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Client Relationship Management Software: The Perfect Complement to ERP

Published on: Jul 21, 2015

Enterprise software, commonly referred to as enterprise resource planning or ERP software, is designed to support the operations of the business. Client relationship management (CRM) software, on the other hand, is designed to support the relationship part of the business. Where ERP software focuses on ensuring that the product gets made or the service gets delivers, CRM software focuses on maintaining a positive relationship with the client who receives the item and supporting the item’s life after it has been delivered.

At first glance, ERP and CRM are nothing alike. Used for two different purposes, each system has its own set of capabilities, benefits and payoffs. When paired together, however, they complement one another and provide businesses with a comprehensive software package to sustain growth, lower costs, and improve overall efficiency.

What Makes Enterprise Software Unique?

Before we take a look at the benefits of using client relationship management and enterprise software together, you need to understand the strengths unique to each solution. For years, enterprise software has been the primary software platform of accounting and operations. By providing the necessary functions to support the business (such as inventory management, record keeping, data collection, etc.), ERP software is crucial to the life of a business, no matter the industry.

What Makes Client Relationship Management Software Unique?

CRM software are intended to meet the needs of the front office, the customer-facing departments. CRM tools perform functions that address sales, marketing and customer service issues. They keep track of marketing campaigns, keep record of transactions and customer data, project future sales, and support the customer service department. CRM software is just a critical as ERP software, just in a different aspect.

CRM and ERP: The Benefits of Pairing Two Separate Solutions Together

As we discussed above, CRM and ERP have two distinct purposes. ERP software serves the back office, and CRM software serves the front office. This is exactly why the two solutions need to be paired together. Say a client calls into the customer service department about a broken part on his recently purchased photocopier (which your company manufactures and sells). You can use CRM to record the details of the phone call and report what is wrong, but you cannot order the replacement part from the CRM system. For that, you will need ERP. Once the problem has been reported, ERP kicks in by checking stock for that component. Once the part is found, the part is sent out to the client using the information stored in the CRM system.

This complementary relationship is what makes the pairing of CRM and ERP so crucial for business success. When your enterprise software solutions are not integrated with your client relationship management solutions, you experience a disconnect between the systems that often results in delayed service times, frustrated customers and increased costs. By integrating these solutions, you are ensuring communication between all departments and increasing your efficiency across the business.

IWI Consulting offers ERP and CRM software integration services to help your business operate more cohesively. You can learn more about our integration services here. Download our whitepaper “Enhance Your Business Relationships with Sage CRM” for further information on how client relationship management software can complement ERP.

Our small and dedicated team specializes in helping small-to-medium size Canadian businesses and non-profits select and adapt Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Resource Management (HRMS) and IT services. With IWI’s 15 years in business and 100 plus years of combined experience, IWI has helped hundreds of manufacturing, distribution, and financial service companies gain efficiency, grow, and lower their operating costs.

With the unique combination of industry knowledge and diverse technology expertise, IWI provides cost-effective solutions to help clients gain a competitive edge. As a Sage business partner, servicing the Greater Toronto Area, we support evaluation and implementation of operations and finance systems to optimize technology, ensuring high return on investment with a quick and painless transition to new software.