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CRM has been more or less been replaced by ‘customer-centricity’ capabilities that are in BPM.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) 2010-2020 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. Number of accessing countries 2010-2020/2/15 : 154
This entry was posted in Business Process Management, Case Management, Customer Centricity, Enterprise Content Management, Process auditing. Bookmark the permalink.

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