of the company’s business requirements.
2) As computers are relatively more advance in capabilities and intelligence which implies that there are chances that company may need to lay off those employees who become inessential after CRM software and applications have taken their job.
3) Implementation of CRM system by the company can add pressure to its employees as they will be concerned about inclusion of specific changes, result of the impact of changes and how the changes will impact them and the way they will react to changes.
4) The management of the company has not been trained in managing system. In addition, the management does not sufficient knowledge of the CRM system.
5) The company may lose its purpose of primary business objective or the there can be switching of objectives or goals during CRM implementation.
6) Implementation as well as required updates of the CRM applications may incurr additional cost to the company. For instance, the company will have to pay additional charge for the CRM software’s updated version. Also, the company will have to pay salaries to its CRM accompanied staff. Thus, CRM implementation can be quite expensive.
The smartphones are one of the most preferred mobile devices in recent days due to its increased usage. With the increasing use of the applications and loyalty cards smartphone has been a big part of CRM. It is the most preferred media channel in assisting businesses to gather data and complete tasks efficiently (Lendel and Kubina 2013). Cloud computing has been a natural evolution for various types of information systems though in past years it has not been used to its fullest potential and CRM applications and programs has been set and developed to enhance cloud computing usage and the shift from in-house solutions to cloud computing has been increased in recent years (Gupta, Seetharaman and Raj 2013). Exceedingly supporting of digital customer journeys by the companies, influencing petty vertical solutions for agility by the companies, prescribed advice on intelligent powers and processes of customer success are the major CRM trends of today. This implies that the customer will easily be able to connect a well as interact with the company by means of social networking and utilising applications and online solution on cloud computing. A company can stay ahead of the trends by minimising the time between customer satisfaction and customer business (Laudon and Traver 2013).
Front office business processes such as retail outlets of small coffee house are supported by the operational CRM systems as the outlets interact directly with the customers through sales and service along with marketing. They allow a company in taking care of their customers.
Customer facing applications and customer touching application are major componenets of the operational CRM systems
Sales force’s sales cloud is the recommended CRM software for Barry’s Bean company. Since the software is cloud-based so there is no need of IT team to manage or set it. Moreover, the setup and maintenance costs will not be expensive and employees will be able to work from any internet connected device such as laptop, smartphone or tablet. Salesforce allows to connect customers in a distinguished way. Salesforce helps in creating more useful and lasting relationships through understanding customer requirements, determining helping opportunities, addressing problem and setting up customer focussed applications (Boillat and Legner 2013). Salesforce’s service cloud keeps flowing the conversation through the support of the service platform to the customers anywhere and everywhere. With more intuitive, flexible and responsive support that expect customer requirements salesforce can remarkably improve the customer services (Abdelmaboud et al. 2015).
People, procedures and data are the primary components that distinguishes computing and information systems. The following things has to be considered during implementation of the salesforce’s service cloud.
1) People: The people that gets involved in implementing system should study and be informed about the working of the system.
2)Procedure: Business processes consisting of customer interaction would happen automatically and hence this will simplify business procedures.
3) Data: Collection of right customer data and information must be done quickly and up to date customer information should be kept. In addition the date should be improved and clean.
Outline of implementation issues of the proposed system:
1) People: While incorporated CRM, the company must prepare an appropriate schedule for its staff training to ensure efficient implementation of the process. The company staff will have to understand the working process of CRM system and the customer requirements. CRM training will have to review following types of knowledge.
After adoption and implementation of the CRM system, the company will be required to properly train its staff about the usage of CRM system. The company will have to provide sufficient funding towards training its staffs about the CRM system. Normally, the training will be given by an outside third party company. The third party company will teach and guide the staff about activities such as record searching, dealing with data and information workflows, creation of marketing campaigns, way of converting leads, creating and managing service calls.
It is notable that as switching from existing system to the new CRM system can take considerable amount of time during which sales data may be lost. Obviously, it is not necessary to conduct training all at once and it must be conducted through multiple phases. By doing so, the company will encounter little disruption in its daily operational activities while staffs attend training classes and the switching of department can be done one at a time. Preliminary user training will be conducted on the first day with one computer for every two trainees. User training for admin will take same time, however each administrator requires a single computer. This is done so that the administrator have sufficient practical knowledge and experience about dealing with different relationship roles and templates (Rathmel et al. 2015).
It is also notable that the vendor that sells CRM system to the company does not have to performed this training. Numerous small companies are available that gives CRM training and offer full certification programs for staffs. Alternatively, the company can conduct CRM training by deploying and in-house information technology (IT) person. For this those person will have to read up documentation to know about managing CRM system properly. However, the main issue or problem with this is that they may not entirely familiar with the CRM software and part of its advanced features. This process of in-house training will be quite inexpensive compared to hiring a third party company as the in-house trainer will be on company payroll.
2) Risk: The following table depicts the identified risks and suggested strategies of risk mitigation (Drissi and Medromi 2013).
Possible mitigation strategies
Security of CRM system – Security measures have not been put in place. Moreover, data backup and disaster recovery has not been considered.
Security guidelines needs to be followed in all areas, data needs to be fully backed up and disaster recovery system must be put in place.
CRM technology- introduction of new technologies to the environment.
Proven technology that incorporates well must be used.
Change control management – there is no change in the used control process.
Formal change control process must be effectively followed and put in place.
Project team – training plan is established but project staff is not available at all place.
Experienced and stable project staff must be available at all place.
Cost controls – cost control system in place but weak in few areas.
Cost controls needs to be well-established, effective and in place
3) Roll-out: The CRM system will be rolled out by using the phased approach. After getting into the system and started working on it, users will have problems, adjustments, changes and feedback. Since CRM implementation is dynamic so it is extremely difficult for the system to cater to everyone’s requirements and roll-out the system to all departments and areas of the company at once. A successful and effective approach is to divide the project into various phases, sort the phases as per business priority on the company and implement sections of respective individual departments and sections of functionality at a time. This approach has substantial benefits. Firstly, defining requirements for small group and training them will be quite easy when every group people have same job functions. Secondly, better budgetary control can be applied to the small phased projects and it is simple to control any budgetary overrun. Thirdly, department wise rolling out of the CRM system ensures that only one business area of the company got interrupted for at a time rollout (Stanciu and Tinca 2013).
On the day of go-live, the CRM software implementation will have available support for every end user problems. The company must the following components to ensure that the end user get proper and sufficient support. First component is end user training. Second component is having least power users or experts. Third component is on-going education for all users, including power users and administrators. It is notable that successful implementation of any system will continually going to change and progress over time. Hence, with change in time, the company must continually, track, monitor, improve and assess the CRM system. In case of a process change if the CRM does not work or help further then the process in CRM must be modified.
4) Gannt Chart: The Gannt Chart depicts the roll-out plan of the above scenario of CRM systems (Johansson 2013).
5) Security: The following security issues needs to be considered while implementing eComm
system (Niranjanamurthy et al. 2013).
The above security issues can be managed by adopting and implementing the following security measures.
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