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HEC Lausanne 2002 (submitted HICSS36)

From Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) André Lang University of Lausanne Daniel Paravicini Linkom SA Yves Pigneur University of Lausanne yves.pigneur@unil.ch Eric Revaz Pioneers Research & Consulting Group Sàrl

——————————————————— Abstract In today’s extremely competitive environment, companies are investigating new means of increasing profit by implementing so called Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRMs). But the needs to continually cut costs and focus on core competencies has led companies to focus on how to improve the supply chain and leverage their supply base. Many have shift from a vertical integration model to outsourcing some or all of their production [13] to gain the necessary competitive edge, but this inevitably creates new needs as coordination costs increases dramatically. In addition, the recent craze on e-catalogues, auctioning and e-rfp has heavily contributed to question the need for long-term buyer/seller relationship. The goal of this paper is therefore to investigate solutions companies could put in place to leverage their suppliers using, what is now called: Supplier Relationship Management Systems (SRMs). This will be achieved by illustrating the key functionalities such systems should offer. To avoid reinventing the wheel, we have based our work on the one performed in the CRM field starting from the assumption that both areas are investigating the same problem but in an opposite manner. As SRM is only an emerging concept with limited implementations and nearly no theoretical nor practical experience, this paper is not willing to demonstrate or prove anything, it is more a visionary essay of what could be a SRM system and how it could combine with a CRM to create key synergies..

——————————————————— 1. INTRODUCTION In today’s highly competitive environment finding competitive edge is a critical success factor not only to expand its business, but also to survive. Some companies tend to work on price, other on quality or service, but in the end they are all pursuing the same goal; increasing profit by acquiring, converting and retaining their most valuable asset: customers. To help them achieve their objective, IT solutions called – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – are currently spreading around the world. As we will see later on, they can be classified in different categories, but their goal is mainly to increase customer satisfaction with a better support and more targeted products and to reduce costs by linking marketing, sales, R&D and customer support services To go a step further in the creation of added values, some companies are also taking in account their customer’s customer expectations and try to offer services which can help them increase their end service or product delivery (Figure 1). Federal Express by allowing you to track the goods they are shipping is a good example. As a final customer, you can track your goods from your supplier’s web site or directly from FedEx, but in both cases, you benefit from a service that your supplier hasn’t developed. As confirmed by the Gartner Group [4], enterprises that depend on demand network partners for a substantial portion of their revenue have begun to recognize that proactive engagement and collaboration with partners is essential to enhance overall demand network capabilities, as well as end-customer value.

HEC Lausanne 2002 (submitted HICSS36)

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what could help or in the contrary inhibit the implementation of a SRM initiative in a company.

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2. Customer Relationship Management
CRM is not a product, not even a suite of products, but a business philosophy that touches upon many independent parts of the organization [3]. To speed customer acquisition, increase customer satisfaction and retention, and the company profit, it is necessary to develop a customer...
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