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Customisation and Configuration: Use it, don't lose it

Modern CRM Systems provide a range of functionality to help you build your business processes in the system for your teams - from tailoring the core database, workflow, forms, views, goals, metrics, role-based security, field-based security, business units and much more besides; and after all that, you still have the option of adding development over the top.

The trick is understanding that each of the above is an option, and the when/how to use that option to get you where you need to be.

The first part of that comes with knowing the full range of options available to you, and after all, if you have invested in Dynamics CRM then you already have a wealth of options to choose from - we can help here as we pretty much know everything there is to know about Dynamics, and have the experience in translating your requirements to the best option available.

After all, if you don't look at the available options, you've not benefiting from the things you already have.

Development - Where it's needed and getting it right!

The very best CRM Systems know that there is no functionality that might be exactly right for your business, and offer the ability for skilled developers to add extra logic or tools to the core product.

Development comes with its own risks but we often find two things when looking at custom development:

Over-Design
The CRM Solution that has built everything imaginable via CRM Workflow to avoid the dreaded custom development - and nothing quite works as Workflow is not quite aimed at replacing custom business logic.
Over-Development
The CRM Solution that looks like it might have forgotten the core tools available, and opted to develop everything in sight.

Neither approach is better or worse, but the key is to understand where development is useful and how it supports the business.

Do you need it, and if you do, make sure it is done in the right way to be supportable, maintainable and above all, the right fit for the business.

Reporting - Free your Data

Often Reports get left to the end of a project as a nice-to-have once the project is in - which we think is a crucial mistake. Reporting is often crucial to your business, and key to giving your users 'something back' after learning a new system or new set of processes.

To the teams using CRM, these reports can often be the call to action for launching business processes, not a nice-to-have at the end. As such we prioritise reporting to be front and centre of CRM, to try and summarise and condense the large volume of information within your business to a meaningful outlook.

Dashboards

Every CRM Solution needs a home, the starting point that your team will hit each day as part of doing business.

In more traditional systems, this can simply be a list of today's Opportunities, or today's Support Cases, this gives your teams their to-do list however does not give them any deeper knowledge on thinking more strategically about the direction of the business.

Dashboards form a better way of giving your team a launch-pad into the business - mixing lists of pending actions alongside reporting and forecasting, this empowers your team to help manage their own performance management with real-time information from the business.

Most Recent CRM Consultancy Projects

  1. We have extensive experience of integrating Document Management between Dynamics and SharePoint – however we recently worked with a client that wanted to store Images in SharePoint alongside Documents, and so we looked at using Picture Libraries integrated into CRM. Our Document Management App typically allows us to create and access SharePoint Document Libraries from records within Dynamics. .... More

    SharePoint Image Galleries in CRM

    James Binnie | 06/06/2017 10:00:00

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  2. When we think of reports we can sometimes think of big static spreadsheets of month-end data, and whilst these have their place, this kind of reporting can leave companies exposed to regular fixed reports that prevent drill-down or deeper analysis of the data. Often we see the requirement to provide clients with a more deeper look that empowers decision.... More

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  3. Whilst we live in an increasingly connected world using Portals, Email and Social Media to connect with our customers, sometimes nothing betters a well printed and formatted Letter or Report – particularly for communicating Client Updates or Contractual Information. This can be a problem for Dynamics CRM as the in-application Mailmerge Tools can be limiting, particularly for.... More

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  4. If you have worked with Dynamics CRM over time, then you will remember just how big an improvement CRM 2011 was over CRM 4 – bringing Dashboards, a new (back then!) and improved Office 2010 Interface, Field Level Security and the concept of Solutions amongst others. (In fact, back in 2010, I wrote a series of excitable blog.... More

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  5. 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.... More

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    CRM Consultancy | 17/11/2015 16:52:12

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  6. The Service Module of Dynamics CRM provides a strong customisable platform for Case Management and Service Ticketing - particularly when combining the powerful functionality for Activity Tracking through CRM and Outlook. However adding a front-facing Customer Portal provides the ability for the Customer to review their Case, the history of activities, and interact with the Agent online..... More

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