Case Study #2: Core Enterprise Information Management (EIMS) Software
Trish Gomez Ahern
BUS 4200 Enterprise Information Management Systems
Professor: Rodney Heisterberg
January 25, 2017
Our world and business environments are changing at a rapid pace, and it is difficult to keep up with the fast-paced technological changes (Heisterberg & Verma, 2014). Businesses today have the challenge of managing and maintaining the integrity of critical data elements across all aspects of the enterprise. Organizations also struggle with managing data in an efficient, effective, and proactive way both internally and externally. This paper will examine the use and benefits of Core Enterprise Information Management (EIMS) Software.
Challenges and Opportunities
Today consumers are more aware, more mobile, and more demanding than ever (Khlif & Jallouli, 2014). Because capturing their interest is difficult, it is vital that companies refocus their priorities around customers and maintain effective and strong relationships with them. Furthermore, customer loyalty and company profitability rely on understanding the customer’s needs and providing valueadd services. Fostering strong customer relationships is a strategic, customer-centered approach positioned around improving and maintaining customer relationships to increase loyalty, customer retention and profitability. This approach increases success and gives organizations a better chance of surviving in a market with stiff competition.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
With the emergence of relationship marketing and the development and rapid growth of information technology (IT), customer relationship management (CRM) software seems to be an ideal solution for the survival and development of an organization (Khlif & Jallouli, 2014). The use of CRM data can be a competitive advantage, especially if the data is used for knowledge management to assist an organization in informed decision making. According to Khlif & Jallouli, the most important advantages gained by an organization as a result of using CRM are “identification of the most profitable customers, improvement of the efficiency and the effectiveness of the sales force, customization of products and services, improvement of the efficiency and the effectiveness of customer service, and price improvement.” The implementation of CRM generates profits by creating value for its customers and the centralization of information in a single database. This centralization increases the visibility and quality of information available to all stakeholders in an organization. Financial gains are expected with CRM with the value creation and increased revenues generated by higher sales productivity. Additionally, task automation allows for time saving and streamlining within an enterprise. Figure one demonstrates the success factors of CRM systems.
Figure 1: Conceptual model “Success factors of CRM systems”
CRM has become a crucial innovation and information system for any organization, but there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for enterprises. As Juan Martinez, Senior Editor at PC Magazine notes in this video about the best CRM systems for 2017, the number one priority for businesses today should be to anticipate and meet consumer demands (Marvin & McLaughlin 2016). So much data is continuously being created on and offline by consumers that it is nearly impossible for sales, marketing, and service representatives to keep track of it all. Fortunately, businesses can make more informed decisions by using CRM systems that can help businesses to collect, sort, and take action on data. According to Martinez, the best CRM tools offer document libraries, multicurrency support, and phone support for users. Figure 2 demonstrates the comparison of leading customer relationship management (CRM) software to help users choose the right one to optimize consumer interaction.
Figure 2: Comparison of leading CRM software solutions
Salesforce is the leader in on-demand CRM that offers abroad suite of applications for small, mid-market, and enterprises organizations focusing on sales and support. Figure 3 demonstrates the Salesforce user dashboard. According to Software Advice (2017):
The system offers a broad suite of CRM applications for small, mid-market and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support.
Salesforce offers vertical solutions for the wealth management and financial services segments only, but its partner network (AppExchange) offers a wide variety of other industry-specific solutions. The applications are built on the Force.com platform, a modern architecture that provides increased flexibility and scalability for organizations of any size.
The Salesforce app has capabilities that include, sales management (its heritage), marketing automation, partner relationship management and customer service. These help organizations manage customer accounts, track sales leads, conduct and monitor marketing campaigns and provide service post sale.
Salesforce’s social media application, Chatter, allows for social networking and collaboration across the organization. For very specialized industries and organizations, the Force.com platform enables custom application development. Developers can gain access to the application development environment and access the tools and resources they need to design, create and deploy a custom app for their organization.
Salesforce for Outlook allows users to synchronize contacts, calendars, emails and tasks in both places to reduce double entry. Because these capabilities are delivered via the cloud, this happens whether the email or task is completed in the office, home or during the morning commute.
CRM Salesforce solutions are available only for software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment. Force.com provides a complete technology stack that covers database and Because all applications are deployed in the “cloud,” they can be designed, built, tested and deployed without the added expense of purchasing hardware and IT support.
Salesforce for small business allows users to manage an unlimited number of contacts, track sales deals, manage tasks and events, harvest Web leads and track performance with reporting. The Salesforce enterprise edition layers in call scripts, team-selling functionality, business workflow, setup approval and automation, custom applications, advanced API integrations and more.
