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Asset Management CRM

   Words by CRM Consultancy

   on 17/11/2015 16:52:12

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At its heart Dynamics CRM is an endlessly customisable platform, and this freedom allows Partners such as ourselves to take the existing Service Module of CRM and build towards a true Asset Management System for tracking complex assets and managing Case Handler Diaries.

Service Management within CRM allows for the creation of Process flows, Business Rules and Workflows to tailor the solution to a particular Business – however this struggles to accommodate a scenario where this logic needs to vary massively by the Client or Asset Type involved.

Business Requirements

In this way, we were commissioned to build Dynamics CRM into a Solution for Asset Managers that would help solve the following business requirements:

  • Allow Cases to be assigned to multiple Case Handlers to build the Internal Team responsible for managing that Asset  - Case Handler for Pricing + Case Handler for Sales + Case Handler for Service Management.
  • Support Client-specific Workflow that would generate different Prompts, Alerts and Tasks to each Case Handler depending on the Client and Type of Asset being managed.
  • Extended Activity Home within CRM that would help each Case Handler manage their Diary for the day
  • Track the network of 3rd Party Providers and Related Parties involved with the Asset
  • Model the different Management Stages that each Asset, to divide Related Parties, Activities and Expenditure between each Stage.
  • Provide detailed reporting on the time and cost incurred in managing the asset at each stage

How we did it?

To look at how we should manage an Asset, we needed to look at what defines an Asset for an Asset Manager:

  • The Asset is passed over to us from the Client with a specific Instruction over what Activities or Outcomes the Client wants to see from their Asset.
  • The Asset Manager must then plot the course of how they will manage the Asset to achieve these Outcomes.
  • This essentially boils down to plotting the Requirements that we know (from our experience of Asset Management) are required to best achieve each Outcome
  • Alongside the core Requirements that are instructed to us by the Client, both in terms of compliance requirements and core actions that the Client expects to see.
  • Each Requirement can then be translated into an Action or Process of Actions required to fulfil the demand

In this way of build the architecture for our Asset Management CRM, we could define the asset instructed to us as a series of requirements – and then map this into the Service side of CRM in the form of a Case underpinned by a series of Case Requirements.

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Each Case Requirement then defining a Required Action for the Case, whether this be a Compliance Email, Task for the Case Handler, Required 3rd Party or SLA.

These actions derived from the Case Requirements then building the Diary for the Case Handlers involved with the Case for the Asset – allowing a dynamic timetable for each Case depending on the type and status of the asset alongside the client involved with that asset.h

Ownership of a Requirement

With each requirement being tracked by CRM, we can define which member of the internal team for that Case should ‘own’ the requirement – so that the resulting Activity or SLA is assigned to the right Case Handler to build their diary for that Case.

In this we define which Case Handler should own each Requirement and build their diaries accordingly.

What’s in a Client Plan

To solve the problem of client-specific workflow, we can allow the definition of rules or trigger points within CRM to be built into a ‘book’ of rules for that client or asset type.

These rules can then be defined as Client Case Requirements, defining the Case Requirements that should be added to a Case for that Client.

This produces a matrix of rules associated between the Client and the Type of Asset.

Rules for Client + Rules for Asset Type = Requirements for Case >> Actions for Case Handler by Role

From this, Client Plans are our key entity that drives the internal logic and calculations behind the Asset Management Solution, allowing the system to fire different activities to the Case Handlers depending on the Client for that Case.

So when the Case is first recorded, the system determines which Client Plan should be used based on the Client and then consults this Client Plan at each step during the Case Lifecycle (or individual Services within the Case) as way of determining what Emails, Prompts or Work Instructions are required for that Client at that step of managing the Case.

Conditional Rules

Managing complex assets can be unpredictable and certain requirements may be applicable for a Case depending on various factors.

To cater for this, some of the Client Case Requirements we define may need to be conditional on a particular Field or Flag within the Case – so our logic needs to be able to look at these conditions and optionally add a particular requirement to a Case.

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