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What Is Enterprise Relationship Management?

Enterprise relationship management allows businesses to maintain relationships with both customers and business partners.
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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2014
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In the global economy, competitive advantage is becoming more important than ever. Keeping this advantage requires organizations to maintain extensive relationships with both customers and business partners. Enterprise relationship management is a business process that integrates information pertaining to customers, sales, employee productivity, and market trends within a software application.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a general practice for managing the customers of an organization by using profiling. CRM is a business technique to create intelligence around what the customer needs in an attempt to retain the customer for future sales. It is important to monitor the customer interactions as some customers are more valuable than others. Organizations use this information in an attempt to maximize marketing and service investments.

Customers are the heart of making a business successful. Creating a business environment focused on customer service is an important element of enterprise relationship management. In ERM, a software tracks all customer interactions. This includes purchasing, customer support, and customer complaints. This gives the organization critical information on customer trends. This ERM information provides the decision makers with data that can increase satisfaction and retention of customers to the brand.

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All companies track their monthly output by monitoring sales. Sales are typically broken into specific products and services that an organization brings to the marketplace. Enterprise relationship management programs monitor the sales of an organization by each specific domain. Typically domains include products, services, and advertising. All areas of an organization that generate revenue should be included in sales area of the ERM program.

Warranty management is a good example of enterprise relationship management in practice. When a customer contacts an organization about a defect in a product they typically call the customer support organization. Customer support then documents and tracks the product, the defect, and the customer who had the issue with the product. ERM will then create real-time information about products and customer satisfaction, which enables an organization to react quickly to defects and issues.

Business Relationship Management (BRM) is the process of making relationships with business partners and customers to create a cohesive understanding of available technology and business needs. The primary goal in BRM is to maintain a good relationship between the customer and the software provider based on the demands of the business. Enterprise relationship management uses the information obtained from BRM to effectively monitor that the business needs are satisfied.

Enterprise feedback management (EFM) is another important element within ERM. This technique requires the management and automation of all surveys for an organization. These surveys include customer feedback, employee opinions, and general improvement surveys. The results of the surveys are fed into the ERM system as input for improving the organization.

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