Majority of Irish companies lack CRM technology


27 February 2006

A total of 67% of Irish companies don’t know where their business comes from, according to a survey carried out by Microsoft Ireland into 800 Irish companies.

The survey also revealed that the majority of Irish companies have no mechanism for recording, managing and analyzing vital business information such as who their best customers are and where future business will be generated from.

The survey was carried out as part of a report entitled ‘Customer Driven Productivity – A Study on Customer Relationship Management Practice in Ireland,’ and highlights a distinct lack of understanding of customer relationship management (CRM) as a business strategy, Microsoft said.




Where CRM technology is in place, it is typically only being used in a few functional areas rather than across the entire organisation. Consequently, companies are not taking advantage of the rich set of features that CRM systems offer for managing their business.

Of those using CRM systems developed internally, 51% are more than five years old, while 22% are more than 10 years old, the report said. It also indicated that large corporations are no better placed in terms of CRM than smaller companies.

Neil Tanner, group manager of Microsoft Business Solutions, said there are a number of factors hampering the adoption of CRM in Ireland, including a lack of understanding as to what a CRM strategy entails, coupled with poor experiences with CRM technology. These have resulted in a negative perception of the value of CRM, he said.

“CRM as a business strategy presents an opportunity for organisations to get closer to their customers, offer better customer service and potentially add significant additional revenue,” Tanner added.

The Microsoft survey comes on the back of a report by the Enterprise Strategy Group, entitled ‘Ahead of the Curve,’ which also highlighted Irish businesses’ lack of customer insight.
John McCormack, chairman of the Sales Institute of Ireland, described the problem as an “Achilles heel” which could affect the country’s ability to compete nationally and internationally.

“Microsoft’s findings are especially worrying as they indicate a lack of understanding as to the competitive advantage that getting closer to customers can offer; It also means that these companies have no formalised way of harnessing the business they already have and have little or no view of their sales pipeline,” McCormack said.

He added that the majority of Irish companies are “flying blind” if they are making decisions without such vital information.

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