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CRM Advice: Which one?

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I'm hoping one of you good, database wizard sf'ers will be able to help me.

 

I am currently looking at implementing a CRM system into a business that currently has nothing in place at the moment. I understand you need a great deal of detail in order to draft an effective solution, but I won't bore on. The brief is:

 

- The business does have a lot of activity in terms of buying in / selling materials on a daily basis. There doesn't need to be a stocking system, but ideally something that can manage basic expenditure and income.

 

- The system should be able to export and print delivery tickets, either as word documents or pdf's.

 

- Have basic customer information: name, address, shipping address, contact names, email, order history, quotes etc.

 

 

I appreciate this might not be sufficient enough info to recommend a definite solution, but even some info for a complete (out of his depth) noob to get started or system recommendations would be great. :)

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Hi Tom,

 

As you can probably guess, one CRM is not the same as the other. The world market leader is SAP but that is generally reserved for the obscenely rich companies that like paying for consultants.

 

There are a lot of different options out there for SMEs (I am assuming you are enquiring for a smaller business) and in the UK Sage is (or was, it has been a while since I was involved with this market) the market-leader. This of course is no guarantee, but it has the advantage that they have a well developed support system and offer courses for people new to the software throughout the country.

 

These days most crm software is hosted as a service (SaaS) meaning you don't have to worry about setting up an expensive internal network and it is paid for on a monthly or yearly subscription basis, meaning you don't have to worry about updates and the like. Big advantages compared to the misery it used to be!

 

There are some free alternatives that you can host yourself on LAMPP servers, but it takes a solid network administrator to set these up and can actually result in higher cost due to down-time and the cost of hardware as well as the need to customize the software to suit your needs.

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Hi tzijlstra

 

Thank you for the response.

 

Yes it is for an SME, so something very much down the open source or cheap subscription based service would be ideal.

 

I've had a good look at SUGAR, which I have used before and could quite do the job.

 

The crux is that we can store customer info, create quotes, convert to orders, create a delivery note from the order, and keep all that info safe.

 

If anyone knows of/uses something like that i'd love to take a look at it because there are a lot of crm tools out there.

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Salesforce is a very good cloud based CRM solution. Especially for SME's.

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The crux is that we can store customer info, create quotes, convert to orders, create a delivery note from the order, and keep all that info safe.

 

.

 

If it's only one or two users and you don't need stock control, sage instant accounts (instant account plus for two users) will do all that plus send invoices by PDF and do your vat. On top of that it's something most accountants use so you might save a few quid there. Cost about £99+vat. You don't need to get direct from sage either (far too keen trying to sell a support package) - pc world do it.

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