Using a CRM system to improve rail supply chain management
15th March 2019
Supply chain management often involves specialist SCM software, and is considered to be primarily concerned with logistics, transportation, procurement, inventory and distribution. How, then, can a CRM system, managing the information and relationship between a business and its customers, be used to influence intelligent supply chain management?
It’s all about data
As Industry 4.0 is well and truly underway, data is the driving force behind new technologies that will be influencing the future of the supply chain. One of the most valuable elements of a CRM system is its ability to not only capture vast amounts of customer data, but also to analyse this data so that the knowledge gained from the data can actually be applied. Integrating supply chain management with your CRM systems allows you to make intelligent supply chain decisions based on customer data, even in real-time.
Using passenger information to respond faster
From reporting incidents and late trains to making complaints about carriages and facilities, every interaction with rail passengers provides TOCs with this valuable data. Translating this data to the supply chain can allow TOCs to get the inside line on maintenance and repairs required, improve operational performance and then relate this back to improved customer experience from an improved supply chain response.
Using passenger data to predict the future
Even simple information such as the number of passengers can be used to influence supply chain decisions by forecasting future requirements. It’s the opportunity for TOCs to move into proactive and predictive decision making, limiting the need for reactive decisions that may have higher associated costs and cause more downtime and disruption.
A Smart Railway may have the ability to automate decisions that would otherwise require human input and effortlessly coordinate suppliers and contractors. Using a CRM system, information from passengers could be used to automatically request the dispatch of engineers and materials to specific locations.
There are lots of exciting and innovative ways to use a CRM system to improve customer service, productivity and processes. Thinking about using CRM systems to improve your rail supply chain management is just one of them.
If you want to find out more about how a CRM system might integrate with your current processes, you can contact us here.