Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 20 - Page 81

INDUSTRY WATCH CRM SOFTWARE REPRESENTS A NEW WAY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TO MANAGE ENGAGEMENTS WITH CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS. C onstruction is a complicated business – for companies to be successful, they must engage with a variety of stakeholders that includes building owners, government agents, engineers, architects, subcontractors, suppliers and residents. The digital revolution has made it possible for the communications, and processes these engagements entail, to be streamlined as never before. And yet, ‘digital’ has never been a defining aspect of the construction industry and the case for digital transformation is still perceived to be a challenge to the status quo. revolution and begin to lay the foundation for long term digital success. For many, the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution will serve as this platform as it affords a host of benefits that includes streamlining of processes by providing crucial information right when it is needed. Consider the volume of information a typical company has on its hundreds of clients and suppliers which is often disorganised. An intuitive CRM system can organise this data and make it easily retrievable, thereby increasing the efficiency of customer service and the quality of supplier relationships. Lost potential The construction sector is built on relationships, but unlike other verticals such as banking, hospitality and manufacturing wherein this also holds true, the segment has done little in the way of utilising technology to manage these relationships. Most often, awkwardly integrated systems are deployed which capture data from the many people who interact with the company and stored it in disparate silos. Therefore, instead of creating a unified view of information across the business, organisations are left with unstructured data that holds little value beyond its primary function, representing a tremendous lost opportunity. Back to the blueprints Construction companies must shed their reluctance to adapt to the digital This near-instant availability of relevant and up-to-date data can also provide accounting, marketing and business development teams with all the information they need to execute their operations in the most convenient and effective manner. Going a step further, most leading CRM systems such as the Salesforce platform feature modules designed and customised for the construction sector that specifically address key challenges. For example, inbuilt contract templates and document controls that can be leveraged to optimise the p roposal process. Selecting the right solution With no shortage of CRM vendors in the market, picking the right provider can be a daunting challenge. Convincing arguments can likely be made for most of INTELLIGENTCIO 81