Today, customers are in charge. It is easier than ever for customers to comparison shop and, with a click of the mouse, to switch companies. As a result, customer relationships have become a company’s most valued asset. These relationships are worth more than the company’s products, stores, factories, web addresses, and even employees. Every company’s strategy should address how to find and retain the most profitable customers possible [9]. The primary business value of customer relationships today is indisputable. That’s why we emphasized in Chapter 2 that becoming a customer-focused business was one of the top business strategies that can be supported by information technology. Thus, many companies are implementing customer relationship management (CRM) business initiatives and information systems as part of a customer-focused or customer centric strategy to improve their chances for success in today’s competitive business environment. In this section, we will explore basic CRM concepts and technologies, as well as examples of the benefits and challenges faced by companies that have implemented CRM systems as part of their customer-focused business strategy. See Figure 8.1. Let’s start with a real world example. Read the Real World Case on the next page. We can learn a lot about the many ways companies are implementing customer relationship management systems.

Learning Objectives

1. Identify and give examples to illustrate the following aspects of customer relationship management, enterprise resource management, and supply chain management systems:
a. Business processes supported
b. Customer and business value provided
c. Potential challenges and trends

Real World Cases

(See related pages)

Case 8.1: Forex Capital Markets and Wyse Technology (773.0K)

Case 8.2: Autosystems (935.0K)

Case 8.3: Tesco (920.0K)

Case 8.4: Agilent Technologies and Russ Berrie (198.0K)

Real World Case Links

(See related pages)

Case 1: Forex Capital Markets and Wyse Technology: The Business Benefits of Customer Relationship Management
Forex Capital Markets
Wyse Technology
Salesforce.com

Case 2: AUTOSYSTEMS: The Business Value of a Successful ERP System for a Small Manufacturer
Autosystems

Case 3: Tesco: Applying Lean Logistics to Supply Chain Management
Tesco
Britvic

Case 4: Agilent Technologies and Russ Berrie: The Business Challenges and Consequences of Failure in Implementing ERP Systems
Agilent Technologies Inc.
Oracle
Russ Berrie
J. D. Edwards