CRM Proof-of-Concept for a Distributor
Background – Outdated Microsoft CRM System
ITDirections was engaged by a privately-held distributor of process control and automation solutions, with revenue approximately $200M and over 250 employees in 16 locations. Their business also included engineering, assembly, manufacturing, technical support, vendor managed inventory, and logistics services.
ITDirections completed an overall Digital Strategy and identified CRM as an area of improvement. The Client used a highly customized old release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM that was not fully utilized throughout the organization, required manual/inefficient processes, and created data quality issues. The sales organization was required to manage a number of customer value-add activities manually because CRM was not capable of integrating with ERP. ITDirections was engaged to improve the CRM situation.
The Challenge – Two Previously Failed Attempts
Because of the Client’s two previous failed attempts to implement a new CRM system, they did not have an appetite for the full analysis and traditional CRM selection process. They wanted a safe, mainstream choice. However, it was also important to take measures to avoid an implementation failure and low rates of adoption.
We strategized with the Client and concluded that a full evaluation would most likely result in the selection of Microsoft CRM. But there were a number of complexities which we needed to vet before they were comfortable committing to the effort and investment.
The Solution – Microsoft Dynamics CRM Proof-of-Concept
ITDirections completed a proof-of-concept fit analysis to help the Client determine if the current Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution would meet their needs going forward. The identification of gaps would help plan and structure their upgrade and process improvement effort. The identification of requirements would identify any modifications necessary to the software or business processes.
The Results – Confirmation and Realistic Plan for a Quick Time-to-Benefit
The fit analysis successfully confirmed that the current release of Microsoft CRM as a good fit solution with a reasonable investment required to acquire and implement. The detailed gap information obtained during the fit analysis helped us develop a speedy implementation plan with accurate estimates of resources, time frames, and capital budget requirements. With a deeper understanding of the software, the Client learned ways they could improve their overall use of CRM and overcome current challenges. Their implementation was accelerated with clear vision and goals, detailed requirements, understanding of the gaps, and identification of the process improvement areas at a deeper level than if they would have spent the same amount of time evaluating multiple CRM candidates.