Most manufacturers already own most or all of the relevant data to support transformational customer relationship management, but need to identify and deploy the tools to enable their business roles to change their practices. To avoid fragmenting the technology environment and correlate all customer information, they have to connect these tools with financial, engineering, and operational systems. Implementing and integrating the technology typically requires expertise and assistance from a technology partner with a seasoned manufacturing industry and innovation background of empowering people and organizations to create more value from their key relationships.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have been used for many years as discrete software products, and most current ERP systems also include CRM capabilities. In recent times, CRM solutions have expanded to help companies manage relationships with suppliers, distributors, investors, analysts and other external stakeholders in addition to customers. The once-popular XRM acronym, which meant to imply management of various relationships, has largely disappeared.
Today’s leading CRM solutions, including Salesforce, NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics, can be implemented in the cloud and configured to give the right level of secure access to customer data for people in different business rolesâ€”sales, marketing, service, executives, and others. For mobile employees in the field, customer-facing teams at company locations, and business users in marketing, finance, or business leadership, they are equally fast to learn and easy to use.
These solutions can serve as comprehensive, centralized repositories for all information, communications, activities, and documents associated with individual customers or customer segments. They come with analytical capabilities that manufacturers can configure to reflect their KPIs and other metrics. Standard integrations with IoT analytics and other business insight tools as well as manufacturers’ engineering, production, service management, and other systems are robust and can be efficiently managed in the cloud.