Why manufacturing businesses should integrate ERP and CRM

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Categories: CRM, ERP, Manufacturing
October 3, 2019
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.