Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are two of the most vital tools that are available to businesses today. ERP systems could be called the “back-end”, since they are responsible for all the data that is used in an organization. In the same way, CRM systems could be viewed as the “front-end”, since they are involved directly in enriching the user experience. ERP and CRM systems are becoming more and more common in today’s global marketplace. While it might be easy to write off one system as more valuable than the other, understanding the value of both systems individually as well as integrated can work wonders for your organization.
Most organizations use both ERP and CRM systems, but implement them separately. However, what if one performed ERP and CRM integration? Both of these systems have their distinct benefits, but combining them can be even more beneficial. Here are some key benefits of ERP and CRM integration:
· A complete view of data
Both ERP and CRM systems depend on the data generated. ERP systems have the key benefit of having centralized data storage; thus redundancy is eliminated to a large extent. CRM does a similar task for the front-end data received from the customers. However, the format of the data received from the customers and the data generated via business processes are quite different. This becomes problematic when the two data sets overlap and are both needed to make decisions.
ERP and CRM integration solves this problem in a single shot. The central data is maintained for both fronts and shared throughout the organization. This gives a 360-degree visibility of every kind of data generated within an organization. In turn, this visibility allows you to make more informed and effective decisions.
· Enhanced workflow
The detached business processes pose a problem in any business. To solve this, ERP and CRM systems were implemented. However, the task done by these systems separately could be done more efficiently if they were integrated into one.
With ERP and CRM integration, you can achieve automated workflow and streamlined your direct and distribution sales channels without any miscommunications. If your CRM system is integrated correctly, it should be able to support both types of selling that your firm uses every day. This is necessary if your company is going to be able to effectively turn the proposals generated within CRM into actual orders that are tracked through ERP. This results in much higher productivity than what would have been achieved otherwise.
· Improved Customer Service
Customer contests are a popular way to stay up to date with consumers and keep engagement high. However, tracking and implementing these customer engagement tools can be time consuming and tedious. Luckily, with an integrated system users will be able to link social media activity to your system, stay up to date with customer compliments and complaints, as well as be able to access their billing information/tracking information. With CRM and ERP integration, customers will feel as if their time is valued and employees will be able to confidently deliver the information they need.
· Better coordination
Lastly, as we mentioned earlier, ERP and CRM integration facilitate complete streamlining of processes. Not only does it fasten the processes, it also enables various departments to coordinate. Users will be able to simultaneously access the contact and account information within both your ERP and CRM systems without having to toggle between screens. Every department can be on the same page as the data is shared among all. Superiors can view all the relevant data in a streamlined format. All of this greatly improves the performance of the employees as well as make it easier than ever to keep track of prospects and clients without losing the critical information that you need to drive sales and seal the deal.
· Gives you financial growth
In any business, saving money is of vital importance. Integrating ERP and CRM systems can help you achieve that to a large extent. For instance, the implementation of ERP and CRM systems requires training the employees in the same. Separate implementation of these systems would lead to separate training sessions. However, if you chose to integrate ERP and CRM systems into one, it would reduce the training hours by a considerable amount, thus saving you a lot of training cost.
For every system, a team of IT professionals is required for support. Separate implementation of ERP and CRM systems often require a large IT support staff, along with the creation of an interface between the two systems. However, with ERP and CRM integration, there is only one system to manage, which reduces the cost of IT support.
Getting a rapid turn on investment should be on the minds of every business in the market, thankfully with an integrated CRM and ERP system,determining of ROI is as simple as ever. The sooner the integration the better and can ensure a much simpler transition. Get the most out of your critical information so you can capitalize on every opportunity. Not to mention the fact that the technology available now to help make this change is quite inexpensive, thereby lessening expenses and enabling you to take advantage of the benefits sooner, rather than later.
The integration of CRM and ERP systems helps get rid of many flaws like data redundancy, delays and inconsistent formats. At the same time, it is much easier to manage one integrated system than two separate ones. So, overall, ERP and CRP integration can prove to be a huge boon for your business.