Many construction companies can often be mistaken in thinking they don’t need a CRM system to help manage their projects – after all they are in the business of managing projects, not customers. However with developments in CRM technology in recent years, CRM tools are no longer just about contact lists and sales leads. That’s why I’ve put together the following reasons why project managers should be using a CRM tool as well as a project management tool to help manage their projects:

1. You can build and manage relationships

Apart from delivering the project on time and on budget, nothing is more important than managing the relationships you form on a project. You never know who you may need on future projects, or how far someone else’s recommendations of your work will take you. Keeping up to date contact details for all your project stakeholders and maintaining a good working relationship can go really far in ensuring the success of your project.

2. It helps you stay up-to-date with your outstanding activities 

New features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM such as conditional formatting means you can not only view a list of outstanding project activities in CRM, but it can also automatically highlight those that are due soon, or even overdue.

3. You can easily monitor and manage your supply chain

In order to finish a job on time, you need to have everything delivered on time. With a CRM tool, you know exactly who your suppliers are and have their contact details at your finger tips to keep track of everything that is supplied to site. CRM also lets you integrate with your accounting software, so accounts and payments are kept up to date.

4. It helps you to track your enquiries and tenders

Due to its tight integration with Outlook, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has one of the most advanced email tracking facilities available. It can automatically file all your emails relating to a particular enquiry or tender to ensure you also keep track of your project communication.

5. All your customer and project information is in the one place

A CRM system gives you the ability to store all your contacts, accounts and project data in the one database that can be accessed by everyone in your organisation, and from anywhere. It helps everyone stay up to date with everything that’s happening on your project and also ensures there is only one set of data, rather than multiple versions.

6. It gives you a single view of your customer and project data 

Not only does having a CRM mean having a single database, features like the dashboards added to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 give you a great overview of the data on your project. You are also able to customise these dashboards so you can see the information that is relevant to you.

7. You can focus on retaining your customers and growing your business

Finally, similarly to what I mentioned in my first point, it’s all about relationships. You can only continue to manage projects if people want to continue working with you and that’s why it’s so important to manage your working relationships as well as your projects. The combination of a CRM system with your project management tools can help you achieve this.

So even though it may feel like a sales tool, a CRM system can be invaluable when it comes to managing your projects. There are many CRM systems out there to choose from, but we believe Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the most features that can translate across to project management, and that is why our project management tool is built on the Microsoft Dynamics platform.

What about you, can you think of any more reasons a project manager might need a CRM tool? Let us know in the comments below.