NCDM Speaker: Success Depends on a Client-Centric Organization

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ORLANDO -- To survive and be profitable, companies must become more client-focused, keynote speaker Tony LoFrumento said yesterday at the National Center for Database Marketing winter conference.


"Competition is fierce for high-value customers, [and] the customer is clearly in charge," said LoFrumento, who is executive director of CRM at Morgan Stanley. As a result, companies have to compete "on the basis of customer relationships created through a knowledge-based superior value proposition."


LoFrumento also quoted a statistic from Deloitte & Touche saying that customer-centric companies are 60 percent more profitable than non-customer-centric ones. LoFrumento's mission at Morgan Stanley is to implement an infrastructure that supports both the individual investor group and the Morgan Stanley Investment Management Division.


To become a client-centric organization, companies must have support from the senior management.


"The organizational transformation from product to customer-focus requires dramatic changes to how a business is organized, compensated, evaluated and staffed," he said.


A champion with clout is needed to drive the transformation effort, he said. Without it, failure is assured and "middle management-led efforts will die a slow-death."


LoFrumento also said that customer-focused organizations must have a holistic customer view. To get this, they must extract data from legacy systems throughout the organization, create a CRM data mart, perform a householding process and transform account level data to customer level knowledge.


When choosing analytic CRM vendors, LoFrumento says companies should seek solutions/providers that:


· Are recognized as industry leaders.


· Are in full compliance with an IT architecture.


· Maximize seamless integration of capabilities.


· Are committed to a partnership model.


· Have a strong financial viability outlook.


LoFrumento said Morgan Stanley relies on tools from SAS, Business Objects and IBM.


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