Many companies operating in a distributed environment need to put an extra effort into making sure they have accurate and good quality data. When you have a setup with hundreds of local retail shops, overseas production sites or simply sales or repairmen distributed over a large territory and each working from an individual laptop, it can be very challenging to create reports and analyze data. In order to do that, organizations need to be able to access transactional data in all local systems. They need all data captured locally to be automatically transferred between the systems in order to avoid double data entry. This way only they can base their decisions on accurate and up-to-date data, throughout the organization. Linking the different systems is an absolute must-do. A replication solution is the answer.
Data is information, and information is knowledge. Fast and effective access to data has become crucial. By giving employees accurate and trustworthy data, effective data management can give companies a tremendous competitive advantage. But how do you secure that all relevant employees get access to the data they need in a distributed environment?
Take for example a retail chain with a central ERP system at headquarters and up to hundreds retail stores each having their own solution. How do you ensure that all entities are up-to-date and share the same, accurate information in order to make informed decision? Can you make sure that all transactions created locally are registered centrally?
The worst thing about CRM systems is that they often get out of sync with reality. I often see (and unfortunately I have also experienced it myself) that companies get so excited about their CRM system’s possibilities to track and trace clever information that they end up missing the target because they do not keep their system up to date. If your CRM system does not have updated information, you will not trust it. And if you do not trust it, you will not use it. Integrating your CRM with your ERP is a way to keep your data current and up to date, and there are today some pretty good integration solutions that can be installed rapidly and at a reasonable price.
Generally, when you are about to invest in a CRM system like Salesforce or any other CRM system, you should not only think about what data you would like to get – you should also think about which data you want to invest in keeping up to date. For instance, having a contact’s name, e-mail and phone number and a link to the person’s related company is not unreasonable. But how about social profile, birthday date, picture, title, additional prone numbers, special interests etc. I suppose that would be nice to have too. And how about adding who the person reports to internally? What their area of interest is? When did they last visit your website? The list is long, but what is worth investing in? And if you keep adding details to your system, eventually you will reach a point where it can no longer be maintained.