Executive Briefings

So You May Have a Full View to Your Customers, But How About to Your Own Organization?

The old cliche is that CRM is supposed to give you a 360-degree view of your customers, but it gives, at best, a couple of overlapping 270-degree views. However, that's all geometric digression. Having a 360-degree view of your customers isn't worth a hill of beans unless you can couple that with a 360-degree view of your own organization. Often there's a lot less internal visibility than companies are willing to own up to.

The front-office stuff is CRM, sales-force automation, marketing and other customer-facing applications and disciplines -- really, the glamour applications in any business software ecosystem.

Backing all this up is poor old ERP, those dowdy applications that everybody has to have to make their companies trudge along: manufacturing, warehousing, human resources, finance, order processing and so on. They're actually very important applications, but they are not bright and shiny to most people.

The front-office stuff is used by the sales team and the marketing department -- often viewed as different species from the rest of the office -- and by those poor so-and-so's down the hallway in customer service. Everyone else at the company -- the users of the back-office applications, the people who actually make, package and deliver the products and services the company delivers to customers -- does the real work. Just ask them. They'll tell you.

The point is: What kind of visibility do you have to your own company's inner workings?

Read Full Article

The old cliche is that CRM is supposed to give you a 360-degree view of your customers, but it gives, at best, a couple of overlapping 270-degree views. However, that's all geometric digression. Having a 360-degree view of your customers isn't worth a hill of beans unless you can couple that with a 360-degree view of your own organization. Often there's a lot less internal visibility than companies are willing to own up to.

The front-office stuff is CRM, sales-force automation, marketing and other customer-facing applications and disciplines -- really, the glamour applications in any business software ecosystem.

Backing all this up is poor old ERP, those dowdy applications that everybody has to have to make their companies trudge along: manufacturing, warehousing, human resources, finance, order processing and so on. They're actually very important applications, but they are not bright and shiny to most people.

The front-office stuff is used by the sales team and the marketing department -- often viewed as different species from the rest of the office -- and by those poor so-and-so's down the hallway in customer service. Everyone else at the company -- the users of the back-office applications, the people who actually make, package and deliver the products and services the company delivers to customers -- does the real work. Just ask them. They'll tell you.

The point is: What kind of visibility do you have to your own company's inner workings?

Read Full Article