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Discussing The Issues Confronted In Business

Most top management executive today are confronted with challenge of creating better means of doing business by doing this, the clients have becomes the immediate focused. Actually, most company today, opine a company's success be dependent effectively on taking care of marriage with customers. In attaining this companies have used distinct digital business application that would generally suit its objective and objective, E-business O'Brien state is the use of the internet and other network request, to process data of customers and business partner within a fresh worked business (O'Brien, 2005). Customer relationship management software has becomes an integral element within e-business system which most organisation have already implemented.

The Customer marriage management program has been produced by most software companies like oracle, Sales team, SAP and Seibel. The focused of this paper though is greatly on CRM request called SAPCO developed by SAP and how a UK top home improvement companies, B&Q has been able to use it to build up that relationship with customers.


The examination is this paper will show amongst other thing, how this application has accounted in lots of ways for the success and grow of customers devotion of B&Q through the years, it will go through the business challenge from the use of the machine within B&Q and by extension, the use of similar Customer marriage management systems aids by SAP in other company and importantly too, inspecting the moral issues associated with technology.


A whole lot of recent articles and words books played a significant role in this work. Internet options too, can't be underestimated alongside commentary, by using interview conducted with some with some B&Q personnel who were there when the system was released and other who've been using the system for years now.


Customer romance management technology can up in the mid twentieth century as a result of the most management executive identifying the need to improved marriage with customer and in that way improve business efficiency. The overall maxim that 'the customers are always right ' seemed to have a more descriptive place as companies were now committed on doing whatever it takes to deliver the offer made (Nguyen et al 2007). This is where technology comes into pay to make this needs business value. That is also where to business exec brainstorming on aborting the best software that would enhance better control over their procedure. Customer relationship management software help organisation examine customer's devotion and profitability on procedures such as do it again purchase, dollars put in and longevity (Popovice et al 2003)

It is important to note that Customer romantic relationship management is similar to other E-commerce software, a combination of individuals, process and technology that seek to understand a company's customers ". (Chen et al 2003) SAP happens to be one of the leading distributors for enterprise tool planning system, ERP. ERP systems are program that enable companies to have more actual control over their operation. An average CRM program will encompass the entire factor in the diagram in physique 1 below

Sale Market and fulfillment

-Cross sell



Service and support

Contact and Account


Fax e-mail

Telephone web

Prospect or customer


(O'Brien, 2005)

The diagram in figure 1 above show clearly that indeed, the customer is the focus and all other aspect revolved around it, targeted at marking the client happy and by extension the business attaining do it again visit through customer loyalty.

Now, in this SAP' major power in this application, includes the comprehensive capacity for the software's efficient these and many other reason may have made that reason why a large organisation like B&Q picked sap to provide application.

2. 1 Books REVIEW


As the power of the seller shifts to the buyer (Watson, 2002) organizations are realizing that contending with cheaper, better or different products is not sufficient, and competitive gain cannot be attained by strictly differentiating products together, but through improved customer relationships. At exactly the same time, customers are experiencing low switching costs and may easily redirect their commitment from one company to some other (Holcom, 2001). Their expectations have also risen lately, making Customer relationship management a necessity in the current customer-driven business environment (S. L. Skillet, J. N. Lee, 2003).

Previous research shows which it costs more to entice new customers than retain customers because of advertising and marketing costs. This means that, rather than differentiating products, organizations should differentiate customers (M. Nykamp, 2001) plus they should transfer their emphasis on market show to customer talk about (M. Rogers, 1993).

Research in addition has indicated that organizations should never only retain their customers but also grow the useful lifespan of customers with the business ( Zeithaml, 2002 ) by means of IT. Through such technologies, one-to-one relationships (D. Peppers and M. Roger, 1993). Value creation (Barnes, 2001) customer value evaluation, product and website customization are possible on a scale that had not been possible in the past (M. Nykamp, 2001). According to the 80/20 rule, 20% of customers provide organizations with 80% of sales (Ryals and Knox, 2001). This further stresses the need for organizations to retain and take part in long-term interactions with profitable customers to increase gains (J. Galbreath, 1998).


SAPCO means in B&Q that stands from SAP Custer placing your order system. it is a system being utilized by B&Q to process customers' requests, monitor customer deal and improve better customer relationship. B&Q China, part of Kingfisher Group plc, is one of the very best three global decor and building materials teams. The group employs the equivalent of more than 10, 000 full-time personnel, serving a industry value around $40 billion. Just like all customer marriage system, SAPCO enable B&Q to answer question around: what product or service are customer? How should we communicate with our customers? What are my customers 'favourite colours or what is my customer's size? (Popovvich, 2003). With SAPCO these question would be replied within minutes from customers' exchange histories and operations.

