Category

CRM

Outgrowing QuickBooks

Non-traditional integrations: Is it possible to get a perfect fit from ‘competitors’?

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, CRM, ERP, Salesforce | No Comments
ERP and CRM integrations

Tight integration saves you time and money, reduces the risk for errors, and simplifies a variety of processes including quote-to-cash, manufacturing management, customer service, and so much more.

A few years back, fast food giant Burger King released a marketing campaign for “Peace Day” on September 21, in which the company propositioned McDonald’s through a series of tweets and full-page newspaper ads to set aside their differences for one day to create the “McWhopper.” While ultimately dismissed, it brought up a good question, one that many questions have to ask when they are looking at business management software: Is it possible to get two competitors to work together?

The answer is yes, and for some companies, it may be the best path to finding a perfect fit if they are looking for ERP or other business management software.

There are many paths to a perfect fit in ERP software.

We’ve been spending a lot of time recently talking about the concept of a perfect fit in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. There is good reason for this. If you’re like many decision makers at organizations, you know that the last time your company looked into a solution, 80 percent fit was considered acceptable.

Today, however, the market has changed, and an 80 percent fit is considered as table stakes, just enough for a vendor to get in the door. That last 20 percent is very possible and vendors have worked to provide the flexibility, integration, and usability to deliver this in the “postmodern ERP” environment.

There are a variety of ways to get here; some can get a solution built with few changes, many companies need extensive customization, while others can get what they want by using point solutions for unique needs connected through their marketplace.

The challenge: Bringing on a product your ERP already offers.

However, what if your business management solution features a product that would put it in competition with another vendor? There are many examples of this, including your choice of ecommerce vendor to establish your web presence, business intelligence solution to analyze data, and field service management products to manage technicians.

Each product is generally offered as part of an ERP suite, but many businesses either want to minimize the challenges that come with a complete overhaul or stick with a solution that works. One place where this really is prevalent? Customer relationship management (CRM) software.

A majority of ERP providers want to deliver a complete solution for businesses, and for those who do, many pride themselves on offering a functional and usable CRM product.

However, when you look at CRM, there is an elephant in the room, one that is loved by its users and used by over half of businesses. It’s the number one CRM for sales and customer service, and its name is Salesforce.

ERP and CRM integration can’t be ignored. Connecting Acumatica and Salesforce

So, you may think to yourself, “we already use Salesforce” if you’re in the process of an ERP change or “most of our staff already knows Salesforce” if you’re considering a complete business software overhaul that includes both ERP and CRM.

Now, you also know how hard it is to organize your entire sales and marketing staff for training sessions. You also know that if you already use Salesforce, your staff may balk at moving away from it, creating implementation risk that results from not having everyone on board.

CRM and ERP integration delivers more than data sharing.

ERP and CRM integration is a necessity for a variety of reasons. Tight integration saves you time and money, reduces the risk for errors, and simplifies a variety of processes including quote-to-cash, manufacturing management, customer service, and so much more. Something we’ve discussed in-depth in our blog titled ERP plus CRM: More than the sum of its parts, proper integration can’t be overlooked, as it provides:

  • Seamless data sharing
  • Optimized resources management
  • Faster delivery cycles
  • Improved forecasting
  • More consistency
  • Better reporting
  • A uniquely tailored product for industries who need increased visibility and control.

Connecting Acumatica ERP and Salesforce CRM

Now, as we’ve discussed, your company needs ERP and CRM to integrate, integrate tightly, and do so with as little hassle as possible. Luckily, there are ways to make this happen—even if the two may seem to be in direct competition with one another.

Thanks to its 2018 acquisition of MuleSoft, Salesforce gained the ability to reach into other applications and pull in data without needing to clean or scrub it. That means no need to build data warehouses or rely on third-party middleware customizations to use data from multiple systems. Consolidating data in one place, without disrupting its source formatting or properties, is a far better choice.

Bringing Acumatica and Salesforce together still requires the right intermediary. Get to know NexTec.

ERP and Salesforce integrations are transformative opportunities. While integration may be easier than ever, and everyone may promise that they have the skills to integrate these two, the best partner is one who knows both products inside and out. NexTec Group happens to be that partner.

Managing an ERP and Salesforce integration requires a steady, experienced, detailed-focused partner, and few have the size, scale, scope, and expertise to deliver both Salesforce and Acumatica. NexTec does. This also makes us uniquely qualified to integrate the two products.

