Democratising SAP CRM

26 November 2012

Michael Eldridge

Michael Eldridge

Former Managing Director, UK

Every year we have a small but perfectly formed intake of very high calibre new graduates.  After the initial training their first project is always an internal one which we make as true to life as possible.  This year I am pleased to say, as the business owner, that Bluefin Solutions' SAP CRM system has made it to the top of the list. This is long overdue!
Despite being critical to our business, it hasn't kept up with the changing needs of our growing business or trends such as consumerisation of IT. 

So why have I called this blog "democratising SAP CRM"?  My vision is for the SAP CRM system and the processes that surround it is to be useful to far more than the current relatively small number of users. 

Engaging the broader organisation

One of the changing requirements of the business is the more effective tracking of new 'channels to market'.  By far the majority of our opportunities come through recommendation or direct enquiries.  We need to ensure we track these opportunities more effectively so we can give feedback to people if nothing else.  It is fair to say that one undervalued channel is from within Bluefin Solutions itself - our employees. 

Like many organisations Bluefin Solutions encourages employees to seek opportunities within existing as well as potential customers. However, because of the current, things often fall through the loop and employees have no sight of what has happened to the information they have provided. Worst of all, we sometimes fails to recognise a contribution.  Putting an effective process in place that enables transparency and gives credit where it is due is one of the key objectives. 

Keeping up with the consumerisation of IT

The usefulness of the system is only as good as the timeliness and accuracy of the information it contains.  Historically there have been a number of issues with making life as easy as possible for end users. These are three examples:  

  1. Access to the system - This requires VPN access which is not ideal especially if you are a frequent train traveller.  I don't share Virgin Trains view that their internet connection is "fast and reliable" 
  2. Usabilty - Everything from the tab order to having to scroll down to different assignment blocks mitigates against a great user experience.  The project is looking to make it mush easier to input the required information
  3. Mobile access - The most frequently requested improvement is access from people's smart phones. 

Improving insight

The organisation structure at Bluefin Solutions has changed over the years however the system hasn't kept up. This is particularly evident when it comes to reflecting the industry facing structures we now have in place. This currently means a lot of time consuming manual processing. This project aims to create both the visibility required and reduce or eliminate the manual processing.  

As the business owner I hope that what is currently the epitome of a cobblers shoes will become something akin to the slick solutions that drive our customers success forward. 

Timeframes: They were given a 6 week time frame in which to achieve this. I am a demanding customer with an eye for the details....good luck grads!

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