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CRM vs ERP Know the Differences


Introduction to ERP & CRM CE 

CRM vs ERP Know the Differences – What is Enterprise resource planning (ERP)?

Enterprise Resource Planning ERP refers to software solutions that organisations implement to manage end-to-end business operations and activities such as financial and performance management and right across the end-to-end supply chain depending on the individual business needs.  ERP systems help streamline and automate the business processes and has data capture and processing at the core of its functionality.   ERP enables organisations to capture and share data from across multiple sources, helping to eliminate duplication and reduce the incidence of error prone data to provide one single source of data truth.  ERP Solutions can be customised to meet the business needs of all organisations of varying sizes or industry.

CRM vs ERP Know the Differences – What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

Customer Relationship Management CRM, or often referred to as Customer Engagement CE solutions enables you to manage all aspects of customer data including company and contact information, interactions and engagement, service requests, sales quotes & proposals and streamline and automate the overall Sales, Marketing, Services & Project Operations. An effective CRM Solution will enable users to access the data which really matters across the various touch point interactions enabling you to build comprehensive customer profiles of your ideal customers and prospects.

The CRM data enables organisations to enhance the entire customer journey from marketing automation to lead generation and sales forecasting, territory and customer segmentation to a greatly enhanced overall customer service experience.

CRM tools will help you to automate and streamline the customer engagement and ultimately drive more sales and increase overall profits and performance.

So, What are some of the Key Differences between ERP and CRM ?

Essentially an ERP system serves as a single central database to integrate and facilitate the automation and management of the company-wide resource allocation enabling data to flow across the business and drive efficiencies across the business processes.  With a single, centralised ERP database, you get access to a 360 real-time data-view across the business functions.

CRM Solutions enable sales, marketing, customer and field service and project operations teams to build and maintain positive relationships lead and customer interactions and creating new and improved Insights to continually enhancing the customer relationship management.

ERP – Central database, system integrations, resource reporting and proven solution for managing resources and enhancing business and performance efficiencies

CRM – 360-degree customer profiles, marketing, sales, service and project operations management and a proven solution for building lasting customer relationships.

Importance of CRM and ERP in Business

CRM vs ERP Know the Differences – Below is an outline of just some of the key areas on the importance of CRM and ERP for your business.

CRM and ERP integration is essential to collect and manage customer information to provide an accurate view of the customer’s status. This view increases knowledge sharing and collaboration across the business departments and teams.

Typically, businesses purchase and deploy ERP – enterprise resource planning and CRM – customer relationship management systems separately.  However, if your CRM and ERP systems have their own separate databases, you will consistently have to meet the challenges of keeping them synchronised.

Whether it’s a CRM user from Customer Service or Sales or an ERP user from Finance who updates a customer account, any changes implemented in one system will have to be transferred to the other.

Considering this is a manual process, having to wait for a database to update before you can for example – process bills, replenish inventory levels or arrange product returns for customers, will result in slower operations and an increased risk of database errors.

The importance of have a good ERP and CRM strategy is key and implementing an integrated CRM and ERP approach will ensure both systems will access the same data-sets and ensuring all updates in both systems are done instantaneously, providing the business with clearer visibility and real-time Insights on all stages of your business processes.

  • 360 View of your Customer & Business Performance
  • Faster & real-time access to critical data & information
  • Eliminate time-resourcing data-entry and duplications of effort
  • Improved order, inventory and quote management
  • Reduced reliance on IT Support
  • Deeper understanding of buying behaviours and trends
  • Improved budgeting and forecasting
  • Empower every employee to help improve the customer experience
  • Greater Customer retention and new sales opportunities
  • Accelerated invoicing and payments
  • A Personalised customer experience journey

CRM vs ERP Know the Differences – Some Key Takeaways on ERP Vs. CRM?

  • CRM and ERP Solutions drive real business value by centralising and connecting data and automating key business processes.
  • CRM solutions automates the customer interactions and insights, while ERP solutions automates the end-to-end operations and business processes.
  • CRM and ERP systems deliver enhanced business efficiencies and productivity through seamless integration and will further reduce the data overload to help you get the most out of the systems’ data that really matters to the business and will help deliver informed data-decision making.

Understanding CRM: An Overview

Customer Relationship Management CRM is a software solution which automates the customer interaction process.  It usually forms part of a wider solution offering of customer experience CX applications that include marketing, customer service,  field service, project operations and more.  A CRM system will capture the customer data interactions.

CRM customer data can be made available to all stakeholders enabling people to get a better understanding of the customer touch point interactions. Today’s CRM solutions now offer advanced AI to further complement the data and analysis of the customers engagement over time and can help to improve future engagement with the customer by way of sending the right information, as and when needed as well as acting as a powerful engagement tool for the sales teams to progress next actions to increase customer sales.

Customer Relationship Management CRM – Benefits

By automating the everyday sales, marketing and customer processes, CRM solutions enable businesses access deep insights to build better and lasting customer relationships and enhance the business performance resulting in increased revenue and growth.