NexTec offers expert consultants and project managers with deep expertise in ERPs, Salesforce and integration strategies. Contact us to learn more about how NexTec is the right choice to lead your integration project.

Man in a blue suit pointing too cogs.

Why manufacturing businesses should integrate ERP and CRM

By | CRM, ERP, Manufacturing | No Comments
Man in a blue suit pointing to cogs.

Integrated business software means a single source of data and more transparency.

For many businesses, the most useful and effective business software tools are their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. They are each essential for connecting processes, people and tasks to drive efficiency.

With so much power and performance capabilities, it’s no wonder why manufacturing businesses should integrate ERP and CRM platforms.

Complementary components make integration the right choice

Your ERP solution and CRM tool focus on different parts of your manufacturing operation. As seen in the above chart, the two solutions have distinct areas of focus and orientation.

ERPs have a back office structure that focuses on keeping data integrated, partners informed and operations running efficiently. A CRM is externally focused, helping sales, marketing and customer service teams connected with customers and leads. Integration allows for broader transparency throughout the manufacturing operation, empowering teams in different areas to work together more effectively.

Business Software Comparisons ERP CRM
Functionality Back Office Activities (Finance, Inventory, Production, HR) Front Office Activities (Sales, Marketing, Customer Service)
Orientation Enterprise Employees, Leadership, Supply Chain Partners Customers
Focus Cost Reduction, Efficiency Sales Growth
Users Project and Inventory Managers, Finance Staff Sales Teams, Marketing Leads, Customer Service Staff

Benefits of ERP and CRM integrations

Group of colleagues discussing a project.

Improve sales results and customer service with an integrated ERP-CRM solution.

There are many advantages to integration, including:

  • Dual Data Entry Reduction. All too often, manufacturers have to reenter information stored in one system into another. That’s inefficient and can be alleviated by having a single source of data.
  • Full Customer View. Gain a 360-degree view of your customers – from inquiry to sales call to order to delivery to finance to billing to customer service. This provides richer information for all employees. When a customer calls about an order status, reorder, delivery question or product need, everything can be accessed in one place. Share inventory levels, product deliveries, order status and returns easily with colleagues and customers.
  • Faster and Better Decisions. With a single source of information, employees can interact easily. Using mobile apps that let sales reps on the road and finance employees in the office discuss a potential order, for example, results in smarter and coordinated decisions.
  • Improved Quote Management. When sales reps are preparing quotes, they can access historical and current customer data, including the cost of materials, production time, delivery needs, production schedules and overall costs information stored in the ERP. Customers get timely and more accurate quotes.
  • Cost Reduction. Integrating a manufacturing ERP and CRM lets you reduce operational costs and time.
  • Mobile Applicability. Techs and sales reps need access to tools and data while in the field. Integrated platforms that allow for a single mobile source of information makes for more efficient sales and service calls.
  • Additional Benefits. Your manufacturing company also gains the following with integration:
    • Improved accuracy of product forecasting
    • Faster product delivery
    • Quicker billing using automated processes
    • More qualified sales proposals with a deeper understanding of customer history
    • Faster approvals via automated workflows
    • Improved leads management

Guidance for ERP and CRM integration

NexTec is the leader in business software consulting. Our experienced staffs can help you choose the right ERP and CRM systems, including Sage X3 and Acumatica, that provide an integrated solution for your manufacturing needs.

Which ERP best fits your needs? Here are some tips.

Group of people holding gears.

Integrate CRM and ERP for more sales with lower costs

By | CRM, ERP | No Comments
Group of people holding gears together.

Get all the gears working together with integrated ERP and CRM solutions.

CRM and ERP systems have different functions that complement each other when they’re done right. Customer relationship management software helps improve sales figures, while an enterprise resource planning solution helps control operating expenses.

In many ways, they’re two sides of the same coin when it comes to better business practices. However, high sales volume coupled with inefficient business practices will eventually erode growth, while outstanding efficiency doesn’t mean much if sales are anemic.

Ideally, companies should have both a strong CRM and a strong ERP that have integrations that benefit both sides of the equation. Here’s a look at how to integrate CRM and ERP for more sales with lower costs.

Playing to strengths

ERP focuses on internal processes, integrating data and applications across business functions from finance to HR to warehouse management. Your CRM solution is focused externally, helping your sales and marketing teams with insights and responses from customers and prospects.

