There are too many manufacturing organizations currently operating both ERP and CRM enterprise software simultaneously without integrating the two. Usually, this is because they don’t understand the revenue and possible growth they’re missing by refusing to pay out the short-term investment needed to connect the two. In fact, that initial cost that can come with committing to ERP and CRM integration for manufacturing operations pales in comparison to benefits of interconnecting your enterprise platforms it’s practically a necessity. Here are six signs that you might be seeing in your processes that indicate that it is past time you connected your CRM and ERP systems.
When you are still a nascent business, it is able to often seem easy to keep track of everything you have on your plate. You may be using spreadsheets to store and analyze financials, tracking clients through a collection of notebooks and email folders and hoping all the information gets composed and stored somehow. However, using a rag-tag collection of desktop applications to maintain your business operations just isn’t sustainable. Eventually, you’ll reach a threshold of customers and leads where things will start falling through the cracks. Don't invite error into your business processes by simply assuming that your current method of data tracking and analysis is sustainable integrate your software before it becomes a problem and you start losing clients.
The compartmentalization of a business that can occur when there is no ERP and CRM integration for manufacturing data is a significant barrier to growth and an invitation for errors and missteps in your day-to-day business. It will often result in double entries of data that will get magnified as they pass through different applications. Multiple sales people may follow up with a potential lead; an annoyance to your lead and not a good look for your professionalism. With an ERP and CRM integration for manufacturing systems, you’ll find your front and back offices communicate better than ever. With collaboration, your entire organization will be poised to attract leads and fulfill business tasks together, rather than just hoping the other side of the equation gets its job done.
Perhaps you’ve sent an order to the wrong customer, or to the wrong address. Efficiency is the quickest way to impress customers old and new. If you’re running both pieces of enterprise software already, it just doesn’t make sense from an efficiency and time perspective to not connect them. There’s the time spent on entering quotes, orders and ship-to are into both systems separately. With an integration platform syncing these kinds of fields automatically (and on a schedule that you determine) you can take human error out of the equation and free up that time for other mission-critical tasks.
While inaccurate orders or wrong shipping data can annoy customers and quickly accumulate when you don’t have an ERP and CRM communicating it’s even more embarrassing when you find that you simply can’t fulfill orders at all. This can be all too likely to happen when there’s a lack of communication between the front and back offices in a business. Imagine a sales person is out on an on-site visit with a potential client, impresses with the sales pitch and makes a blockbuster sale. However, when they return to your office, they come to find that all your lines are busy for the next few weeks and there’s no product in stock. That will be money and customer trust lost that could have been easily avoided if the sales person had easy access to your inventory and manufacturing data. CRM and ERP integration can avoid these kinds of costly errors in your data, and help your business carve out a strategy to leverage that inventory data to grow your business.
Demand planning and inventory strategy is a key to unlock aggressive new growth and potential for innovation within your business. If you’re just jumping between enterprise applications and trying to hold all of your data together by a thread, eventually that thread will be stretched too thin and break. Your sales people will see growth in a confident aspect of your business and regression in others, but your manufacturing team won’t be able to see or plan for these fluctuations. The result of that strategy will just be your team manufacturing to order without strategizing new ways to support and automate output growth. Plain and simple if you don’t have that kind of crucial business data being synced daily between your CRM and ERP, it won’t be noted and it can’t be capitalized on.