Communications of the Association for Information Systems


This paper develops and empirically tests a model to evaluate a manufacturer's strategy which provides customer relationship management (CRM) technology to its exclusive retailers. The impact of the strategy on manufacturer-retailer relationship quality is also examined. The research objectives are (1) to identify and test factors that promote active implementation of CRM technology among small retail organizations; (2) to determine whether our expanded concept of CRM implementation that integrates customer information management activities and relationship marketing activities explains CRM performance better; and (3) to investigate whether a manufacturer's support contributes to manufacturer-retailer relationship quality. Statistical analysis shows that the model provides an adequate fit to the data. The retailer's perception of the importance of customer information, manufacturer support, and trade area competitiveness significantly impacts the intensity of CRM implementation by small retailers. CRM implementation intensity positively influences the performance outcomes of CRM, which in turn greatly improves the quality of the manufacturer-retailer relationship. Different from our expectation, supporting retailers with CRM technology did not directly impact the manufacturer-retailer relationship quality. The ease of use of the CRM system also did not influence CRM implementation intensity significantly. The implications of these results and their importance for successful CRM implementation are discussed.