Both are designed to improve efficiency for your company. The possibilities are endless when you choose to integrate the two. With external and internal data available, business leaders can make better-informed decisions in real time that benefit the organization. Employees can share information across departments to gain a clearer view of customers, progress to goals, and opportunities for growth.

Many businesses have believed that it’s an either/or proposition when it comes to ERP and CRM. The power is gained when the approach is both.

New technological advances make integrating your ERP and CRM solutions easier than ever. You can deliver significant benefits to your organization with integrated solutions, including:

  • Deeper business intelligence. Calculate, use and respond to key performance indicators in real time. Using the two tools together gives executives a more complete picture of the business and help to make better decisions in the moment.
  • Single source of truth. Too many companies are burdened by data stored in multiple systems, requiring cumbersome and expensive third-party apps to convert and interpret data. With integrated systems, you’ll work from one source of data and reporting. Everyone will be looking at the same numbers. In addition, your data will be more accurate with the elimination of manual re-entry that leads to mistakes and inaccuracies.
  • Faster billing. When your finance and sales teams are working in tandem, able to see the same information at the same time, there is a shorter time to contract completion, faster invoicing and speedier payments.
Worker wearing a yellow hard hat and yellow safety vest.

Predict purchasing and inventory needs with integrated finance and sales functions.

  • Better business forecasting. When sales and marketing results are integrated with finance, procurement and inventory functions, your business reduces buildup of excess inventory, forecast capacity and reduce operating expenses.
  • Customer satisfaction and retention. Data accuracy means updates to customer details or order changes are shared simultaneously. That means improved operational efficiency that translates to faster shipping times and deliveries, driving customer satisfaction rates. When there are problems, everyone in the organization has a complete view of customer interactions, challenges, needs and engagement.

Integration made easy

At NexTec, we help businesses identify, select and deploy software solutions. Contact us to learn more about how NexTec can assist your organization with integrated CRM and ERP solutions.

Additional CRM resources

9 Ways ERP and CRM integration will benefit manufacturing

Why Salesforce integration makes your ERP solution better

CRM and Business Intelligence: A strategic approach using analytics

Webcast: Driving more sales by leveraging a CRM tool

By | CRM, Events, Recorded webcasts | No Comments
Workers in a factory smiling.

9 Ways ERP and CRM integration will benefit manufacturing

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, CRM, ERP, Manufacturing | No Comments
Workers in a factory smiling.

Integrating ERP and CRM technologies gives you considerable competitive advantages with deeper customer insights.

Integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms gives your manufacturing business considerable advantages over the competition.

With data from both platforms, your company can realize better sales processes and new ideas for products. Here is an overview of  how ERP can integrate multiple processes and benefit manufacturing.

1. Real-time insights

Use production, product and inventory data to provide customers with real-time information on orders, opening the door for upselling and cross-selling. The real-time insights also help planners enhance business development, optimize financial tracking, and improve communication.

2. More prospect information

Use combined information to build a clearer picture of your sales prospects, including connections to suppliers, order histories from similar customers and personalized insights.

3. Data-driven decisions and outcomes

With more information available, manufacturers can look at operational metrics from a customer’s perspective, resulting in better products, processes and procedures. Build customer-driven analytics around order fulfillment, delivery timing, quality management, pricing and payments, all designed to better serve customers.

4. Newer, better products

Speed and time-to-market are key drivers for success for B2B and B2C companies. Use integrated customer interaction, pricing, catalog, service and production information to create new products and business models. With rapidly changing customer expectations, manufacturers can bring together product lifecycle management systems, customer feedback and financial data to innovate faster than the competition.

Factory worker operating a machine.

Drawing on data from ERP and CRM systems gives your manufacturing company better insights for production planning, pricing and customer service.

5. Maximized CPQ

For complex manufacturers, the configure-price-quote model lets you deliver customized products that attract and retain customers. Use CRM and ERP data to deliver more accurate and timely quotes than your competition. Eliminate the need for manual quoting and take days and weeks off the quoting process to close more orders faster.

6. Optimized pricing

Manufacturers can fine-tune pricing models by using information from accounting, finance, and customer relationship systems to create more accurate customer personas. Pricing precision at the segment and persona level makes it possible to accelerate sales rates.

7. Accurate lifetime customer value calculations

Calculate real-time profitability analyses by consolidating visualizations of cost reporting, estimated versus actual budgets and other key metrics. Use these calculations to create a lifetime customer value for each customer, identify your most valuable customers and look for other customers that have a similar profile.

