Customer relationships are becoming a more important factor in differentiating one business from another. In order to stay competitive, e-businesses in every industry have begun to analyze these relationships with customers using CRM solutions.
In the past, customers would place an order via the telephone and wait until the company’s purchasing department processed and shipped the order. Today’s customers place an order electronically and then demand to be able to check the status of their order within minutes.
CRM enables an organization to adopt a comprehensive view of the customer and maximize this relationship. These CRM systems enable a business to identify, attract, retain, and support customs centers, direct mail, and retail facilities. In an efficient e-business, there are CRM processes in place to handle:
Analytical CRM: The analysis of data created on the operational side of the CRM equation for the purpose of business performance management; utilizing data warehousing technologies and leveraging data marts
Customer interactions: Sales, marketing, and customer service (call center, field service) via multiple, interconnected delivery channels and integration between front office and back office
Operational CRM: The automation of horizontally integrated business processes involving “front office” customer touch points
Personalization: The use of new and traditional groupware/Web technologies to facilitate customer and business partner communications. Supply Chain Management
Integration of the SCM functions is emerging as one of the greatest challenges facing today’s e-businesses. SCM is the integration of business processes from end user through to original supplier. The goal of SCM is to create an end-to-end system that automates all the business processes between suppliers, distribution partners, and trading partners. The new mantra for this process, according to industry analysts, is “replacing inventory with information.” In an effective e-business, the following SCM independent processes must be highly integrated
Demand management: These are shared functions, including demand planning, supply planning, manufacturing planning, and sales and operations planning.
Inbound/outbound logistics: These include transportation management, distribution management, and warehouse management.
Supply management: These include products and services for customer order fulfillment