Mobile CRM app helps construction firm diversify its business

Smartphones and IBM partner's software used to reach customer data

VCC, a nationwide retail construction company, was forced to diversify when the recession struck. The company found that giving project managers smartphone access to customer data was a big boost in attracting new business.

VCC, based in Little Rock, Ark., deployed an application called Mobile Edge, from IBM business partner iEnterprise, to connect about 80 project managers mostly using BlackBerry Bold smartphones to a custom-built CRM (customer resource management) application. VCC runs IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8 and also deployed iEnterprise's product for extending CRM data, called iExtensions CRM.

The Mobile Edge CRM app shown on a Blackberry Bold is being used by project managers at the VCC construction company. Some managers have switched to using the CRM app on the iPad tablet because of its larger screen.

The mobile access to CRM data is "a great force for us," said VCC Vice President Wayne Alley in a telephone interview.

While not every bit of CRM intelligence is available from a mobile device, the system has helped streamline access to customer information across six nationwide offices, Alley said.

"We can see what business has been done with a client in the past," as well as organize data for greater business intelligence, he said.

About 12 project managers switched to iPads instead of smartphones for accessing the CRM data so they could view the information on the tablet's larger, 9.7-inch screen, Alley said. "Viewing a 20-page PDF on a 4-inch [smartphone] screen is not the most friendly way of viewing that information," he said.

The Mobile Edge application has helped VCC diversify beyond its traditional role as one of the largest managers of retail construction projects to include projects for health care and other institutions, Alley said.

The application "helped us attract new clients in a field where we'd not worked before and became a useful tool," Alley said. Because employees can work more efficiently, Alley estimated the investment in the Mobile Edge software, less than $10,000, was paid off in less than a year.

"Time is money, and we were able to access information faster, organize it better and manipulate it to our benefit in more business," Alley added.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobilesmartphonesIBMsoftwarecrmapplicationstelecommunicationCustomer Relationship ManagementPhonesconsumer electronicsMobile and WirelessMacintoshMobile Apps and ServicesBI and Analytics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?