Have You Outgrown your ERP and CRM Functioning Separately?
When you are knee deep in something, it is often hard to see the trees through the forest. It is a fact of life that the more personally invested you get into something, the harder it is to remain objective about it. Technology within your business is typically a tough thing to change because users get comfortable with their daily routine and any change to that is not usually embraced. Because of that and the expense that comes with adding and changing technology, organizations are usually lagging behind with their technology. Working with Manufacturing companies, one technology trend we are seeing is the delay in integrating ERP and CRM systems together.
Organizations may be naive to the fact that integrating your ERP and CRM together can gain you revenue and possible growth. The benefits of interconnecting your enterprise platforms should outshine the cost of integration. Here are some signs that you might be seeing in your processes that indicate it’s really past time you connected your CRM and ERP systems.
- Customer Growth. In an ideal world, your technology and systems will be able to function no matter how large your business gets. Unfortunately, that is just not reality. When you are a small company, you can get away with spreadsheets, emails and handwritten notes and finances to run your business. Using a mix-mash of desktop applications to run your business operations just isn’t sustainable because eventually you will reach a threshold of customers and orders where things will start falling through the cracks. Integrating your business software together will help you maintain appropriate business processes and ensure you can handle the growth as it happens.
- Departments Are Not Communicating With Each Other. Compartmentalization within your business can occur when there is no ERP and CRM integration. Departments working independent of each other can result in double entry of data. When you have redundant and unorganized data, you are inviting errors and bad decision making into your daily operations. This can cause operational errors, cutting into your profits, and stunting your business growth. Integrating your ERP and CRM together will connect front and back offices together and allow them to seamlessly communicate with each other.
- Upsetting Customers. If you are seeing a habit of making mistakes with customer orders, whether its shipping the wrong order or filling the order completely wrong, this alone should be a reason you consider ERP and CRM integration. If you’re running both of these already, it just doesn’t make sense to not connect them. There’s the time spent on entering quotes, orders and shipping info into both systems separately. Integration will allow you to take human error out of the equation and free up that time for other mission-critical tasks. And what about not being able to fulfill orders? Your sales team sells a product and promises a delivery date, but you don’t have the inventory or man power to keep that promise. Integration of your systems can give your users real-time and accurate data on inventory and manufacturing levels, minimizing these type of errors from occurring.
- Inventory Manages Itself. One issue jumping between enterprise applications can cause is that different departments are seeing different things. Your growth, as well as your losses, are driven by your sales team. Any member of your sales team can identify the areas where you will see a reduction or a surplus of inventory on hand or within the quarter. Unfortunately, your manufacturing team isn’t working within the same system, so they can’t make adjustments to inventory or their planning to accommodate the changes as they are happening. If you don’t have that kind of crucial business data being synced daily between your CRM and ERP, your team can’t react, therefore you are not capitalizing on these opportunities.
There are more business reasons besides the ones I mentioned about to integrate your ERP and CRM, but these are a few of the important ones that should prove to you that this integration is worth the investment. Growth and innovation can not effectively happen in a business, without business processes and systems all working together, especially 2 main systems like ERP and CRM. If you have more questions on the benefits of this integration, or if you are ready to make the leap, give us a call today to see how we can help. 2W Tech is a Certified Epicor ERP partner and has experience with CRM and ERP integration.