How ERP Helps Improve Customer Centricity
A company’s focus on consumers instead of internal drivers turns out to be more beneficial for a business to increase satisfaction and strengthen customer relationship. by doing this cost is reduced, as companies can spend less to maintain existing clients than to find new ones.
A customer-centric approach is developed exclusively for the sake of clients, but it is advantageous to companies as well from Marketing Daily point of view. Many brands have become more responsive to customers’ demands over time, especially with the internet and social media offering more venues for consumers to air their grievances. Business personnel know how to face competitors to be successful, but it is difficult for individual companies to gain a distinct competitive edge.
To achieve customer centricity can be a problem for some companies because focus only on one channel of business neglecting others according to Business 2 Community. Companies should also bring into consideration how vendors and data sources are important in increasing efficiency and a clear stream of information.
In other words, integration is key to customer centricity, that’s why companies that are more client-focused look forward implementing an ERP system to streamline operations. It is recommended that companies determine if the different areas of their businesses can be customer-centric without integrating. Different elements make up a business, all of which can impact on a customer’s experience, especially if the individual parts of a company are not functioning together.
Importance of Integration
To maintain a successful customer-centric approach, companies need to understand the needs of their clients, what they want the company to be known for and what the buisness does better than its competitors. Integrating an ERP system helps develops a better understanding of customer needs.
While client needs are at the forefront of this strategy, customer centricity can help businesses recognize what they do best and influence consumers’ perception of reputation.
After optimizing all aspects of a business, organizations focus on clients. ERP software can help run business functions smoothly. Each company may have a different way to handle client’s needs, and ERP systems offer many customizable features so businesses can focus on important aspects.
5 Tips for an Efficient ERP Implementation
The purpose of modern ERP tools is to improve efficiency and help automate and standardize business processes, simplify management reporting and provide a single view of your business health and your customers.
Following are the five tips that can help implement an efficient ERP solution:
- Prepare by assigning internal resources, tidying up your database, figuring out timing issues, and building your business case.
- Write down needs and issues and create process flow charts.
- Prepare a formal request for proposal asking for specifications and services included.
- Run a pilot program with a key stakeholder
- Deploy on time when ready to overcome the twists and turns be diligent about user education, and determine metrics to track ROI.
Reducing risk is a major concern for global companies, but some businesses may be compromising performance and productivity by hanging on to outdated security strategies, according to a recent report from CEB, a member-based advisory company.
The report notes that modern work environments are usually collaborative, meaning they require a large transfer of information. Many companies have restrictive information security policies, which can inhibit the organization from maximizing its profits. CEB suggests companies need to shift from a risk reduction approach to a risk management focus.
“Most risk managers mistakenly believe their role is to reduce risk,” said Jeremy Bergsman, managing director of CEB. “Instead, the primary goal of information risk management must evolve from risk reduction to maximizing the business value of information. Risk management functions, including information security, legal and enterprise risk management, must work jointly to define the scope to be managed and the set of activities necessary for business leaders to successfully share responsibility.”
The study revealed large organizations could suffer from as much as $20 million worth of lost profits per year due to their information security policies.
ERP can Facilitate Information Risk Management
According to survey of executives, new uses of information are crucial to the growth of their business. A large number of employees admitted they violated information security policies because the restrictions were a hurdle to perform their jobs effectively. Companies need to figure out a way to keep balance between risks and replace outdated systems, enabling data transfer and information accessibility easier.
Growing and successful businesses use ERP software to help solve information security problems. Employees can easily access the data required to perform their jobs efficiently. ERP software is helpful in increasing productivity and prevents from losing profits.
Facebook has emerged as one of the top and favorite global social networks. Currently, 900,000,000 registered users can be found on Facebook, and this number is likely to increase. Many brands and companies are including Facebook pages in an attempt to generate more leads and customers.
If you are a sales person and wants to know more about the person you are about to meet or a customer service agent who wants to have a better idea of the company for which an issue is being resolved, Facebook gives you a chance to find a lot of relevant information about them on their Facebook page and/or profile.