8. Automate processes

ERP and CRM tools have touted the value of automation separately. Automating tasks and information from both systems together provides more accuracy and responsiveness in customer integrations.

9. Improved supply chain management

Manufacturers can automate quotes, conversion to bills of materials, scheduling and ordering by using information from ERP and CRM systems. Show your customers the efficiency and integration that allows for better and faster responses.

Choosing the right partner

NexTec is the leading company for manufacturing companies looking to integrate ERP and CRM with Acumatica.

Acumatica delivers the right solutions that manufacturers need for integrated business practices. The Acumatica Manufacturing Edition is a features-rich, cloud-based solution that helps companies:

  • Eliminate outdated and inaccurate business information
  • Respond to customer demand for product variety
  • Balance supply and demand to reduce costs and inventory
  • Optimize production planning, sales forecasts and capacity requirements

Take the Acumatica Product Tour to learn more about how NexTec can help your manufacturing company leverage your ERP and CRM data.

Additional manufacturing resources

Enhance inventory control & speed up order fulfillment

How manufacturing ERP software can improve data collection, BI, and regulatory compliance

Strategic guide to planning manufacturing production cycles

ERP

CRM can help your chemical industry ERP deliver better results

By | Chemicals, CRM, ERP | No Comments
ERP

Combining ERP and CRM solutions gives chemicals companies the advantage they need to remain competitive.

Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions have been around a long time, but many companies in the chemical sector don’t realize the value of CRMs to building customer loyalty and growth.

Imagine the possibilities when chemical companies integrate their CRM and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. The potential for better customer interactions, enhanced communications and better sales is off the charts.

Here’s how a CRM can help your chemical industry ERP deliver better results.

The chemical industry in 2019

Chemical companies today face a changing competitive landscape that requires innovative thinking to stay ahead. Among the core challenges are margin pressure and customer expectations.

Competitive pricing pressure means companies need to do whatever they can to improve operational efficiency. That’s a core function of ERP solutions, which are designed to provide transparency and insights into operations that result in better processes.

Customers want timely communication, instant responses and real-time access to information on orders, deliveries and availability. Excellent customer service today means having a holistic understanding of all interactions, from payment histories, meeting outcomes, responses to marketing pitches and order histories. ERP and CRM solutions together offer companies the fullest picture of their customers.

Trucks driving on a highway.

Customer expectations today mean companies need to provide real-time information on orders and deliveries.

Benefits of integration

ERP solutions are designed to manage core business functions, including finance, operations, warehouse, inventory and human resources. CRM products are focused on customer data, including contacts, interactions, meetings and help requests.

Today, using these two systems in vacuum is a lost opportunity for the chemical industry.

Data is an increasingly commodified asset. As chemical companies collect and store more information about products and customers, they can use that information to improve efficiency, attract and retain customers and achieve better business outcomes. Here’s a closer look at some of the advantages to CRM and ERP integration:

  • Better business development. Bringing together data from both solutions provides businesses with stronger insights. Focus on existing customers by analyzing their sales and customer service histories, comparing them to similar customers and providing customized and personalized solutions. Understanding their needs and pain points helps you retain customers through better collaboration.
  • Improved processes. With a single source of data for sales, promotions, production, finances, inventory and distribution, chemical companies can be more responsive and efficient on tasks ranging from product ordering to compliance tracking to production scheduling.
  • Robust customer valuation. Understand the lifetime value of each customer via consolidated dashboards and metrics pulling information from CRM and ERP solutions. Use this information to create real-time profitability analyses and ROI metrics. These tools let you identify your most valuable customers, develop retention strategies for those customers and target future customers with the same attributes.
  • Enhanced automation. Both CRM and ERP tout the power of automation. Integrating the solutions allows for improved automation, especially when it comes to customer interactions. Provide enhanced responsiveness, more detailed information in real time, and accurate interactions with customers.

How to integrate

Partner with the right company to leverage the capabilities of these powerful solutions. At NexTec, we help chemical companies select and implement ERP and CRM solutions. We develop seamless integration solutions that let companies maximize their investments and remain competitive. Contact us to learn more about how to get the most out of your ERP and CRM.

Additional chemical industry resources

Data as a value creation tool in chemicals: How your ERP can help

How the right ERP can address 2019 challenges in chemicals industry

Regulatory compliance is easier with chemical industry ERP software

Insight.

ERP plus CRM: More than the sum of the parts

By | Cannabis, Chemicals, CRM, ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments
Insight.

