Saying goodbye to CRM

CRM has been more or less been replaced by ‘customer-centricity’ capabilities that are in BPM.

The problem with CRM was lack of the ability to handle other than primitive workflows. CRM needed BPM but since BPM did not need CRM, I suspect this is why BPM “won”.

The essence of BPM is steps linked via directional arcs, with a few attributes that include . .

  • WHAT as an instructional attachment to a step, at times with an explanation (WHY)
  • WHO (being  a skill category, not a person)

This leaves WHERE and WHEN and these usually are run-time-acquired attributes of steps, but not always (i.e. if a particular step requires a fixed piece of equipment, then the work has to go to the equipment, not the other way around).

As for WHEN, in a hospital, for example,  we clearly cannot have “breakfast medications” being administered at lunch.

Other than explicit steps that involve a customer (inbound contact, reach out contact), it’s not easy to anticipate when you might have to contact a customer or when a customer might want to contact you.

Accordingly, the easy way out is to make things such that your run time environment can handle a customer experience at ANY step.

Now, if your Case management system deals with instances that generate deliverables that go to different customers, then you need a separate “customer” entity to consolidate a copy of all contact with a customer across deliverables (eliminating the need for a CRM).

At the end of the day we have planned customer experiences and we have 2-way (in/out) ad hoc customer experiences with the need for  an audit trail at the deliverable you are making for the customer and a copy of every customer intervention across deliverables in a customer entity.

It’s difficult to launch queries across different datasets therefore a Knowledge Base that consolidates deliverables data as well as customer experience data is useful to allow you to do free-form searches across entities.

Multi-entity record management systems plus a consolidating KBase gives you the best of all combinations.


Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, major crimes case management, healthcare services delivery, and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2019 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
This entry was posted in Business Process Management, Case Management, Customer Centricity, Enterprise Content Management, Process auditing. Bookmark the permalink.

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