ABOUT THE CLIENT
DELMIA is a Digital Manufacturing provider offering methodologies, software solutions, and services to design, simulate, optimize, control, and monitor all production means. DELMIA software solutions are decision aids that accelerate all activities of manufacturing engineering. DELMIA serves industry segments where continuous transformation and optimization of the manufacturing processes are critical -- such as automotive, aerospace, fabrication and assembly, electrical and electronics, consumer goods, and plant and shipbuilding.
ABOUT THE VENDOR
Connect-Care specializes in helping companies streamline customer-oriented operations, improve customer satisfaction and business processes, and manage marketing, sales, and customer interaction information. It accomplishes these goals through a wide array of enterprise-class software applications, partnerships with other leading solution providers, IBM hardware sources, and professional services organizations. Connect-Care solutions and services are designed to enable a rapid deployment strategy for firms that want to quickly implement enterprise-wide relationship management solutions.
ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY
The combination of Connect-Care and Support-Connect gives support agents immediate access to customer, product, problem, contract, and RMA information, plus the full-text-searchable Knowledge-Now knowledge base. With Support-Connect,
SearchCRM spoke with Tasha Gore, CRM Administrator of DELMIA, about the project.
SearchCRM: Why did you decide to evaluate CRM solutions?
Gore: We started out as a very small company with a very limited customer base, and seemingly overnight we had quite a few customers in our database -- and no way to keep track of their issues. We had no way to be sure that we responded to them in an appropriate amount of time and that the answers were technically sound. When we started looking at a CRM solution, it was basically for a help desk solution.
SearchCRM: What were you looking for in a CRM solution?
Gore: We wanted something easy to use, where we wouldn't have to do a lot of administrative work -- something that our application engineers could get in and use right away. The second criteria was cost. We knew we were going to have to do some customization to make the solution fit our company, and we didn't want that to cost us an arm and a leg.
SearchCRM: What was the biggest challenge in the implementation?
Gore: We had a home-grown database, and the biggest challenge was trying to get that information into Connect-Care without losing anything or compromising the data.
SearchCRM: How did you overcome that challenge?
Gore: We went through a lot of trial and error. Connect-Care sat down and went through it with us step by step. Whenever we had a problem, it was just a simple phone call and someone -- even if it was the VP of services -- would sit on the phone with us for two to three hours to figure it out.
SearchCRM: What's been the most rewarding result of the CRM solution?
Gore: The fact that it's made us a global company. We have several international offices. Before, everybody had their own database. But we needed to interact with each other on several different levels, from licensing our product to answering support questions. We didn't have a really clear way of interacting with each other. Connect-Care has made it so that we all live in the same database -- there's one database that everyone can come to and see the same information. It's allowed us to set some standards as far as support and sales goes so that we're offering the same amount of service to our customers worldwide.
SearchCRM: Do you have any advice for companies starting a similar project?
Gore: When you go into this, don't look for a product that will make miracles happen. It's going to take blood and sweat and hard work to make any CRM solution work, whether it's straight out of the box or customized. CRM solutions force you to come up with methods that weren't necessarily there before. You're not necessarily talking just about a tool, but about how people are reacting to change and how they're going to change their way of dealing with the customer. So my advice is not to look for the perfect solution, but the best solution.
My second piece of advice is to plan. Don't go into this thing blind. Don't expect the CRM vendor to dictate to you the best way to use the solution, because they don't know you and they don't know your customer base. You have to be able to go in and look at your customer base and decide the best steps to implement the CRM solution into your company.
Linda Formichelli's writing has appeared this year in Woman's Day, Wired, Writer's Digest, Family Circle and Psychology Today. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
This was first published in May 2001