CRM and ERP: Why link the two systems?

The use of CRM and ERP has become the standard for medium-sized and large companies. But why is it useful to use both systems? How do they complement each other? And how can they be combined?

In this article, we will give you answers and reveal other important facts in the connection between CRM and ERP. Our experience from 30 years of CRM practice.

ERP: Focus on resource planning

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning and refers to the task of a company to plan and manage resources in the sense of the corporate purpose in such a way that they are used on demand and on time. These include finance and accounting, controlling, production and, above all, materials management.

Task: Efficient value creation processes

The view of the customer in an ERP system is purely process-oriented, the customer as a prospective buyer or potential target group is not interested here. The aim of the ERP system is to efficiently design entrepreneurial value creation processes and thus always ensure optimized control of operational processes.

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Customer management with CRM software

CRM software primarily supports the service, marketing and sales divisions by capturing customer communication and soft facts that cannot be captured with an ERP system.

Some examples show the benefits of CRM

  • CRM for service & IT helps to optimize complaint management by quickly and easily managing requests of all kinds, solutions and related correspondence
  • CRM in marketing helps coordinate various campaigns and mailings, handover leads to sales and evaluate customer feedback
  • CRM in sales enables an overview of the customer’s history and current situation and sales potential as well as the targeted realization of sales opportunities at all times

From CRM to xRM

However, CRM is often not limited to individual divisions: suppliers and personnel also benefit from the software, which can be used to map, for example, supplier evaluations or application procedures. You can extend your CRM system to xRM.

Why CRM and ERP can’t replace each other

CRM and ERP cannot replace each other in their functions. The CRM software is intended to provide employees with support in customer communication and processing in sales, marketing and service. This data usually goes beyond the management and storage of data of an ERP software. CRM provides the employee with direct access to customer and prospective data and thus ensures competent and needs-based advice.

Important CRM insights must be transferred to ERP

ERP cannot provide this customer data – but it can provide important key figures on inventories or for finance and accounting. The CRM system also provides important key figures for controlling the company, which also cannot be determined with an ERP system, e.g. the revenue forecast – based on opportunities – or the service utilization, information on customer requirements , feedback on campaigns and mailings and more.

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Synergies of the combination of CRM and ERP

If an ERP system is already in use, a CRM system should not be dispensed with. As previously described, both systems serve different areas and tasks of the company.

The coupling of both systems brings considerable advantages.

  • Marketing, service and sales receive seamless customer data, for example, information about payment behavior, dunning status, credit, delivery times or returns from the ERP system can be provided to sales in the CRM software customer file.
  • When the master data is created in the ERP system, it can be automatically synchronized with the CRM.
  • Item master data, currency information, payment and delivery commitments from the ERP can be used to create opportunities and quotes in CRM through sales.
  • Orders from CRM can be transferred to ERP for logistics and invoicing.
  • Information about the delivery status from the ERP can be made available to sales in CRM.

Benefits of linking CRM and ERP

You can count on these significant added value when integrating CRM and ERP.

  • Business processes are streamlined and lead times are shortened
  • Coordination effort and friction points between departments are minimized
  • Extensive reporting functions in CRM can be combined with the data from the ERP and gain new insights
  • Cost savings are realized through efficient data management
  • Customer loyalty is optimized through high-quality customer support and consulting
  • Subsequent orders lead to earnings increases

CRM and ERP with GEDYS IntraWare

Are you looking for a CRM system that can be connected to your ERP system?

GEDYS IntraWare CRM supports integration with any ERP software such as SAP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Infor or BAAN. The two-way interface offers the possibility to display any data from the ERP system in CRM (e.g. invoices, open entries, delivery status) or to have data from the CRM automatically transferred to the ERP system (e.g. addresses, orders).

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