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Business insight and customer relationships

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The Microsoft Dynamics Reimagine conference came and went last week. It was a resounding success, bringing together partners, resellers, customer and end users of the Dynamics range of products.
Jet Reports Africa had a phenomenal experience at this event. Giving us the opportunity to engage with business leaders who are looking for new ways to process their data in the ERP solutions available to them through Microsoft.
We also engaged with the existing NAV, AX and GP users who are looking for better ways to access their data. Enabling customers to utilise their data correctly and for the businesses benefit is our primary goal.

The interesting outcome of the conference for me were overall themes regarding customer’s relationship management. These were knowing and understanding your customer better and knowing and understanding your business better.

Both are equally important and affect the other so perfecting their two elements in your customer’s processes will have an impact on gaining new customers and retaining the old customers.

Understanding your customer
For any business there is a challenge in understanding your customer, it is not for lack of data but a lack of centricity around the customer or account. The account manager or sales person may deal with a customer or contact at an account in dealing with orders. That same contact may deal with the delivery person when the order arrives and the accounts department when they pay for the order.

In most businesses, your customer will interact with marketing communications, with your online channels for information, the sales person, orders or shipping department, delivery personnel and finally the accounts department.
Complicated as it may seem a central customer relationship management tool can manage the single customer record across all of the departments.

The advancements seen at Reimagine in the Dynamics CRM space will take your understanding of your to the next level. Tracking online activities, social activities along with buying behaviour. This is a powerful tool for business decision makers to start making informed decisions with the customer. This will in turn improve customer service in all departments and will improve your long-term customer relationships.

Understanding your business
For small enterprises who can still keep track of every customer and every contact by name, this is not a concern, but when you suddenly have hundreds of customers the problem is evident. Departments work in silos; sales will generate orders and not process them correctly and with no forecasting the product levels may not accommodate all of the orders. The finance team working independently of the above will call the customer for payment before the order was received resulting in a very unhappy customer. By understanding your business better, you can streamline processes and ensure the customer is serviced correctly.

Business intelligence on top of the Microsoft ERP tool is the answer to this problem. By using a tool like Jet Reports, your sales team can have access to current stock levels when a customer is placing an order. The stock replenishment team will have a view of the sales orders in the pipeline in order to forecast the stock requirements accurately. In turn, this will have an effect on the sales team, operations and the finance team.

The larger benefit of utilising a business intelligence tool for your ERP system is the overall improvement in customer service levels. The sales team can promise stock to customers accurately as they can see if it is on hand. The warehouse can manage demand and dispatch orders more efficiently and finally finance team have a handle on when an order has been processed, delivered or is on hold before they ask for funds.

If you are interested in learning how you can benefit from utilising your data more efficiently through Jet Reports, visit our site at www.jetreports.co.za and learn about the benefits of Business Intelligence.