The Oakley ERP Blog

What is the difference between CRM and ERP and when do you need them?
Tuesday October 24, 2017

When it comes to ERP and CRM software, do we really know what they offer?

More importantly, do we know if we need one system more than the other?

For small businesses, both CRM and ERP systems share many similar aspects, often leading to confusion when weighing up both options. In this post we look at the pros and cons of both to help you decide which is the right choice for your business.

What is CRM software?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is used by sales, marketing, customer service and support. A CRM system can keep track of customers and their purchasing actions, streamline the sales process and automate marketing activities such as email campaigns.

What is ERP software?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a collection of sales and marketing, human resources, accounting, manufacturing, order management and distribution.

What is the difference between the two?

  1. An ERP solution manages multiple back-office processes, while CRM solutions tend to take care of the front-office. While you can integrate other systems with your CRM software, ERP can handle multiple processes and tasks, often without the need for other software or any integration.
  2. One of the key selling points of ERP software is that it brings all your business data into one, unified interface. With CRM it is likely you would need other applications which may not share databases in the required way.
  3. ERP Software has been designed to help reduce costs (by streamlining processes) as well as increase sales. CRM on the other hand is specifically designed to help increase direct revenue.

What else do you need to consider? 

Whether opting for a CRM or ERP solution there are business considerations and future planning to take into account. Small, growing businesses with ever increasing processes and procedures may find that a CRM system will not be substantial enough in the long run, and might consider implementing an ERP solution sooner rather than later to ensure maximum growth with as little disruption as possible from implementing a new, company-wide system.  

This doesn’t mean that CRM systems should be overlooked, in-fact Sage offer a great CRM solution that integrates perfectly with both Sage 200 and Sage 300, meaning you get the best of both worlds.

The team at Oakley ERP are experts in helping small businesses make the right decision between CRM or ERP solutions. Talk to us today to find out which is right for you.

Written by Oakley ERP at 12:48