Sage CRM component of Facebook connects Facebook profiles to your Persons and Facebook pages to your Companies. On doing this, you will get basic public information about a contact or a company without quitting Sage CRM!
The Facebook component is available for download at the Sage CRM Marketplace. These are the steps that you will need to follow to install the component.
- In Sage CRM, select Administration | Customization | Component Manager. The Components page is displayed. If any components were previously installed on your system, they are listed on this page.
- From the Add Component panel, browse to the component ZIP file location, and select Open.
- Select the Upload New Component button. The Component is added to the Available Components list.
- Once the Facebook component becomes part of your list of available components, you can just select it, and select Install.
Linking a Person to a Facebook Profile page in Sage CRM
In the context of a Person in Sage CRM, you will see a new “Facebook Profile” field once the component has been installed. Select Change, and then click on the Facebook icon that appears to search for the Person’s profile page.
The following pop-up window will appear:
Once you have saved your change as well as the person’s record, you will be able to easily access the profile of the person by clicking on the Profile link in the Person Summary tab. This will open the profile page in a new window, but not in Sage CRM itself.
Linking a Company to a Facebook Page
In the context of a Company in CRM, you will see a new “Facebook” field once the component has been installed. Follow the same procedure as before to link the company to a Facebook page.
For example, if you are looking for Sage CRM:
Once you have saved your change as well as the company’s record, Sage CRM will try and retrieve the company’s profile picture. If a picture is found, then it will replace the company icon at the top of the screen.
In the Company Summary tab, you will also have two Facebook links:
· Profile: opens the Facebook page in a new window.
· Feed: opens a pop-up tab in Sage CRM with the company’s news feed, as well as information about the people who like this page.
Note: To close the tab, click on the Feed button again.
Finding a Company or a Person
If you search for a company or person, Sage CRM will display a link to the company or person’s Facebook profile beside their name.
Note: Sage CRM Administrators and Developers should be aware that Facebook field types should not be changed as this may cause the add-on to stop working properly.
The enthusiasm is increasing with the release of Sage CRM 7.2. This is a key release for new and existing customers with key themes of Business Collaboration, Social Media, and Mobility, Windows 8, integration with Sage ERP X 3 and the overall User Experience. Our Business Partners would be pleased with some new charting and customization features that they can leverage to build out Sage CRM systems. Our Business Partners won’t be disappointed either with some nice new charting and customization features that they can leverage to build out Sage CRM systems.
The Sage CRM 7.2 Business Collaboration feature, powered by Yammer, enables users and teams of users to work together within Sage CRM for a more efficient communication and information sharing within the company. A feed is available from My CRM and Team CRM where users can filter:
- By the Groups they belong to
- Post comments,
- Share links,
- Follow other users and like their posts,
- View their Yammer notifications, and lots more.
They can also collaborate across companies, provided all employees are updated on their views and customers as well by combining informal posts and conversations by using company information previously saved in Sag CRM. The Yammer integration is based on free version of Yammer, so it is a cost effective solution for small and medium sized business who value the benefits of companywide collaboration with a social twist.
Social Media: Facebook
We all know that Company Facebook pages and profiles of People are increasing in popularity in today’s social-centric world. Keeping this in view, Sage CRM 7.2 enables one to view Company and Person Facebook information directly from the Company & Person summary tabs. If you are sales person who wants to have a better approach to the person you are going to meet next or a customer service agent, wanting to have a clearer picture of the company you are resolving an issue, Sage CRM records with additional Facebook data can give you that extra edge.
Mobile Apps iPhone and Windows 8
Now iPhone users and Windows 8 tablet or laptop users, sales users would be delighted to know that they can access up-to-date information even if out of coverage. The iPhone app will be available to download from iTunes and the Windows 8 app from the Windows Store once Sage CRM 7.2 is released.
