Customer Relationship Management (CRM) may sound like a tool suitable for marketing or sales purposes only. But these days, supply chain managers widely apply this tool to win the customers’ hearts. According to Deloitte, data sharing within CRM, along with sales and marketing activities, is two times more likely to generate value for stakeholders than dynamic pricing and warranty recovery alternatives. Simply put, centering customer data in CRM solves the problems of poor connectivity and customer dissatisfaction at one stroke.
But does the supply chain need a customer-driven approach? Traditionally, the sector deals with transportation processes and inventory operations, not customer needs or wishes. But for real, business success relies on customer data to make effective decisions. And this is the point where supply chain and customer relationship management create a perfect duo. How to make it work?
Check this guide for making a wise decision to develop a transportation CRM.
Supply Chain Industry Requirements for CRM Software
Processes like delivery, sales, and warehousing live separately within supply chain companies and require attentive management. Adding customer relationship management to this mix of constant logistics and integration problems may sound absurd. Indeed, software installation will be painful if you have no idea what to ask and how to hire a supply chain management business consultant. Otherwise, CRM in logistics and supply chain management will establish a fine-tuned control system over isolated processes with your company.
“Many companies in a variety of industries are enhancing their CRM and SCM [supply chain management] capabilities with predictive analytics, and they are enjoying market-leading growth and performance as a result.”
Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris
Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning
With the predictive analytics tool, you can establish an integrated system where CRM software will provide the data processed in supply chain management (SCM) software. In this case, the SCM solution will deal with service-related aspects (like inventory management, logistics, and dealing with suppliers). In turn, CRM would serve as a database to elicit exact customer needs. We offer a custom CRM solution to incorporate these programs in an easy-to-use computing environment in our practice.
For the transport and logistics industry, the key CRM software requirements include:
The information from CRM software will be processed in SCM software that provides:
Why Build CRM for Logistics: 7 Key Benefits for Your Company
Broadly, CRM software is the tool aimed at providing the maximum value to your clients to improve current supply chain processes. Here are substantial CRM system benefits you can get once you decide to invest in the software.
Automatic Assignment of Orders
Deloitte observers expect logistics to deal with 4 billion incremental units by 2022, with a 15% growth on e-commerce and a 30% product return rate. CRM software makes it easier to deal with numerous orders. The program instantly splits new requests and assigns the parts to the departments responsible for each stage of order processing.
This way, you can see the full picture of what’s happening with each request and track the progress in real-time. Additionally, CRM serves as the single communication platform that accumulates customer messages from different platforms. As a result, you become able to process customer requests fast and accurately.
Essential Improvements for Sales and Marketing
In supply chain companies, misalignment between different departments is a common practice. In the case of sales and marketing, this problem causes weak customer service and losses in revenue. For assistance, the CRM software provides a unified platform for all your workers to keep track of each order from different perspectives.
As Ernst and Young’s survey indicates, sales teams lack essential skills (44%), cannot meet customer expectations (43%), and experience a mismatch with marketing activities and objectives (42%). That’s how CRM software functionality handles these problems:
CRM software lets sales and marketing teams work together on finding new clients and improving customer experience.
Order Information Stored in One Place
As the key feature of any CRM software, you can get a 360-degree overview of each customer request. For supply chain management, the data includes client profile, the history of payments, marketing promos used, and the essential dates relevant for the sales team’s work. This feature doesn’t let the orders fail unnoticed or forget customer requests. Moreover, it saves business owners’ time on manual data collection for important deals and allows making fast and informed decisions.
The information kept in CRM is easy to reach and serves as the solid ground for informed decision-making.
Optimization of Expenses
Among CRM features and benefits, the ability to save money is one of its most attractive offerings. Here is how the program cuts your costs:
The investment in a CRM program brings long-term benefits and lets you and your workers concentrate on strategic thinking.
Beyond storing customer profiles and conversations, CRM software contains powerful analytical and reporting features. In this dimension, the technology generates enhanced reports that collect data flows from different sources. They include processing speed, conversation quality, and customer feedback. With this feature, you’ll get a solid ground for estimating the performance of each employee and department. Moreover, you and your workers won’t spend that much time generating and analyzing the reports.
For a transport and logistics company, building long-term relationships with strategically significant clients requires extra resources and enhanced forecasting tools. Customers want you to react fast to their requests and anticipate their desires, which is not always possible and affordable.
For this problem, CRM software serves as a platform where you can provide responses automatically and accurately and analyze customer behavior constantly and carefully. You won’t wait long for the results, as clients will enjoy rapid handling of their problems and timely alerts on the things that matter from their end.
Real Team Work
With CRM software, you’ll create a unified platform for your workers to cooperate. That’s because the essential information on orders and clients will become visible among teams and departments. This, in turn, will facilitate keeping track of corporate activity and provide necessary assistance to co-workers.
