Most fulfillment and transportation companies strive to better streamline and organize their customer or client data. The modern Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms aim to complete this monumental task with relative ease.
CRM software is used to organize all customer-specific data, such as contact information, sales history, communication notes, and much more. Supply chain managers often depend on the ability to access to this information from multiple locations, instantly. They also depend on modern CRMs to work in conjunction with other management systems.
Integration of a supply chain CRM is a major key to the success of the modern supply chain.
Make Sure it’s the Right Solution for Your Business
While at their core customer relationship management software solutions are intended to accomplish similar tasks, they're all unique. Verifying that you’ve invested in the right CRM for your business size, scope, and capacity.
While there are several logistics-specific CRM solutions on the market today, it’s just as important to verify that the CRM has the right tools of the trade.
Here are a few items to verify before making the investment.
Does it Provide Short- and Long-Term Solutions?
A good CRM is scalable, allowing growing enterprises to expand the services and tools as business and sales improve. To ensure you start on the right foot, ask your CRM provider if their service is scalable, and to what extent.
Is it full-service?
The CRM solutions are typically upgraded to expedite customer orders, improve communication, and provide a simplified platform for organizing all tools. However, beyond those basics, it should likewise have the capacity to track customer orders, verify each phase of fulfillment, and relay that information to the customer.
Can it provide marketing tools?
Customer Relationship Management software of today is packed with ancillary business tools, such as order tracking, inventory updates, and marketing/cross-selling tools. If this is important to your business scope, make sure that any CRM you purchase offers this valuable tool.
Does Your CRM Integrate with ERP Software?
A standalone CRM should provide you with the flexibility to connect to other business operations. One of the most common on the market today is an Enterprise Resource Planning tool or ERP software. This tool maintains multiple databases (many of them cloud-based) including human resources.
The platform is intended on automating several daily tasks that reduce workflow and expenses paid towards manual labor. The ERP gives you the ability to access dashboards that stream data in real-time, providing instant updates for improved productivity.
Some of the tools and systems available through an ERP solution include:
Manually input of spreadsheets, payroll, and other tedious tasks are time-consuming. An ERP solution can automate these tasks, send invoices and other critical data to customers, vendors, and suppliers. The payment of invoices can likewise be automated.
Receiving updates on manufacturing allows you to stay ahead of inventory problems. The ERP platform can connect with CRM solutions to send updates to vendors, distributors or fulfillment centers anytime issues arise.
Work with a Proven 3PL for Complete CRM Integration
A major mistake that supply chain businesses make is biting off more than they can chew. Attempting to integrate a robust CRM on your own not only takes time, extensive planning, and additional resources, but it also takes people from other operational tasks.
Working with a professional 3PL like Redwood Logistics streamlines the process of integrating a new CRM. The experience with multiple industries, software solutions, and the training and integration involved with them permits a busy supply chain business to focus on daily business operations.