Customer relationship management

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Russian: Управление взаимоотношениями с клиентами

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a management philosophy according to which a company's goals can be best achieved through identification and satisfaction of the customers’ stated and unstated needs and wants [1]. While managing relationships it is important to remember about basic relationship types:

  • Transactions
  • Repeated transactions
  • Long-term relationships
  • Buyer-seller partnerships
  • Strategic alliances
  • Network organizations
  • Vertical integration

Today the abbreviation CRM is also used for enterprise-level software solutions that help to collect and maintain valuable data about customers such as personal info, history of purchases and so on. These data help to understand preferences of the customer and predict future demand. This software makes communications with customers more comfortable. All these activities help to create customer loyalty. However CRM is not just a technological solution[2]. While the Internet and other advanced technologies enabled companies to obtain vast amounts of customer data, the very same technologies also gave more power to consumers, who now demand much higher levels of service, a greater choice in product features and lower prices. Businesses need to know what data should be collected first and foremost, what is the best application of this information, and how to provide personal “mass customization” to individual customers. CRM and supply chain management (SCM) have different functions. On the one hand CRM help sales and marketing people to analyze customer behavior and brings value for the organization by using technological and human resources. On the other hand SCM offers to the organization several advantages in coordination of their raw material acquisition, production and logistic processes[3]. Therefore, these tools turn to work in opposite directions and are based on different sets of data. However, it is obvious that they are very interdependent, because when CRM helps to understand customers’ needs and predict demand, SCM must use this information in purchasing of raw materials in time and delivering final product to the customer as soon as possible.

Customer Relationship Management is associated with various software and conceptual solutions: Efficient Consumer Response (ECR), Electronic data interchange (EDI), Quick response (QR), Collaborative planning forecasting and replenishment (CPFR), etc.


  2. Nykamp M. (2001), The Customer Differential: The Complete Guide to Implementing CRM, AMACOM, 1601 Broadway, New York.
  3. Bibiano L.H., Alberto C. (2007), “Comparative analysis of CRM and SCM systems implementation approaches,” Proceedings of Europe and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (EMCIS2007), Polytechnic University of Valencia
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