Businesses and people focusing on refurbishment tasks are leading sales opportunities for the Adornment Centers service at B&Q China. However, the workflow made to trail these opportunities relied on paper-based records of project requirements, position, sales and value, and staff placed diaries to make follow-up telephone calls. Total deal sales data was collected and collated physically, a process that took calendar months, before central departments could analyze the results of marketing promotions (http://www-01. ibm. com). Before B&Q unveiled SAPCO, requests where made via paper and ink. And when I interviewed B&Q staff they verified that it was and herculean process. Fault and long queues were that order of your day the employees found it very difficult with the strain associated with manual way of taking order from customers. The introduction of SAPCO has made all this problem background, customer is now able to go any of B &Q store to the UK and have their requests complete within a few minutes.


A potential customer who would like to buy goods from any B&Q stores over the UK come into the shop and talk with a person adviser who will help the customer to consider what hi want and help the customer to process the order in the system. before the can be carried out the customer must have a customer name and security password unique to the individual alone this what the workplace will us in logging in to the SAPCO application. in the case of the first time customer the customer adviser with question the customer to provide some personal details like name in full, house address, postcode, contact number these information will be keyed in to the system after that, the item quantity or the barcode number is keyed into the system and an order places. SAPCO will run through the machine and identify where in fact the item is, if it's in stock or needs to be purchased from beyond your store of course, if which means this process commences immediately. At this point again, the client is asked about the number of goods to be purchased which is came into in to the system. A quotation is also prepared by SAPCO if required by customer.

Once the order has been done successfully, the order is examined by both the B&Q personnel and the customer to make certain the order is correct. The area of delivery of that is then proved from the client. The charges of delivery are automatically determined by SAPCO. Then following the customer is given a sales advice notice which he will take to the checkout stand to make repayment. If the item is not waiting for you, SAPCO automatically orders that and also expresses the night out of delivery. This most times takes between 4-6 weeks (www. diy. com). It also uses the sales confirmation to regulate its budget effectively. This is done by client's payment for items in B&Q can automatically and payments to materials are contained in the central cashflow furcating reports produced by the SAPCO financial software.

Again, if the customer had done business with B&Q before then and desires information about his preceding order or make a fresh one the personnel need just require the postcode and customer number which would be utilized in locating the transaction record of the client. Queries if any are noticed and sorted. Another perspective to the system is after the order has been found, the B&Q staff must go back to the system, go through the item over the individual's name. He then would go to the collection section and confirms and he images two copies of the collection take note of. A backup of the collection take note of is kept by B&Q and the other unsigned is given to the client. This affirms to both B&Q and the customer that item has been picked and deal completed.

One of the main element great things about SAPCO is that it web links up all the departments in B&Q so a person can walk to any sales advisor and ask about an order. The required information is taken off the customer at the nearest computer system available and the order is immediately viewed.


It has greatly improved upon the buying system in B&Q. The ordering of products is performed faster thereby enhancing business. It has also empowered B&Q to evaluate its customer's commitment better through the awareness of the history of customer transfer. It also manages customers' documents better as it is totally integrated in the company's business system. Prior to the use of SAPCO customer details were presented on paper records, with key task milestones used as the causes to remind customers to return to the stores. It had been difficult to share information between different departments, such as keeping a record of product recommendations and noting task status, and potential opportunities aren't always pursued. Angela Dong, Senior Job Manager, comments, "A person usually spends some time consulting with B&Q staff, and may visit other shops to compare prices or consider alternatives. With customer information organised on paper, it was all too easy to skip the follow-up sales possibility to invite them to choose B&Q.

