MIS Quarterly Executive


Recent consolidation in the financial services industry and the decision by many financial services executives to focus on their core competencies have led to these firms forming business networks. These networks face numerous challenges ensuring that their member companies serve their customers well, and in an integrated manner, using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. This article describes our analysis of six financial services companies in different financial services networks -- one of which illustrates best practice. The six main challenges these networks faced were: creating a joint strategy; rationalizing their distributed core competencies; integrating their CRM processes of marketing, sales, and service; being able to exchange knowledge about customers; adhering to data privacy laws; and integrating their CRM systems. Based on our observations of these financial services networks, we recommend five steps for creating successful joint CRM in a business network: (1) Define integrated CRM processes, (2) establish a joint customer data model, (3) establish a central customer database for customer master data, (4) link distributed CRM and transaction systems to the central customer database, and (5) integrate customer-oriented systems via views (portals).