THE first three years of a business can be the most arduous, and so it was for Jordan Baskett and his wife, Andrea Johnson who, having passed the start-up phase with their company CRMmetry Jamaica, are now looking to expand their business in the Caribbean.
In 2017 the couple left New York with dreams of transforming Jamaica's customer relationship management (CRM) landscape and pioneering the use of the software, Salesforce. At that time, the CRM software was a novelty to English-speaking Caribbean countries and, according to Baskett, “the concept of 'Cloud' was not as highly” praised as it is now locally.
“One of the biggest challenges was extolling the value of Salesforce to customers locally, although Salesforce is the number one CRM in the world — they hold 20 per cent of the global market share,” the pair told the Jamaica Observer, relating their early journey with CRMmetry. “Additionally, being first to market means there was no existing Salesforce ecosystem. This affected us hiring qualified team members to scale quickly. Pretty much everyone in the region who is Salesforce certified works with CRMmetry,” they continued.
Salesforce facilitates the systemised management of the sales, marketing and service operations of companies through its various cloud services. Moreover, by tracking sales activity, it streamlines communication and retention of customer contacts. The software also facilitates add-ons such as Google Suite and Dropbox, as well as the integration of Amazon Web Service.
Now, four years later, CRMmetry boasts a team of 15 staff members from its Hope Road, Kingston, location. Among them are experienced Salesforce consultants who have worked with one of London's largest investment banks and one of the Caribbean's telecoms giants. However, the proprietors note that the business is managed virtually through online platforms and business solutions supported by Salesforce, since team members are not just based in Jamaica but also in Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.
With a geographically diverse client base — 80 per cent in Jamaica and 20 per cent in the Americas — CRMmetry has executed projects in Turks and Caicos, St Kitts and Nevis, the USA, and has been instrumental in deals in Trinidad. The company now boasts a clientele that includes the likes of RJRGleaner Group, Cari-Med, and Hardware and Lumber. “We are currently working with clients in hospitality, real estate, financial services, manufacturing, communications and the professional services industries,” Baskett, the CEO, said.
Having seen the company's revenue double each year since its founding, Baskett and his COO wife are relishing more opportunities in the Caribbean basin. At present, CRMmetry has seven active projects underway. As more companies in the English-speaking Caribbean, and beyond, accelerate their digital transformation, the Jamaican outfit has “primed itself to respond to an expected surge of demand for digitisation” in manufacturing, retail, logistics, insurance, health care, energy, banking and finance, among other fields. “We are really excited about the developments happening in the regional financial space, especially the opportunity digital central banks present. We assist financial institutions to understand their complex relationships with all types of customers and provide better customer service and transparency,” Baskett asserted. “For manufacturing companies, CRMmetry can manage the complete process commercially and across retail — from orders, route and delivery planning, AI-based manufacturing, loyalty management and rebate management,” he added.
When Business Observer inquired about how the company plans to expand regionally, the directors pointed out that they had no plans to set up brick and mortar operations. “In an ideal world we will be establishing virtual offices within the various regions and hiring, where possible, local team members to join our staff. We believe in digital transformation and implement solutions...that facilitate and encourage global, real time collaborative work,” they responded.
By the end of next year, the directors plan to expand the company's operations into the continent of Africa by first leveraging their networks in the US over the next few months. “We want to be everywhere English is spoken. The continent of Africa is the next nearest region that has very little market penetration,” Baskett and Johnson said. In the near future the company hopes to add Amazon Web Service to its suite of offerings, as well as a Salesforce solution for HR.