Figure 4: Salesforce Dashboard
Marketo is a marketing automation software that helps companies to generate leads, accelerate the journey towards becoming a customer, grow customer relationships, increase retention and greater revenue, program creation, and landing page creation (Marketo, 2017). Figure 5 demonstrates Marketo’s user dashboard. According to Software Advice (2017):
Marketo offers a web-based email marketing platform for companies of all sizes to form and preserve engaging customer relationships.
This marketing suite features integrated applications that deliver a range of capabilities including marketing automation, social marketing, lead nurturing, budget management, analytics, sales insight, and website personalization.
Marketo has a native integration with Salesforce.com and natively integrates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SugarCRM. This bi-directional communication allows sales reps to get a clear picture of the leads in their pipeline and prioritize based on prospect engagement.
With over 3,000 customers, and 250 partners, Marketo offers a community of marketers who share ideas, collaborate and directly influence product developments.
Marketo’s software can handle clients with a user base ranging from three users to more than a thousand users, but its price point makes it ideal for mid-market and enterprise organizations.
Figure 5: Marketo Dashboard
Base is the world’s first CRM software built for optimizing sales processes, from prospecting to closing, allowing salespeople to win more deals with less effort (Base, 2017). Figure 6 demonstrates Dash’s user dashboard. According to Software Advice (2017), Base is:
Designed to work seamlessly from mobile devices, Web-based Base CRM offers relevant customer relationship management (CRM) tools, allowing B2B and B2C sales professionals to break out of the office and work from anywhere with Internet connectivity. Base features a robust standalone sales automation module with options for integrated channel management and Web self-service capabilities.
Base does not require excessive data entry or input into irrelevant fields, but instead offers pertinent and forward-thinking features to increase productivity. All fields can be completely customized, and tasks are integrated automatically. Users can track sales and have full visibility into the sales pipeline with out-of-the-box sales reporting. In addition, sales calls can be made straight from the software’s mobile app, and the system will log the calls.
Sales team leaders can increase efficiency by managing regions and teams through Base. It allows users to establish and monitor quotas and goals for specific teams and reps, all via smartphone or other mobile devices.
It has native applications for iOs, Android and Windows phones. It can also integrate with MailChimp. Base CRM has a straightforward price structure and offers a free two-week trial. It is suitable for small to midsized companies across most industries needing access to their CRM away from their desk.
Figure 6: Base Dashboard
Comparison of Salesforce, Marketo, and Base
The right selection of CRM depends on the needs of an organization. Salesforce is the leader in cloud CRM with a very robust and user-friendly platform that is highly ranked and mid-level price. Salesforce focuses on sales and support. Marketo has the most robust system and the highest reviews, however it is a very expensive software and might not fit into an organization’s budget. Marketo, although having several functions, focuses on marketing solutions. Base is inexpensive and easy to navigate, but is limited to small to medium size businesses. Figure 7 shows the comparison of these three systems.
Figure 7: The comparison of Salesforce, Marketo, and Base
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
In today’s competitive environment, organizations need to be flexible and responsive to sudden and turbulent changes in the global market (Denic, Vujovic, Stevanovic, & Spasic 2016). It has become increasingly important for businesses to focus on Information Systems (IS) performance, and the implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems is an effective tool to maintain a competitive advantage. Juan Martinez, Senior Editor at PC Magazine notes in this video about the best ERP systems for 2017 that an ERP planning tool can tie every aspect of your organization’s data into one comprehensive dashboard. Because these tools offer integration across so many different departments, the implementation process can be quite complex. Figure 9 shows the comparisons of the top-rated ERP systems to help organizations find solution.
Figure 8: Web of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Offerings
Figure 9: Comparison of leading ERP software solutions
Deskera is a proven, comprehensive, integrated business platform designed to manage, track, and control your business processes. Figure 10 demonstrates Deskera’s user dashboard. According to Software Advice (2017):
Deskera ERP is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution available for deployment in the cloud or on-premise. Key features include purchase management, sales and billing management and customizable financial reports.
With Deskera ERP’s purchase management module, users create cash purchases, purchase orders, goods receipts and debit notes, and they can make payments. Its sales and billing management module handles the other side of operations and creates cash sales, sales orders, invoices and credit notes.
Deskera ERP also include a customer management portal, where users can add new customers, edit customer details, export customer lists and categorize customers. Similar databases are available for vendors and products.
Deskera ERP has accounting functionalities as well. Users can record financial transactions with customers, vendors and other companies. The system can also ensure compliance with standard accounting policies.
Deskera ERP is priced either per terminal or per user per month. Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS. Its on-premise deployment is compatible with Linux and Windows systems.
