CRM system pays for itself 'in first month'

Tight project management and winning end-user support has enabled a buying consortium to achieve a impressive return on investment on a low-cost customer relationship management implementation.

Tight project management and winning end-user support has enabled a buying consortium to achieve a impressive return on investment on a low-cost customer relationship management implementation.

The Consortium for Purchasing and Distribution, a £40m-a-year buying organisation with 30,000 UK customers, implemented the Geac customer relationship management system in four weeks.

Joe Caddell, business systems director for the Consortium, said, "The system has already paid for itself in the first month of operation."

The Geac Opportunity Management CRM system runs on an IBM iSeries 820 server and was installed and integrated into the Consortium's existing Geac System 21 Aurora enterprise resource planning software over the Christmas holiday period. The full cost of the project was less than £20,000.

The new CRM system gives the Consortium's 50 buyers a single view of the customer and has simplified processes that had been prone to introducing data errors, said Jo Trigg, marketing manager for the Consortium.

Val Kirby, business systems development manager, said the Consortium was able to get such a rapid return on investment because it kept tight control of the project. "We had a very clear view of what we wanted to achieve. We wanted something that would work from day one, so we didn't allow scope creep."

The installation was also made easier because the Consortium is a long-standing Geac customer.

Kirby said it had been important to ensure end-user acceptance of the new system, but said, "We had such good buy-in from the staff that we didn't have to do a hard selling job. From the first presentation, the advantages it would bring were obvious to the users."

The roll-out was accompanied by comprehensive training and user notes which illustrated how the system would be used by the business, said Kirby.


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