Through this technique and via the internet, customers have a day usage of their profile. This enables them easily determine their profile anytime. It has also helped lower cost for the company. The most common logistics of making orders physically has been greatly reduced. Delivery of items and tracking of goods has better greatly improved. This technique works in a way that staffs handling delivery immediately see an order has been made and payed for; hence they know that there surely is another order ready to be provided. With all customer and task data captured electronically, B&Q can identify the right time to check out up with customers and take full advantage of sales opportunities. B&Q central management is able to adjust marketing campaigns in response to actual sales made, respond to demand for specific products, and screen payments and cashflow. The result is the fact that B&Q can tailor its business more tightly to the needs of customers, creating a genuine competitive advantage. In addition, it a remedy that that would provide customers better by giving detailed understanding of stock levels and replenishment times, and, of course, correct rates, across all our stores. Customers will be the most valuable belongings of any business especially in this present monetary situation and which SAPCO helps improves the volume of customers. Corresponding to Ian Anthony, Complex Infrastructure Programme Director, B&Q the client ordering system in particular we've seen an enormous increase in the volume of customer orders going through since the systems been carried out. The data accumulated from SAPCO helps B&Q to trail projects status and ensure high quality which in the end helps to improve customer satisfaction level. Due to the execution of SAPCO information is completely transparent and managers have the ability to change sales and marketing strategies depending on genuine data from current purchasing movements rather than having to wait for data to be complied yourself at the store level and later sent to the top office which normally take up to 90 days. (http://www-01. ibm. com). There is also an immediate presence of the amount of orders or contract which in other words means that SAPCO has improved both management and customer efficiency.

3. 3 Troubles OF SAPCO IN B&Q

The difficulties of SAPCO differ from staff to staff. Although some staffs believe is usually to be a total disaster others believe that there are fluctuations associated with its effective use. A few of which are listed below:

The velocity of the internet which mainly will depend on the network providing the bond as been determined as one of the major challenges. There are some times a conclusion of order could establish a difficult activity as it might take up to 10 minutes to move from one page to some other. This customer is made in this situation to wait for an undue time frame. For the system to work effectively a stable and secure internet network must be available.

Another big issue is the real human aspect associated with it. Most have never come to properly appreciate the system therefore sometimes information is improperly entered. This is properly credited to insufficient enough training on the system or the staff's personal decision not to imbibe proper technique.

Data Collection And Handling - Management Perspective

Business management most times is centred on decision making. However, this aspect within most organisations is the central role of professionals. Managers are experienced daily with the issues of discovering processes that could improve the effective jogging of the business enterprise. The use of information systems like the CRM technology has produced a critical role of this responsibility also to a sizable extend has advanced this role.

Most of the decisions professionals have to make now have become web based either through the internet or networking applications which foster the information processing. Matching to Loudon, managers is now able to "automate certain decision method (for example, identifying the highest price that may be charged for something to keep market talk about or the best amount of materials to maintain in inventory to increase productive customer response and product success)". Loudon &Loudon 2002 pg. 404).

Organisations have a hierarchy of decision designers. This hierarchy in lots of ways enhances the easy jogging of companies. Inside the organisation there will be the following:

Strategic Management - The manager here are concerned with decision across the very long time value of the business & most times referred to as unstructured (George Steiner).

Tactical Management- Professionals here are concerned with medium term planning. They "monitor the performance of the organisation, control budget, allocate resources and set budget (Bocij 2003 pg. 18).

Operational Management- Supervisor here directly handles the running of the business enterprise. Decisions here are highly structured as they have an impact on the business directly and are felt at the moment it is considered. Professionals here implements budget and apply them to business.

For instance your choice by B&Q to adopt SAPCO as a person romantic relationship management tool for such a big organisation would have been exclusively proper. However, aiming the budget and preparing in advance for the system could have been tactical and implementation could have been by the procedure managers.

Most CRM program has failed credited to poor business management. However, B&Q's SAPCO has been in use for more than seven years which is still documenting success on a regular basis. Managers can now ascertain the things that are in great need and therefore proactively stock them.

SAPCO greatly facilitates functional and tactical decisions in B&Q. This SAP allowed system also "provides statement, giving managers a thorough view of the firm's performance. It also features corporate and business performance metrics, simulations and planning tools". (Loudon & Loudon 2002 pg 423). Through this technique, management can certainly view their performance level and also the areas that require to be improved upon.

As an venture source of information planning system, SAPCO brings all the units jointly into one entity and in that way having a better control of procedure. This in the end provides a better link with their supplier and marketers hence the main goal of servicing the client is achieved. The integration of business systems has enabled management "reach beyond their own commercial walls to better hook up with suppliers, vendors and end customers". (Gupta 2000).

Sales are better managed especially with the use of the internet although this could also be considered a shortcoming since it means the system is dependent on the internet connection which it does not have any ability over. However, the internet greatly facilitates the application. Professionals at different levels can keep track of sales at different locations which gives them an improved understanding of the business irrespective of how large the company maybe.

