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International Business: Research Teaching and Practice 2008 2(1)

Nova Southeastern University 317 Aleatha Drive, Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Donald Barrere
Nova Southeastern University 1900 Pelican Landing Blvd, #1023, Clearwater, FL 33762

Tom Griffin
Nova Southeastern University 2900 NE 30th St. Unit 8G, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

Despite the benefits offered by the integration of customer relationship management (CRM) strategy with advanced technology, many companies still fail to see competitive advantage results promised by CRM. This case study provides a platform for student analysis and discussion in this area. This case study is presented in two parts. The first part describes the unsuccessful implementation of an integrated CRM system within a midsize financial firm based in the US; the second part provides an overview of CRM development in Russia of two telecommunication companies. Suggested questions for discussion are presented. Appendix A provides an overview of CRM that can be employed at the option of an instructor to transition between a specific curriculum and the case. Teaching notes (including example responses for each discussion question) are available by contacting the corresponding author. *

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International Business: Research, Teaching and Practice

2008 (2) 1

MASHKIN GROUP Mashkin Group Inc. (Mashkin), a wholly owned subsidiary of Amir Inc., a British financial conglomerate, is a medium-size, asset-management group based in the US. Mashkin consists of three primary divisions: a mutual fund company with $10 billion in assets; a separate, but closely affiliated asset management company with $15 billion in assets; and a financial services company. Since the early 1990s, these three enterprises have shared the same client database and other software programs. The first program utilized, an inexpensive, off-the-shelf system with limited capabilities, was used by the sales department of both the mutual fund company and the asset management company primarily to store names, telephone numbers, and notes of salespeople. A second program was used by the IT department to update the database as new clients arrived and record daily sales data. A third program was installed at all internal and external salespersons’ workstations and laptops to provide current data to the sales force. In addition, the Client Service Call Center used a separate designed-in-house program to track incoming call activity. The technology systems utilized by employees in Mashkin were designed to support general sales activities. None of the software was designed specifically for the needs of their financial divisions (either the mutual fund or the asset management side) and lacked the analytic functionality as well as the collaborative functionality to interface with other systems within Mashkin. This limited functionality of technology forced employees to spend an inordinate amount of time manually jumping between applications and creating new reports to import and export data between applications that could not be currently integrated. Significant effort was also expended in e-mail and other communications between users throughout the firm to collect information that was not recorded in the system. Working around the limitations of the technologies had been possible when the sales volume and number of clients was small, but with the expansion of the company the situation had become unacceptable. Management felt that it was time to implement a comprehensive CRM strategy with integrated technology specific to the needs of their financial divisions (both the mutual fund and the asset management sides). The three companies under the umbrella of Mashkin shared the same objectives for their new CRM approach: 1. To provide superior service to customers in addition to the benefit of the...
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