Customer Relationship Management System at BP Plc

Customer Relationship Management System
Customer Relationship Management System

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Deployment of Customer Relationship Management System at BP Plc

Executive Summary

This project is about building a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for BP Plc., a London-based energy company. This corporation has approximately 84,480 workers. The economic value that BP generates every year is $360 billion and its profit in 2014 was $8.07 billion. The new system would help BP to gain competitive advantage with a measurable outcome or improve its operations in some way. The information regarding the project would be collated using qualitative methods.

The project manager will talk to the interviewees face-to-face with a listing of questions. The constraints for this project include technological issues; economic factors; and social factors. The project risks are categorized as follows: schedule, financial, technical, client, and people risks. The outcome of the cost-benefit analysis shows that this project is economically viable and can be pursued. Non-financial benefits of this project include customer loyalty, improved brand image and reputation for BP and increase in employee satisfaction.

Deployment of Customer Relationship Management system at BP Plc

This business report describes an international business project that can be solved by carrying out a short-term project pertaining to digital capabilities at British Petroleum (BP) for global customer communications at this multinational energy company. Firstly, the current situation of the firm is analyzed in order to determine a need for a particular project in this area that would improve BP’s customer relationships management. All in all, the project would help BP to gain competitive advantage with a measurable outcome or improve its operations in some way. 

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1.0 Purpose of project

The project’s purpose is to develop a customer relationship management system at BP and deploy it throughout the company. It will store data concerning BP’s clients and their interactions with BP.

1.1 Project Plan and Project Scope

Scope of the project is the part of the project planning which entails determining and documenting a listing of exact project deliverables, goals, deadlines, costs as well as tasks.   The scope is essentially what the project would deliver (Lebedeva 2015). In this project, the goal is to make improvements on BP’s Management Information System for global customer communications in order to meet the overall business needs of attaining increased sales as well as competitive advantage. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system would be built. It would be an information system which would maintain data regarding the company’s clients as well as their interactions with the organization.

2.0  High level analysis of business environment
2.1 Micro and Macro (Internal and External factors)
2.1.1  Porters 5 Forces

Intensity of competition: High – BP operates in a market that is very competitive. Some of the main private sector players which are BP’s competitors include Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Texaco, Total, and Chevron. These main competitors have established presence all over the globe and they employ costly differentiation and branding strategies in their operations. It is notable that low switching costs, high storage and real property costs, low levels of product differentiation and rapid global growth foster more intense rivalry amongst the existing competitors in the gas and oil sector.

Bargaining power of suppliers: High – The suppliers mainly comprise the countries in which the oil and gas company extracts the commodity. These oil-producing countries such as Venezuela, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and other Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) have a high bargaining power given that they can easily manipulate the oil and gas prices for instance by reducing or increasing the availability of gas and oil (Reckdahl 2015). The OPEC countries establish prices for gas and oil and this affects both the supply as well as price levels.

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Bargaining power of buyers: Medium – There is medium bargaining power of consumers since the cost of switching to other products is high. There is growing demand for oil and gas in the marketplaces particularly in the emerging markets of China and India. There is the growing need for clean, eco-friendly fuels. The oil companies can sell their products to many customers.

Threat of substitute products: Low – At the moment, there are few commercially exploitable substitutes. Non-renewable sources of fuel which may pose a threat to BP’s oil and gas production and retail mainly includes coal. There are also emergent alternative fuels such as wind energy, photovoltaic energy or solar power, nuclear energy, geothermal power as well as other renewable sources of energy although they do not pose a significant threat to BP (Helman 2012).

Threat of new entrants: Low – The likelihood of new players penetrating the oil and gas industry is low thanks to high barriers to entry that discourage other companies from entering this industry. High amount of capital is required to enter this market. New companies may lack the necessary personnel and financial capital essential for operating in the oil and gas industry. There are high exploration and development costs and financial institutions do not provide financing for exploratory activities (Reckdahl 2015).

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2.2 Information research needs

Collecting information from various sources is an essential part of this project. Determining what information would help to effectively execute the project is something that would be done prior to gathering any sort of data. It is notable that wasting time in collating incorrect type of information could set any given project back and cost the organization so much money (Cunningham, Salomone & Wielgus 2015). Collection of information will start only after obtaining a thorough and clear listing of information required for the project.

In this project, helpful information would be gathered by talking to the right individuals. BP’s senior managers and the company’s employees who have worked for BP for over 24 months have extensive experience and they can offer quality information which may be helpful to this project. The information would be gathered using qualitative methods and interviews would be used. The project manager will sit down and talk to the interviewees face-to-face with a listing of questions. The information gathered will help in determining exactly what the client requirements are with regard to the new digital technologies.

