BACKGROUND: Mayfield Publishing Company is a leading publisher of college textbooks for the humanities, the behavioral and social sciences, and health. Mayfield is in the business of helping college and university teachers by developing textbooks and other course materials that provide solutions to teaching problems. Mayfield's customers are college professors and, ultimately, their students.
PLATFORMS: MarketForce runs on an NT server with Windows 98 clients. It runs using the Pervasive SQL database.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Mayfield needed a SFA/CRM system for the sales and marketing organizations. The primary objectives were to provide a central repository for college and university names, professors and teachers; a way to sample (order) free copies of textbooks to teachers for review; histories of sampling material received; mailing list capabilities based on textbooks and subjects sampled; and complete functionality and synchronization
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: MarketForce is performing the functions that it was purchased for both in the field and with in-house personnel. Except for some places where the software performance is still slow, the users find it easy to use and are happy with its functionality. Further capabilities would include reporting, integration with a separate accounting system and using Web capabilities for orders and final oversight before shipment.
STRENGTHS: The main MarketForce strength is software flexibility. Mayfield looked for many standard features in CRM packages and some not-so- standard features. MarketForce was modified to accommodate sending texts and ancillary products to one or more professors based on individual or group selection criteria. This functionality was created and enhanced from MarketForce's standard order functionality, but customized to support the Mayfield sales and marketing process. MarketForce's configuration tools and flexibility allow Mayfield's small IT staff to support the software without expensive database administrators or programmers. Also, MarketForce cares about your project and will work long and hard to make your implementation a success.
WEAKNESSES: The strength of the product may also be one of its weaknesses, since no two implementations are alike. In Mayfield's case, the normal configuration of the MarketForce relational tables was changed, resulting in a product that is nicely tuned to Mayfield's needs. However, this is causing problems in using other functionality within MarketForce. The standard query and reporting tools only go against a maximum of two tables and allow for only one sort level
SELECTION CRITERIA: Each CRM vendor interviewed indicated that their software could do what Mayfield needed. However, when given a script to follow and an opportunity to demonstrate how they would do it, they tended to fall back on "imagine if you will" demo tactics. MarketForce followed the script and demonstrated how the software could be configured to support Mayfield's business needs. When we further refined their understanding of our needs, they immediately demonstrated how things could be changed. The flexibility and power of the software to change to our needs was the main selling point.
DELIVERABLES: Mayfield does not take advantage of the telemarketing/call tracking features of MarketForce. However, MarketForce comes with a built-in custom search capability that is used extensively by inside and field personnel to get a status of activities in their territories. We also use Crystal Reports for some reporting, downloading and graphs.
VENDOR SUPPORT: MarketForce was very attentive to Mayfield during pre-implementation. Mayfield worked directly with a technical lead at MarketForce to document requirements and verify specifications before final delivery. The approach helped reduce the number of surprises during in- house implementation. Unfortunately, there were software performance problems discovered to be, in part, a result of database vendor problems. MarketForce worked directly with us to resolve these problems. They sent their top developer to work through the issues. We continued to receive excellent support in getting software fixes and improvements. However, since Mayfield's configuration is outside of the norm, it is difficult to get good help from other MarketForce support people who are not aware of our specific configuration.
DOCUMENTATION: Mayfield has not relied on MarketForce documentation since much of our functionality is configured specifically for Mayfield. However, the documentation that is standard is useful and has good graphics, making it easy to follow.
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