Besides, the program can help with employee training, representing the essence of working processes in your logistics company.
|General-Purpose CRM||Custom CRM|
|All basic CRM advantages||List of benefits||All basic CRM advantages + supply chain management integration|
|A ready-made solution||Technologies||Custom service that fits your business requirements|
|Easy-to-use, sometimes needs a CRM specialist||Usage||A corporate program for internal usage|
Specialized vs. General-Purpose Supply Chain CRM
For supply chain management and logistics activities, big brands like Amazon, McDonald’s, and Starbucks heavily rely on CRM. They take advantage of linking customer needs to decision-making processes. For example, they ask the suppliers to send only in-demand products that perform well. That’s how McDonald’s cooperates with local suppliers to create regional menus in their restaurants. In its turn, Walmart’s CRM strategy includes introducing a three cash-back reward program that attracts new customers and retains them.
If you want to install supply chain CRM, you can pick a general-purpose solution or customized software that meets your particular business requirements. The exact choice depends on the need for additional advantages and features and your willingness to invest extra time and effort in building the software.
General-Purpose CRM Examples
General CRM is a time-proven program that addresses the main requirements of the logistics industry and possesses all key benefits listed above. Basically, installing software like Salesforce or Monday is a good start to try the functionality of CRM and check its ability to improve your logistics processes.
The general-purpose CRM program from Salesforce, an American cloud-based software company, is one of the most popular platforms for customer management in the world. And the great number of tasks handled justifies such high demand. The Salesforce software for transportation and logistics provides the space to deal with pricing, check cargo conditions, increase driver satisfaction, and improve customer experience to the maximum.
Customer relationship management service from Monday assists in various marketing, sales, and technical support activities. Precisely, the program works with a sales pipeline, contact and lead management, marketing activities, and customer onboarding. Within the software, you can get on-the-go access to essential customer data, schedule automated notifications, and integrate several communication platforms.
“We can invest selectively because we have more perfect information. We know where we’re moving things between warehouses and sort centers, and by not involving third parties all the time, we can find that we can extend our order cutoffs.”
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
The decision to make a specialized CRM requires more time, money, and effort but potentially brings more value to your company. Even though the basic features of general CRM programs will contribute to your business benefit, not all of them are suitable for supply chain management purposes. Because of that, many companies in the industry refer to software development companies for custom solutions after trying well-known brands.
If you want to invest in custom supply chain CRM, the proper start is setting your business requirements clearly. With your ideas in mind, you can start a conversation with your service provider and determine the exact set of features needed. This way, you’ll work on personalized software architecture to create a logistics CRM that will bring all the business benefits you expect.
Here is the list of features a custom CRM should possess:
How to Create the Best CRM for the Logistics Industry?
Making a custom supply CRM calls for tech competence and knowledge of basic supply chain management needs. In particular, the specialized software should contribute to serving strategic customers, provide automated operational customer relationship management, and turn information into action with analytical tools. Sometimes, extra skills are needed — like expertise in making a GPS vehicle tracking system.
An effective custom CRM example for Logiplan: the software for a Swedish software vendor specialized in logistics solutions for the construction industry. It needed resource optimization and an easy-to-use communication platform that deals with logistics, management, and communication problems. A specialized CRM solution is a web platform for real-time order tracking and instant communication with stakeholders. The program enables smart resource planning that eliminates unnecessary purchases and speeds up operations.
How AMCONSOFT Can Help Transportation Businesses Overcome Diverse Challenges with CRM?
We at AmconSoft are experienced in making CRM platforms for logistics purposes. While building custom CRM for supply chain management, including the extensive review of your business objectives, complex approach to software development, and careful implementation and deployment of the platform we’ve designed.
In our portfolio, you can find several personalized software solutions for startups and middle-sized companies. Referring to supply chain management, we want to share the case of InnLight, a logistics platform empowered by ERP, TMS, and CRM modules.
Specialized CRM for INNLIGHT
For InnLight, a European multifunctional service, we’ve developed a CRM logistics custom software. The client experienced problems with operational management and requested a technology that can help the company deal with large orders and make the internal processes more transparent for stakeholders.
We decided to make a custom CRM empowered by Machine Learning technology. This decision has proved its effectiveness in the long run and solved several corporate problems at once:
As a result, the company has received a business architecture that is easier to manage and has overcome the previous problem of messy operations and mistrust from stakeholders. After the functionality proved its effectiveness, we built the CRM in a web version and as a mobile app. After more than 5 years since development, we still support its work.
CRM to Help You Work Smarter, Not Harder
If you’re working in supply chain management, CRM software will make your life easier. Of course, the decision to build CRM systems for logistics won’t save you from the need to keep several things at once in your head. Still, you’ll inevitably enjoy how easier the process management has become and how less you need to remember. By meeting customer demands, you’ll get more control over the product lifecycle and invest in processes and activities that bring maximum benefit.
If you’re ready to implement the CRM software in your logistics company, we’re here to offer you our custom software development services.
With Amcon’s custom CRM system development, your transport and logistics company will get the full set of technological solutions relevant to the particular business needs and operations. By strictly following your strategic requirements, we’ll build a self-efficient tool for analyzing and managing daily operations in your company. We have vast experience in working with supply chain companies and offer numerous solutions relevant to the industry. From us, you can order a custom CRM solution as a part of management systems for warehousing, transport, and shipping orders.
Our custom software development team will be glad to make a CRM for your supply and logistics company. Contact us now and free your head from constant order micromanagement!
I've been leading a tech department specializing in eLearning applications and Business Intelligence for 10 years