2.3 Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholders are basically those entities that could influence the project. The stakeholders of this project are formally tabulated as follows:

Table 1: Stakeholder analysis

 StakeholderLevel of influence or powerInterest in the project / level of involvementStakeholder expectationsActions to meet expectations
1ClientHighOwner of the project. Controls the financial resources. Makes decisions.New and improved Management Information System (CRM) for global customer communications to meet overall business needs of attaining increased sales and competitive advantageSpecify requirements for the new/improved system, provide financial resources
2Regulatory bodiesMediumCertify the new digital technology deployed at the client organizationManagement information system that meets defined standards and regulatory requirementsApprove system if meets standards and satisfies needs of customer
3Project teamLowDesigns the new digital technology, deploys and implements it at client organization, BP. Project team has specialist skills needed by the projectExecute the projectComplete the project within budget, deliver the required project deliverables, and complete the project by due date
4SupplierLowSupplies the digital technology; the CRM systemBe notified of the client’s expectations regarding the new systemSupply CRM system that meet needs of end-user

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2.4 Constraints Analysis (Internal and External)

Constraints essentially place conditions or limits on the project. Constraints could originate either from internal or external factors. Being able to identify constraints implies that an analysis has been carried out on the proposed project (Rivard & Dupré 2011). The external constraints for this project include the following: technological issues; environmental concerns or issues; economic factors; social factors; and political factors. The internal constraints include predetermined budget; expertise on the specific CRM system to be deployed at BP; hard deadline; resources; legal requirements; and business requirements.

2.5 Benchmarks

The new improved CRM at BP should result in the following:

(i) BP should focus more on its relationships with individual customers and suppliers.

(ii) There would be improved customer experience since employees at BP would have access to comprehensive relationship detail anywhere they work to engage with the company’s customers and provide excellent services.

(iii) Users would be able to check order histories instantly in order to comprehend the buying patterns of consumers and identify new opportunities for selling BP’s products (Shanks, Jagielska & Jayaganesh 2010).

(iv) BP would be able to do business wherever by having dependable access to customer, relationship, as well as sales detail needed with the use of CRM app. Some of these benefits have been realized by Chevron, which deployed a new CRM system organization-wide within the last 5 years. 

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3.0 Risk Analysis and Control
3.1 Sources/categories of risk

The potential risks for the project fall in the following categories: schedule, financial, technical, client, people, cost and contractual. The project manager will assume total authority of minimizing the chances of occurrence of risks whilst implementing the project. In this project, the risks would be handled by mitigating them. If a risk cannot be avoided, they can be mitigated. This basically implies taking some kind of action which would cause the risk to cause as little harm to the project as possible (Söderlund & Müller 2014).

3.2 Risk assessment

After identifying the possible project risks, they are evaluated basing upon the likelihood that a risk event would crop up and the possible loss associated with the risk. All risks are not the same. Some risk events have a higher chance of happening in comparison to other risk events and the cost of any given risk could differ very much (Huff & Prybutok 2010). Assessing the risk for likelihood of occurrence and the severity or possible loss to the project is an important step in the process of risk management.

                                                Impact High                                                                                                            Low
Likelihood                         Low
High impact risk and likely to happen Technical PeopleLow impact risk and likely to happen Technological risks  
High impact risk but not likely to happen ScheduleFinancialLow impact risk but not likely to happen Contractual

Projects risks which are considered as high-impact are the ones that may increase the costs of the project by 10 percent or more. Just a few possible risk events actually meet these criteria. Low impact project risks are the risk events which could increase the costs of the project by less than 10%. It is the high-impact project risk events which the project management team would be focusing on when formulating the project management or mitigation plan.  Through risk assessment, the project management team gets to understand the possible risk events which have the greatest likelihood of happening and could cause the greatest negative impact on the project (Hartman & Ashrafi 2010).

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3.3 Risk analysis using Force Field Analysis

Force Field Analysis (FFA) was conceptualized by Kurt Lewin and is commonly employed in change management. This technique facilitates change in an organization as it seeks to understand 2 differing sets of forces: that is, driving forces which foster organizational change and hindering forces that strive to sustain the status quo (Cunningham, Salomone & Wielgus 2015). By methodically taking into account the persons, attitudes, customs, and habits which both hinder and drive the capacity of the company to change to attain its goals, FFA helps in sharpening the findings of the risk assessment process.

In this project, since the objective of BP Plc is to improve its Management Information System (CRM) for global customer communications so as to meet the overall business goals of accomplishing increased sales and gain competitive advantage, the driving forces include competition, scorecard reporting of progress, and monitoring by the company’s management. Examples of restraining forces include insufficient expertise or training to implement and use the system, employee resistance to change, and the lack of meaningful data for measuring results prior to and following implementation of the change.    

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3.4 Risk Control/response/management programme
3.4.1 Risk mitigation

The common strategies for mitigating risks are risk transfer, risk reduction, risk sharing and risk avoidance. Each of these techniques of mitigating risks could be effectual in decreasing individual risks as well as the project’s risk profile. It is notable that the risk mitigation plan spells out the approach for mitigating each risk event that was identified as well as the actions which would be taken to eliminate or decrease the risk (Ku 2010).

Mitigating technical risks: when tasks are delegated to individuals in the project team, the technical capability and skill of those people may be overlooked. This will in turn increase the probability of delaying the project and not meeting its deadline. In this project, a delay such as this would be avoided by way of increasing the frequency of communication between the members of the project team and closely monitoring their tasks during execution of the project.

