The role of the customer management system at an automotive retail multifranchise operation in KZN.
Information plays a critical role in any organisation today no matter what their core business entails. Information Systems have transformed from a basic support service to a critical function impacting a firm’s daily operations and strategic business plans. The explosion in innovation surrounding Information Technology and communications has led firms to continuously transform the way they do business to remain relevant. Business is at risk if they do not innovate. However innovation of Information Systems can disturb existing work practices and staff may resist the new technology. Therefore it is imperative that staff understand the role of the Information Systems within the overall strategy of the organisation. The results of this study can assist organisational decision-making processes and provide a basis for review. The aim of the study was to examine the various factors that impacted the effective use of the Customer Management System by motor vehicles sales persons at XYZ Company. Furthermore the study aimed to establish management support of the CMS system and the effectiveness of the system. Since the study was descriptive in nature, a quantitative research approach was taken. The overall results of this study revealed that sales executives found the CMS system easy to use, easy to understand and used it as a vital tool to manage their customers. However it was noted that sales executives had various concerns regarding the privacy of their customers’ details, duplication of customer records, over-burdened data input processes and lack of follow-up reminders on the system. Furthermore Internet leads management was highlighted as a persistent issue that needed to be addressed by management. Also noted in the study was a call for the workshop and finance departments to be linked to the CMS system to increase sales leads and pre-qualify customers for finance. The sales executives also suggested having access to their CMS system via a mobile application so as to alleviate the problem of not being at their workstations when a lead comes in. The findings from the research presented recommendations for improvements to the CMS system for example upgrading the CMS system and developing a leads management system. Further recommendations include linking the finance and workshop departments to the CMS system. The limitations of the study have been discussed and recommendations for future research provided.