Crm Value Chain Analysis

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The CRM Value Chain

Francis Buttle, PhD, FCIM
Professor of Management MGSM Macquarie University Sydney NSW 2109 Australia Tel: 02 9850 8987 Fax: 02 9850 9019 Email:

© Francis Buttle Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without permission


The meaning of those three letters, CRM, is hotly contested. For some, CRM is simply a bridge between marketing and IT: CRM is therefore an IT-enabled sales and service function. For others it’s little more than precisely targeted 1to-1 communications. But both of these views deny CRM its great potential contribution. Because CRM, at its most advanced, answers questions like ‘who should we serve?’ and ‘what should we serve to them?’ and ‘how should we serve
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The final group of strategically significant customers we call ‘cost magnets’. There are customers who absorb a disproportionately high volume of fixed cost, thus enabling other, smaller customers to become profitable. One oilseed processor, for example, has two major customers, a manufacturer of snack foods which buys oil in bulk and a retail multiple which buys consumer packs. Although they account for 60% of oil-seed processing time, they absorb 85% of fixed costs between them. Five steps to profitable relationships The five steps in the CRM value chain are customer portfolio analysis, customer intimacy, network development, value proposition development and managing the relationship. Although we don’t discuss them here, at each stage of the value chain there are concepts, tools and processes to help create and implement successful strategy. 3



Human resource management processes



Procurement processes


Very briefly, the CPA step analyses the customer base to identify customers to target with different value propositions. The second step involves the business in getting to know the selected customers as segments or individuals and building a customer data-base which is accessible to all those whose decisions or activities impact upon customer attitude and behaviour. Step three involves
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