A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is an indispensable software tool of the modern age sales department. But, have you heard xRM? XRM is the new term that Microsoft has coined when its software package Dynamics CRM is used for more than just customer relationship management. In fact xRM stands for “Anything Relationship Management” which means that Dynamics CRM can be used to model structured data of any kind by using the flexible and scalable framework.
Microsoft has provided a tool that is CRM-based but has a framework that can be adapted for any business, process or data model. So, rather than thinking purely in terms of sales automation, organisations are being encouraged to automate all aspects of the business including service, operations and management.
It is common for companies to rush down the custom software development path when no off-the-shelf product meets their needs. However, rather than starting from zero and accumulating a hefty bill, they should really consider using an xRM framework like Dynamics CRM as it empowers the user with the tools to develop their own dashboard, views and reports around any business entity. This is not to say that Dynamics CRM is meant to replace off-the-shelf product implementations, but rather it can be a good starting place to eliminate the hordes of spreadsheets that are usually within every business and be further developed to replace ageing Microsoft Access databases.
By using Dynamics CRM throughout your organisation, it’s possible to build solutions that are focused on customers as well as internal processes such as quality control, automate checks and balances to thus increase overall efficiency and satisfaction throughout the various business departments.
Recently I performed a demo to a potential non-for-profit client where I showed them Dynamics CRM being used as a constituent/donor management system, issues management system and an incident reporting management system. Another project I was also recently working on, had a leading tutoring organisation use Dynamics CRM as a complete Student Management System as their particular needs were not met by traditional school software providers. The possibilities are endless with what you can automate using this flexible framework.
Above: Sample dashboard for incidents management
Above: Issue register sample chart
3 benefits of using Dynamics CRM as an xRM
- Flexibility: being able to quickly and dynamically change map processes and data fields into the system as required. Gone are the days where software developer took weeks just to deploy a new entity.
- Mobility: access your data from anywhere using the mobile interface. An example of this would be having an asset register be made available for your service teams as they visit customer sites.
- Easy Interface: Familiar to all Microsoft Office users. Furthermore, by using Microsoft Outlook as the main interface, users avoid switching screens and applications.
XRM can be used by all teams within your organisation to manage any kind of relationship and automate any business process.
The following are sample xRM applications implemented by Empower IT Solutions in various industries:
- Education and RTO: Student Management
- Health: Client management, incident reporting, issues register, staff rostering
- Insurance: Claim management
- Service: job management, technician booking, staff rostering
- Facility Management: Asset registers, scheduled maintenance
- Manufacturing: Quality management
For more information about our Microsoft xRM solutions click here.