Which Services to Share?

It often makes sense to pool resources. Farmers have been doing so for decades by collectively owning expensive combine harvesters. France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain have successfully pooled their manufacturing power to take on Boeing with their Airbus. But does this mean that shared services are right in every situation?

The Main Reasons for Sharing

The primary argument is economies of scale. If the Airbus partners each made 25% of the engines their production lines would be shorter and they would collectively need more technicians and tools. The second line of reasoning is that shared processes are more efficient, because there are greater opportunities for standardisation.

Is This the Same as Outsourcing?

Definitely not! If France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain has decided to form a collective airline and asked Boeing to build their fleet of aircraft, then they would have outsourced airplane manufacture and lost a strategic industry. This is where the bigger picture comes into play.

The Downside of Sharing

Centralising activities can cause havoc with workflow, and implode decentralised structures that have evolved over time. The Airbus technology called for creative ways to move aircraft fuselages around. In the case of farmers, they had to learn to be patient and accept that they would not always harvest at the optimum time.

Things Best Not Shared

Core business is what brings in the money, and this should be tailor-made to its market. It is also what keeps the company afloat and therefore best kept on board. The core business of the French, German, United Kingdom and Spanish civilian aircraft industry is transporting passengers. This is why they are able to share an aircraft supply chain that spun off into a commercial success story.

Things Best Shared

It follows that activities that are neither core nor place bound – and can therefore happen anywhere ? are the best targets for sharing. Anything processed on a computer can be processed on a remote computer. This is why automated accounting, stock control and human resources are the perfect services to share.

So Case Closed Then?

No, not quite. ?Technology has yet to overtake our humanity, our desire to feel part of the process and our need to feel valued. When an employee, supplier or customer has a problem with our administration it’s just not good enough to abdicate and say ?Oh, you have to speak to Dublin, they do it there?.

Call centres are a good example of abdication from stakeholder care. To an extent, these have ?confiscated? the right of customers to speak to speak directly to their providers. This has cost businesses more customers that they may wish to measure. Sharing services is not about relinquishing the duty to remain in touch. It is simply a more efficient way of managing routine matters.

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Which KPI?s to Use in CRM

Customer relationship management emerged in the 1980?s in the form of database marketing. In those tranquil pre-social media days, the possibility of ?managing? clients may have been a possibility although Twitter and Facebook took care of that. Modern managers face a more dynamic environment. If you are one, then what are the trends you should be monitoring yourself (as opposed to leaving it to others).

If you want to drip feed plants, you have to keep the flow of liquid regular. The same applies to drip-feed marketing. Customers are fickle dare we say forgetful. Denizon recommends you monitor each department in terms of Relationship Freshness. When were the people on your list last contacted, and what ensued from this?

Next up comes the Quality of Engagements that follow from these efforts. How often do your leads respond at all, and how many interfaces does it take to coax them into a decision? You need to relate this to response blocks and unsubscribes. After a while you will recognise the tipping point where it is pointless to continue.

Response Times relate closely to this. If your marketing people are hot then they should get a fast response to sales calls, email shots and live chats. It is essential to get back to the lead again as soon as possible. You are not the only company your customers are speaking too. Fortune belongs to the fast and fearless.

The purpose of marketing is to achieve Conversions, not generate data for the sake of it. You are paying for these interactions and should be getting more than page views. You need to drill down by department on this one too. If one team is outperforming another consider investing in interactive training.

Finally Funnel Drop-Off Rate. Funnel analysis identifies the points at which fish fall off the hook and seeks to understand why this is happening. If people click your links, make enquiries and then drift away, you have a different set of issues as opposed to if they do not respond at all.

You should be able to pull most of this information off your CRM system if it is half-decent, although you may need to trigger a few options and re orientate reporting by your people in the field. When you have your big data lined up speak to us. We have a range of data analysts brimming over with fresh ideas.

Eliminate The Complexities Of Your IT System

There may have been times when you actually spent on the right IT system but didn’t have adequate expertise to instil the appropriate learning curve for your end users. Oftentimes, users find a new system too complicated and end up spending more hours familiarising with intricate processes than is economically acceptable.

