Professor Janek Ratnatunga, CEO of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) notes that whilst an organisation and its people collect and create vast quantities of ad-hoc data every day, many do not know what to do with this data.
He says that an organisation learns something new and potentially valuable each time an employee picks up the phone and talks to a customer or supplier; a salesman goes out to meet a new sales prospect or follows up on a promising lead; a person visits the organisation’s website; a customer orders a product or service, etc.
“This data is saved into notepads or documents, on laptops perhaps; or even maybe it is just stored in a person’s head. If that is the case, then choosing what to focus on can be a matter of guesswork” says Professor Ratnatunga. Details can get lost or forgotten; meetings and phone conversations may not be followed up, and worst of all, if staff members leave, then all their knowledge may walk out of the door with them.
Professor Ratnatunga articulates that many companies have installed Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to turn such data into useful, actionable insights that can transform an organisation. A CRM system helps organisations to keep their customers’