Caribou Lake, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm, has announced the creation of Customer-1, a new consulting practice aimed at providing integrated strategic and technology consulting services to companies and organizations moving into customer-centric business environments.
The creation of Customer-1 comes with the acquisition of High-Yield Marketing's CRM consulting practice and the appointment of Dick Lee, HYM's founder, as head of the new group. The newly created unit is set to combine the planning, workflow design skills, and process engineering abilities of HYM with Caribou Lake's systems architecture, data integration, and Web-development capabilities.
According to Lee, joining his consultancy with Caribou Lake will provide end-to-end support rather than taking clients through the planning and strategy aspects of CRM, then watching some leave ROI on the table because they fail to adapt their information systems to support customer-centric operations. "By melding strategy and systems support we can address things in proper order: strategies first, then the people side, with workflow and process, then systems architecture and integration, and CRM software last, where it belongs," Lee says.
Under the terms of the agreement, the business-publishing arm of HYM will remain independent, and Lee will also continue to write for HYM publications as well as conduct workshops on adopting customer-centered practices.
Caribou Lake CEO Gilman Anderson believes that Customer-1's focus will be finding a client's pain point and planning out how to alleviate those difficulties. "You can't change business strategies without changing your information systems," Gilman says. "The same applies to workflow and work process. And companies are trying to make all these changes piecemeal--and experiencing horrible results."