Whether you are a Product based company or a Service based company, or both like us, there are various factors to consider when it comes to the software you use. In one of my previous blog posts I debated the software Build vs. Buy scenario. Here I discussed your options to either work with a Product based software company where you just buy the software package outright, or a Service based software company who builds you a custom software system. Today I would like to put the shoe on the other foot and look at software options for YOU as a product and/or service organisation.
So let me just clear this up, in my opinion, there is no definite line between the two types of organisations. If you are product based it is more than likely that you will need some sort of customer service in place to manage and product issues. If you offer a service as your main business my bet is that some product is also involved. Therefore I conclude that there is not one ideal software system for a ‘product’ company and a different ideal software system for a ‘service’ company.
Now where does this leave us then? With the pressing need for a solution that is adaptable and accommodates both product and service aspects of an organisation. Microsoft Dynamics CRM does precisely this.
If you are a product-based company Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes a module where you can add Products, Price Lists, Sales Literature, Quotes, Orders, Invoices and even Competitor Products.
If you are a service-based organisation Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes the Service module which contains a Service Calendar for Scheduling Services, Cases, Contracts and Articles.
But the real beauty lies in the connectivity of all of these functions. Cases can be related to products which are related to a contact. An account has a contract that is related to a scheduled service which is connected to a price list. And then you have a list of numerous other functions such as Marketing Campaigns and Goals which can also be connected. This creates detailed profiles of accounts and contacts and overall an integrated, efficient business system.
* Image from http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/12/tool-lending-libraries-product-service-systems-work.php