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fears disintegrated.The fact that Turnbull had experience and faith in the software, and
was capable of carrying out the configuration and training processes himself, was a great
Among the lessons learned from the CRM implementation process was that it can be
highly advantageous to bring in temporary workers to handle the initial stages of
changeover.This protects sensitive staff from potentially difficult procedures, and helps to
keep them `on-side'.The success rate of the introduction of CRM software can be
improved when the systems are configured to be as comparable as possible with staff 's
prior IT experiences, for example relating the features of a package's dedicated word-
processor to those of a well-known program such as Microsoft Word.
Daily backup must be performed on the central database as part of a contingency plan
against potentially catastrophic losses and should become standard business practice when
dealing with business-critical information, however it is stored.
Case Study II The Carbon Trust (
The Carbon Trust is a government-funded, business-focused, not-for-profit organisa-
tion which occupies a position between government, business and the public sector. It
was set up to encourage and promote energy efficiency and low carbon energy supplies
in order to support the transition to a low carbon economy in the UK.The Trust pro-
vides support for businesses in reducing carbon emissions by supporting technological
innovation and encouraging more efficient working practices.
The primary impetus behind the Carbon Trust's decision to introduce a CRM system
was the pressing need to collate a variety of different databases into a single, reliable and
flexible resource. Part of the Trust's remit is `co-ordinating and brokering between devel-
oping technologies and funding partners', and a uniform resource was required to assist
in the management of those contacts.
It took little persuasion to convince the organisation's staff of the benefits and necessi-
ty of a CRM system; a directive from the Chief Executive secured its introduction and
all-round acceptance. Process analysis was conducted on the Trust's different LOB's, fol-
lowed by targeted tendering, and from this the shape of an appropriate CRM solution
began to emerge.
The Trust decided on a bespoke system that could integrate its Microsoft SQL Server
databases. Given the nature of the Trust's work and funding set-up, other standard CRM
functions such as report compilation and automation were not considered to be major
factors in the decision-making process. Compatibility with the existing databases, how-
ever, was of key importance.The existing data was scattered across a large number of
incompatible databases and had to be standardised in order to be centralised.This was by
far the most expensive and time-consuming element of the CRM venture, and the prob-
lem was intricate enough to merit the introduction of an external database expert to
oversee the changes. A powerful server was required to host the new database structure
efficiently. Fortunately, the Trust already used such a server, and this reduced costs associ-
ated with the hardware element of the CRM solution.
Foremost among the lessons learned from the Carbon Trust's introduction of CRM
technology is that it can be counterproductive to allow staff to set working practices and
Customer Relationship
This case study is based on a telephone interview with Graham Higley, formerly of the Carbon Trust
and now Head of Library and Information Systems at the Natural History Museum, London.
The interview was conducted on 15/10/2002.