Does your company operate more than one business system? If so, how does your business use these systems? Are certain departments or job titles regulated to certain systems? Is your financial department the only department able to access your ERP solution? What about your customer relationship management (CRM) software? Are your sales and customers service departments the only ones with access to the system?
Separating crucial business systems such as CRM and ERP can be counterproductive to the goals you are trying to accomplish using the systems. While enterprise resource planning systems can certainly streamline your processes and increase efficiency, it cannot reach its full potential if it is not communicating with your CRM software (and vice-versa). No single department could run your whole business. In order for your business to function at its best, each department needs to be contributing. Just as your business would not be able to function if each department functioned on its own, your software systems will not produce the results you desire if it is not communicating with other solutions within your business.
When your ERP and CRM software are operated separately, the data within those two systems cannot be easily shared. This makes it difficult for your business to function well. By opening up the lines of communication between your ERP and CRM solutions, you can start sharing data with the people who need it, improve business functionality, increase productivity among your staff, and serve your customers well.
Three Fundamentals of True Front-to-Back Office Integration
Before you jump into an extensive integration project or drop thousands of dollars on new, specialized software, let’s go over the three fundamentals of true front-to-back office integration:
1. True integration provides a complete and unified customer picture across the business.
True ERP-CRM integration allows people from different departments to see the full customer picture, with no details missing. This not only saves time and improves productivity (as employees no longer have to go track the information down from another department), but it also helps employees make better decisions as far as customers are concerned. When they can see the customer’s full history as well as financial information, they are better able to make relevant recommendations and offer personalized service.
2. True integration promotes data consistency.
True ERP-CRM software integration also enables users to share consistent data across the organization. This requires links to be made between existing CRM and ERP software so data and information can be updated in real-time on the other system. This eliminates the need to reenter data and reduces inaccuracies in data entry.
3. True integration streamlines business processes.
True ERP-CRM software integration has no need for extensive manual intervention. Seamless processing from one system to the other enables users to complete a complex and multi-step transaction in one system and carry it on (automatically) in the other system. This is accomplished primarily through the systems’ integration and workflow management. Once again, the benefit is eliminating the need for data reentry and substantial time-savings in the area of data entry.
If you are looking to connect your front and back office, you need to integrate your ERP and CRM solutions. If you are currently using Sage CRM and either Sage 100 ERP or Sage 500 ERP, integration should be a piece of cake. Contact us to learn how you can start benefitting from true front-to-back office integration.
If you are unsure whether or not you can easily integrate your current ERP and CRM systems, give us a call today. We can help you determine the best integration plan to fit your business’ needs.