Enterprises looking to automating their core business processes generally choose normally resort to buy two main software solutions, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM).
An ERP software helps companies in running their businesses successfully by connecting their operational and financial systems to a central database, whereas a CRM software helps in managing how customers are interacting with their businesses.
Both the software solutions work as essential data repositories. They also benefit multiple other departments and, being built on the same platform, companies generally want to purchase and integrate them separately.
This article will shed light over their difference, features and why you should go with any of them or both.
What is ERP?
An ERP helps you in managing your daily business activities such as procurement, accounting, risk management, supply & chain operations, project management and compliance.
The all-inclusive platform also comes with enterprise performance management, software that helps in planning, budgeting, predicting, and reporting on an enterprise’s financial outcomes.
The software, thus, boasts an umpteen of business processes and streamlines the data between them.
By collecting and storing your company’s shared transactional data from many different sources, it thus helps in eliminating data duplication and builds data integrity.
So, this software can manage plenty of tasks related to your business irrespective of its size.
So, what are the key benefits of ERP software?
An ERP system can help you in managing all core activities related to your business, for example planning, engineering, inventory/materials management, manufacturing, order processing, finance and accounting, human resources and so on.
Best of all, it also keeps a prying eye on activities taking place in your organization.
This way, it can be said that when you have an ERP software in your organization, it helps you n both direct and indirect ways.
Its direct benefits include efficiency improvement, data integration, faster turnaround time to customer queries, etc., while its indirect advantages include better customer goodwill, enhanced corporate image, customer satisfaction and so on.
Some major benefits of ERP software are as under:
- Information integration and sharing across different departments
- Better communication across various departments
- Guarantee for the security of organization data
- Reducing redundant data entry and processes
- Improving workflow and security
Apart from the above benefits, it also helps you with the following tangible & intangible benefits:
- Better customer satisfaction
- Reduction in cycle time
- Reduction of lead-time
- Information integration
- Increased flexibility
- On-time shipment
What is CRM?
Over the years, the term CRM has been defined in many different ways by the industry experts, and has gone through multiple changes. It was first meant to improve customer service but today it touches on an entire business strategy.
It works as a standalone repository to centralize all your sales, marketing, and customer support activities, and bring your people, policy, and process together in one platform.
Benefits of CRM
- Quality of the service/product improvement
- Increased number of customers
- Performance improvement
- Increased sales volume
- Cost reduction
ERP vs CRM: what’s the difference?
Both the solutions are designed to help an enterprise enhance its efficiency & maximize its profitability.
In certain companies, they do clash with each other, but in some, they’re used to work together.
CRM helps in storing, organizing and tracking all the details about your company’s customers, while the marketing, sales, business development sections of an organization use it across the life cycle of a customer.
Typically a CRM tool comes with the following:
- Marketing integration and automation
- Sales management and automation
- Customer service automation
- Reporting and dashboard
- Support desk automation
Conversely, an ERP solution combines all the operational activities of your business such as accounting, customer relationship management, inventory, human resources etc, into a single software so that it can experience a unified solution.
Some vendors also help you with a customized software, based on your business needs whereas some offer separate product options for you with different feature sets.
An ERP software system generally comes featured with:
- Supply and delivery chain subsystem
- Manufacturing subsystem
- Accounting subsystem
- Business intelligence
- Few CRM features
While an ERP system sports few CRM features, it doesn’t have the supplementary features of a modern CRM such as reporting, analytics, and customisable dashboards.
If you have no idea about which software solutions you need to purchase for your business, ask this question to yourself: “Is my workforce satisfied with most of the enterprise solutions such as HR, accounting and supply chain?”
If the answer comes in affirmation, then all you need is a new customer relationship management software.
But if the answer is No then a customized ERP system, based on your business needs would be better.
In case, your ERP system doesn’t have the features that you believe a CRM software should have, then you can choose to go with the purchase of a CRM too because many ERP systems available today can easily and seamlessly integrate with CRM systems.
Are ERP & CRM Similar?
Both are business applications that help in storing and analyzing data in a relational database.
They are available either through a traditional on-premises model or via software as a service (SaaS).
However, when selecting any of the software solutions, you need to first understand your business needs, and read reviews posted by their previous and existing customers.
Still not sure which will be the right software from the duo for your business? Call our expert software advisors at………….for a free, no-obligation consultation!