By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is It's A Beautiful Day's hot live album, Creed Of Love, which makes you believe that, yes, a violin can be a rock'n'roll instrument:
CDC Software, the wholly owned subsidiary of China-based CDC Corporation, has announced that RS Components Hong Kong, part of Electrocomponents PLC, has selected the Pivotal suite of CRM applications for its 14 offices throughout the Asia Pacific area, including its seven offices in China.
RS officials say they will be using Pivotal CRM to manage and track customer services including contact and activity management, telesales and sales account planning, account territory alignments and scorecard tracking as well as tracking visits to customers and prospects.
The company will also be marketing and distributing its trade catalogues and comparing customers and prospects data to their customer marketing management lifecycle data using the Pivotal application since the product allows for bi-directional integration of contacts between Pivotal and the legacy ERP system used by RS Components.
Established in 1937, RS sells "a part for every job, from research and development through pre-production to maintenance and repair," according to company officials, and has been operating in China since 1999, selling parts from electronic components, electrical, mechanical, tools and consumer products.
"The RS business model is extremely customer-centric," noted Richard Huxley, Asia Pacific Regional Manager, RS Components, adding that the company offers "a strong local sales and marketing force of more than 250 people, and two state-of-the art call centers with technical support."
UDS Group, Inc., a Boca Raton, Florida-based vendor of CRM and other delivery management products, has announced the formation of a new partnership with DevStudios International, Inc.
DevStudios is a tech firm operating in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This new partnership, according to DevStudios officials, allows UDS "unlimited rollout capabilities and eliminates costly onsite equipment installations."
DevStudios has finished development on a Remote Print Agent dispatch module for use with the UDS call center product, a module which "allows for any remote store location in our delivery program to make a connection to the UDS Delivery Processing Center without requiring any additional hardware," according to one UDS official.
Ryan Coblin, CEO of Universal Delivery Group, Inc., said his company will "immediately realize a cost reduction for every location served… and it will allow us to rapidly scale our capacity in order to meet demand."
Bob Vergidis, President and Chief Executive Officer of DevStudios, described the Remote Printing Agent software as saying "any computer, anywhere on the Internet can become an order receiving station for call center orders… without time consuming or costly requirements."
Infor has announced a new Mobile Order Management -- touching acronym there -- product which lets field sales personnel in the distribution industry process orders remotely using a PDA, laptop or any other mobile device.
MOM is billed by company officials as letting sales personnel "spend less time on manual order processing and more time meeting customer need."
"Infor recognizes that in today's competitive landscape, distributors face growing pressure from customers and suppliers to find enterprising ways of saving time and resources," said Thad Zylka, Infor vice president of Distribution.
MOM is designed to integrate with any ERP system, regardless of vendor. Its intuitive, Web-based interface allows the user to access stored inventory data and submit order information via wireless access. When connected to the Internet or local network, the user has access to current inventory availability and customer-specific pricing.
"Ours is a service-driven business and our employees need quick access to inventory and order information to meet customer demands," said Bruce Streiff, Crest Industries CFO, explaining why they wanted to work with MOM.
Using MOM, field reps can remotely inquire about the status of an order; add, change or remove charges, line items and order line level comments; and search for customers and ship-to addresses.
MOM's other features include the ability to perform manual price overrides, and apply a discount or mark-up percent. Additional modules complaining that you don't call her often enough, telling you how to raise your kids, witching about your husband or wife, asking why don't you move closer and reminding you that "you used to do that when you were that age" optional.
Satmetrix, which sells on-demand software applications and consulting services to measurably improve customer loyalty, has announced the company's founder Andre Schwager will deliver a Webinar based on research presented in a February 2007 article in Harvard Business Review titled "Understanding Customer Experience."
In this article, Schwager and co-author Christopher Meyer assert companies can systematically monitor customer experience in order to take steps to improve both it and their bottom line.
The article defines various aspects of "customer experience," including how customer experience management compares to customer relationship management (CRM), how to rally an entire organization around creating better customer experiences, how to obtain the right information from customers, and the importance of acting on customer experience information.
Building on this article, Schwager will deliver a Webinar titled "Bringing Your Client Promise to Life through the Customer Experience" on Thursday, March 29th at 8:30 am PDT.
DataFlux, which sells data quality and data integration products, has announced that DSM Nutritional Products has implemented DataFlux technology to "classify its internationally coded spend and materials data."
The DataFlux technology is being used to implement a "ecl@ss" classification validation, which will help with corporate purchasing and DSM Nutritional Products' existing SAP R/3 systems, DSM officials say.
The DataFlux Data Quality Integration Platform (acronym QuIP?) is used within DSM Nutritional Products to validate code and standardize spend and materials descriptions, by allowing business users to set coding rules using an intuitive client interface.
The DataFlux technology is used to maintain one consistent and reliable data source of master data within a reference database. Using the product, "we have experienced a remarkable improvement in the accuracy on spend classification" said David Barron, Master Data Manager, DSM Nutritional Products.
Barron explained that the investment is "aimed at supporting our global initiative to reduce purchasing costs by ensuring the quality of spend classifications at an operational level by profiling, verifying, customizing and monitoring our data on an ongoing basis."
When it comes to data quality, many organizations focus on their CRM data. However, DataFlux officials contend, "more companies like DSM" are getting operational efficiency by implementing a data quality product for other areas like manufacturing and purchasing."
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