Apple Case

Group Paper and Presentation
By the third week of the semester, students will be assigned to a group for the purposes of preparing a paper and presentation on CRM issues. You can create groups of 4-5 students on your own. On the due date for group formation, any unattached people will be assigned to a group by the instructor. This project requires that each group assesses a real company’s CRM systems, management, and efforts, and make specific recommendations that would enhance the company’s ability to develop more valuable and meaningful customer relationships. You must choose a company with a local presence, in order for the group to assess the company’s offerings and to make a site visit. You will NOT be required to contact this company, only observe and research its CRM activities, technology, and strategies – though you may choose to contact the managers if you so wish. If you choose a company where one of the group members works, please make sure that everyone in the group participates in as much as possible with regard to data collection and assessment of the company.
During the last week of classes, each group will submit a paper and deliver a presentation. The paper should be no more than 10 pages (single‐spaced, 12 point font, not including tables, graphs, and citations). The presentation will require every member of the group to present equally, and will be limited to 15 minutes (not including questions at the end).

Both the paper and presentation should attempt to cover the following material (where appropriate to the specific company being profiled):
1. Provide an overview of the company’s industry, target markets, customer profiles, recent history and performance, and level of customer orientation.
2. Create a description of any CRM systems in use, including sales force automation, and any issues regarding implementation and management. Identify issues in technology or usage related to CRM.
3. Conduct an assessment of the company’s customer equity profile, with comparisons to competitors in its largest target markets.
4. Produce an assessment of the company’s customer portfolio, with particular attention paid to varying value propositions, including pricing, which attempts to manage the quality of the portfolio.
5. Conduct an analysis of the company’s sales efforts, especially regarding the cultivation of customer relationships.
6. Provide a description of the company’s promotional efforts aligned with one‐to‐one marketing and socially‐networked marketing. This section should tie directly with the company’s CRM efforts.
7. Describe types of customer interactions observed in order to assess the company’s service and CRM design.
8. Produce a blueprint of one of the company’s service offering, focusing on physical evidence, customer actions, customer contact points, employee actions, and support resources and processes. Identify issues with the service processes or outcomes and suggest an improvement.
9. Provide recommendations that address specific issues identified in the above analyses and assessments. This section should be worthy of submission to the company’s C‐level management suite, with specific directions, estimated budgets (when possible), personnel involved, and timelines.

Overall, the quality of the paper and presentation will be evaluated based upon the group’s ability to synthesize information from a variety of perspectives and specific literature and topics explored in this class, and, most importantly, the quality of the recommendations (Do they address the gaps identified?
Are they feasible and targeted? Will they provide the company with capabilities related to customer relationship management that should positively affect firm performance? Do they identify the types of resources that will be necessary to implement these recommendations?) The presentation should be conducted as a consultants’ client meeting, informing while engaging the audience. I encourage groups to be creative, in order to best present their assessments and recommendations.