What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is
the business strategy, process, culture and technology to enable
organizations to optimize revenue and increase shareholder value through
better understanding the needs of customers.
What is ADAPT?
ADAPT is a single (non-modular) CRM system that provides Sales, Marketing,
Service, and Accounting features designed to help organizations
better understand the needs of their customers; it is the
"technology" component of CRM as described above.
ADAPT is named for its flexible architecture,
and is the only product to offer virtually unlimited user-defined and proprietary customization services, as well as real-time links to
many industry standard accounting/ERP software products
In order to understand ADAPT, it is necessary to understand the CRM market and the trends toward integration of customer management
("front-office") and accounting ("back-office") software
The Need for "Front-to-Back Office" Integration
Virtually all businesses use some type of "back office" software to manage accounting, manufacturing and/or distribution. Essentially, back office software manages money and products. However, the most important asset of any business is its customers, and the businesses which are most successful against their competition are the ones that have the best customer management, including marketing, sales, service and collections.
This need for effective customer management has made customer relationship management (CRM) software, also known as "front office" software, the fastest growing segment of the business software market. The CRM market is currently a $4 billion per year market that is projected to grow to $11 billion by 2002 (AMR research, December 1999). CRM will soon overtake ERP ("Enterprise Resource Planning" or "back office" software) as the largest segment of the business software market and the leading business-to-business application to be deployed on the Internet.
The CRM and related business-to-business e-commerce markets are the fastest growing areas of business software. ADAPT is uniquely positioned to capture a significant niche of this market and potentially become a dominant player in the lucrative CRM market. Furthermore, ADAPT Software has developed proprietary technology that enables us to link our product to third-party accounting software. This technology is well protected from competition and represents the future of the CRM market.
Fulfilling the Need
ADAPT is a customer relationship management (CRM) software product targeted at mid-size companies that cannot afford the price and long implementation times of traditional CRM products. The mid-size market (defined as companies with annual sales of under $250 million) represents the largest and fastest growing segment of the business software market. Although there are many CRM products on the market, few are well positioned for this market segment.
Although ADAPT has many features that make it competitive in the CRM market, what truly makes ADAPT unique is its real-time interfaces with many popular accounting/ERP programs. ADAPT is the only CRM on the market that lets the front office and back office of the company share the same data. The problem is that ERP programs already perform a variety of customer management functions, such as order entry, shipping and invoicing. Any CRM product that does not let you create sale orders in your accounting system, view shipments, track invoices for collection or inspect other customer-related information fails at its goal of tracking customer information in one place. The result is that companies that use other CRM products must constantly switch between two programs to manage customers. Too often the CRM program is not used and the company loses the benefits of keeping its employees customer-focused.
Consider the following problems with traditional CRM software:
A "Real-Time" Solution
- Most CRM products are purchased by sales departments to track leads, relationships, notes and appointments. What happens is a salesperson diligently keeps all of his notes about a prospect in the CRM, and then cannot use the CRM to take an order? The salesperson also cannot inspect real-time inventory information or prices.
- Many CRM products are purchased for customer service. However, how can you provide service to a customer if you cannot check the status of a shipment, create an RMA (returned merchandise authorization) that does not have to be re-entered into the accounting system, check inventory availability or create service orders?
- An essential part of customer management is collections. Yet, how can you manage collection calls in your CRM if you cannot see open invoices in the accounting system?
- Every CRM has its own database of contacts, and every accounting program has its own database of customers. Therefore, every customer will have a record in both programs. What happens when you need to change a customer phone number or create a new customer? If you update only one database, the other will become out of sync.
ADAPT is the only product to solve all of the above problems. ADAPT currently integrates with numerous "best-of-breed" accounting/ERP products. Because ADAPT was initially designed to provide real-time back-office integration, new accounting interfaces can be developed in 90 days or less.
Most industry analysts predict that the survivors of both the ERP and CRM markets will be the software companies that offer this type of integration. There already is a trend for ERP companies to acquire CRM companies in order to provide this integration. Despite the efforts of the competition, ADAPT remains the clear leader in "front-to-back office" integration.