Data is king in business today. Nearly every business is collecting, analyzing, and using data to drive future business decisions.
Businesses are investing in systems for customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence (BI), and enterprise resource management (ERP) to handle the myriad types of data within a complex organization. These investments are sound and prudent in a world where data can make the difference in gaining market share and revenue.
Differences in the big three
An ERP manages and integrates certain business processes, such as sales, marketing, human resources, manufacturing, planning, and inventory control. Organizations use ERP to develop predictive models of the business, create strategic plans and manage complexity.
A CRM allows companies to collect data on their customers and potential customers, including order histories, mailing preferences, responses to marketing pieces, and contacts. Organizations use a CRM to target customers with the right sales and marketing messages, analyze the results of campaigns, and reach the customers at the right time.
BI systems take information from disparate parts of the organization stored in a data warehouse and display and report on that data in charts, documents, and tables. Managers use this aggregated information to make better-informed business decisions.
While there are a number of commonalities among these three systems, each has a distinct, job-specific role within the organization. Together, the interrelated functions of these systems are a powerful opportunity for companies to formulate visionary plans.
Advantages to multiple systems
Why does your company need all three of these systems? Here are three important reasons:
- Smoother interactions with customers. With integrated systems, there is brand consistency across very different parts of the business, including sales, marketing, fulfillment, financing and customer support. In an integrated environment, particularly where data is shared widely and consistently, customers will not feel bounced around when interacting with different departments.
- Better reporting. When your ERP and CRM systems, in particular, are integrated, the processes of data collection, storage, retrieval, and analysis are both synchronized and simplified. With a singular reporting function, there is no need to extract and integrate data stored in different parts of the enterprise. Reporting can be done faster and seamlessly, accelerating the ability to make critical decisions.
- More sales opportunities. With integrated systems, the chances to upsell and cross-sell are magnified. Imagine a marketing team that has access to inventory and sales data, allowing it to pinpoint fast-selling items and create promotions faster. Consider a finance team that knows immediately when sales are made and can make more accurate revenue projects. Think of a sales team that knows when invoices are paid, products are sold and goods delivered to a customer.
The power of integration
Integrated systems provide a dynamic opportunity that lets businesses anticipate, not react. At NexTec, we help businesses in a range of sectors create the right systems. With extensive knowledge of various vendors and products, our consultants help companies pinpoint the right systems solutions that meet their needs. Download the NexTec brochure to learn more about how NexTec can help your organization streamline systems and maximize profits.