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ERP Vs CRM: Which Is Best For Your Business?

If you’re looking to grow your business, chances are good that you have heard about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). But what are these software solutions, and which one is right for your business?

At a basic level, ERP and CRM systems both help manage information. The primary difference is the type of information each system manages. ERP focuses on the operational areas of your business, while CRM focuses on customer interactions and relationships.

The ERP system can improve the management of enterprise resource planning through the automation of back-office processes such as accounting, inventory control, and human resources. A comprehensive ERP solution will also include a manufacturing module to assist in planning, scheduling, and tracking production activities across the supply chain.

In comparison to an ERP system, a CRM software solution is more customer-centric and helps businesses manage customer data in all sales channels and steps of the sales process. A CRM system can handle everything from customer acquisition and retention to marketing campaign management and analytics. While many CRM software for small businesses offers robust basic functionality out of the box, others require customers to purchase additional modules or hire third-party consultants to fully implement the solution. Visit Risepath for more information. 


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are both important business systems. But how do you decide which is best for your business?

ERP and CRM can be confusing terms to understand and even more confusing to compare. Many of the most common questions business owners have about ERP and CRM are based on myths that get perpetuated by companies trying to sell these products.

To help clear up some of these misconceptions, we thought it best to address some of the misunderstandings head-on by dispelling some of the most common myths.

What does ERP mean?

The term ERP came into use in the 1990s as companies began looking for ways to integrate their back-office functions so that they could share data across multiple departments. ERP was originally a software solution (and many still refer to ERP as “software”) but has evolved into more of a total business management solution that includes software, hardware, services, training, and support. This new definition has helped grow the market over the past decade as small businesses seek out a complete ERP solution that addresses their unique needs.

What is a CRM?

CRM helps in gathering customer data from multiple sources such as marketing campaigns or social media sites and helps in analyzing these data to improve sales, customer support and other areas that tend to increase profits for a firm. It has become an indispensable part of any business today.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System

It is a widely used integrated system that combines different aspects of the organization such as inventory control, human resources, logistics, customer relationship management, financials, warehouse management and so on into one system. It also helps in integrating data across many departments such as HR, IT and others. It is a complex system that can help in streamlining processes across multiple departments.

ERP vs. CRM: What is best for your business?

While there are similarities between the two systems, important differences exist. For example, the ERP system is designed to manage the entire enterprise, while CRM software is designed to manage customer relationships. CRM has been described as a set of processes that work together to help companies manage customer relationships in an organized manner. 

The idea behind the CRM model is that, by analyzing information about customers’ history with a company and using this information to improve business relationships with customers, a company can increase customer loyalty and therefore increase profits. 

Today’s ERP systems are usually web-based and include all core enterprise functions such as financials, manufacturing, distribution, human capital management (HCM), supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence (BI) and more.

ERP applications address all key aspects of business operations to enable companies to streamline processes and share common data and practices across the enterprise. Unlike CRM, which focuses on managing interactions with individual customers, ERP addresses the needs of an organization’s departments including marketing, sales, manufacturing, human resources and accounting.

Both systems have advantages and disadvantages depending on their implementation and use. This article will discuss these advantages and disadvantages in greater detail so you can decide which one is best.

Who Uses an ERP vs a CRM System?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) are two very different business systems, but the truth is you need both. While an ERP system gives you deep insight into your business operations, a CRM system helps you engage with customers to increase sales.

A word of caution: while they are two separate systems, they are very much interdependent. ERP and CRM data must be integrated in order to keep both systems up-to-date with current information on customers and sales performance. Integration also allows you to use all the data stored within your CRM or ERP system across multiple departments, such as sales and marketing, to make better business decisions.

For example, integration between your ERP and CRM systems allows your sales team to see a complete view of the customer by accessing accurate information from your ERP system, including historical sales data and account details. This makes it easier for them to understand which products or services each customer prefers and where there is an opportunity for upselling or cross-selling.

Final Verdict

Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management software (CRM) are both used in business management. Here’s how to tell which of the two your business needs.

Business management software is designed to make it easier for businesses to keep track of their finances, customers and inventory. Two popular types of business management software are enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management software (CRM). While they are similar in that they’re both used to keep records, manage inventory and automate processes, there are some big differences between ERP vs CRM.

ERP is used in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, retail and education. It’s used for businesses that need to manage complex supply chains or inventory processes. ERP is also beneficial for businesses that require strong financial tracking and reporting.

CRM is more suited for businesses whose primary concern is managing customers and sales leads — such as sales teams or marketing teams — rather than inventory or financials. CRM software for small businesses can be helpful for any company that manages a large amount of sales data and needs an efficient way to track it all.

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    Richard Jones

    Richard has managed various roles from Sales Manager to Director of Operations. He has a Sales and Marketing background and has implemented multiple sales, support and marketing systems at his companies.

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