The other alternative entails dividing an intricate task between members of the project team and then delegating every part to one group member. When a complex/difficult technical task is reduced into simple, smaller tasks, the time of implementation might increase but the likelihood of missing the deadline for completion of the task could be managed given that the risk which is involved in the undertaking is diversified amongst many people (Besteiro, de Souza Pinto & Novaski 2015).

Mitigating financial risks: it is not easy to estimate risk factors which are cost-based. The project manager will develop an intuition with regard to decisions so that the decisions which would increase the costs of carrying out a given task could be avoided. The project manager will utilize sophisticated techniques to estimate costs. Some of these techniques include Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)/Critical Path Method (CPM). These could be employed in overseeing how tasks are deployed and to analyze the risks that are involved. The project manager can also employ advanced techniques like Expected Monetary Value which provides an insight on fiscal loss or gain if an event occurs or does not occur.

Mitigating scheduling risks: implementing the right tasks at the correct time will help in lowering the risk of not meeting the deadline of the project. Tasks of the project could be allocated to team members in 2 different ways. First is by calculating the estimated processing time of every task and executing the tasks basing upon the Shortest Processing Time (SPT). The second approach involves defining the due dates for every task and then process them basing upon the Earliest Due Date (EDD).

In essence, the project manager would choose which approach to utilize to schedule tasks and delegate them to the project team members who are associated with the implementation of the project. The Monte Carlo Simulation method is an advanced technique that can be used to decrease the risks whilst scheduling work-based tasks (Huff & Prybutok 2010).   

Mitigating people risks: the project team may lose crucial personnel who are important for successful completion of the project. To effectively mitigate this potential risk event, the project management team will sign up new personnel to help implement the project successfully and complete in time and within the specified budget.

Mitigating technological risks: this project entails improving BP’s management information system by deploying a new digital technology that includes a state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management system. Possible risks are that this new system may have include technological flaws, and the members of the project team may lack familiarity with this new digital technology. To mitigate against this risk event, the project management team would ensure that every project team member is familiar with the CRM system which would be deployed at BP. Furthermore, the project management team will make sure that the procured CRM information system is flawless, perfect and works appropriately.

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3.5 Contingency planning

The risk plan will balance the investment of risk mitigation against the benefits for this project. It is notable that an alternative approach would be developed by the project team. This alternative method would be used to complete the project and accomplish the goal when a particular risk event has occurred which might actually hinder the attainment of the project goal. In essence, these plans are referred to as contingency plans (Parker & Mobey 2010). In this project, the project team would set aside contingency monies for addressing any unforeseen events which may result in an increase in project costs.

These contingency amounts will amount to $72,114. The project manager would manage contingency monies at the project level and will need the project sponsor’s approval prior to using the contingency funds. People risks for instance losing some skilled and proficient project team members who have the required technical expertise to effectively complete the project would be mitigated with a contingency plan which will entail hiring a skilled expert to help implement the project and accomplish the project goals.

Table 2: Contingency budget

 Phase of projectContingency budget
1System Design  $3,114
2System creation$17,000
3Hardware acquisition$19,000
4Implementation  $21,000
5Testing the CRM system$7,000
6Deployment throughout BP  $5,000
3.6 Resource reviews and personnel requirements

Resources refer to the items needed to implement the project activities. For this particular project, the resources needed are as follows:

Money/budget – roughly $337,700 would be needed considering that the project would be carried out to integrate all of BP’s Management Information Systems worldwide. This money would be expended on overheads, subcontracting, subsistence and travel, acquiring the most recent CRM system for BP, equipment as well as staff costs.

Time – the project is to be completed within 12 months. If the project manager succeeds in meeting schedule of the project, then this project manager will be very likely to stay within the project budget. For time to be managed effectively, the project management team will detail and prioritize the various project activities.

Equipment and materials: the project manager will ensure that the right equipment is available and at the right time and that it actually operates as it should. The equipment in this project mainly includes computers. Materials comprise an extensive category of requirements for instance utility services like access to the internet, telephone lines, electricity, office space and office materials utilized by the project team members.

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3.7 Personnel Requirements

The most significant resource for this project are the human resources. It would always be important to have the right personnel who possess the required skills. The project management team will ensure that everyone is aware of what is needed to be done in the project, how to do it and when. The staffs would be motivated to take ownership of the project. The key personnel for this project will include administrator, project manager, project staff, project sponsor, and technical advisor.

The Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed (RACI) matrix outlines the business areas which are responsible for project deliverables. Every role is separate and different from other roles, although a single individual could be responsible for several roles. The RACI matrix for this project is as follows:

Table 3: RACI for personnel requirements

 Project managerProject Team membersClient/ownerSponsorTechnical advisor
Project planningARRII
Provision of resourcesRCAAC
Development of CRM systemARIIC
Content ReviewARIIR
Usability TestingARCIC
Installation of the CRM system companywide at BP.ARCCC

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