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1 February 2010
A close-up of people working on a graph

We all agree that one of the most prominent components of an organization/business's success is its knowledge and proper management of this knowledge. In light of current developments and changes in the world of business we must expand our view of proper and efficient internal Knowledge Management and view our relationships and their management beyond the scope of managing workers, budgets or projects in the organization.

Recent years have seen the emergence of a new type of management that serves as an integral part of an organization's conduct and success. This method is known as CRM: Customer Relationship Management, managing knowledge with regard to the client, developing a relationship with them.

The meaning of CRM

First and foremost, CRM is an organizational culture and approach that places the customer stage center and relates to a wide variety of knowledge and information relevant to the organization customers, presented via the technologies designed for this purpose. CRM is meant to assist management process and creating relationships with customers and later leverage this relationship. This strategy allows attaining business objectives, improving performances and create new, innovative and unique possibilities in fields such as marketing, sales, service, etc. all based on the accumulated knowledge and its appropriate use.

Over the years and due to changes in the world of business, we've realized that a relationship with customers is insufficient and does not answer all of the organization's needs and there are some external "players" that are vital to the organization's function and success that require management in their region as well.

This realization lead us to a new organizational approach/perception, the XRM a natural follow-up to its predecessor, the CRM.

The idea behind XRM

As mentioned above, organization and companies have realized that other bodies they are managing businesswise that hold knowledge that should be managed; this calls for leveraging the relationship with said bodies. This realization resulted in strategically focusing not merely on satisfying customers' needs but also answering these additional bodies' needs.

This new approach presents the new generation of Knowledge Management and the organization's relationship with external bodies:

The letter X serves as a variable that can be any component/element that participates in the relationship with the organization, such as: partners, donators, suppliers, investors, customers and any other interested parties relevant to the organization.

The XRM strategy deals first with Knowledge Management and managing the relationship with each of these bodies; secondly, it handles the integration process and the merging of the different components of the organization's chain of value, i.e. the bodies that contribute to the efficiency of managing a relationship with them. This approach presents a new age of relationships and this time the customer does not play a major role in the relationship

Through merging, Knowledge Management and optimal relationship management we can reach higher product/service quality, generate loyalty to the supplier and the ability to cope with business and operational challenges the organization may face.

In order to succeed in implementing the approach in the organization, we must follow some guidelines:

  • A successful array of people, plans and abilities involved in the interaction processes with the partners

  • Analyzing the knowledge to be retained for each of the involved parties according to an individual perspective and an integrative perspective

  • Fostering behavioral patterns that will contribute to the organization's chain of value's performances- this behavior require defining roles and responsibilities, implementing efficient work methods that assist in recruiting and retaining partners.

  • Abilities that may harness correct processes and tools in order to encourage cooperation while focusing the partners on appropriate chances and conveying correct information at the right time.

With the development of the XRM approach, we are exposed to a new reality that dictates to us new rules. An organization that successfully implements these rules will successfully improve its business performance and attain impressive management abilities that are seemingly impractical.

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