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Book Publisher Improves Client Engagement And Internal Reporting With Dynamics CRM

A Wisconsin based K-12 book publisher was managing its different curriculum through designated teams dispersed across 5 different locations. This has seen them struggle to manage the many disparate systems that are stand-alone from an IT viewpoint. The internal reporting structure was not par and customer interactions were inconsistent because of a lack of centralized case management program that could track customer interaction and improve response time. That’s when they approached Apps4Rent for implementing a Microsoft Dynamics CRM program that would solve their challenges.

The Situation

A K-12 publisher operating from its Wisconsin headquarter caters to more than 1200 education clients across the nation. 15 years into the business, their sales team has grown from a 30-member outfit to 85 employees. With offices across 4 other different locations, they have improved their bottom line from the recent expansion. But this has also seen them facing challenges in managing its disparate teams spread across locations.

While they have placed various systems to this end, integrating all the systems to improve reporting function has been a bottleneck. From an IT perspective, these are standalone systems that need to be integrated. The key area of concern is monitoring customer interactions and efficiently managing responses. The many customer loyalty programs that they run, have seen very little traction with few of them stuck in a limbo. They needed a centralized case management program like a CRM to overcome these bottlenecks. They approached Apps4Rent to implement a Microsoft Dynamics CRM to streamline the business.

“We have been considering implementing a powerful and flexible CRM solution for improving our customer engagement and internal reporting functions. When we decided on Microsoft’s Dynamics,
we reviewed few providers before finally narrowing down on Apps4Rent. They seem to carry good experience in implementing and supporting Dynamics CRM for major businesses. That impressed us.

— Senior Manager, Product Development

The Solution

When Apps4Rent took charge, we realized that the existing processes put up by the customer were not efficient or scalable and did not provide the useful analytics and reporting necessary to grow the business to the next level. Moreover, these processes cannot be integrated with Dynamic CRM once it was implemented. So, we had to start anew. We started by cleaning up the data, organizing information retrieved from various existing systems they have been using.

Installation, customization, and configuration of the CRM program was then initiated. Data migration into the CRM platform followed. Security reviews averted threats to potential data loss during migration. In 3 weeks’ time, the skeleton for the CRM site was ready.

In the first real-time testing phase, the customer’s client servicing team could review and solve large volume of client cases in a timely manner using Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s unique reporting and contact management capabilities. Average call handle times improved about 3 minutes, from 11 minutes to 8 minutes.

The second phase of testing saw the need to develop additional functionalities and workflows within the system to improve internal reporting. Due to Dynamics CRM’s intuitive interface, powerful processing capabilities, and activity management, the internal reporting structure was improved markedly with simplified daily reporting, verification of sales tickets, timely updates from team members etc. as major gains. The customer could extend the CRM’s functions beyond only sales force automation or customer relationship management.

Apps4Rent’s Dynamics CRM team was continuously monitoring the development, troubleshooting and system tuning on real time. Finally, the CRM program was launched across all customers’ offices with Apps4Rent experts training new users on how to best leverage Dynamics CRM.


The customer now uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM across all lines of businesses, in order to get a holistic view of the customers. All business units were integrated as far as the reporting was concerned. They could gain a clear, comprehensive overview of program data and analyze sales interactions, internal daily reports and have it all at one centralized platform which is the Dynamics CRM. Apps4Rent provided post deployment support for the CRM site till the team was ready to handle it on their own.

Apps4Rent helped us reach our goal of implementing Dynamics CRM on time. They are efficient, responsive and know their tools. We gained from the implementation in three key areas: We saw high user adoption, increased customer satisfaction and transparency in business processes.

— Senior Manager, Product Development

Apps4Rent provides consulting, implementation, and application management services for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Businesses involve us in implementing Dynamics CRM – from planning, design, and migration to post-deployment management and support.