ERP software stands for Enterprise Resource Planning (Enterprise Resource Planning System). We have also seen in the blog the definition of
CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management (Customer Relationship Management Software). Both are business management programs that are essential for the proper functioning of the company and for an optimal economic situation, either by reducing costs or by maximizing profits.
However, there is often some confusion between the functions of each of these solutions. That’s why in this article we focus on the differences between an ERP and a CRM and explain how to implement them in your company.
How does a CRM differ from an ERP?
The big difference between an ERP and a CRM is at the base, since they pursue different objectives:
It is a back office management software, which colloquially can be called ‘back office’. This solution centralizes, orders and automates tasks that the company needs for its operation. For example, production processes, stock control or administrative tasks such as payroll.
It is a front office management software, that is to say, focused on what is ‘out there’. And in the business sector, the main element that is there is the customer. Therefore, it deals with tasks such as the creation of segmented databases, the monitoring of marketing campaigns or the automation of the sales process.
ERP vs CRM: Which is better for which type of company?
Considering the above, it can be said that ERP is a broader and more general solution, so its implementation is essential. Especially in medium and large companies with complex operations and organized in multiple departments. And of course it is essential in Industry 4.0.
On the other hand, CRM is a more specific management software and its use is limited to the marketing and sales department.
Therefore, in the case of SMEs that do not have an area or employees dedicated exclusively to marketing and sales, having a CRM may not make sense.
In addition, it should be noted that some companies delegate the bulk of these tasks to external agencies, which are responsible for designing the marketing strategy and measuring its impact.
If we focus on the agri-food sector, in which Cedesa specialises, the answer as to which tool is better can be full of nuances. There is no doubt that
it is crucial and its implementation is unavoidable, as it makes it possible to manage fundamental details that are often subject to strict sanitary controls: vaccinations of each animal, fertilizer control, etc.
Separately or integrated into a single tool?
Ideally, the company should have both software solutions, as they perform different tasks and are fully compatible with each other. However, it is not always possible, due to budget issues or lack of human resources to manage them.
In this case, a possible option is the integration of both solutions in the same tool. This would involve including the basic functions of a CRM within the company’s ERP. For this, it would be necessary to develop a scalable and custom-made software that includes the functionalities that a specific company really needs, discarding others that are less useful.
This is precisely what Cedesa, which develops management software for companies in the agri-food sector and can create a custom ERP that includes CRM functionalities, is responsible for.