Integrating operational areas with customer relationship data gives your company new insights and efficiencies.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions offer great tactical solutions to businesses. Taken together, however, ERP and CRM are more than the sum of the parts.

An integrated ERP and CRM solution allows for real-time, actionable business intelligence, giving executives insights they need to make critical decisions in the time of need. Integration breaks down organizational silos and encourages collaboration. Learn more below about the benefits of integrating these tools, industry-specific examples and best practices for combining your solutions.

Benefits of ERP and CRM together

While no two ERP or CRM solutions offer the same features, in general, the roles of each can be defined as follows:

  • ERP: Back-end functions such as accounting, human resources, manufacturing and purchasing.
  • CRM: Front-facing functions like sales, marketing, customer service.

ERPs are built to bring synergy to core functions, providing transparency, a single source of data and improved collaboration and efficiency. CRMs are focused on providing a complete view of customer and prospect integrations, including marketing pitches, outreach, conversations and customer help requests.

Both are designed to build synergy among important functional areas, with the intent that shared knowledge helps to boost operations and outreach. By combining capabilities, you’ll be able to deepen the interconnectedness of various parts of your business.

“The main arguments for the integration … focus on obtaining in real time a coherent view of customers – the possibility of continuous access to everything relating to customer data and information, which … is needed for its proper operation,” state the authors of a recent paper on ERP and CRM integration. “A consistent view of the customer allows employees to make the right and quick decisions.”

Here are a few of the most essential benefits of bringing ERP and CRM together:

Seamless data sharing

CRMs and ERPs have their own unique data collection, storage and formatting guidelines. The advantage of integrated systems is the ability to provide everyone with a unified, transparent and consistent set of information. When the two solutions are integrated, changes or alterations made in one system should be reflected simultaneously in the other.

As business needs change and new data, fields or calculations are needed, the connectivity allows for continued consistency. The system integration allows for new insights, needs and opportunities to be available to each operating unit.

Optimized resource management

Consider the opportunities with a clearer, automated flow of information from sales to production. Companies can gain advantages on production planning, warehouse space optimization, supply planning, materials purchasing and production order prioritization. This benefit helps companies with long sales and manufacturing cycles to plan better based on the status of customer commitments, allowing companies to reduce carried inventory and begin production soon after an order is confirmed.

Faster delivery cycles

Companies with a free flow of information can track and share information on customer details and orders, leading to more accurate and timely shipments, lower operating costs and improved customer satisfaction with on-time deliveries.

Improved product forecasting

Linking marketing initiatives and projections allows for faster and more accurate production forecasting. Operations teams will be able to plan more accurately and companies will not tie up cash by buying excess inventory.

Appropriate and accurate sales proposals

If your sales professionals can see a customer’s complete history – order history, current balance, payment pattern, credit limit and unpaid invoices – proposals will be more consistent and appropriate. Information that’s readily available helps sales managers to make informed decisions, such as asking for down payments or full payment up front.

Sales reps using an integrated solution also have access to the most recent, updated pricing information, including any promotions or discounts. They can also provide more accurate production and delivery dates by accessing production schedules, inventory levels and requisition schedules. If merchandise is out of stock, salespeople can relay that information to customers early on in the proposal process or provide precise projections on timing.

More sales opportunities

Giving salespeople better access to order histories, leads and customer service requests helps them to frame their pitches, giving them a much better likelihood of securing a call, an appointment or a deal. Knowing the frequency of reordering, for example, helps sales professionals reach out proactively to up-sell or cross-sell products or services. When equipment is reaching the end of its predicted lifespan, salespeople can suggest new models of an old product.

Better consistency and standards in customer engagement

With an integrated CRM and ERP solution, your employees will have complete and current information on customers. Whether it’s a sales call, a help request, a product question or a delivery inquiry, employees will understand better the complete relationship, sentiment and pain points. Complete and timely data, collected from both systems, helps employees understand and respond better to customers.

Responsive approval processes

Give your salespeople access to ERP information in real time and they can move contracts through the approval process faster. Same-day signing means faster contract approvals and reduces the time it takes for revenue to be recognized.

Prompt billing and payments

Document sharing lets businesses quickly turn accepted proposals into work orders that can be tracked throughout the enterprise without manual intervention. This process simplification carries over to the finance functions, allowing for faster creation and distribution of invoices, drawing from a single data source. Faster billing leads to faster payment turnarounds and better cash flow.

