Satisfied customers are most valuable asset of a business irrespective of fields and sectors. It needs to be taken care very seriously. But if customer information is not handled properly then it will become the biggest pain point for a business owner to run his/her business smoothly. Often businesses use two systems to maintain its all data and use those data for sales forecasting, decision making, sales process and purchase process. These two systems are ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). CRM is used to manage valuable customer information which can be used by marketing people to plan their future activities to generate more leads and opportunities and other cross sell and up sell products whereas ERP is used to maintain all backend data like sales orders, purchase history, billing history, procurement details, financial data etc.
Though these two systems can be used independently and can be beneficial for the business but it becomes very difficult to maintain two system’s data simultaneously as business grows day by day. Let’s see what are the main challenges may come for a business without having CRM and ERP integration
- Higher operational cost – As business grows day by day then it is obvious that the data generated by CRM in early days will increase in huge numbers and they need to be entered in the ERP for further process. Now this task needs extra resource and will increase the operational cost for the organization.
- Interdepartmental communication gap – As CRM is mainly used by the sales and marketing departments and ERP is used by people like purchase manager, store manager, production manager etc. Then the data entered in the CRM must be entered accurately into the ERP for further planning and process. But at the time of manual entry there can be errors which will cause miscommunication between these various departments and incurs loss in business.
- Improper Sales forecasting – Sales forecasting is a very crucial part for any organization and it needs perfect data from both the systems but when huge numbers of data is being entered from one system to another there can be chances of having errors. As a results the whole sales forecasting goes wrong and it costs huge loss in business.
- Data mismatch in both systems – Suppose a sales employee approaches a lead and entered its details in CRM as well as in ERP. After few activities and conversations when that lead has been converted in an account and gives some opportunities then that record will be updated in the CRM as well as in ERP but if the numbers increases then this process will not work properly as some of the leads will be missed and remain unchanged in the ERP side. In fact because of this issue sales and marketing people’s performance cannot be tracked properly.
Actually at the early stage of any business the total numbers of data generated by the CRM can be easily entered manually without giving any extra effort but as the business grows CRM started to generate huge numbers of data related to Salesforce and then it would be difficult to enter those huge numbers of data into the ERP system generated from CRM. So a good integration system can easily handle these kind of scenarios with very ease. Practically integration gives your business an extra advantages to grow. Now let’s take a look how an integration can solve these challenges mentioned above.
- Less operational cost – As integration automates the transfer of data from CRM to ERP it reduces the human effort as well as time. Even huge numbers of data can be synced from one system to another with very ease. Thus resource can be used in other segments to maximize the business growth. So the overall operational cost will be reduced.
- No Interdepartmental communication gap – All customer details will be stored in both the systems therefore same data will be visible to every departments and can be used for further process and planning. For instance a purchase manager can plan purchase process as per the requirements placed by the sales team. So integration reduces interdepartmental gaps in an organization using two different systems
- Proper Sale forecasting – Sales forecasting errors due to improper data can be avoided by integrating two systems. Integration gives sales forecasting an extra boost and accuracy. So it will be easier to each departments to plan their future tasks accordingly which will increase business revenues.
- No data mismatch – Data mismatch also can be avoided by integration. If a sales persons updates any details of any accounts or log any activities or create some opportunities then it will automatically reflected to the other system without any human effort. Thus integration omits the data mismatch error between CRM and ERP.
Though these two system can be used independently but managing these two system individually become an extra challenge when the business is in growing stage. At the growing stage business owner needs focus on other important aspects of his/her business rather than entering data from CRM to ERP or vice versa. Therefore a seamless integration can reduce the redundant work and extra operational cost and maximize the overall business growth.