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Evergreen Investment is a Mutual Fund company that is a part of the financial services industry often referred to as “Wall Street”. Many of the best and brightest minds are employed by the top companies in the financial services industry. Some of the companies are Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and JPMorgan each having Trillions of dollars of assets under management. Also with the new emergences of banks and insurance companies vying for the same clients, the financial services industry is not for the fragile firm. The products and services provided by the companies are similar (investment management, investment advice) and often multi-million dollar deals are awarded to companies as a function of “bigger is better”. Evergreen Investment has carved a niche in providing wholesale services to banks and brokerage firms but as mention earlier banks are vigorously completing for this business. So as a company considered middle of road as it relates to assets under management, human resources and technology, Evergreen Investment will have to compete, innovate and adapt to maintain its market.
Q2. How does a CRM system fit with Evergreen's competitive environment?
Evergreen competes in an environment where its customers need to be contacted and updated regularly. The database system, the customer relationship management (CRM) system, allows for a central area where all of the information on clients is stored so that employees can access the information, analyze it, and increase sales based on clearer and more up-to-date information. By accessing the information efficiently and effectively, Evergreen is able to compete against other companies since it can bring clients information they want quickly. For instance, wholesalers rarely have the time to access background information about the client the night before the meeting. However, with the CRM system, the internal sales consultant can bring up the information and tell the wholesaler the information on the drive over to the client’s office, which would not be much more difficult if the information was not stored in a central database.
Q3. Evaluate the previous (legacy) CRM system, providing any significant advantages or disadvantages.
Before the Pyxis mobile solution was implemented the workflow followed at Evergreen was as follows –
The legacy system required the wholesalers at Evergreen Investment to manually jot down client data like the company, office, personnel interacted, topics discussed, products, services etc. before and during each visit.
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There was high compliance on the data integrity as the progress of the wholesalers was monitored directly.
The discrepancies caused in the reports (if any) were almost always as a result of manual entry error so accountability of work was more transparent.
The legacy system was more secure as the wholesalers needed to navigate through many levels of authentication.
Effort duplication was highly prevalent as the wholesalers had to enter information at every interaction as well as on a weekly basis.
The CRM application developed by Onyx was time consuming and not perceived to be user friendly.
The legacy system was cumbersome for the Wholesalers as they were disconnected from the CRM and had to telephonically retrieve relevant information about the client from their corresponding internal consultants.
Resource utilization was low as the wholesalers were involved in several manual processes (which could be automated) for generating the monthly reports.
Q4. Describe the significant advantages and disadvantages of the Mobile CRM project.
- New CRM keep wholesalers connected and up to date with the CRM system wirelessly
- The most current client, sales information and CRM data are always available
- Wholesalers can input and update interaction data from anywhere, even on the road, at anytime
- Interaction data inputted by wholesalers will be instantly transmitted to the Onyx system
- Wholesalers can update CRM application several times throughout the week so they have more time to work for other internal job on Friday
- Blackberry is light and convenient for travel
- It can be used both as a Laptop and as a mobile phone
- It enhance a prompt communication with either internal or external parties
- E-mail can be read and responded back almost instantaneously
- It enhance the relationship with clients
- Wholesalers can easily retrieve relevant information about their clients
- The price is reasonable
- The system does not answer all users’ needs
- Possible resentment from sales force
- It may take time for wholesalers to get familiar with the new device
- Wireless infrastructure may be unreliable and become unavailable in some area
Q5. What do you believe the noise was in the room during the presentation described at the end of the case? Was it an expression of frustration or excitement? Support your opinion as fully as you can.
The noise was the expression of the excitement. At the start of the presentation, the audience was quiet. As the presentation was processing, the noise level began to grow. It is obvious that the sales forces were getting excited about the presentation. There are several points to support this opinion.
The sales force had never enjoyed working with the CRM system which is Customer relationship management. They complained that every time, they need to scribble down the details of an interaction on the back of a business card and later on enter the details into the CRM system from a place where they can get dial-up internet access. It was difficult to use the CRM system and it took too much time to enter the details of each interaction. They also complained that the inefficiencies that resulted because they were disconnected from CRM data while they were on the road.
So, the points are to implement interaction data entry, and also retrieve data from the system at anytime and anywhere.
The new mobile CRM implements the requests which would allow users to access its data and functionality wirelessly, using mobile devices called Blackberries. These devices also can replace the sales force’s cell phones. So the sales forces would be happy with the new devices and the enhanced CRM systems because the new devices and systems make it convenient for the sales force to get the information they want and save the data entry time. Finally, the new devices and systems could improve the sales force’s productivity.