The Sales Lite for iPhone app now enables you to access all your Sage CRM People and Opportunities records as well as current Communications, directly from your phone. You would be able to access a timeline-style snapshot of the currently viewed Opportunities, Cases and Communications. When you make a call or send an SMS to a Sage CRM person from your phone, the record is pushed up to Sage CRM and stored as a communication, and you can upload photos you take on your iPhone to the Sage CRM system. You can avail of the integrated iPhone maps to locate your key contacts and plan your route when making a visit.
The Sales Tracker for Windows 8 app is designed specifically for Windows 8 Tablet and Laptop users. It enables access to Company, Person and Opportunity records and a list of your latest added Opportunities, Companies and People that you have access to. It allows to build a Watch list of Opportunities, , Company and Person records that are key to your pipeline. You can also use native Windows 8 functionality like the integrated search to quickly find a record.
Reporting and other Features
Sage CRM 7.2 has reporting enhancements which is a result of your input and voting enhancements on the Ideas Hub on the Sage CRM Community, as well as requests being passed to the Sage CRM Support and Product Management teams. The feature to duplicate reports, security on report export, HTML5 format reports (no need of having Adobe Flash installed on desktop) and some new chart types, are all out of the box features in the forth coming release.
Business Partners (BPs) can access a library of Fusion Widgets, which they can leverage for customizations on custom screens or on custom Gadgets on the Interactive Dashboard.
They too can avail of the new Client Side API for screen and list customizations. More than fifty functions are available out of the box to enable BPs to simply and consistently add customizations without needing to be familiar with the underlying page structure. The API will be built out in future releases and will help make upgrades more straightforward.
Sage ERP X3 Integration
An extra integration is also available with Sage CRM 7.2 and will be on move on a regional basis over the coming months. This combination of Sage CRM and Sage ERP X3 offers a steady synchronization of Accounts, Company and Contact information (including addresses, phone numbers and email addresses) enhanced by a wide range of real time data feeds to display key data on ERP date like Sales Quotations and Orders, Deliveries, Invoices, Credits, Payments, Prices and Stock information.
It’s high time that investment is made worth according to delegates at a recent Sage CRM internal training event. We assigned some common report customization tasks to some users and also provided them a tutorial video on how to customize reports. Those users who watched the video initially completed the task quick and had a better understanding of the steps involved.
The video includes report cloning and the doughnut chart style, which are additional features in Sage CRM 7.2. Even if you have not switched to 7.2 or if you are a Cloud customer, a lot can be learned from the video.
You’ll learn how to:
- Modify report and search criteria
- Set default search criteria – for example “all opportunities due to close next quarter“
- Add a chart gadget to you dashboard
One important feedback which users gave after following the video was:
- To edit the report, select the Edit button, not the report link. The Clone button is only available when you Edit the report.
Sage CRM has been granted the Champion position by Info-Tech Research Group, an IT analyst firm in their Vendor Landscape for CRM Suites for Small Enterprises. Sage CRM also gained the highest Value Score, providing the most bang for the buck of the products that were evaluated and earning the Best Overall Value Award. Among all the marks given by Info-Tech Research Group the exemplary marketing capabilities, ERP and social media integration and mobile support in Sage CRM were the most prominent.
Info-Tech Research Group Vendor Landscape reports recognize outstanding vendors in the marketplace assessing both their offering and strategy for the enterprise, paying tribute to the contribution of exceptional vendors in a particular category.
Evaluation weighed vendors and solutions on features, usability, affordability, architecture, viability, strategy, reach and channel. Champions scored high scores for most assessment criteria and offer excellent value. They have a sound market presence and set a trend for the industry.
Anastasia Shteyn, consulting analyst, Info-Tech Research Group comments, “Sage is a stable vendor with a strong partner network and solid product support. Sage is known for strong global reach, with a sizeable network of sales and support offices for CRM and ERP products. Sage CRM offers a host of deployment options, a modernized UI that provides a true mobile experience, and some social functionality that differentiates the product from competitors. Strengths include exemplary interactive dashboards, which provide secure access to various user groups and strong mobile capabilities (e.g. dedicated apps for tablets and crossbrowser HTML5 support).”
