Today’s technology gives companies an advantage they have never before had. With the ability to streamline processes and access data in real-time, companies can stay on top of their competition. In addition, today’s data analysis technology allows companies to foresee future events and plan accordingly. These tools, which include both enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM software), give companies the power to control their success in today’s market. While similar at first glance, ERP and CRM platforms are distinctively different. Understanding each platform is critical to your system’s success.
What is ERP Software?
First and foremost, ERP software is designed to make a company’s processes more effective and efficient. By better managing all of the key functions of a company – accounting, warehouse, inventory and supply chain – ERP software allows the company to focus on what really matters: the data. With integrated ERP software, employees can update the platform with important information available in real-time to all departments within the company. This integrated technology gives companies a heads-up when problems occur. If there is a problem in the supply chain, the ERP software will capture the issue and make it available to all areas affected, such as the warehouse. ERP not only provides all departments with updated information, but it also gives companies a clear and accurate picture of their standings at any given moment.
What is CRM Software?
CRM software fulfills the customer-side of the system. Customer relationship management systems (or CRM systems) focus on just that : customers. This software manages customer information and captures all relevant details for the company. This information is used all across the board, from sales reps to managers to accounting personnel. A quality CRM system should captureeveryinteraction the company has with the customer. By properly managing customer information, companies can build their customer relationships in order to increase customer loyalty and, ultimately, revenue.
ERP software and CRM software both manage important information for your company. While both software systems manage different information, their integration is critical. The benefits of integrating ERP and CRM are many, including ensuring an optimal return on your investment in both platforms. The information captured by both platforms helps employees make better decisions. For example, a sales rep could not make an effective sale without leveraging both CRM and ERP. By forgetting CRM, the rep could miss out on information crucial to that client’s sale. Without ERP, the sale has the possibility of not being communicated to accounting, production and/or warehouse departments, creating a mess that could result in unmet client expectations.
Ultimately, integration between ERP and CRM ensures that your customers’ expectations, and your company goals, are met. This integration guarantees that all departments in your company are working together. The sales rep can communicate with the accounting, supply and warehouse departments before making the sale. If there are problems, the sales rep will be notified ahead of time. This gives sales reps the ability to close deals with all necessary information and maintain a good name for your company. Without ERP and CRM integration, your company stands the risk of being lost in communication.