Strategic Profile: FWMurphy
In 2000, FWMurphy, a Tulsa, Okla.-based manufacturer of controls for gas compressors and industrial engines with $50 million in 2001 revenues, had licensed a Siebel Systems Inc. sales-force automation application from Siebel partner J.D. Edwards & Co. The goal: to support better sales forecasting. But the new system didn't allow easy data exchange with Murphy's ERP software from Edwards. So when Edwards developed its own CRM offering, Murphy decided to re-evaluate.
CIO Mitch Myers, vice president of operations
problem The initial Siebel system was installed several years ago. Though the company knew it wanted better information about its customers, "we didn't have a vision of what it was going to do," admits Myers.
goal Gain more flexible ways of gathering customer information, and better sales projections. Myers wanted management to understand "who's the customer, and what is he saying are the opportunities in that business."
strategy Switch to an end-to-end offering from one vendor in hopes of more easily moving data back and forth between CRM and ERP.
challenges No major issues. The only hiccup was the need to allow salespeople to input hunches about sales based on historical customer relationships—a function that Myers says J.D. Edwards didn't support. "Within 15 hours, we had a solution."
ROI No formal ROI calculated, but according to Myers, the company believes it has far more accurate information about impending demand.
assessment "I would beware of the situation where you've got a partner relationship between ERP and CRM vendors, instead of an ERP vendor that has a very vested interest in its CRM [offering] because it owns it, develops it, etc.," says Myers.
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