Consolidated reporting

Combined systems allow for better and more automated reporting, visualizations and data analysis. Reports pull in data from both systems without the need for manual manipulations, conversions or adjustments.

Linking icons.

Applying ERP and CRM data has powerful functional advantages in the food, chemical and cannabis industries.

ERP and CRM industry applications

ERP and CRM solutions need to be uniquely suited to the industry they’re serving. Businesses like food and beverage production, chemicals and cannabis have unique functions and needs for both systems separately and together.

Here is a look at how ERP and CRM integration gives companies in those industries the capabilities essential for success and competitive advantage.

Chemicals

Chemical companies need solutions that address complex functions, including:

  • Formula and recipe management, measure conversions, shelf-life management, packaging and labeling
  • Rapid batch scaling in different sizes and formulations
  • Quality controls that can track – and report to customers and prospects – product quality, shelf life and expiration dates
  • Process design improvements based on customer needs, historical trends, costs and operations
  • Rigorous regulatory compliance mandates, including federal, international, state, local and industry standards
  • Lifetime customer value measurements
  • Worker safety
  • Tracking products from warehouse arrival to manufacturing processes (including intermediary products) to finished goods
  • Traceability forward and backward with ordering histories and delivery data

For process manufacturers, these systems allow for shared, real-time access to information that is valuable to the salesperson, marketing manager, warehouse chief, finance officer and executive.

Food and Beverage

Sound supply chain management is at the core of any successful food or beverage company. While these functions traditional reside within ERP solutions, a CRM integration provides even more opportunities for efficiency.

With tight margins, fierce competition and changing consumer tastes, efficiency is paramount. By integrating the customer relationship insights with operational details, food and beverage companies are able to leverage the three interconnected supply chain components – suppliers, stores/restaurants and customers.

Here are three benefits for food and beverage companies when their CRM and ERP solutions are integrated:

  • Lower operational costs. CRM tools help provide insights and ordering patterns that can improve ordering and inventory management, resulting in lower storage and spoilage costs.
  • Customer segmentation. Targeted sales by customer segments allow for optimized ordering based on demand, relevance and location. Segmentation also allows for better analysis of customer profitability, based on logistical and operational costs. Customer analysis helps finance, sales and operations teams to identify and distinguish between stable, regular business and variable or unpredictable customers.
  • Seasonality. Identifying ordering patterns allows for sales and procurement employees to track, predict and anticipate seasonal variances in demand.

Cannabis

With cannabis and CBD companies emerging and growing as more states approve medicinal and recreational use, businesses in this fledgling industry are seeking solutions. There is a critical need to manage the operational and customer sides, not only for better efficiency and profitability, but also to meet the scrutiny of law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the state and local level.

Cannabis companies need to track and access industry-unique data, such as the costs of materials and energy, growth rates, potency levels and cross-strain breeding attempts.

Integrating this information with customer demand, buying patterns and demographic data helps cannabis companies provide products that are most in demand and most profitable. Pricing, resource allocation and purchasing all benefit from a blending of customer and production data.

How to combine

Combining these two complex business solutions to maximize the potential of an integrated approach is a complex undertaking. Whether buying new solutions or integrating new ones, careful planning needs to happen. Among the key steps are:

  • Determining whether the integration is unidirectional or bidirectional
  • Identifying data and modules to integrate
  • Unifying headers, labels, tags and data formats
  • Mapping data and interfaces
  • Assessing existing and future reporting needs
  • Focusing on user experience
  • Training users

To manage the many complexities involved in developing a cogent integration strategy, companies turn to NexTec. Our integration specialists have extensive knowledge of the providers, solutions and features available and the expertise to deliver a seamless integration experience.

Take a free tour of Sage Enterprise Management to learn more about NexTec and ERP/CRM integration.

Additional CRM resources

Integrate CRM and ERP for more sales with lower costs

5 Best practices for customizing your CRM

Why Salesforce integration makes your ERP solution better

Customer intelligence

5 Best practices for customizing your CRM

By | CRM, Salesforce | No Comments
Customer intelligence.

The right CRM customizations can lead to better customer insights that lead to more sales and better service.

The right customer relationship management (CRM) solution can make a major difference in how your employees engage with customers and prospects. Customizing CRM solutions allows for even more powerful information sharing, usage and return on investment for your technology.

Here are 5 best practices for customizing your CRM.

