CRM Help From Commit, Cole Valley 9.23, A Dell Customer Service Victim Speaks, CDC, Ross,

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CRM Help From Commit, Cole Valley 9.23, A Dell Customer Service Victim Speaks, CDC, Ross,

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is probably the single finest performance in rock history next to The Clash's "Complete Control," Ten Years After's "Goin' Home" rendition at Woodstock. The real one, kids, on Max Yazgur's farm in upstate New York. Ask Jim Berkowitz, he remembers.

Full credit to Alvin Lee's guitar pyrotechnics, of course, but ever notice what a great job the bassist does? This morning I tried listening to it without the bass track and was surprised how much the overall performance suffers:

First Coffee has written about Dell's lousy customer service recently, and got the usual -- although better-written than most, I must say -- "rebuttals" from Dell PR flacks saying hey, our customer satisfaction has increased so much (they don't say from where to where, though, just that it's not spiraling downward at the moment), blah blah blah.

Then I got this e-mail:

I am a recipient of the latest and greatest Dell customer service, which has now been going on for the last month. During this period I have been passed off from one division to another continually having e-mail discussions with people who ask redundant questions and others who do not know what they are taking about.

There is my case; I feel I get nowhere writing back to the field staff. I am writing to you regarding your article on Dell Customer Service and asking if you have Richard Hunter's e-mail address. If I am going to write someone in the blind I would rather it be someone with some power who has the fortitude do something. I understand it may not go anywhere but it is worth a shot.

Sorry, my friend, I know ex-act-ly how you feel, trust me, but a) I don't have the guy's e-mail, and b) I probably wouldn't give it to you if I did. But if you find it yourself, have at thee.

Comfort yourself with this, however, that in the next life, as Dante showed us, Richard Hunter will be forever having to use Dell's customer service himself to complain about the heat settings.

As a matter of fact, in tomorrow's broadcast of Radio KCRM 98.6, All Smiths All The Time, we're going to be taking a trip with a modern-day Virgil through The Inferno Of Bad Customer Service, illustrations by Frank Frazetta. Brace thyself.

Ross Systems, a vendor of enterprise software products and a division of CDC Software, a subsidiary of CDC Corporation, has announced a partnership with SupplyScape Corporation, a vendor of something called E-Pedigree products for the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The point of the partnership seems to be to provide a packaged software products that "allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to track their product through the supply chain and meet regulatory and trading partner obligations associated with emerging standards for e-Pedigree."

There it is again, companies having to spend time and money dealing with regulatory crap. What a drag.

Ah, here we are, an explanation: It seems e-Pedigree is "an electronic certified chain of custody detailing each distribution of a drug, from the manufacturer, through acquisition and sale by any wholesaler or re-packager, until final sale to a pharmacy or other person administering or dispensing the drug."

Yes, friends, every time you rush to the drugstore for antacids after watching Miss Congeniality II you are ending the e-Pedigree chain.

It works when, using Ross' ERP, drug makers such as PrecisionDose, an FDA registered repackager of pharmaceutical products, upload specific lot and shipping information into SupplyScape's e-Pedigree application, which then verifies, certifies and transmits the pedigree, and provides automated, cost-effective pedigree authentication and tracking through the supply chain.

"We purchased SupplyScape e-Pedigree software because of its ability to fully integrate with the Ross ERP, willingness to assist us with the validation of the software, and the quality and ease of tracking for electronic pedigree," said Robert Koopman, president of PrecisionDose.

"We expect the combination of Ross ERP solution and SupplyScape e-Pedigree software will address the assurances and requirements of our customers, the FDA, and our company," Koopman said, as well as "with the new and future electronic pedigree laws as they are established."


Tel Aviv-based Commit Business Solutions, a vendor of management software products for small to mid-sized computer service and support businesses, has announced the launch of its new QuickBooks Link.

Maayan Porat, CEO of Commit, said this new feature of Commit CRM will help customers "more efficiently manage their day-to-day activities, particularly their billing procedures."

What the tool does is allow users to bill for "every service or repair they've provided without worrying about duplicate data entry and wrong data, errors that are common to manual data entry," he explained.

"Integrating with Intuit QuickBooks was an obvious decision on our part," added Maayan. "Most of our customers already use QuickBooks."

Cole Valley Software has introduced ContactEase Advanced Outlook Integration, a product enhancement now available in version 9.23 of its Client Relationship Management (CRM) software product.

Advanced Outlook Integration expands ContactEase's Microsoft Outlook address book integration, company officials say, adding that the new feature gives users "access to any ContactEase data on clients and prospects while in Outlook."

ContactEase CRM software is marketed as helping professional service firms "manage, coordinate and synchronize client contact information including phone, address, and e-mail information, as well as any communications, events and relationships with others at the firm."

What the CRM system does is create a firm-wide contact database, providing users with a more complete picture of their contacts as well as those of their colleagues. With updates from time & billing and other data sources, ContactEase creates a central electronic information bank for everyone within the firm.

"Our clients were demanding more information on their clients and prospects than Outlook could provide," claims Jeff Reade, President of Cole Valley. Reade explains that by automatically feeding Outlook data into ContactEase, users can access and use client information more effectively.

"Once they are sharing data across the firm using the basic ContactEase/Outlook integration, professionals want more information, such as 'Who else do we know at that company?', 'Who else in my office knows this contact?' 'Did they get invited to our last firm event?', 'Who are their other legal or accounting service providers?', 'How much did we bill them last year?'. Since they are often already in Outlook, they can get their answers immediately."

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