Business Situation: In the recent past firm-to-firm supply chain relationships have more often than not been adversarial. In these cold relationships trust was nowhere to be found and important information was not shared. Many decisions were made without any consideration of the long term relationships between firms.
Background: “CRM is the abbreviation for Customer Relationship Management. Customer relationship entails all aspects of interaction that a company has with a customer, whether it is sales or severice-related. While the phrase customer relationship management is most commonly used to describe a business to customer relationship, CRM systems are also used to manage business contacts, clients, contract wins and sales leads.” 
FW Solution: FW Warehousing’s solution to poor quality relationships between firms is to create an environment where collaboration has a better chance. At the base of this concept is better communication. When goals are understood and when risks are vetted, there is a better chance for a trusting relationship to move forward. Another method to build trust is by sharing real time information between firms.
According to Webopedia “Customer relationship management is often thought of as a business strategy that enables businesses to improve in a number of areas. The CRM strategy allows companies to do the following:”
- Understand the customer
- Retain customers through better customer experience
- Attract new customers
- Win new clients and contracts
- Increase profitability
- Decrease customer management costs 
Benefits: Supply chain firms that learn to trust one another and work together experience competitive advantages because they have a more comprehensive view of their own business.
Other benefits to enhancing FW’s customer relationship management:
- Customer relationship management helps to identify and target the best customers, manage marketing campaigns and generate quality leads for the sales team.
- Customer relationship management assists to improve telesales, account and sales management by optimizing information shared by multiple employees and streamlining existing process.
- Customer relationship management allows for the formation of individualized relationships with customers, with an aim in improving customer satisfaction and maximizing profits; by identifying the most profitable customers and providing them the highest level of service.
- Customer relationship management provides employees with the information and processes necessary to know their customers, understand and identify customer needs and effectively build relationships between the company, its customer base and distribution partners. 
Many businesses are utilizing CRM systems. “The biggest benefit most businesses realize when moving to a CRM system comes directly from having all the business data stored and accessed from a single location. Before CRM systems, customer data was spread out over office productivity suite documents, email systems, mobile phone data and even paper note cards and Rolodex entries. Storing all the data from all departments in a central location gives management and employees immediate access to the most recent data when they need it. Departments can collaborate with ease, and CRM stystems help organization to develop efficient automated processes to improve business process.” 
Other benefits include:
- A 360-degree view of all customer information
- Knowledge of what customers and the general market want
- Integration with your existing applications to consolidate all business information.” 
1. CRM-Customer Relationship Management (What is Customer Relationship Management CRM? Webopedia) http://www.webopedia.comTERM/C/CRM.html
2. CRM (customer relationship management) (What is?) http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/CRM