There are also applications that are just too inherently sophisticated that, even after the period of familiarisation, a lot of time is still spent managing or even just using them. Therefore, at the end of each day, your administrators and users aren’t able to complete much business-related tasks.

The first scenario can be solved by providing adequate training and tech support. The second might require enhancements or, in extreme cases, an overhaul of the technology itself.

For instance, consider what happens right after the conclusion of a merger and acquisition (M&A). CIOs from both sides and their teams will have to work hard to bring disparate technologies together. The objective is to hide these complexities and allow customers, managers, suppliers and other stakeholders to get hold of relevant information with as little disruption as possible.

One solution would be to implement Data Warehousing, OLAP, and Business Intelligence (BI) technologies to handle extremely massive data and present them into usable information.

These are just some of the many scenarios where you’ll need our expertise to eliminate the complexities that can slow your operations down.

Here are some of the solutions and benefits we can offer when we start working with you:

  • Consolidated hardware, storage, applications, databases, and processes for easier and more efficient management at a fraction of the usual cost.
  • BI (Business Intelligence) technologies for improved quality of service and for your people, particularly your managers, to focus on making decisions and not just filtering out data.
  • Training, workshops, and discussions that provide a clear presentation of the inter-dependencies among applications, infrastructure, and the business processes they support.
  • Increased automation of various processes resulting in shorter administration time. This will free your administrators and allow them to shift their attention to innovative endeavours.

Find out how we can increase your efficiency even more:

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  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK
How CRM-eCommerce Integration can help you Win a Price War

There are a number of reasons why more people are buying stuff online. One of the biggest is price. You can afford to sell your goods at cheaper prices on the Internet because you’re free of the usual operating expenses like rent, electricity, and staff salaries. That should translate to some nice savings, right?

No savings in a price war

Sadly, there?s one more thing that can drive your prices even lower: a price war. Just like in the brick-and-mortar world, a good number of online retailers are now trying to undersell each other. So even if they are able to achieve reduced OPEX, they would still find it difficult to make substantial savings.

What you need to understand is that, while price is a big motivator for buying online, it is no longer the only factor experienced online shoppers consider when choosing between two online shops.

Customers who buy purely on the basis of price, are very fickle. They can easily jump ship as soon as they discover another online store offering better discount. If what you’re looking for are repeating, loyal customers, you can’t make low prices your key differentiator.

Winning customer loyalty

Just like in the brick-and-mortar world, buyers will keep coming back to you if they find in your website true value for their money. There certainly are people who don’t just look at price tags when buying products from the Web. These folks are looking for the total package.

But other than affordable prices, what factors can win customer loyalty? You’re probably thinking a fresh user interface, multiple payment options, a good return policy, prompt delivery, reviews and testimonials, product comparisons, and so on.

Well, those are important too and you certainly should have those features and characteristics in place.

Meeting customers? needs through CRM-eCommerce integration

But there?s more you can do to enhance the customer?s experience on your site. Offering exactly the products they’re looking for and providing all relevant information they need when they need it, will give them a sense of belonging.

Since different customers have different desires you obviously would have to know your customers first before you can attempt to fulfil those desires. And, honestly, the only way to do that with accuracy and precision, and the only way to collect a significant amount of relevant customer information and make sense of it all, is by integrating CRM with your e-commerce platform.

Increasing Sales and Savings from integrating CRM into e-Commerce

The main benefit of integrating CRM with e-commerce is that it will help you enhance the customer experience. That’s cool but what does that translate to monetarily? Well, for one, that can significantly increase customer retention. Higher customer retention can only lead to increased sales in the long run.

As with regards to savings, if you are able to deliver exactly what your customers want, you can significantly bring down refunds and charge-backs.

Very few businesses have the financial resources to meet their competitors head on in a price war. Chances are, you’re not one of those few. Still, whether you like it or not you’re already in the thick of it. By building customer relationships, you can win the price war without engaging in it.

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  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK

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