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Customer Relationship Management

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Supply Chain Management (SCM) provides several principles and tools that would help improving the organization's value chain. Since I'm working in the Project Management department of my company I see a need for implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM), one of the SCM tools. We manage the company's projects and our customers, who we consider them our champions, are either internal or external to the company. Once the project is completed, the project champion will take full ownership to operate it. However, prior to that they must sign a Mechanical Completion Certificate (MCC), a certificate issued by project management certify that the scope has been carried out as expected. To insure a successful MC, CRM solution, in my opinion, can be implemented to manage both the project and the champion's expectations.

Managing projects can be very difficult. Projects run into different types of issues from one week to another. Issues can be related to cost, scope and schedule. Furthermore, we need to insure that our champions are satisfied and comfortable before signing the MCC by engaging them early in the project and capturing and meeting their expectations.

CRM can be used to manage the project. This will help any Project Manager (PM) to have a top view look at any point of time to his project's status and issues. PM most of the time must make decisions based on the available information. To help PM makes the right decisions, CRM system can be implemented which provides the following:

 Task Management, information related to the tasks assigned to individual members

 Change Orders (CO) Management, what are the potential CO and what has been executed

 Cost Management, summary of the project cost and budget

 Issues Tracking Management, what are the issues raised and their status

 Risk Management, what are the project risks and how to mitigate them

 Knowledge Management, lessons learned that will help PM and his/her team to resolve similar issues

CRM as well can be used to track stakeholder's complaints, comments and expectations. Stakeholders could be champions, management, contractors, suppliers etc. Again, successfully managing stakeholders is a key element of successfully delivering any project. CRM can be used to log those comments or complaints and PM must review them occasionally.

In summary, for us, as a Project Management organization, to increase the value we create to the company I strongly recommend implementation a CRM.



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