ERP vs CRM — What's the Difference
The Intenet is getting faster every day, hard drives unite more and more resources, the software is becoming more complex and more intelligent, and customer management requires an ever more profound and versatile approach from every enterprise.
We could only find customer relationship management systems (CRM) in large organizations with extensive customer service departments until recently. But today, any business that seeks to survive in competitive conditions cannot afford to do without CRM. Moreover, relatively recent software for enterprise resource planning (ERP) has also become the de facto standard for every severe company.
What are these two software solutions for enterprise processes management, what are each used for, and how are they different? Let's figure it out.
Versus or together?
First of all, speaking about CRM and ERP software, it would not be entirely correct to oppose these two systems of management to each other.
Of course, CRM services, primarily due to their relative ease of leaning and comparative availability, are better known and more widespread. In tun, the technology of enterprise resource planning is a much more complex and expensive software solution. ERP may well include CRM. However, customer relationship management systems can function independently. But it is apparent that CRM cannot have ERP as an integrated part.
To use the analogy from software architecture, CRM can be likened to front-end, and ERP we may consider back-end. This means that CRM is, so to speak, aimed at the customer. These systems are must-have software for every sales and customer services department. With the help of CRM, the management of all information concening each customer is carried out. No matter, either this customer is already held or just potential.
At the same time, ERP is focused on the processes within the enterprise. These systems cover all divisions of the company, coordinating and optimizing their work.
Unlike the results of using CRM, the effect of ERP’s activity can be noticeable from the outside just by indirect signs. So, the same way as both the client and server parts of an Intenet software are inextricably linked with each other, CRM and ERP, being tied together, ensure the smooth functioning of the enterprise.
Let's have a closer look
Having understood in general terms how the areas of responsibility of CRM and ERP are distributed, let's look in detail at which processes in the enterprise each of these systems controls.
A customer relationship management (CRM)
In each specific case, depending on the enterprise's profile, different CPM software modules can be used. Therefore, without going into subtleties, we will list the main directions for customer management.
- Collection of user data from various sources, processing (including Big Data management), systematization, and interpretation of this information.
- Translating the information received into a form suitable for use in customer service departments and/or call centers.
- Creation of new sales funnels, adjustment, and optimization of existing ones based on synthesized data.
- Planning of marketing campaigns and creating automatic algorithms for them.
Difficulties of choice
We started this article with the statement: today, both management systems — CRM and ERP — being used in the enterprise can provide a real breakthrough. Of course, it is necessary to make a particular correction in these words for the exact scale.
CRM is software focused on customer management. Any company, whatever it does, is consumer-oriented. Due to its financial affordability and high efficiency, this system can be highly recommended to every enterprise.
As for ERM, its high cost and focus on a large scale make it economically feasible, primarily for large companies.
Investing in ERM integration across your enterprise is sure to pay off. The only question is how soon you want to get benefits and what funds you have at the start.