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ERP vs CRM: Which one is right for your business?

ERP vs CRM: Which one is right for your business?

Any business that is looking to automate core business processes has a range of options when it comes to potential software systems. One key choice is between a customer relationship management system and an enterprise resource planning system. 

What are they, how do they differ and how can you make the right choice of system for your business?

What is ERP?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a valuable tool that helps businesses manage all the resources they need to operate effectively. It works as a shared database that can be accessed across the organisation, providing core information to key personnel as and when they need it. For instance, this might include finances, accounts and payroll, inventory and supply chain management, distribution and fulfilment.

What is CRM?

Customer Relationships Management is software that manages how customers interact with a business. They can incorporate a range of features to help manage customer service interactions and marketing, providing valuable information to front-line sales teams. Bespoke CRM systems are developed to provide companies with the functionality that they need. 

What is the difference between CRM and ERP?

While ERP and CRM systems can become comprehensive and used widely across your organisation, each has a key function on which it is built.  An ERP is primarily used for financial data and the CRM is for customer data. While an ERP may be considered a ‘back office’ tool, CRM is outward outward-facing or ‘front office’. 

An ERP makes it easier to understand and manage complex financial processes, whereas a CRM enables companies to provide outstanding customer service to a large customer base. In many organisations, both will be necessary and some degree of integration between CRM and ERP will be required. 

Do I need CRM or ERP?

Most growing companies will ultimately need both an ERP and CRM system. The more information your company handles, both financial and in terms of customer records, such as emails, sales rep spreadsheets and contact management, the more complex this process becomes. It’s easy for companies to become less effective when they don’t have the right tools at hand. 

Initially, companies that are moving beyond entry-level cloud computing accounting tools may wish to invest in an ERP. This may have some back CRM functionality that can help to improve the customer experience. However, the limited CRM functionality of a generic ERP system is unlikely to give you all the functionality a growing business needs, nor is it likely to offer much in terms of competitive advantage.

Investing in bespoke CRM or ERP systems can be game-changing for your organisation. Your choice of which to develop first will depend to a large extent on your business model and priorities. If you have a small number of high-value customers, then an ERP system may be the most appropriate. If on the other hand, you have a large, growing customer base that needs regular contact, a CRM system would be the optimal initial choice. 

Why choose bespoke CRM or ERP systems?

While it’s possible to purchase off-the-shelf CRM and ERP systems, these are not always the best option for many businesses. Generic software can meet some of your requirements, but they rarely have all of the functionality that you may require. Generic systems may not integrate effectively with existing systems and won’t provide the added value that you could achieve with a bespoke system. 

By working with a software development company you can ensure your CRM or ERP system meets your particular requirements, can grow with your business and can be effectively integrated into your existing systems. Bespoke CRM systems can be integrated with your ERP system to facilitate information sharing across different departments.

InTeck is one of the leading software development companies in the North West. Our experienced team puts the needs of our clients first, creating software that enables businesses to work more efficiently and achieve their goals. As a family-led business, our friendly approach ensures you have input throughout the development process.

If you’d like to find out more about bespoke CRM systems or bespoke ERP systems and what they can do for your business, our team will be happy to answer your questions. 

Call 0800 368 5220 or email to find out more.

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