Voice of Experience: Charles Irsch, Centex Homes
Vice President, Information Systems
Manager's Profile: Irsch held a variety of information technology posts and worked as a consultant at Arthur Andersen & Co. before joining Centex in 1996. He holds B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Why He's Using CRM: Data consolidation. Centex wants information about its prospects and buyers all to be accessible through a single system.
What He Needs to Customize: Mortgage calculators, loan qualifiers.
Cash Invested and ROI Expected: Irsch says his is a "multimillion dollar investment"but won't be more specific. He also won't say what kind of return Centex expects to get.
Project Scope: The pilot is scheduled for June. By the time the system is fully implemented at the end of 2003, 55 operating divisions and 700 users should be taking advantage of it. The system will be based on technology from Pivotal.
How He Selected a Vendor: Irsch liked Pivotal's relatively low cost and the commitment it showed to understanding Centex's requirements. He selected Pivotal out of a final field that included YouCentric, e.Piphany, and homestore.com.
His Biggest Worry: Connectivity for remote offices. "Our 500 sales offices are generally located on the fringe of major metro areas where a reliable high-speed connection is not always available," Irsch says.