1. Ask the users

When considering customizations, it’s very important to include the users in identifying, prioritizing and implementing new solutions. Your users, from salespeople to customer relations staff to finance employees, are those who use the CRM the most.

Be sure to ask them how the CRM could improve their sales or customer service. Ask for the wish list and consider engaging them in prioritizing the customizations. Getting user buy-in early helps ease implementation and user adoption.

2. Make it simple

CRM customizations should focus on simplifying or automating tasks, saving staff time and providing more insights. Your CRM likely offers lots of options. You don’t need all of them on your employees’ dashboards. Consider customizations that create a different look and feel for each role. Some solutions, like Salesforce, offer optimization tools that show what features are and are not being used.

Coworkers at a shared desk with documents and calculators.

With a single source of data, a CRM ERP integration provides for more insights and collaboration among employees.

3. Focus on data

In order to be truly effective, your CRM needs to have the best and most accurate data available. Raw data can be transformed into actionable insights, but only if the data are good to begin with. Consider customizations that provide easy access to data and give employees a 360-degree view of customers. And if the right data isn’t available, make that a separate priority project.

4. Integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions

When you integrate your CRM with your ERP solution, your business gains transparency, unified data and more collaboration. With a single source of data truth, your employees know they’re working with the same accurate information. Integrating these tools gives your business considerable advantages, including:

  • Better business development with stronger insights on new-business targets.
  • Improved operations using automation solutions and better-designed processes that allow for better measurements of marketing campaigns, deals closed and customer relationships.
  • Visualizations that take historical and real-time data to give you a clearer picture of key business metrics, including budgeted vs. actual costs, ROI, cost reporting, profitability and lifetime customer value.
  • Improved responsiveness to customer needs and requests using automation tools that respond faster and deliver more insights on customer sentiment and loyalty.

5. Choosing the right ERP CRM

Choosing the right ERP CRM, like Salesforce Foundations, gets you further faster. With Salesforce Foundations, you can get connected to Salesforce functionality and power quickly.

Salesforce Foundations lets you manage sales teams and assign leads, see progress with intuitive reports and dashboards and give your employees an easy-to-use introduction to Salesforce.

Salesforce Foundations is right for your business if one or more of these apply:

  • It’s your first CRM
  • You have 5-25 users
  • You’re upgrading from another CRM
  • You have a short timeframe

NexTec helps companies select, implement, and leverage leading CRM solutions. Our experience with hundreds of CRM implementations means we can boost ROI through all phases, including configuration, data migration, user training and ongoing support. Learn More About CRM.

Additional CRM resources

Why Salesforce-ERP integration will be key in 2019

6 need-to-know customer experience facts

CRM, BI and ERP – Why you need all three

Tablet displaying charts and graphs.

Why Salesforce integration makes your ERP solution better

By | CRM, ERP, Salesforce | No Comments
Tablet with charts and graphs displayed.

Give your business a competitive advantage by allowing better data sharing between your ERP and Salesforce.

When your company integrates your Salesforce and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, you gain considerable advantages, allowing you to share and use data seamlessly and improve customer service.

Knowing why Salesforce integration makes your ERP solution better helps inform your technology decisions and resource allocations.

Data as the primary integration advantages

Salesforce, long a leader in customer relationship management, has made moves lately to solidify its strength in that field and build better bridges with other applications, including ERP. Its 2018 acquisition of MuleSoft for $6.5 billion lets Salesforce reach into other applications and pull in data without needing to clean or scrub it.

That means no need to build data warehouses or rely on third-party middleware customizations to use data from multiple systems. Consolidating data in one place, without disrupting its source formatting or properties, is a far better choice.

Group of people working around a conference table.

Salesforce-ERP integrations lead to better data transparency and collaboration.

Here are some other advantages of integrating your ERP with Salesforce:

