CRM & ERP - Even Better Together

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Client Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have traditionally been independent standalone business applications, and over the last ten plus years they have provided departmental and executive users with better information, improved processes and greater intelligence.  However, these benefits were often limited to only the respective areas of the company that the systems focused on: accounting, finance and operations for ERP and sales, marketing and client service for CRM

Today, with both with the accessibility of cloud-based technologies and significantly enhanced system integration solutions like Scribe software, the ability for CRM & ERP to be connected is becoming an ever more attainable reality.  As a couple, these applications can help drive productivity and end-to-end organizational efficiency by enabling critical data and information to be available to anyone, anywhere, at any time and on any device. 

With the uncertainty of any business environment, process innovation and speed to market are essential.  Therefore, the right strategy, as well as tailored technologies to fit that strategy, will help an organization achieve the critical success factors that drive business growth, productivity and, in turn, profitability.

As many companies have implemented ERP systems and updated their related processes over the past few years, many are now seeing the enhanced vision and benefits of extending that solution to include other areas of the organization, with a CRM solution connecting operations to sales, marketing and client service.

“We had spent a lot of time focusing on the operational side of the business and rolling out an ERP system,” explains Doug Sheffield, Vice President of Supply Chain Management and IT at Heritage Bag Company. “Once we had matured in that area, we began to look at sales. We found that we had many of the traditional issues and challenges in terms of organizing our sales efforts and understanding how to capture that information and get better information about our customers and prospects.”

The benefits of ‘coupling’ CRM and ERP together can help an organization support end-to-end business processes.  With ERP, the supply chain can connect to human resources, which can connect to financials. With ERP and CRM together, an organization can now connect to sales pipelines, accounts, contacts and marketing campaigns—providing managers and key personnel with a single source of the truth.

Currently, with the increased adoption and availability of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, business users can access their critical information on demand.  This allows professionals to access client information, sales history, inventory, prior orders, invoices and related details—all from wherever they need to be.  Your producers are no longer restrained to key information from only at their office desks, which helps drive more sales.

Microsoft Dynamics is a suite of enterprise business applications from Microsoft that includes Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics ERP (GP, AX and others).  As a couple, the two can integrate seamlessly as a single enterprise business solution and can be custom-fit specifically for the unique needs of each organization.

The bottom line: one of the greatest benefits derived from this couple is the ability to capture and collaborate in real time on all operational and sales information from a single system. “We’re seeing production reporting as it’s happening today,” enthuses Sheffield. “That used to happen at the end of the shift or the end of the day.”

But more importantly, Sheffield adds, “What’s really changed our business the most is the reporting capabilities we now have, as well as the depth of information we can draw on. With information that spans both operations and sales, we can see more than just our productivity and efficiency but also our margins by customer. And, ultimately, it’s having access to that kind of information that enables us to make business decisions.”

For more from BKD Technologies on CRM & ERP – Better Together, please watch our recent webinar in partnership with Scribe software, or feel free to contact us directly.  

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