This article is written to give you, being a business owner or a service provider, an idea on how the ERP and CRM really work. You could be an expert on these fields of technology already or it’s the other way around. But the thing is one day or another, you will be using these software or even today, there could also be an application ERP and CRM on your mobile phone or touchpad already that is helping you in certain ways. Without further adieu, the main objective of this article is for you discover more on how these virtual technologies will help you in setting up your business for success.
Introduction to ERP and CRM – Would they Make Sense?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. There are thousands of ways to define it. But in a general sense, the definition is already on the words themselves – plan your enterprise resources. What makes it somehow new and alluring is the way it appears on WebPages, newsletters and eBooks. ERP is a technology system made to make business management simple, accurate and accessible to all users inside and outside the organization. By equating each feature with functions, it can be well understood as: simple is to a website, accurate is to programming and accessible is to internet. Use ERP software to your business and there is a greater chance of winning the market.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is actually another version of ERP but this one focuses more on handling the people that gives revenue and profit to your business. Control your business operation using ERP and manage your clients using CRM; this is how it works. Get to know your first buyer by requesting him to fill out a simple form online. The product he bought, his name, the place where he lives and even his age; a CRM system captures almost every information that can be used to improve more your business operation. CRM is powerful.
Linking the Aspects of Your Operation into Concepts of ERP and CRM
The first question that an ERP expert will ask you if you want him to help you manage your business is “What is your business?” Your answer will actually give him the big picture. The nature of your business, the industry where you belong, the size of your business, your target market and the supplier of your products will also be asked. And then what’s next? Well, the main goal of a consultant is to recommend you the ERP module that will fit into your business. If your business is an electronic store, then you need an inventory system to handle it. If it’s a technical support team, then you need a database that will contain your list of products, product documentation and a library that can be accessed in seconds by your staffs. Every angle, every aspect and every process – all are integrated into an automated system that will simplify an operation of tasks.
Setting Up Your Business First Before Acquiring the Software
Your main objective should-be before acquiring an ERP and CRM software is to lay down your business objectives. They should be specific, achievable and never been done before by you. It is that for every objective, there is an ERP module and sub-modules that will make them happen. Certainly, a program sequence will run its script and produce a result that will satisfy a specific operation in your business. The challenge here is that you must believe with the power of programming and automation in order to make it work for you. These are the principles and concepts behind ERP and CRM. These are developed by great and well-experienced programmers. Well, basically not all are experts but certainly they have a common goal – make your system of operation easier.
Acquiring the Right (if Not the Best) Software Package
You can choose between cheap and expensive, one with full-pack features and another which is limited, developed by top corporations and created by a freelance programmer, and even a popular one and an old version of it. You are free to choose, anyway. But the main concern here is “Do You Know How to Use it?” If your answer here is NO, then you need at least an expert who will teach you how. If your answer is YES, then you are close to being RIGHT on your decision to purchase an ERP software package. That is good reason enough to go grab the software for your business. But it doesn’t just ends there. ERP and CRM are huge software and to implement them will also require huge money, time and people. Becoming incomplete with these resources, you can fail. Getting the right software is planning those three major business resources very well.
Step by Step Procedures on Acquiring ERP and CRM from a Consultant’s Standpoint
You are convinced that you really need ERP and CRM software in order not to be left behind. Acquiring these software is totally different from paying over the counter for the soft drink that you picked from the fridge. These are the right steps on buying software of such types. You can use them as guide.
1. Get the product name and review the basic features and specifications.
2. Get a free trial version, if not of the actual product but of the same product that is offered by the seller, and simulate it.
3. Read forums, ask questions to the seller and look on some product reviews. They will help you a lot.
4. Ensure that there is a product support – documentation, technical support and warranty.
5. Install it. Implement it. Make sure it’s working free of bugs.
6. Hiring an expert can be your option anywhere in the entire process but it highly recommended doing it right at the very start if you are a beginner.
Do You Need to Consult?
Consult only if you don’t know how to do it. Consulting is paying money to the consultant. If you can do it on your own, better. If you cannot, hiring an ERP and CRM consultant is much better. Test the consultant’s expertise by requesting a quote or asking challenge questions. If you’re lacking on time, people, idea and resources – hire a consultant. Paying for a consultant’s service is an investment. It can do a lot to your next quarter’s profitability.