Gartner's Top 54 CRM Case Studies, Sorted by Industry, for 2005

Archived Published: 20 May 2005 ID: G00127609


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Gartner's library of case studies features successful customer relationship management projects spanning dozens of goals and objectives in multiple industries. No one strategy works for every company. These cases provide solid examples of best practices in action.

Table of Contents


The leading customer relationship management (CRM) software providers have been delivering industry-specific versions of their application suites for the past three years — each promising an easier and faster out-of-the-box fit for organizations. Yet, the software providers and consultants that help implement suites are only part of what makes a project a success. As you evaluate which software provider is best suited to meet your organization's needs, consider the lessons and solutions learned by those organizations that achieved positive results using CRM to address their business needs.

Top Findings

  • High tech and financial services are often written about. Based on case study volume, the high-tech and financial services vertical industries were the earliest and, therefore, completed their CRM implementations between 2001 and 2004. These two sectors are among the highest investors in CRM and CRM technologies. However, the number of case studies in these sectors can be misleading. Case study volume is only one indicator of an industry's propensity to embrace CRM — and it is driven by an industry's desire to market its CRM success. The industries with the most case studies want their customers, partners and industry peers to see that they are taking their customers seriously. They are viewed by their customers and competitors as innovators of a new kind of customer relationship — one forged on personal, and sometimes proprietary, data. The consumer mass market is being replaced by advertising to smaller groups or individuals via electronic billboards, pop-up ads, Internet tracking, and other one-to-one or one-to-few marketing channels.

  • Pharmaceuticals and telecommunications are underrepresented. These two sectors have heavily invested in CRM, but few case studies have been written about them. Telecoms went through a period of retrenchment from 2001 to 2003, which resulted in cost cutting and a lack of attention paid to CRM. The telecom sector has since revitalized, and more-successful projects are being reported. Pharmaceutical companies were some of the first investors in sales force automation (SFA) and some are on their third- or fourth-generation implementations. However, until recently, the deployments did not extend beyond SFA — limiting their scope and interest to Gartner analysts.

  • Rising number of government and utilities case studies. Government has become an expansive area for CRM consultants during the past two to three years. Case studies are difficult to locate, but are becoming more plentiful as the number of successful projects increases. We expect to see more from these two industries during the next two years.

  • Quality of case study subjects improving. The quality of CRM submissions and subsequent case studies has improved. Strategies are more coherent and metrics are better defined. Moreover, the financial benefits are reported as a percentage increase rather than a monetary value. In the past 12 months, the lessons learned during the past four years are yielding benefits in many sectors and pride is being taken in what has been achieved.

  • Public acclaim vs. competitive advantage. Organizations often view CRM initiatives as competitive differentiators. As a result, they are reluctant to market their efforts beyond improving customer service or creating a single view of the customer. They have been wary of releasing measurements or financial performance results for fear of giving competitors an advantage. The detailed processes, applications and organizational road maps shared in Gartner case studies were deemed proprietary information. Balanced with this concern are the benefits of external acclaim. Organizations find that public acclaim can rejuvenate internal willingness to forge ahead with an initiative and speed up the investment process while benefiting the careers of those involved. So the question for your organization is: Will the fear of giving insight to the competition outweigh the benefits gained from external acclaim?

Begin your search for a CRM provider with an examination of your organization and its goals for a CRM project.

The cases referenced here do not represent an exhaustive study of the marketplace, but they provide useful examples of CRM projects and initiatives within different industries. These examples can help you shape your organization's goals and objectives. They provide key enabling technologies and vendors that others have used to support their strategies.

For more information about internal and external factors to consider when launching a CRM initiative or selecting the right software provider for your project, see "CRM: Balancing External Best Practices With Internal Focus" ( ) or "Cool Vendors in Customer Relationship Management, 2005." Gartner has also published Magic Quadrants devoted to each area of CRM. For detailed guidance regarding your individual project needs, contact one of Gartner's CRM analysts.

Features: 2005 Gartner Case Studies

"How E-Service Can Decrease Costs and Increase Customer Satisfaction" By creating an e-service strategy to support growth, design software vendor Mentor Graphics satisfied its customers and reduced costs, becoming a groundbreaker in the proper use of e-service to manage customer-supported cost growth. By Esteban Kolsky

"How Renault Trucks Improved Its Relationship With Dealers" Renault demonstrates how using customer service management metrics and service-level agreements improved and developed services for dealers and buyers of its vehicles. By Ed Thompson

"CRM Technology Helps 3i Create a 'One Room' Company" Venture capital firm 3i used a customer relationship management system to help 750 global associates collaborate as if they were in one office. By Ed Thompson and Joe Galvin

"Cummins Leverages MRM to Reduce Marketing Cycle Times" Through marketing resource management, Cummins reduced marketing cycle times by more than 60 percent and saved more than 20 percent on creative costs. By Kimberly Collins

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Public Sector


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