We will define CRM using the same approach we define ERP. We look at CRM from a systems perspective
to outline a holistic picture of CRM system.
What is CRM
CRM is the acronym of Customer Relationship Management. CRM is a business system that consists of enterprise goals, business strategies,
business processes and enterprise information systems. CRM software systems automate many customer-related business tasks.
CRM vs. ERP and SCM
ERP (Enterprise Relationship Management) and SCM (Supply Chain Management) are two other categories of enterprise software that are widely
implemented in corporations and non-profit organizations. While CRM attempts to enhance the relationship with customers, the primary goal of
ERP is to improve and streamline internal business processes, and SCM aims to facilitate the collaboration between the organization,
its suppliers, the manufacturers, the distributors and the partners.
CRM Definition - A Systems Perspective
Goals of CRM Systems - Goals of CRM is to learn more about customers' needs and behaviors in order to develop stronger relationships
with them, and to facilitate acquiring, enhancing and retaining of customers.
Components of CRM System
- CRM Software - The core of an CRM system is module-based CRM software application. Each software module automates business
activities pertinent to one functional area of customer relationship management. Common modules in CRM software system includes
customer contact management, direct marketing, sales automation, call center applications and helpdesk module.
- Business Processes - Business processes within an organization falls into three levels - strategic planning, management control
and operational control. While ERP has been promoted as solutions for supporting or streamlining business processes at all levels, CRM systems
are clearly designed to enhance management control and operational control in the chain of customer relationship management.
- Users - The primary users of CRM systems are workers that perform management control and operational control. In an extended enterprise
environment, the CRM users may include customers and business partners.
- Hardware and Operating Systems -
UNIX is the most common operating system for running CRM software. Windows NT and Linux are other popular operating systems to run
CRM software. Most larger CRM systems are UNIX based. UNIX is a computer operating system designed to be used by many people at the same time
and has TCP/IP built-in. There are many reasons to host your CRM software on UNIX.
Boundary of an CRM System
The boundary of an CRM system is the boundary of extended enterprise that implements the CRM system. The boundary of supply
chain systems and ecommerce systems extends to the organization's suppliers, partners and customers.
CRM Systems - Software, Business Processes, Users and Technical Architecture
CRM News Portal
Functional Modules of CRM Software Applications