An effective CRM Solution deployment will help to:

  • Improve customer service: By managing customer data in one centralised platform, CRM enables for the creation of more accurate customer profiles that help support for speedier response times and lead to seamless collaboration across sales, marketing and service teams – which ultimately lead to long and lasting customer relationships, retention and loyalty.
  • Enhanced productivity: CRM solutions enable you to simplify everyday time-consuming tasks such as updating customer information. This helps to reduces errors, is time-saving and freed up valuable user time to enable them to concentrate on more priority work. CRM systems enable the automation of customer interactions through email, chat, social media and chatbots & AI.   Using tools such as live chat powered by AI enables you to quickly connect to customers and offering a fast response turnaround.  With AI embedded Chatbots integrated to customer service, sales and knowledge base support tools, will enhance the customer satisfaction and transform the customer experience.  AI will also enhance the marketing automation campaigns for more targeted and focused outbound marketing.
  • Build lasting customer Relationships and Sales: Having a 360 view across all customer interactions, transactions and contact information helps to greatly improve the management of everyday interactions with both customers and prospects. This information can be used to develop more personalised customer journeys and relationships through tracking conversations, messages, and sales team’s customer engagement and ensures all customer data is up-to-date and gives an accurate picture of the customer profile.
  • Powerful Insights: CRM solutions are designed to collate and manage vast amount of data such as client demographics, preferences, purchasing history, interactions and more.  CRM enables users to analyse the date and get access to the real Insights which matter in building lasting customer relationships.  It helps to build ideal buyer personas so that you can offer the right products and services to meet all customer demands and expectations.

Understanding ERP:  An Overview

Enterprise resource planning is a business management software solution which automates the end-to-end processes across the business operations. Unifying the core business processes into a single ERP platform can streamline and simplify all operation and workflows.  By capturing data across multiple systems and sources, enable an effective flow of related data between functions and departments and eliminate data duplication, reduce errors and provides for more accurate data which you can trust to enable informed data-driven decisions.

Enterprise Resource Planning ERP – Some Key Benefits:

An effective ERP Solution deployment will help to:

  • Increase efficiency & productivity: Modern ERP systems enable the digital transformation across the business:
    • Optimise manual and repetitive tasks that are prone to human error.
    • Automate the finance and accounting processes – companies can save many hours and days it takes to complete the close cycle. This allows the employees to focus on other priority tasks.
    • ERP helps companies by tracking all materials across the inventory lifecycle and customer orders on one centralised platform. This greatly improves the supply chain planning – as well as getting the products to customers’ as and when needed and on time.
  • Save money & time: ERP helps to reduce the operational costs by consolidating business functions into a single system and streamlining and automating processes across the end-to-end business. ERP solutions help to reduce or remove some administrative and operational costs, such as repetitive manual data entry and processes.  This supports for more productivity, in faster time and with reduced resources and enabling employees to focus on the projects which will drive growth and increase the overall business performance.
  • Company-wide collaboration: ERP systems provide a single source of data which all teams can easily share information and improve company-wide tasks such as financial planning, sales, inventory management and more. Teams can work proactively and access information independently rather than waiting for someone else to provide the data and which improves company-wide alignment and collaboration, saves time and reduce errors.
  • Better informed data-driven decision-making: ERP system provide users with a 360 view of the business performance KPIs. This is done through reports and dashboards and real-time business Insight and helps stakeholders and decision makers to quickly respond to changing business and market conditions. 

ERP vs CRM: Which One to Choose?

CRM vs. ERP: Understanding some Key Differences

Both CRM and ERP systems help businesses to automate and streamline processes, improve productivity, and boost revenue generation – so  what is the main difference you might ask yourself?

The key difference between the CRM and ERP is that the ERP Solution is used for the financial and operations management.   ERP systems primarily support the back-office functions for example, accounting, HR, compliance/regulatory, procurement and more.

While the CRM Solution is used on for the sales, marketing and customer service and support.  CRM systems supports the front-office functions such as marketing automation, sales cycle, pipeline building, customer service and support and project operations management.

It is worth to note here while many ERP systems may contain some CRM features and functionality, CRM systems do contain ERP features or functionality. CRM and ERP systems are key elements of a successful overall business and IT strategy, and one cannot replace the other – but will greatly complement each other to drive your digital transformation.

CRM vs ERP Know the Differences – Some ERP & CRM FAQs:

  • What is the key difference between CRM and ERP? – An ERP system will support back-office functions across the financial and operations management while a CRM system will support the front-office functions, such as sales, marketing, service and support.
  • Can you use CRM and ERP together? – ERP and CRM integration is a way in which to connect and synchronize your CRM software to your ERP. The point of ERP and CRM integration is to ensure that automated and consistent information is shared between your ERP and CRM systems, providing a single, reliable source of truth.
  • Is there flexible ERP and CRM Integration Options ? – Many of the leading ERP and CRM providers offer quick and easy integration options between the two systems and will greatly enhance the business performance and growth.
  • Why and Who should use an ERP? – Businesses that wants to unify, automate, and streamline their end to end financial and operational data and is an essential technology solution to drive your business and digital transformation.
  • Why & Who should use a CRM? – Business that wish to provide a customer experience transformation for sales, marketing, customer services and support and project management teams.
  • Can one replace the other – ERP or CRM? – The short answer here is no, however while ERP and CRM solutions do share some common benefits – it is worth bearing in mind that they are not interchangeable systems.

CRM vs ERP Know the Differences – Conclusion

Choose the ERP or CRM Solution that’s the right fit for you Business

For organisations to gain a competitive edge in the digital transformation era, it is critical to implement the right ERP and CRM systems to meet all business needs,  Knowing the key differences between ERP and CRM systems will help you to make informed technology choices which best meet your evolving business needs.

ERP and CRM are both software solutions that drive business value by centralising and connecting data and automating and streamlining processes. While CRM automates customer interactions and insights, ERP will automate business processes and operations.    CRM and ERP systems are key elements of a successful overall business and IT strategy, and one cannot replace the other – but will greatly complement each other to drive your digital transformation.

As a leading Dynamics 365 Partner in Ireland, please reach out to the Simply Dynamics 365 ERP & CRM Specialists if you would like any further assistance or take a deep dive into – CRM vs ERP Know the Differences? – we’re here to help.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP & CRM Contact Us
Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP & CRM Contact Us
Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP & CRM Contact Us