I met Scott a few months ago in a meetup in Palo Alto. His company manages electronic medical records for kids. It’s a great service to the parents. Parents can look up their kid’s immunization records very easily using an iPhone.  I wanted to know more about his business, so recently I contacted him to get together for a lunch.

Last Monday we met for lunch in Palo Alto. His team just finished implementing a Cloud based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Before I had a chance to ask him what CRM he implemented, he volunteered. His team had picked the biggest cloud CRM Company to avoid spending too much time evaluating a bunch of CRM solutions.

Scott forgot that I work for a CRM company. When I reminded him, he had a question for me.

His CRM deals with kids, kid’s parents, doctors and kid’s electronic records among few other things. Kids generally are seen by more than one doctor. Of course, a doctor treats many kids. He associates many kids with a doctor. But, for each kid he has to add a new doctor instead of picking from a list of doctors.

His problem is twofold. First, creating duplicate doctors’ records takes time. Second, when the doctor’s information changes, he needs to update all duplicate records for the same doctor to keep them consistent.

I smiled because I knew the problem right away. Scott has not figured out how to setup many-to-many relations between the doctor and the patient (kid).

So, I asked him to configure many-to-many relations between the doctor and the patient. Apparently, his team had spent a lot of time and found no easy way to do this! I was surprised because this is a very basic need for any CRM. And setting up many-to-many relations should be a simple configuration without any complex steps or programming.

Scott added, to be able to setup such a relation he needs to hire a consultant!

I said to Scott, “you have gotten yourself a constrained relationship management”.

Check out Soffront CRM if you want to get a real configurable CRM. Soffront is not the biggest company but it has the most configurable CRM. For example, you can configure many to many relations by simply filling up a simple spreadsheet like form.