Black & Veatch Talks to Scribe about CRM Integration and Data Quality Best Practices


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Black & Veatch, one of Scribe’s premier customers, is an employee owned, global leader in building Critical Human Infrastructure™ in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Black & Veatch has over 100 offices and a global workforce of over 9,000 people. We recently sat down with Tim Thorpe, Director of Knowledge Management, and Leslie Guffey, Senior Application Administrator, to talk specifically about CRM integration best practices. Tim’s team manages the company’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM system, along with public websites like and Black & Veatch’s Sharepoint 2010 intranet. Leslie and Tim shared some impressive use cases and resources for maximizing CRM data integrations.

Leslie and Tim were quick to tell us that they believe CRM data integration is not a ‘once-and-done’ project. Rather, data integration is a process, performed iteratively over time to improve data quality. As a Scribe customer, that’s how Leslie and Tim use Scribe, for sophisticated client data manipulations and mass data updates.

With Scribe Insight, Leslie can perform data manipulations and transformations quickly and easily. In one recent instance, Leslie was able to import the results of a large client loyalty survey, executed by a third-party vendor, back into Black & Veatch’s CRM system, mapping client responses to the individual CRM profiles in a manner of minutes.

In another instance, Tim and Leslie have been able to leverage the sophisticated reporting tools available through SSRS to automate complex reports for division sales teams. Manually manipulating sales data from multiple systems for reporting purposes into Excel can be inefficient, time-consuming and prone to error. Complex reports are now integrated into Dynamics CRM and can be executed with the push of the button. The required data points are pulled on demand, using the latest updated prospect information. As Leslie put it, “we were able to put the data back into the hands of the sales leader.” Leslie and Tim continue plans to put more powerful reporting tools in the hands of Black & Veatch sales executives across the company.

Given Tim and Leslie’s deep CRM experience, we asked them for their secrets for success. Here’s their top successful integration tips:
1. Iterate your client data integration. Integration does not need to happen all at once. In fact, this can lead to a failed implementation. It’s okay to re-think data integrations one step at a time as implementations mature. The key is to keep making consistent updates and improvements.
2. Share CRM Integration successes broadly: News of report improvements, automated features and other data efficiency enhancements can spread quickly by word-of-mouth. However you decide to share enhancements that are ‘big CRM wins,’ be sure to communicate successes and the business value to key stakeholders.
3. Outsourced CRM integration should complement the work of developers: Scribe can be used by professionals with varying degrees of technical expertise. While highly technical people can use Scribe, so can those with limited technical capabilities. By making non-technical staff more self-sufficient with data requests, key technical personnel can continue to focus on highly technical, complex projects.

For even more resources from Black & Veatch, check out the overview from Tim’s presentation on data quality at Microsoft Convergence with Duke Mocanu from FM Global and Sam Makin from the American Chemistry Council. Tim’s blog highlights some best practices for both achieving short-term and long-term data quality. Some of the tips include:
• Make your CRM system an enterprise master data repository. Integrate it with your other key systems to drive data quality across the organization.
• Use experienced third-party vendor solutions: An experienced vendor that will bring “been there, done that” experience to your data decision-making process.
• Less is more when it comes to data. Resist the desire to capture any data that does not have defined business processes behind them.
• Use software tools that will simplify tasks related to data maintenance and cleansing.
• Educate your users. Lack of understanding related to the “why” and “how” of systems contributes to poor long-term data quality.
• Effective use of reports will help give visibility to poor quality data. This can drive better data quality long term.

We want to thank Tim and Leslie for taking the time to share their insights with us. We’d love to hear your success stories, innovative CRM integration use cases, and best practices for giving the data back to its business owners with us.

The Scribe Team

Peter Chase
Peter founded Scribe Software along with Jim Clarke in the beginning of 1996. As Executive Vice President, Business Development, Peter is responsible for establishing and growing partnerships with other leading technology companies in support of Scribe's overall market and product strategy. Prior to founding Scribe, Peter held senior positions in sales, product marketing, and finance at SNAP Software, an early pioneer in CRM software that was acquired by Dun and Bradstreet. He has published numerous articles and whitepapers and is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events.


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