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Siebel CRM to help Jenny Craig slim down client relations

Weight loss firm Jenny Craig picked Oracle-Siebel over Microsoft to help it streamline customer relationship management.

Jenny Craig Inc. is counting on Siebel CRM and Microsoft CRM -- the well-known weight management firm, which is headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., and boasts about 650 weight loss centers throughout the world, chose to standardize on Siebel to help it gain a "360-degree client view" and drive the growth of its business.

"Microsoft had the technology, but we are currently using [the Oracle-Siebel] platform in one of our channels of sales, Jenny Direct," said Shoukry Tiab, Jenny Craig's vice president of information services and chief information officer. "That simplified our project timeline from identifying new requirements on a new platform to adapting what we already have within Jenny Direct."

Improving the customer experience

Jenny Craig wanted a single record for each of its clients, numbering more than 120,000, through a Web-based system. Whether customers dial into a Jenny Craig call center or visit one of the diet centers in person, Jenny Craig executives wanted sales representatives and diet counselors to have the right information about client histories at their fingertips. Reaching this goal would help Jenny Craig employees identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, as well as help to improve the customer's overall experience, Tiab said.

"There is always visibility of the client, but through some manual process that happens behind the scenes," Tiab said. "Now, having that at the fingertips of every one of our consultants at every center or channel of sales will leverage more convenience for our clients."

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In addition to general CRM, other aspects of Oracle-Siebel technology will help to improve the customer experience, according to Tiab. They include order management and fulfillment, inventory and logistics, marketing and partner portals, business intelligence as an embedded component, Siebel SmartScript and incentive compensation capabilities.

"The marketing component is really focused on combining all our marketing efforts and providing our consultants at the centers [with] the ability to identify the type of client and their needs," Tiab explained. "As they walk into the center we will already know what campaign they responded to and why."

Tiab added that the incentive compensation module is a key component that will allow the company to reward employees based on the success of its clients. Meanwhile, Siebel SmartScript will help to ensure that employees follow the right steps when dealing with clients -- from the interview process to consultations to setting them up with the right Jenny Craig meal packages.

Siebel vs. Microsoft

Jenny Craig began evaluating CRM technology in January. Once it became clear to company executives that their needs dictated hosting the new CRM implementation in-house -- rather than going with a third-party hosted or Software as a Service approach -- Tiab said it was then easy to narrow the search down to two vendors.

"The reality is Siebel and Microsoft CRM were on top of the list," he said.

The company already had an investment in Siebel and that played into the decision-making process, but it wasn't the only reason the firm chose Oracle over Microsoft, Tiab said.

"Siebel is a complete platform that offers all the components [we required] -- CRM, order management, inventory and logistics," Tiab said. "All of these are embedded within one platform."

Additionally, Tiab said, Siebel's technology roadmap is more closely aligned with Jenny Craig's own technological goals. Anyone making a software buying decision should consider the long-term goals of the software vendor versus their own, he said.

CRM deployment details

Jenny Craig has nearly completed the design phase of its Siebel CRM implementation, which entails getting department heads together and identifying exactly what the Siebel implementation will look like and what functionality will be required.

When that is complete, Jenny Craig will enter into the development phase, Tiab said. The company plans to launch a test of the new systems next March. If all goes well, the firm will go ahead with a nationwide Siebel CRM deployment in June.

In addition to Siebel CRM, Jenny Craig is deploying Oracle Database 10g, an Oracle-based data warehouse, Oracle Partner Portal and Oracle Business Intelligence applications.

Tiab didn't say how much money Jenny Craig is investing in Oracle-Siebel.

"I can tell you that it's a substantial investment," he said. "It is one of the largest investments in technology that we've embarked on as a company."

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