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Data export and call center software for truck dealership

I am looking to create a CRM department for my organization which is a 6 (soon to be 7) facility dealership for heavy truck sales, parts and service. Currently we have about 6,000 active accounts. All the raw data is in ADP. Should I first export all the data I need into an Excel spreadsheet? Also, what front end software would you recommend for a call center?
I'm curious. What is a CRM department as you envision it? Is that a customer service department or a field service group or...?

As far as recommendations go, there is no way to recommend something that would be absolutely appropriate to your situation without knowing it in far more detail. Two solutions which are generically successful (meaning they have been very good in their worlds) are Siebel Call Center, which is one of the industry standards, and KANA's solutions. Both of them tend to the bigger enterprises, however. However, I have to stress that neither of them might be right for you given your objectives, existing systems, budget, user numbers, and concept of CRM. I'm mentioning them so that you can take a look at what they offer and see what you might or might not need in your call center applications.

I'd leave the data alone for now until you have decided where you are going to store it, how you are going to use it in this new environment and what format you are going to need it in. Using data migration tools is the more likely way to go about doing what you are planning on doing, but not yet.

Again, sadly, there is not enough information here to answer exactly what you want, but I hope this at least puts things into context a bit.

If you'd like to chat a bit further on this, feel free to call me at 703-551-2337 or email me at paul-greenberg3@comcast.net
This was last published in July 2003

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