On February 6th Global Shop Solutions will be giving our first quarterly webcast. Each quarter, one of these webcasts will be highlighting a business goal and, how Global Shop One-System ERP Solutions™ can help businesses achieve that goal. This week’s topic is “Trust Global Shop for Increased Sales.” (more…)
Archive for the ‘CRM’ Category
Over the past couple of years, in the midst of economic downturn, you’ve come to understand that customer resource management (CRM) is a means to hone your competitive edge. Indeed, you’ve advanced your consideration of CRM so much that you understand it more for what it really is—customer relations management. The odd thing is that you have a nice CRM module right there in your enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system—you’ve just never made big use of it.
It’s time to start using your CRM, and here’s why: If used religiously, your CRM can help you achieve an incredible ROI of your whole ERP system, as well as provide a sharpened edge in your competition for business.
The total cost of ownership of your ERP as a function of your CRM depends on your requirements initially and over time. As your business changes, so do your CRM requirements. A well-planned CRM strategy, in general, can save you time and money now, yet allow you to scale your solution as your business grows. (more…)
Customer resource management (CRM) tools for manufacturers are often built right into their enterprise resource planning systems (ERP). In searching for the right ERP system, however, is the fact that while you might find the right general ERP system, the CRM tool within the system doesn’t match your needs—or vice versa. In fact, solution fit is probably the single most important criteria in searching for a CRM. That is to say: Does the solution fit with your manufacturing business strategy, and can it integrate easily into my current ERP system?
The core components of any CRM are the database and the tools it contains for processing that data. It is for this reason many people believe that CRM is a concept separate and apart from shop floor control or front office paperwork. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When starting construction of CRM in ERP, the first thing a manager should always consider is which what sort of CRM criteria will be collected and store within the ERP system in order to advance the customer relationship. (more…)
With so many different ERP systems to choose from, identifying the right software package can be a daunting and time-consuming task. However, given the cost, integration and long-term impact of ERP systems, you can’t invest too much time in the evaluation process.
The best approach involves using one of several online tools to sift through all the different vendors and narrow the list down to three to five finalists. Once you have a short list of finalists, conduct extensive interviews with each company and “demo” their software to see which one best fits your needs. Be sure to ask each company to come to your location for a test run. If they insist that you demo the software at their site, it should raise a red flag about their approach to customer service.
When evaluating different packages, look for the “four C’s” of an ERP system: (more…)
In project management manufacturing, where orders can take on mammoth requirements spread out over months, if not years, customer relationship management (CRM) can be a daunting task. Searching documentation, responding to status requests, viewing customer histories, and a whole host of other considerations are often the sort of thing you need quickly.
To keep customers happy and returning to you time and again (and increase your sales), having a strong CRM within an enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is a priority of the first order in project management. It’s not only a way of tracking customer information and integrating it with their orders and projected orders, it’s also a tool that generally enhances the relationship maintained between the business and the customer. (more…)
In concept, the more robust enterprise resource planning solutions (ERP) combine data and processes by using integrated software and hardware components and a unified database to capture information from all areas of an organization. Of course, the most immediate use of ERP solutions in business is found in applications for manufacturing (discrete and process). An ERP solution must be many things to many people within an organization, but at its base it should be both scalable and flexible, as well as transparent to end users even as it continuously works in the background.
ERP functions through the ordering of business processes that are themselves organized according to common business flows (i.e., lead-to-order, order-to-cash, purchase-to-pay, etc.). Such unified and consistently flowing business processes are produced through core applications that are usually built, in ERP, on a single platform to help consolidate information and reduce IT costs. Doing business today—particularly manufacturing business—without ERP is tough, and is at best much less efficient when viewed through the very focused lens of bottom-line metrics. (more…)
You may not be aware of it, but if you have a CRM module in your ERP software system, then you have a potentially robust marketing tool at your fingertips. And, in a soft economy, any marketing help to can get helps get business to your shop. More than just a means of keeping contact information in an easily accessible computer database, your CRM is also a place of customer purchase decision and behavior wealth. Rather than a sedate depository of information, your CRM is a dynamic fount for your potential growth.
To be sure, there are many marketing automation modules emerging into the software scene that are designed to exist independent of your ERP system and to interface with traditional CRM modules. Short of adding an additional hierarchy in the flow of data from CRM to the marketing module, most instances of these set-ups are perfectly adequate to get the marketing job done. (more…)
What’s a manufacturer to do when the economic times turn tough? The talk on the street is that you’ve got to cut here and there, while also going after business in crevasses you’ve never looked. Well, it’s true that in periods of recession a little belt-tightening can be in order, but efficient operation should be the modus operandi of every business even in times of growth. No, when times get tough, the tough get smart — they look beyond the tactical and out into the strategic.
In manufacturing, strategic thinking requires a long-range planning that usually exceeds the capabilities of most basic data processing software like Excel and Peachtree. Enterprise resource planning software systems (ERP) are designed to create efficiencies, and enrich existing ones, so much so that significant improvements in the bottom-line are realized. At the same time, customer relationships are strengthened for long term retention by the manufacturer. (more…)
It’s impossible to leave a customer alone. They’re either yours, or they’re somebody else’s. In fact, in the course of doing business, the constant struggle is for the acquisition and maintenance of as many good quality customers as you can get-those that fit your prescribed profile of what it takes for them to need you in terms of product or service.
This needs-based connection between vendor and customer is what in business we’ve come to know as the “relationship”, and it is at the heart of customer relationship management software systems, otherwise known as CRM.
There are many approaches to CRM, but ultimately when a company talks about the process they’re almost always referring to sales force automation or (more…)
What is cycle time to you? A process that your inventory manager makes happen on occasion? Some arbitrary notion of a period between output from workcenter to workcenter? A concept only loosely connected to scheduling, performance, and supplier relations? If your idea of cycle time is that of a business procedure that’s only marginally important when compared to the myriad other tasks involved in manufacturing—then, you may want to rethink that thought.
Vital to positive bottomlines, cycle time reduction also reduces costs, lowers inventory levels, improves production scheduling and throughput predictability, improves customer satisfaction, and can even result in a better quality product. Indeed, if there were one operational issue you had to focus on to improve overall profits, in a world concerned with speed of manufacture that issue would be (more…)