CRM/KM initiatives at 3M|IT and Systems|Case Study|Case Studies

CRM/KM initiatives at 3M

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Case Details:

Case Code : ITSY010
Case Length : 08 Pages
Period : 1997-2001
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : 3M
Industry : Mining and Manufacturing
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Implementation & Benefits

The company identified the two main issues the new system had to address: reducing training time and abandon rates2 and improving solution accuracy and problem resolution speed. The first step towards the CRM/KM implementation at 3M was the creation of a 14-member task force for exploring available technology options. The task force comprised 3M's customer service managers, call center agents, IT analysts and documentation developers. After evaluating various software available, the task force decided to implement the 'Remedy Action Request System (RARS)' developed by Remedy Corp.3 RARS was selected for two reasons: it could be easily integrated with many leading knowledge management solution products, and it did not require additional programming before implementation.

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By the end of the 1930s, 3M had established a central research laboratory to pursue research in technologies with long-term potential.

Extending the Benefits

Enthused by the success of the CRM/KM solution, 3M decided to implement it throughout the organization.

The company's human resources, purchasing and procurement departments were the first ones to adopt the technology to help answer questions posed by employees and business partners.

The company made the knowledge base available for internal self-service through a corporate intranet.8


Exhibit I: 3M - Key Financials
Exhibit II: 3M - Business Segments And Major Products
Exhibit III: About CRM & KM

2]  Abandon rate refers to the number of calls unanswered as a percentage of total calls received.

3]  Remedy Corp. is a US-based company offering eCRM and eBusiness infrastructure solutions. RARS enables companies to replace their manual systems with workflow automation that speeds the handling of unique processes and optimizes user productivity. The aim is to achieve higher employee effectiveness, improve employee morale and reduce costs.

8]  An intranet is a private network that is contained within an enterprise. It may consist of many interlinked local area networks and also use leased lines in the Wide Area Network. Typically, an intranet includes connections through one or more gateway computers to the outside Internet. The main purpose of an intranet is to share company information and computing resources among employees. An intranet can also be used to facilitate group work and teleconferencing.

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