I just posted an article that works through the numbers of comparing the productivity improvement using the CorasWorks Work Management system vs. a CRM system. The impact is a 30x increase in productivity at the task level. It adds up – big time.
You would think that you could achieve productivity improvements and better business results by leveraging a CRM system. At a base level, like reporting productivity, perhaps. But, in general, business users are challenged to get real work productivity improvement. The reason is that there is a fundamental difference in design between a Work Management system like CorasWorks vs. a CRM system. In this article, I’ll discuss the difference.
Most CRM systems are designed as a database system. They are organized by content. You have Accounts, Opportunities, Contacts, Products, etc. Items are related in parent/child constructs. If you read my article you see that with CorasWorks it is easy to automate work tasks. Technically, you may be able to do this in a CRM but at a much higher cost. But the killer difference, is that it just doesn’t work for users. In reality your CRM is a system of record. Fundamentally, the user experience of CRM systems is not designed to support a variety of business activities in different business contexts. Yet, this is really the work of business users. They are always working in a context. They really don’t wake up in the morning thinking about having to update a database, they think in terms of the work they need to get done.
The Difference of Business Context Design
Let’s take a Federal Government Contractor. The work that is done consists of things like this:
- IDIQ Program Management
- Task Order Management
- Gate Reviews
- Capture and Proposal Management
- Contract/Program Management
- Contract Administration
- Partner Surveys and Expressions of Interest
- Partner Subcontract Statement of Work and Agreements
With CorasWorks, each of these are applications (or think of them as discreet processes or activities). Each is self-contained, providing the user with an optimized user experience. Each is configurable. Each automates the work that the business users do in that particular context. And, all of them are actually part of a single integrated work environment running within a SharePoint context. Thus, while each has its own business context they are natively integrated.
Now, think CRM. How would you overlay the work of these 8 very different activities on top of your CRM? What is the user interface that puts them in the right business context? How would a user use the system? How would they know what to do?
In most cases the answer is something like – when you need to Log a Bid Decision go to this place, change these fields, update this, send these emails, etc. It is a document requiring training. it relies on the user to get it right or else bad things happen.
You could individually try and add bells and whistles to your CRM to automate some portion of the 200 or so user tasks across the 8 processes above. But, where is the business context. How do I, the business user, know what context I am in and have the information I need along with the work automation to get it done.
With the unique flexibility of CorasWorks it is easy to spin up applications that automate work for a specific purpose. Thus, you end up with the ability to make the users very productive because they have all of the information and automation at their fingertips to get done what they need to get done.
The key difference is that CorasWorks allows you to automate the work in the business context. It makes a big difference in the results that you achieve.
Overlaying Work Management on CRM
But you say… “my CRM is my system of record. I need it updated”. That may be correct. So, the optimal approach works like this. You use CorasWorks to serve as the front-end to your CRM (or any other system like ERP or HR system). CorasWorks has a framework that let’s us connect with just about any external system and do reading and writing on behalf of the user. Thus, you organize the business user work by “application” in CorasWorks and automate it such that as they do the work the information is updated in your CRM or other system.
The result is that you get the work results you need via CorasWorks and maintain the data integrity you want from your CRM or other system.