Does your business need to be more agile? The answer is a resounding yes! Virtually every business is facing a future full of changing requirements. Your competitors are changing and your customers are making new demands. To be successful in the future, your company needs to be able to adapt to changes quickly and cost effectively. Integration between your CRM and ERP systems will help you achieve those goals, and give you a competitive advantage.
Why Agility is So Important
According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), digital disruption is the main cause of the increased turnover of companies that appear in the S&P 500. For example, in 1980, the average length of time a company stayed in the S&P 500 was 25 years. In 2011, the average was 18 years. Research shows that if these trends continue, 75 percent of today’s S&P 500 companies won’t be around in 2027.
Naturally, there are many reasons for companies dropping out, but “digital disruption is clearly responsible for a large share” of that movement, according to the HBR. A big part of a company’s ability to deal with the results of digital disruption is company-wide access to information. Keeping your CRM and ERP systems separate prevents you from providing that information access.
Your Company Before and After CRM/ERP Integration
You’ll notice a significant difference in the time and effort required to complete relatively simple tasks.
#1 – Before Integration: One of your sales reps has a customer who needs a proposal immediately. The rep must:
- Check what the customer paid for their last order of this product and determine if the pricing has changed.
- Determine the availability of the product for a quick shipment date.
The sales rep needs to check with multiple departments to get the required information, and the immediate proposal becomes less immediate.
After Integration: The sales rep checks the customer order history, current pricing and availability on the integrated system and provides the proposal to the customer before the competition.
#2 – Before Integration: Management wants to determine how many quotes or proposals are needed to get an order. The call goes out for someone to reconcile the number of quotes and proposals entered into the CRM, or generated by Customer Service, with actual order numbers over the same period.
After Integration: Management clicks a few buttons in the integrated system and prints a report.
#3 – Before Integration: A customer wants to know the status of shipment on an existing order and wants to know the price on a product they’re thinking of ordering. The sales rep must schedule a time to call the customer back, and then check with multiple departments or systems to obtain the information, then get back to the customer with the answers.
After Integration: The sales rep can check the integrated system while on the telephone with the client, or use a mobile device to access the information from the customer’s office, and provide real-time answers on the spot.
Benefits of Integrating CRM and ERP Systems
The benefits of integration are significant, and affect almost every department within your company. You’ll experience:
- Increased responsiveness and innovation
- Increased accuracy and reduced duplicate effort
- Improved forecasting
- Improved teamwork
- Increased sales and profitability
Integrating CRM and ERP systems is possible using existing technology. For example, SAP Business One is a technology solution that allows small and midsize businesses to manage all aspects of the business. Over 60,000 businesses use it to address:
- Accounting and financial management
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Warehouse and production management\
- Purchasing and procurement
- Reporting and analytics
- Integration with other systems in growing and global organizations
If you’re ready to position your company for success in the future, you can get an expert evaluation of what an integrated CRM and ERP system could do for your business. Contact us today for more information.