The rewards of a highly effective CRM technology like SAPCO are indeed enormous. Steve Gilman, BQI director and B&Q UK board director BQI has detailed the benefits of implementing SAP Retail as better customer availability and cost reductions. Gilman says, "We are able to track record sales and margin accurately and consequently have boosted our margins. We've given ourselves a lead over our competitors. "(www. ciber. com. au/). Business main executives is now able to stay prior to the competition with increased focus on the customer than the competition. Over the management aspect cost are reduces and more revenue is made from increased sales.

Ethical Challenges In Customer Marriage Management

When a new technology is released into a small business, it comes with its obstacles. Its use even creates more difficulties which in lots of ways have an effect on its users. Ethics is one area of great matter to effective business management and information technology most effectively. Ethics "refers to the principles of right and wrong that individual, behaving as free moral realtors, may use to make choice to guide their behavior". (Laudon & Laudon 2002 pg 468)

Business ethics is crucial especially to management. It is something managers confront with every day and have to deal with as the situation occurs. O'Brien talks of a predicament in which he claims that "as a company professional, you have a responsibility to market ethical uses of it in the workplace". (2005 pg. 380). In the current business community, issues of ethics range around privacy, intellectual property, security and even safety issues. Managers must make sure that its stakeholders pursuits are well shielded when issues of this sort come up.

5. 1 Information Systems And Ethics

5. 1. 1 Privacy- The problems of privacy have become one of growing matter as regards information systems in the current business environment. Alter identifies two essential areas in this: personal privateness, which discusses" the power of a person to avoid unwanted instructions into personal time. Space and property" (2002, pg. 287), and the information privacy which deals with the "the ability of the individual to driven when, how and also to what extent private information is communicated to others" (2007, pg 287).

Privacy issues generally can be noticed in a lot of areas, today organisations, through use of the intranet within office buildings, can screens mails that staff send over the company and also find out the sites they are browsing. This in a great deal of ways infringes on the rights of privateness as individuals. That is why most individuals how would prefer to send all private mails using their company homes. However, the CRM technology is one area that this becomes very important. Companies along the way of conduction business with customers, collect a lot of personal information of its customers, for case B&Q, with its SAPCO system. The majority of customers' personal details are used by the system. It now dwells on managers and staffs alike to make sure that this information of customers are well secured from mistreatment.

However, through the years there had been rules like "the code of reasonable information routines" (Alter 2002, pg. 290) created in the US to ensure that customers are to large extent in control of information released from being used for other things without their consent.

5. 1. 2 Health Issues- That is a very critical issue especially as information technology in the task place raises a number of medical issues. Heavy use of computer is reportedly causing health problems like job stress, harmed arm and neck muscles, eye strain radiation subjection and even loss of life by computerised triggered death". O Brien 2005, pg 395). Periodically positioning an order for customers on the machine can take age groups and these in circumstances are associated with a sluggish system of internet and how voluminous the order is. In tackling this problem, what B&Q has done is ensuring staffs have at least two breaks within a particular working day to ease of the strain that may be associated with this. A day off in the week is also directed at staff. In this manner, they probably foreseen the issues greatly minimised.

5. 1. 3 Property Concern- In it, this is referred to as intellectual property which virtually web links to ownership of a concept or something. That is very important in business. However, "the internet boosts some new difficulties" (Rowley 2002, pg. 244). Issues to be looked at in terms of this include trade secrets, copyright and patents.

a. Trade secrets- These are extremely crucial corporate and business issues because so many times. They are really associated with company's brand image and id. They are generally regarded as property that if infringed upon can be sued in the court of laws. In 2007, Oracle sued and accused SAP of hacking into its computer sites and stealing essential product information (BBC News 2007). Elimination this now, companies who own products must find ways of ensuring employees protect these from opponents and open public generally.

b. Copyright- These refer to a rules or statutory offer that protects creators of intellectual property from having their works copied by others for just about any purpose for an interval of 28 years. Laudon & Laudon 2002, pg. 479). Even though companies like Oracle, Siebel, Sap, Salesforce all developed CRM. However, there are specific areas that happen to be unique to the companies that can't be extracted from them. Also companies that use SAP products like B&Q (SAPCO) and Virgin cosmetics (MYSAP) all have customised products which can be peculiar to their companies which must be safeguarded.

6. 0 Security Management In Information System

It is not enough to create systems within company, management must put certain methods in location to ensure these information are well guaranteed.

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