Managing a successful business is a balancing act.
Gauging how many different processes it requires to run an effective business for a long time can become quite overwhelming.
Ultimately, many businesses end up failing because they simply can’t keep up.
Especially in the new digital era, keeping up with all the new technologies and platforms you can use to your advantage may seem like a dreaded task.
Hard work is without a doubt required to run a successful company, but finding automated systems to help you along the way is something that you shouldn't be opposed to.
That's why we’re going to be running through ERP and CRM systems, breaking them down and listing the main differences. We will also guide you on how you can use either to your advantage.
What is an ERP?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is an automated software that you can install as a company to assist you in completing important business tasks, which can be labelled as short, medium or long-term and designated to a level of importance - depending on your goals.
An ERP system specifically targets your core business processes, whether that be your sales marketing and customer service ethos or even human resources, accounting and procurement.
With a plethora of areas being covered, you’ll never be short of objectives to be working on within your software system. Not only that but you’ll notice that the vast majority of the services provided can be automated so you don’t have to touch anything when your business is flourishing.
Services such as inventory management, processing orders, supply chain management and many more can be automated - resulting in you receiving more time to effectively run the front end of your business. Now, with less stress, the minor detailing that can often be daunting tasks will be taken care of.
What is a CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is an online platform that you can use to effectively communicate back and forth with your customers and/ or clients. CRMs are often optimal for optimising your customer journey and helping you figure out what type of communication will be sufficient in alignment with their journey.
This culmination of strategies and technology will ensure that your buyer receives a customer experience that they can brag about to the people looking for the same products or services.
Every CRM system that is on the market nowadays has the main goal of creating an optimal experience for the customer - whether that be improving short-term relationships, sustaining long-term relationships (customer retention) and assuring that business is increasing sales using this automated service.
Capturing every detail within the customer journey from the date of transaction, collating their buying habits for email and SMS marketing purposes and also keeping them in the loop with everything you’re doing as a business will make them feel like they’re part of a family.
Experience is everything with CRM as your customers interact with what they feel resonates with them.
Key Differences Between ERP and a CRM
Now although they are both excellent at what they offer for a business in terms of productivity and efficiency - there are some minor differences between the two models and how you can use them to bolster opposing facets of your business.
Obtaining an insight into what businesses will face when trying to enhance every fragment will be extremely useful for you, especially if you’re a startup company or beginning to stall from your beginner's success.
Not only that but if you’re looking to implement systems to improve your business's performance, you need to know which will be best for you (if not both). Here is our breakdown of ERP vs CRM:
Different Focus Point
With a CRM, it is paramount that you focus on the way the customer enters and continues on with the company. However, with an ERP system, there is such a vast range of services that it targets in order to improve functionality.
The main focus of a CRM is more so to drive sales and keep customers happy. Whereas, an ERP automated system is more so to focus on a multitude of core business functions. An ERP rather than increasing sales are focused on reducing the expenditure of a company to maximise its overall profit margins.
Consequently, if you put it into perspective, a CRM focuses on the external side of your business (i.e.your customers), whereas the ERP focuses solely on how your business can get better internally.
How You Can Use ERPs and CRMs to Your Businesses Advantage
The stage you’re at within your company will not matter as we believe that implementing both of these functions within your business is essential for optimal growth.
Systems are often overlooked as they’re seen as another factor you have to focus on. Yet, if you just give it a bit of attention for a short period of time, you will have set up processes that will help you for the entirety of your business journey.
As CRMs focus on the people you bring into the company and ERPs hone in on creating a strong internal structure - this partnership is destined to assist your business results on a daily basis.
Without treating customers with the utmost respect and giving them all they need to have an excellent experience with yourselves, your business wouldn’t exist as there would be no one paying attention to your brand.
Likewise, with businesses managing their internal strategy, you will notice that increasing efficiency via the ERP software to cover many daunting tasks within your business will support more meaningful insights into how your business is running.
ERP and CRM software go hand in hand as you progressively grow your business and once you’re in the know-how of why and how everything is operating - there is a smaller chance that you’ll see any future struggles.
Disregarding these productivity/ efficiency tips will leave you far behind as all great businesses have a clear ethos of how having a plan and being structured will change the success patterns of your enterprise.
If you're interested in implementing a CRM, or switching to a new platform, find out more about our CRM consultation services.
Alternatively, book a call at a time that suits you and we'd be happy to discuss your business challenges and goals.