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Summary:

I’m working at a company, and we are currently in the works of developing our own custom CRM (Contact Resource Management) system. All the programs we’ve used have some serious setbacks, are slow, look horrible, and just suck. I’ve been touring through DayLite 3, and there […]

Daylite3-1

I’m working at a company, and we are currently in the works of developing our own custom CRM (Contact Resource Management) system. All the programs we’ve used have some serious setbacks, are slow, look horrible, and just suck. I’ve been touring through DayLite 3, and there is no question we would be using this if our office was Mac. Unfortunately that’s not the case, but there are plenty of small businesses that run on the Mac, and if you work at/run one, then DayLite is a must purchase.

Let me first explain what the reason for having a CRM is. Then, I will highlight how Daylite works. With a large business you will probably have a large set of customer data. For the business I work for we add usually 25-100 customers per day. A company would then gather the customers details either by email or phone and insert this data into the main CRM. So, the first goal of a CRM is to organize contacts and customer information. Typically, a CRM will also include organization tools for linking contacts to certain organizations or other companies.

One of the useful tools of a CRM is the centralization of data. Not only do we want to store our customer and contact data, but why don’t we keep appointments we have with them and possible projects within our company as well as to-do lists. We may even want to track our planned sales and then predict how much income we will bring in. A good CRM will be able to handle all these tasks with ease.

Daylite does this in a simple way that makes adding contacts or tasks or opportunities a secondary thought. Daylite also scores right on with the interface. It’s sleek with great icons and an interesting layout that maximizes efficiency.

Daylite3-2

As you can see by the picture above, Daylite splits all the tasks mentioned above into a 3 by 3 grid. This gives us quick access to all the important sections of our CRM. Adding a contact in Daylite is as simple as clicking on the New Contact button in the toolbar. You will then be presented with a sheet that let’s you fill out all possible information about your contact. It even allows for tagging!

Once we’ve added a contact, you may want to associate that contact with a certain business, organization or company. Just select a contact, push the link button and start typing. Daylite will search across all possible connections and allow you to connect your contact to a business. You can even link it to other parts of the CRM like projects. Once you’ve got your contact associated with a business, you can then find him and all the other members of an organization by simply clicking that organizations name.

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This is where the 3 pane view strikes gold. I can select an organization. All of its members are then instantly listed in the middle pane. Select one of those contacts and all their info is displayed in the third pane. This makes perfect sense and really presents company and contact information the way it should.

This, by no means, does justice to Daylite. It simply is too powerful of a program to describe fully in this short review, but I hope this sampler demonstrates to you how useful Daylite can be. I can assure you that a good, solid CRM is very important to any sized business. Daylite is a great management system and will really increase productivity amongst all businesses. Check out Daylite now.

By Dustin Bachrach

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  1. The integration with Apple’s Mail.app and iCal is super strong!

    This is the best non-web based CRM app available on the Mac platform today.

    Superbly executed!

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  2. Interesting. I may check this out.

    BTW – your left margin is *way* too small. It makes your text very hard to read.

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  3. The Grammar Police Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    “Complement”, not “compliment”. Otherwise, nicely done.

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  4. I, too, dig DayLite. Two key features:

    1. it’s networkable — you can set up a client-server model and share data office-wide
    2. you san sync a local copy of the entire database to your laptop, so road-warrior salesman have access to their customer data everywhere, even if they don’t have internet access. this is a key advantage over web-based CRMs.

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  5. DayLite is fantastic. It is very customizable if you want to do that. It is not hard to use but reading the user’s guide does help.

    I am hoping with Leopard that the new DayLite will be able to:

    1) Share information with Apple’s Address Book and iCal seamlessly (without manual syncing). I am hoping for a change in one or the other (AB /iCal / DayLite) with show the immediate same chane in the others.

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  6. nice, i will look use the trial version. Perhaps will be using it for my office.

    Thanks for sharing the news.

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  7. Hi, Could you recomend me a CMS – Content management system, that works with MAC ? I would like to switch from Windows Machine to MAC, but I am working as a webaster – Beginner and can’t find a good CMS for MAC. Could You help me there ?
    PS. I am not searching nothing like MAmbo, Joomla or Typo3. those systems are too complicated to me.
    Thanx.
    Chris-schnelles lesen

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  8. Since when CRM stands for Contact’s Resource Management?

    CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, all major companies use it, like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

    sorry, but you don’t seem to have any idea…

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  9. I’ve been trying to ween my company off a IE-only CRM for awhile now. Majority of the office has switched to the Mac, but due to this annoying IE-only CRM they still “need” to boot Windows via Parallels (WinE/Crossover Office doesn’t work in this case, due to MSJava VM in IE that this CRM uses). I’d still like to ween them of it though – thats a 256MB RAM commitment just to access something they need at all times, a considerable chunk of memory from their 1GB systems. Right now I’m still in the research-phase for a replacement. I have looked at Daylite already, and its very promising. However 2 inherent problems spring up when switching to it:

    1) Daylite is Mac-only (there are still 2 stubborn PC users).
    2) No centralized web-server(to my knowledge). This is really important for the mobile/notebook users in the company. Some of them are out of the country at times, for perhaps weeks. That much “offline mode” separated from the going-on’s with the rest of the office is too much. A centralized online server that they can sync to is crucial (though I like the idea of having a network-based server, it would cut down on lag-times, or outages compared to the current CRM, but a online backup in conjunction with a network server would be perfect).

    Right now, my current investigations have lead to a Filemaker Pro Server or heavily modified open-source CRM/CMS/Wiki-engine (both will be huge amounts of work). I like the idea of trying to tie in whatever the database content is, with the default Mac OS X apps (Mail, Address Book, iCal), which typically works good with iSync/Missing Sync mobiles. For the most part, the stubborn PC users could also benefit from such a system, since those apps are standards-compliant and Office 2007 now properly supports compatible formats, the data between the two platforms shouldn’t be an issue.

    I really wish Apple would offer a “.Mac Server” thing for OS X Server. It would solve the problem of the Address Book syncing with online versions (unless I’m missing something).

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  10. This is a very cumbersome program to learn and use, particularly if you are a one man shop without tech help. It is made for companies with multiple users. I have spent a lot of time trying to learn it, but things are counter-intuitive, and rarely simple. I miss ACT, which longer is made for the Mac.

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