A CRM solution right in your pocket

StayinFront Inc., a Fairfield, N.J-based developer of CRM systems, has introduced Pocket Elk – a Windows CE based version of its Visual Elk CRM solution.

“Pocket Elk offers a very mobile solution for people who need information on the go in a very small form factor. They need to be able to do things quickly and easily and then communicate that information back to a host system, whether that is your laptop or head office,” said Sam Barclay, StayinFront’s vice-president of development. “A sales rep may go out to a customer and they have with them this little handheld CE platform, instead of a big bulky laptop. They may take down customer information that will all be entered into the Pocket Elk. That information gets communicated back to a Visual Elk application back at head office, where people can now access it via (the) Internet or internally via Visual Elk on the LAN.”

Barclay said that Pocket Elk is really about providing another spoke in the CRM wheel.

Pocket Elk features configurable screens, customer profiling, integration with a Windows CE calendar and task list, signature capture capability for applications that require it, and graphical and tabular reporting.

According to Bob Cook, the global director of customer information for Temecula, Calif.-based Channell Communications Corp., the primary use of Pocket Elk for his company is to collect sales call information.

“We have a database of customer names, titles, addresses, phone numbers, and that kind of thing. It’s for our sales people to meet with our customers and then report using the StayinFront Pocket Elk system,” Cook said. “When customer service people get customers on the phone, they now have the ability to look up the last few meetings that our sales people had with that customer and review any outstanding issues or follow-up activities that need to take place.”

Cook said that Channell Corp. previously used a combination of e-mail and ACT!, a contact management product.

“When there were issues, we would send an e-mail or voicemail. None of it was organized and none of it became a permanent record attached to that particular customer. As soon as it was done, it was gone,” Cook said. “Now we have a history that allows us to see what’s happening with a particular account. It has put our pertinent information all in one place so people can look there and find what they are looking for.”

According to Cook, there are a few things he would like to see in future editions of Pocket Elk.

“We would try to expand on what we already have and increase the ability and go into the system and query for specific types of information. I’d also like to combine what we’re doing with the system data with facts and figures about our customers.”