Figure 10: Deskera Dashboard
Intacct is a leader in cloud financial management software that provides real-time business visability, a streamlined quote-to-cash process, automated procure-to-pay anywhere, anytime. Figure 11 demonstrates the Intacct user dashboard. According to Software Advice (2017):
Intacct is a Web-based financial accounting software system with a broad set of functionality for small to midsized businesses. Founded in 1999 in San Jose, California, Intacct now serves over 30,000 users. The system is meant for a wide variety of industries as a horizontal accounting system.
Intacct can support applications for core accounting, time and expenses, revenue management, project accounting, order and billing, purchasing, global consolidations, multi-currency management and financial reporting.
Intacct is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and can be accessed on demand through a browser over the Internet. Oracle is the database for Intacct, while the applications and data are hosted in IBM e-business hosting centers. Disaster recovery functions are provided by Sungard.
Figure 11: Intacct Dashboard
WorkWise ERP software is specifically designed for today’s make-to-order, engineer to order, configure to order, build to stock and mixed mode manufacturers. The innovative software empowers users to make informed decisions on production processes and business activities by providing proactive, real-time information. This allows you to shorten cycle times and optimize manufacturing information, supply chain management and manufacturing execution and planning. Figure 12 demonstrates the WorkWise dashboard. According to Software Advice (2017):
Historically, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has been designed using a modular structure. WorkWise, however, after developing and implementing ERP and CRM solutions for over fifteen years, recognized the need for an approach that was focused on user roles rather than modules. With this goal in mind, WorkWise created WorkWise ERP, a flexible, on-premise ERP application that enables the assembly of screens and functions necessary to fit each user’s role and responsibilities.
WorkWise ERP has over forty-five applications that can be used to build hundreds of roles which companies can deploy either at the Group level (Customer Service, Scheduling, Accounts Payable, etc.) or at the individual User level. These unique functional templates, called Role-Based WorkBenches™, put everything that an individual user needs to increase productivity, decrease costs, and improve employee performance and customer service just a click away.
WorkWise ERP also includes other intuitive features that save time and increase efficiency, including the ability for users to drill-down to details with one click, save queries for later use, export query results directly to Excel, and set their own specific navigation and browser preferences. In addition, to protect confidential data, security can be set at the role and/or user level.
WorkWise also offers complete USA based Call Center support and implementation services using their exclusive Role-Based Implementation Methodology (RBIM), which includes a series of built-in management checkpoints to ensure that the project proceeds quickly and efficiently.
We think this program is an excellent fit for mid-sized discrete manufacturers looking to reduce costs and increase success by managing time, resources, and technology effectively.
Figure 12: WorkWise Dashboard
Comparison of Deskera, Intacct, and WorkWise
Deskera’s key features include purchase management, sales and billing management and customizable financial reports for small to midsized businesses. It is an affordable application with high, but few, user ratings. Intacct is a financial ERP with a broad set of functionality for small, midsized and enterprise level businesses. WorkWise is an affordable manufacturing-focused ERP that is affordable with higher, but few, user ratings and highly recommended for small to mid-sized businesses. Figure 13 demonstrates the comparison of the three ERP systems.
Figure 13: Comparison of Deskera, Intacct, and WorkWise
Supply Chain Management (SCM)
According to TechTarget (2017), supply chain management (SCM) is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Supply chain management involves coordinating and integrating these flows both within and among companies. It is said that the ultimate goal of any effective supply chain management system is to reduce inventory (with the assumption that products are available when needed). As a solution for successful supply chain management, sophisticated software systems with Web interfaces are competing with Web-based application service providers (ASP) who promise to provide part or all of the SCM service for companies who rent their service. Figure 14 demonstrates the SCM application market shares in 2015.
Figure 14: 2015 SCM Applications Market Shares
Fishbowl is an inventory solution for manufacturers, wholesale distributors, e-commerce companies, and many other types of businesses and organizations. Its manufacturing software and warehouse management software are scalable, so you can keep using them for many years instead of having to learn a new system every few years when you outgrow an old one. Figure 15 demonstrates Fishbowl’s user dashboard. According to Software Advice (2017):
Fishbowl is a business automation and inventory management platform for small to midsize companies. It integrates with QuickBooks accounting.
Fishbowl offers inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP) and job shop floor control/manufacturing execution, and can be customized to users’ needs. It is an inventory-centric system, with features for barcoding, asset management, raw materials management, cycle counting and customized reporting. The system also automates the quoting, ordering and purchasing processes.
Fishbowl is used in just about every industry by companies earning up to $100 million in annual revenue. It offers training and support resources through its training videos, online tutorials, in-house specialists and more. Fishbowl’s integration with QuickBooks allows users to integrate manufacturing, sales and distribution processes with back office accounting. Fishbowl also integrates with Amazon, UPS, SolidWorks, PayTrace, Xero and more.
