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Client management tool?

edited February 2006 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I have been thinking of writing something like this by myself with RoR, but the project is really big so I think I should just check here if someone knew something similar by a chance. The tool should be basically a client management tool, obviously we should be able to add/modify/delete clients, and set custom values for the clients, such as product and services they are subscribed to. Also, there should be possibility to assign them to different users, make entries to them, like if they have ordered a product or something similar like maintenance and so on. We had one tool, but it wasn't that good, since we couldn't add custom values, there were just the set values, and the worst part was that the tool was designed for another kind of company in mind. It had somesort of filesharing and calendar function, it lacked anykind of messaging system (which sucked ass) and it was really base at best, it didn't have any extra functionality. If you have suggestions, I'd be glad to hear about it. I'm almost sure that someone has HAD to write something like this, it is almost mandatory in anykind of business.


  • We use Filemaker ( at my work, which works fine but is very clunky and not web based.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    I'd really like to hear more about this.

    Can you explain in detail about this app works (or should work), and what exactly it is that you need to manage?
  • marks making a CMT!!! YAY!! I must admit when i looked at client/account management tools a while ago i wasnt majorly impressed with what i found. I'd love a nice account management thing which would work in a series of scenarios and preferably tie in to a cms/shopping cart/whatever without having to pay [too much].
  • Well, we have been looking for a CRM for well over a year now (or rather the ones who have the insight what modern programs can do). The program that I have been planning to build if every thing else fails is designed to suit this kind of thing, regardless of what kind of company you run, I think very different from what the current offering is. The main features should be: Client management, client should contain more than just name address and description, as we use the client management, we usually describe what kind of product he owns, since we plan the marketting and services by product. Also, there might become a time when we need to assign client in to groups by some value, example being the city they live, or a zip code. So the client listing should offer various search criteria. And if possible, the admin should be able to create new tables for clients when needed (what fits for some, might not fit for everyone). User/employee management, we have the need to assign the clients to different users or employees, since we have partners all over the country, that we need to assign the clients for service (so that employees can easily look their customers). Also, there might be a need for messaging service between users because of this. Project management, we should be able to assign projects per client, since there might be special need for some of our clients, and majority at the moment do. Some might be RMAs, simple service requests or trouble shooting, we need to write all these down so that we can track our customer base (happy customers vs. constant bitches). Calendar, most of our products need constant maintenance (maintenance service is one of the services we offer) and we need reminders for the assigned user (see above). The service we offer is maintenance every two years, so we need to have the calendar service for this, so that we know that their product is been taken care of. Also, the user specific calendar, we can put our vacations and such which indicates when we are not available and for how long. There might be few things more, but I can't remember, since I left my notes to work, but it is fairly complex and large client relations management tool, there are alot of things we do to keep our customers happy afterall. But I think there is something to chew you for a while.
  • I've got an 8 hour car journey ahead of me so i'll get my thinking cap on. That seems like a reasonably comprehensive list.
  • Mark, any word about this? Can you give some info if you are making a CRM, I would like to hear about it and help with anything I can.
  • Darice has been doing the same fae the looks o' tings:
  • will be interesting to see that blossom.
  • ithcyithcy New
    edited February 2006
    wrong forum
  • 37Signals are working on a "CRM-ish" application, and I imagine integration into Basecamp would be pretty hot.
  • The problem where I work is integration. We use a custom Filemaker solution (for graphic design agencies) to manage client details/contact reports/job bags/expenses/timesheets/quotes/labelling. Then someone exports data to Sage for accounting. And now we use Basecamp as well with our clients. Filemaker can export for Safe, but it can't talk to Basecamp, in fact there is probably a 75% overlap between them. But Basecamp can't do billing or export financial data yet (maybe eventually via the API). What I'm saying is it would be great to have an online app simple and flexible enough to do all of the above. As soon as you're using 3 or 4 apps it just gets ineffecient. Anyhow that's how I see it, guess it depends on what you need to manage :-D
  • ( looks tasty)
  • Yeah. I found a couple of issues with SJT which i mailed them about. One thing i did consider (but havent talked to them about) is the client login type stuff available in basecamp and the ideas behind the darice stuff.

    I do think there is a massive gap in the market for an online tool to cover all the boundaries. But covering them well without overcomplicating stuff or missing things or generally creating a superhuman is nigh impossible.
  • I'm suprised no one has cloned Basecamp yet. Would be nice if you could install it to your own domain.

    Couldn't be that hard, it's pretty much a glorified blog/foum with multiple access and some nice fancy shit that I've not got a clue how to do. Ok maybe it would be quite hard.
  • Yeah, vanilla is pretty much a glorified forum, and it's taken him like a year :D
  • ROFL
This discussion has been closed.