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CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) to help achieve ISO 9001

C

CATERAF

#1
Hi,

I'm currently trying to get my company up to scratch to become certified (ISO 9001) using a wiki-based system.

However, we currently have no 'proper' way of tracking customer contact or following up leads. For example, we follow up leads by jotting it down on a piece of paper and if we remember to call, excellent! If we don't, 'oh dear'.

Clearly it's extremely flawed and needs work. Rather than just using a spreadsheet database we think using a CRM would be an excellent resource -- it tidies everything up into one organised place and also provides us with some useful data rather than us needing to calculate it ourselves. Are there any specific considerations we need to watch out for with CRMs? I.e., what they do versus what they don't do?

I've had a bit of a look and found a few different CRMs but we are a small company and expense is an issue. Does anyone use any particular CRMs because they help them achieve ISO 9001?

The CRMs I've looked at so far are Vtiger and CRMery which are the cheaper alternatives (free and a once-off fee respectively). I've also looked at the leading CRMs of 'Salesforce', 'SugarCRM' and Microsoft's CRM. They're all subscription based and frightfully expensive though -- for that price we could have done it all ourselves manually!

The software guys would love something that works with Drupal, but my manager and I would just like to get something to keep track of the leads and opportunities at this stage -- we have so many and they aren't being followed up!

Thanks,
Avril
 
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Colin

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Hi Avril

I don't have much 1st hand experience using propriety systems myself but I come across a lot of different ones whilst auditing. The most common ones are those which have been developed internally, often using nothing more than a spreadsheet or a simple database. It obviously depends on how complex your processes are and how much you want to get out of it.

My other comment is about when you implement such a system. I have seen a number of examples where companies have documented the system they would like to have in place rather than the one they actually have. Consequently, when it comes to doing the stage 2 audit there is a gap between the documented system and the system in place. Perhaps you could go through the certification programme as you are and then implement the new system as an improvement?
 
C

CATERAF

#3
I don't have much 1st hand experience using propriety systems myself but I come across a lot of different ones whilst auditing. The most common ones are those which have been developed internally, often using nothing more than a spreadsheet or a simple database. It obviously depends on how complex your processes are and how much you want to get out of it.
Thanks Colin. Yep, long-term we would like to develop our own system but at the moment the software guys don't have the time to really get into developing it so we were looking at a purchased one.

My other comment is about when you implement such a system. I have seen a number of examples where companies have documented the system they would like to have in place rather than the one they actually have. Consequently, when it comes to doing the stage 2 audit there is a gap between the documented system and the system in place. Perhaps you could go through the certification programme as you are and then implement the new system as an improvement?
Yep, I think that's a very good point. I haven't done any documenting for that particular system yet (because there isn't really much of one) so I'm *hoping* that I'll write about what it does.

I'd love to go through certification without it but I think by the time we reach certification we'll have dropped a lot of leads and business in the meantime. It's more for the sanity of the guys doing the marketing and sales roles than it is to get certification. In saying that, certification is so much more complicated than first anticipated, so who knows how long it'll take!

Thanks very much for your feedback -- muchly appreciated and I'll pass it on to my manager as something worth considering.
 
D

dkusleika

#4
We are also a small company and we use insight.ly. It's free for a very small number of users, but still pretty reasonably priced compared to some of the off-the-shelf packages. It's entirely web-based, which is good for us because our sales team is so spread out.

I wouldn't say that it helped or hindered our certification. The only QMS interface with the CRM is that we "tag" certain customer communications as "feedback" that we review and compile for the management reviews. Otherwise, our QMS starts at the order stage and doesn't really address the opportunity stage (unless there is design involved in the opportunity).

Prior to insight.ly, we used ACT! and Goldmine. Both are very good CRMs, but did far more than we needed, we're expensive, and we had many issues keeping everyone's databases in sync. The web-based solution was a better option for us.
 
J

Jackez

#5
Hi..
Lots of CRM Software available in the market for small & large business. By selecting the right tool for your business is a little hard. Before selecting a CRM tool, you should first analyze what your business is. Then pick a CRM tool that best fits your business and ask expert business professionals to achieve ISO 9001.
 
N

Nishaa

#6
Re:Why CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) software

Most of the small companies still using excel to store the database for daily sales and marketing activities. It can be difficult to analyze the status after long time. By choosing small business CRM marketing software they can easily access and finds the customer?s current position. CRM avails the features like can send mail to all the customers and it makes a chance to convert into business leads. It?s hard to select the best CRM tool for your business.
 
P

pog451

#7
Do you use Micro$soft products? Particularly outlook and/or Exchange? If so you can do a whole pile of CRM stuff using on-boards tools such as the journal function and even more if you use Office with OneNote.

On the other hand, don't over do the CRM issue. 90% of the 9001 certified companies I have worked for or audited did CRM on EXCEL or even paper, and I can not remember it ever being a problem come audit time.

If your biggest remaining problem with 9001 implementation is CRM, then congratulations, you're pretty much finished. Take a good look at the bigger picture though and make sure you have your priorities set correctly.
 
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