For more than 10 years, Fishbowl has held Intuit’s Gold Partner status, the highest level of service third-party developers can achieve.
Figure 15: Fishbowl’s Dashboard
Rubberstamp is a simple purchase order solution that protects budgets against wasted spend, streamlines the purchasing process, and records discussions from request to pay. Figure 16 demonstrates Rubberstamp’s dashboard. According to Software Advice (2017):
Rubberstamp is a standalone, web-based Procurement system. It aims to help automate the entire procurement process for businesses in many different verticals, from pharmaceuticals to electronics to office supplies. It is compatible on many different platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android and iPhone/iPad. Users can access the system and work from anywhere, taking advantage of real-time updates.
Reports can be run and exported quickly, and are secure – Rubberstamp relies on the same security infrastructure as most banks do. Team members accessing the system are first prompted to set up budgets, and invite their colleagues to review them. Next, any purchase orders can be submitted. The team managers are then notified and can approve the PO. Lastly, everyone who has collaborated on that budget can review and export any necessary reports. Rubberstamp offers a free 14-day trial, and can be set up in minutes.
Figure 16: Rubberstamp’s Dashboard
Feightview allows users to select the carriers and brokers they already have direct relationships with. They connect users with carriers and brokers and retrieve direct rates. Figure 17 demonstrates Freightview’s Dashboard. According to Software Advice (2017):
Freightview is a standalone transportation management system designed for small to midsize businesses that ship less-than-truckload (LTL) freight and work with multiple carriers or brokers. Its customers include manufacturers and distributors who ship or receive as few as three to more than 100 shipments a week.
Freightview gathers all of its users’ negotiated LTL rates into one place, allowing them to compare options. Users can also schedule pickups, prepare bills of lading, print shipping labels and track shipments. Freightview’s visualization capabilities allow users to convert their shipping data into charts, graphs, reports and spreadsheet downloads. It also features a unified address book, which prevents users from ever having to enter addresses twice.
Freightview’s consolidated interface saves users time and resources, so they don’t have to create and remember login credentials for several different websites. In addition, it boasts an fast setup time.
A Web-based system used by thousands of shipping specialists, Freightview is compatible with Windows, Mac and mobile devices. It is priced as a monthly subscription, and is available for an unlimited number of users. For businesses who want more visibility and accessibility into their carrier and broker rates, Freightview is a useful option to evaluate. A 30-day trial is also offered to experience its functionality before you purchase.
Figure 17: Freightview’s Dashboard
Comparison of Fishbowl, Rubberstamp, and Freightview
Fishbowl is a business automation and inventory management platform for small to midsize companies. It is an affordable software with strong reviews and good recommendations. Rubberstamp is an affordable, simple purchase order solution with very high user ratings and very strong recommendations. Freightview is an affordable, standalone transportation management system with the high user ratings and comes very highly recommended. Figure 18 shows the comparison of the three SCM systems.
Figure 18: Comparison of Fishbowl, Rubberstamp, and Freightview
Lessons Learned/Business Case
Enterprise Information Management (EIM) has become a critical foundation that is essential to meet the business challenges of today (Jennings, 2007). The use of EIM initiatives allows organizations to manage and maintain the integrity of critical data elements across all aspects of the enterprise. Implementing EIM systems allows organizations to address the challenges of data management and provide more efficient, effective, and proactive solutions both internally and externally. Some of the top benefits of implementing EIM systems include data quality, information management, process efficiency, security, and organizational agility. Figure 19 demonstrates the EIM Component Framework Dependencies.
Figure 19: EIM Component Framework Dependencies
Why I Care
Having worked in tech and now being part of a brand-new company, I have seen first hands what these systems accomplish on both a large scale and granular level. I have experienced systems similar to these both internally and as a customer user. With the amount of data, elements to an organization, and extreme competition in today’s business environment, it is imperative that organizations of all sizes stay current and agile, and a large element of this is using enterprise information management systems.
Internally, cloud-based systems allow for flexibility and agility amongst employees. There was a time that no one used computers, to a time of very limited access to computers, to a time of the restriction of desktops in the past. With the Internet, we can connect to anyone from anywhere. And with cloud-based systems, we’re not even restricted a laptop any longer.
Externally, cloud-based systems allow users the same freedom where they are no longer restricted to using downloaded software on a desktop, and paying for individual licenses. User too can now access their systems from anywhere, on almost any device.
The detailed knowledge in this case study will come be particularly useful for our team project as events require many different applications in an ecosystem. Part of making sure that it is the right application is ensuring that it is compatible with the systems that your partners are using to ensure effective communication and collaboration.
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