Both CRM and ERP systems can handle contacts, quotes, orders, and forecasts, and both can manage line-item configuration, bundles, delivery schedules, and invoices.
So what is the difference, and where does CRM stop and ERP begin?
A CRM system is designed to help businesses manage their relationship with the customer, while an ERP manages the entire business cycle, including customers.
An ERP is a system built to enhance the efficiency of all business processes through automation and the reduction of manual operations.
ERP allows for the rapid sharing of information across the organization. Users enter data into the ERP system, creating a real-time, enterprise-wide overview.
Discrepancies will automatically create alerts in other affected areas. In short, ERP provides a method for streamlining business processes across the board by focusing on the data instead of the operations.
The main focus of ERP is increasing efficiency by automating business processes across all departments in the organization. The primary CRM function is to improve customer interactions and client retention, while ERP improves internal processes.
The primary CRM users are the sales, marketing, and customer support departments. In contrast, ERP users are focused on streamlining internal organizational functions - supply chain, order management, finance, project planning, and more. In addition, CRM focuses on increasing sales, while ERP emphasizes improving the accuracy and effectiveness of the system.
The main features of an ERP revolve around workflow management, scheduling, invoicing, inventory, PO, etc. On the other hand, a CRM is more about contacts & lead management and nurturing, social media integrations, marketing automation, etc.
ERP and CRM are both designed to automate and streamline business processes. A CRM system handles mainly the business' front-end, while ERP is involved in back-end process management. Therefore, ERP and CRM systems need to collaborate to streamline the business's front-end and back-office operations to work effectively and efficiently.
A CRM might be considered a subset of ERP. Most ERP systems will have some, if not all, CRM components. Integration of CRM functionality into the ERP software will bring out the best of both systems, helping automate and streamline interaction with the customers and deliver greater visibility of all stages of the business process.
ERP and CRM integration connects and synchronizes both systems to a single, unified database, ensuring an automated and consistent information flow between both systems to create a single source of truth.
While a CRM system drives sales and customer relations, an ERP system helps streamline operations and reduce overall costs. Combined, a CRM and an ERP can maximize business growth.
Today, you can easily find cost-effective cloud-based SaaS solutions that allow fast, automated, and secure ERP and CRM integration.
Your best bet is to move forward with a complete integration of your ERP and CRM solutions and gain the full benefits of your ERP and CRM investments.