  • Improved Communication. Colleagues in different functional areas can use the easier data-sharing capability for more effective communication and collaboration. For example, a sales employee can pull in inventory management information to determine what to tell a customer about delivery schedules. Inventory control data can be pulled into Salesforce and be used by staff in sales, warehouse management and production to determine the right customer strategy.
  • Data Transparency in Both Directions. Finance employees are likely most familiar with ERP-housed billing information while sales staff will have a deeper understanding of Salesforce. With data available from both systems, employees can work in the system they’re most familiar with.
  • More Insights. With more data available to users of both systems, there can be deeper calculations and reporting. Employees get better and more actionable information that can lead to better-informed decisions made faster. For senior management, there’s a clearer understanding of overall and interrelated company operations, progress and outcomes.
  • Error Reduction. Manual data entry or reentry increases the likelihood of errors, even when using cut-and-paste functions. Integrated systems reduce errors, staff time spent on manual tasks and data duplication. Integration projects can automate checks and balances to identify data discrepancies to ensure all systems are using the same information.
  • Better Customer Service. Salesforce and ERP integration gives companies a more complete picture of their customers. From marketing responses to buying habits to payment history, integrated systems help build stronger relationships, satisfy needs and faster responses. There’s no more hunting for information in multiple systems or need to find the right person to ask for details.
  • Enhanced Automation. Your ERP and Salesforce systems both can automate every-day tasks and activities. With the systems integrated, more and better automation solutions are available, delivering deeper insights and reporting. For example, pricing changes and production schedules stored in an ERP can be integrated faster into alerts and data sheets provided to sales and marketing professionals.

ERP and Salesforce integrations are transformative opportunities. Managing those projects requires a steady, experienced, detailed-focused partner. NexTec offers expert consultants and project managers with deep expertise in ERPs, Salesforce and integration strategies. Contact us to learn more about how NexTec is the right choice to lead your integration project.

Enterprise resource software

Why Salesforce-ERP integration will be key in 2019

By | CRM, ERP, Salesforce | No Comments
Enterprise resource planning software

The 2018 purchase of an integration-software company has Salesforce positioned to be the CRM of choice when it comes to integrating with your ERP.

Companies are discovering the power of integrating their enterprise resource planning (ERP) with Salesforce, a market leader in customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

Knowing how to leverage the capabilities of an enterprise resource planning solution and Salesforce can deliver great advantages to organizations that seize the opportunity. Here are a few reasons why Salesforce-ERP integration will be key in 2019.

Salesforce makes big splash

In 2018, Salesforce made its largest-ever acquisition, paying $6.5 billion for MuleSoft, an integration-software maker. The sale was hailed as one that would lead to more Salesforce-ERP integrations in 2019.

While that is likely to remain the case, the sale also positions Salesforce as the market leader in shifting companies from customer relationships to customer experiences.

“Companies need more and more visibility into everything that has to do with the customer,” said Uri Sarid, chief technology officer of MuleSoft, recently. “But you don’t have to consolidate all of the data in one place. That’s what’s changed.”

Salesforce is now positioned to reduce complexity when it comes to integrating with ERPs. One of the greatest challenges facing IT leaders grappling with integration is moving and using data. Data warehouses and middleware have been common solutions but Salesforce, with integrated MuleSoft capabilities, can be a game-changer.

With less data manipulation, a Salesforce integration with enterprise resource planning software solves a lot of the issues that have been major barriers in the past, including:

  • Complex integration functionality
  • Lack of user self-service ability
  • Reliance on third-party applications and services
  • IT staff time committed to jury-rigging solutions

Salesforce will be able to “reach into” another application, such as your ERP solution, pull in the necessary data, and use it in tandem with Salesforce functionality. Users will have more information at hand to make better decisions while engaging with customers and prospects.

Enterprise resource software

Integrating Salesforce and your ERP adds more functionality and customer insights for your teams.

Moving to customer experience

Customers today, whether businesses or consumers, expect companies to have a full understanding of their relationship. Salesforce, which made its mark providing deeper insights for marketing and sales professionals, needs to pivot to deliver the data that provides a 360-degree understanding of customers.

Customer experience – CX in the marketing parlance – is critical for customer retention. It’s also important as customers engage with brands in multiple ways – in-person retail experiences, mobile interactions and website and email engagement.

At its annual Dreamforce conference, Salesforce unveiled the first move towards better CX – Customer 360. The new service integrates customer data across clouds and uses data from multiple systems to deliver a complete picture of activity with sales, marketing and service teams.

Optimizing integrations

No matter what the future holds, there are fundamental steps businesses need to take when it comes to integrating a CRM and ERP. They include:

  • Process mapping to understand how data will be used and accessed by the different systems
  • Field mapping to align data seamlessly across systems
  • Data integrity to ensure that the information being shared is good, reliable and accurate
  • Finding the right partner

NexTec is a leader in system integrations, including Salesforce and ERP. Our teams have deep experience with Salesforce and multiple ERP vendors and products. We help to develop and deploy integration models that maximize the value of each tool.

Contact us to learn more about how NexTec can help leverage your Salesforce and ERP investments.