TMS Consulting, Implementation and Support
How Providers Which Marry Team Spirit with a Range of In-depth Expertise Ensure Companies’ Lasting Success.
A few weeks ago on this blog, I posted an article entitled “The Marriage of System and Consulting” which explored how consultants can contribute to the success of a project before a TMS or treasury tool is selected. But what happens after the perfect solution is selected? In this post, I take a closer look at the next stage in the relationship between technology provider and customer. The system should provide the right long-term support through the various stages of a company’s development, from dynamic growth or mergers to spin-offs. However, there can be many pitfalls on the path from deciding on the system you want to successfully using it across the whole corporate group. There is a smart, tried and tested approach to ensuring that customers receive the best support possible at every stage: marrying team spirit with a range of in-depth expertise.
You’ll never walk alone – experts in every position
On the face of it, team sports and corporate treasury may seem to have little in common. But I am a passionate soccer fan and there is a message in the song title made famous by the supporters of Liverpool FC: the team’s unofficial anthem “You'll Never Walk Alone” reflects precisely the philosophy I think must be embraced to ensure customers experience lasting success. Indeed, successful sports teams must have good players in every position, each with the skills commensurate with their role and who jell well as a team. Similarly, system providers need experts each with specialist knowledge in a particular area in order to provide their customers with the best guidance possible – and of course a healthy dose of team spirit.
The line-up: CRM, Advisory, Consulting, IT Management and Customer Support
As a matter of principle, each customer should have their own contact person who liaises with the relevant experts in the provider’s team. This is the Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). The experts in the Advisory team support the CRM in responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) and prepare tailored bids. The CRM conducts the negotiations, which ideally start with a scoping phase with support provided by Consulting. At this stage, the customer’s requirements are precisely identified and the customer’s current situation and objectives accurately documented. As companies are all very different in nature, these details must be captured precisely to ensure the proposal and the selection of the individual solutions and services actually meet the customer’s requirements. IT Management and Customer Support perform a dual role. Firstly, these experts ensure the technology operates securely and smoothly on the provider’s side, for example in relation to server security and upgrades in the background. Secondly, they resolve difficulties which the customer may encounter when using the technology, such as failed login attempts.
Winning the game: the right team of experts for every job
The best option is to choose a provider which offers the full range of experts required and which can thus put together the perfect team for you to suit each project. You need to implement a new TMS? In that case, the players from Sales, Advisory and Consulting are first up to bat, then it’s the turn of the experts from Implementation and IT to take the field. Need a group-wide rollout of the system at a later date? Then the playmaker is an expert from Consulting, who participates in the project management process, preparing the individual stages in conjunction with a member of your team, and subsequently provides guidance for the rollout. Decided to centralize your company’s global payments and introduce in-house banking? Gather together the relevant experts from Consulting and devise the best combination of banking portfolio, connectivity, payment format, etc. for your company and you can be sure that your project will be successfully completed on time.