By Mandy Richardson
If you are expanding your business or looking to upgrade or make a digital transformation – you might be asked what kind of software you’re looking for, and you will want to know the differences between ERP and CRM. You need to know which is best or your business, as both are meant to increase the profitability of your business if used properly! We hope to help you make your decision by explaining the similarities and differences between ERP and CRM.
ERP and CRM are similar but do not serve exactly the same purpose. Depending upon your business environment, these systems could complement each other or be used concurrently. While ERP would focus on the back-office, integrating the behind-the-scenes aspects of running the business, the CRM is front-facing assisting in marketing and customer relationships.
Enterprise Resource Planning Software, or ERP, is a business management tool. ERPs collect information from various departments across your organization; it records and integrates key areas of the business (purchasing manufacturing, sales, human resources, inventory management, services, and others) in order to interpret how these departments work together and how to streamline or smooth the business process flow. In many cases, the ERP is able to automate processes that may be perceived as redundant. ERP software typically has no customer or client interaction and operates in the background, internally.
Customer Relationship Management software serves to manage, you guessed it, customer relationships in a very organized way. A CRM will capture details about transactions between clients/customers and the company. A CRM will consolidate information such as name, phone, email, address, and social media handles alongside other more personal information such as purchases with the company. This information can be used by the account manager to make sure the customer’s expectations are met. Some CRMs will also have marketing automation built-in or have the ability to easily integrate with a popular marketing automation software.
So the big choice – ERP vs CRM – what does your company need? Think about what key features would most benefit you and your company.
ERP and CRM are reasonably comparable. ERP is a back-room software that is meant to reduce costs, while a CRM will focus on front-office duties and is meant to find opportunities to increase revenues.
Having both systems in place could be a benefit to your company. It could be a great way to increase your profits, via CRM, while managing expenses or saving with an ERP. Many companies may choose to start by investing in a CRM to make sure it generates profits to keep the business going. Then they will implement an ERP to keep down expenses, streamline their processes, and organize business efforts.
SAP Business One
Oracle E-Business Suite
Oracle JD Edwards
The CRM product you end up going with should really depend on both the size of your business and your requirements for the system. If you’re unsure what your business needs from a CRM, FitSmallBusiness has put together a helpful resource for SMBs looking at a range of options.
We would always recommend outlining your requirements from the start and making sure that a CRM can grow and develop alongside your business. Market-leading CRMs offer users features that scale with the business, making them a solid investment. Here are some options:
In addition to these ERP and CRM choices, many as-a-service products such as ServiceNow will integrate easily into your existing ERP or CRM software. ERP software often has a CRM feature, but this feature could be enhanced by adding a connected CRM to manage the customer-facing aspects of business in a more streamlined manner. If you decide that you wish to have both a CRM and ERP system, here are six steps to a successful integration:
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