The Value Score indexes each vendor’s product offering and business strength relative to its price point. Shteyn said, “While maintaining exceptional vendor credentials, Sage CRM takes social seriously and keeps a modest price tag. Sage CRM has the lowest TCO on the market and offers the most bang for the buck, including a comprehensive feature set, usability, and architecture.”
Sage CRM 7.2 now has new and improved ways to increase employee productivity and help develop customer relationship. With its new social, mobile and business collaboration tools, the latest release of the global Sage SMB CRM solution empowers sales, marketing and customer service teams to better engage with colleagues and customers.
The improved mobile suite includes two new mobile apps for the iPhone and Windows® 8, which provide mobile sales teams with instant access to real-time data to assist them manage their business relationships, even when offline.
The Social CRM suite, which is now integrated with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, is further enhanced with the new social-style collaboration powered by Yammer. Sage CRM Business Collaboration powered by Yammer enables employees to collaborate Groups making business conversations concerning opportunities, leads and support cases more social and transparent.
David Beard, CRM principal, Sage CRM comments, “Sage CRM 7.2 has been designed with social, mobile and business collaboration technology at its core. We’re confident that Sage CRM 7.2 will boost sales team productivity, foster greater internal collaboration, and deliver better business insight. Providing SMBs with dynamic business insight and customer information that is easy to report on will make a big difference to companies looking to drive revenues, grow their business and achieve great success through exceptional customer experience, delivered seamlessly across all touch points.”
Also built-in with this release is smarter reporting with enhanced features to enable faster, secure, customized reports that are quickly populated with the latest CRM information. With rich new graphic charts and report cloning capabilities users can quickly create visual reports with interactive graphs, for at-a-glance business insight and informed decision making.
Training is Important in ERP Implementation Success
ERP software is helpful to companies in solving problems and overcome difficulties, but businesses must ensure that the employees are properly trained for ERP implementation to be successful. A new survey from the International Association of Administrative Professionals found that many office workers receive fewer hours of training from employers every year as businesses move toward cloud technology. Approximately 3 million employees in the U.S. are responsible for their own training, according to the results.
Impact of Technology on Training
A good number of companies surveyed reported they would make use of cloud technology in the near future, and 71 percent said mobile with cloud would account for all or most of the business operations. The growth of mobile technology has enabled the number of telecommuters to increase significantly in the past several years and these remote workers may not receive as much training as those who work in office.
Technology may enhance faster than employees can keep without assistance. Technology may advance faster than employees can keep up without assistance. Three of four administrative professionals reported their biggest challenge at work is keeping up with changing technology. Without assistance and proper training adapting to new systems can be troublesome. Employees cannot give their best out of new systems unless they receive proper training.
Get the most out of ERP implementation with training
Companies can gain more profits and enhance efficiency with an ERP system, but it is necessary for employees to receive complete training to fully recognize the benefits of the software. If employees do not have complete understand of software, they can be resistant to ERP implementation, according to IT Web. ERP software can make work easier and manageable, but first a good understand is a must of how it functions.
Employers must clearly communicate ERP goals to employees so everyone has an understanding of their role in the implementation. All members of the organization need to be on board with the process for an implementation to be successful, according to IT Web.
Managers should be certain employees attend ERP training sessions and practice before the system goes live, because any down time could be detrimental to the business. According to The Nation, employers assume that after ERP system is implemented workers will have a clear understanding of how to use the new information they can access.
Companies cannot become more efficient if users do not have a clear understanding of ERP software. Companies can only take benefits of ERP system if the software and employees work together. Once employees know how to use ERP software, they will not need as much assistance but it is important that they receive sufficient training in the beginning. ERP systems can allow companies to make higher profits and increase efficiency but employee training shouldn’t be neglected who will use the software on daily basis.