CRM Integration

      One of the most common questions we are asked is related to integrating your CRM products with other important systems or databases.  Some clients want to see order history in their CRM system.  In the case of GoldMine, they want a history record created with the order information and line items.  In other cases, clients want to simply see a summary of accounting information such as AR Balance, Year-To-Date Sales, Prior Year Sales, Credit Limit, etc.  In these cases we are able to setup a daily import from the accounting system to the CRM system.

     Over the years Beachwood Systems Consulting, Inc. has become very adept in integrating systems.  Our vast expertise affords us the ability to tackle these challenges quickly and efficiently for our clients.  In some cases the solution requires custom software to be developed.  In other cases add-on software is the answer.

1.)  Information Organization - When considering integration, your first decision is to determine what information needs to be shared.  You should prepare some documentation on what information you have available, what groups of people need access to different information, as well as where and how the information is currently stored.   The ability to map out the different information silos along with your human resources enables you to identify what information each group or role should have access to.

2.)  Delivery - Once you have the information you want to share determined and the resources that need to access it, you need to determine delivery.   When it comes to delivery you need to determine whether you want real-time access or if a batch update is sufficient.  In a batch update mode, the information is exported from one system and imported into another periodically.  This might be order history being exported nightly from the accounting system and imported into your CRM system.  The only problem this method presents is that you are unable to see any new activity since the last update – so, any orders entered today would not be in the CRM system until tomorrow.  The Real-Time access model affords you the ability to display pertinent data alongside or within one system when it is actually from another.  Using order history as an example, you could view the line items or invoice header in a separate window in or beside your CRM application.

3.)  Presentation – Now we determine the best format to present the data in.  Your delivery method above will directly impact what formats you have available.  In a batch mode, you can use custom fields to store information or a report can be accessible from within the CRM system.  If you choose real-time access, you can take advantage of GoldMine’s new GM+View tab or Microsoft CRM’s ability to add custom code.  There is also an option to have the system email you when important events occur in your systems.  For example, you want the sales rep listed for an account in the CRM system to be emailed every time an order is shipped.

     Most clients are surprised at how well their systems can be integrated.  In many cases, the cost involved in integrating systems is minimal.  In some cases, where custom code or other challenges are present, the cost is higher.  If you have integration questions, contact Scott Clark at (216) 823-1800 x 142 or clark@beachsys.com.

                                                                     

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