CRM vs ERP – All You Need To Know

They both sound the same! What's the difference anyway?
Ever since the first commercial computers were released into market, businesses have been trying to put the computer’s processing power to use. The first software application was born in the 80’s and soon after the first Business Software Application was born.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) are both business software applications, till the 90’s they were actually one and the same. In their early life, when both of them were used to store customer data and use it to progress their business along and perform better.
As technology progressed, companies sought to find more niche solutions to combat their specific requirements. The difference is that – CRM is used to coordinate communication with the client while ERP is used to coordinate communication within the organization.
Let’s look at it from the customer’s point of view - they called in expressing their interest in a certain service or product to a sales person of your company. A few days, later a different sales person from within company calls them and asks if they would be interested in the same service or product.

A customer always expects importance and respect, and if they believe that you don’t keep track of their requests or outright forgot about it – how would that make them feel. According to them, you should already be aware that they are interested in so and so, since they explicitly conveyed it, and yet here is a phone call starting from square one.
When you have a large sales staff – it can get very difficult to ensure that all the staff interacting with customers is on the same page. From the company’s side, it may not be the fact that you haven’t kept track of the customer’s request or forgot about it. It could be just that the second sales person was not aware of the interaction between the customer and the first sales person a few days prior.
This is in respect with the short term. In the long term, a CRM will give you information on the total ‘n’ years of business you have had with the customer. Benefiting you with insight into the customer’s history, patterns and areas of interest. This allows you to plan ahead even and predict when to approach a customer with a service or product.
On the flipside, the bigger your organization gets – the harder it will be to maintain uniformity of data among all your departments. While CRM helps increase profits by maintaining your relationship with the customers, an ERP can do much more. ERP is solely focused on data that benefits the organization internally.

With a keen eye, you will find that ERP inevitably contains most of the features of a CRM. This is because an ERP looks to improve the operational efficiency of the organization as a whole. But these features that overlap with CRM are used to gain an internal advantage rather than gaining an edge with a client or a customer.
With a fully integrated ERP, you can expect real-time updates to the relevant departments of the company. Take for example, if a package or shipment is delayed – the status that said shipment is delayed will be relayed to the logistics department.
In plain words, an ERP standardizes the back-end processes of a company, like manufacturing, supply chain and finances. Using an ERP, an organization can work as one giant robot working towards the same goal, rather than individual departments and branches acting on impulse and stimuli.
And how does an ERP manage to do this? It achieves this by allowing you to focus on what really matters – concise & relevant data. It will become extremely difficult for an employee or business leader to understand and act based on data, if it is not presented in an organized format. This data is essential to make sure that your entire business is on the same page and feel like there are all part of the same team.


CRM or ERP or Both?
Depending on your organizational requirement, you will opt for one of the two or both. CRM and ERP both track customer data and try to use this data to make the business more profitable. But the way they go about in doing it is very different. As the names suggest, Customer Relationship Management, is more focused on the data regarding customers and Enterprise Resource Planning is more focused on the data flowing within the enterprise.
Gain Control using ERP
  • Financial Accounting
  • Order Processing
  • Human Resources
  • Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain Management
Maintain Supremacy with CRM
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Lead Generation
  • Feedback
  • Social Media Integration
ERP and CRM both serve crucial purposes - as an organization grows, the integration of the CRM and ERP software becomes critical to thrive. The data captured and processed by both the software help employees and business leaders make better decisions and perform their role better. Integration between the CRM and ERP will ensure that you meet customer expectations while maintaining company focus and goals.

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This Blog Post is for informational purposes only. Any information provided on the KIT Blog is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, but that there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. Even though KIT is an IT Consultancy, the KIT Blog must not be seen or substituted as any kind of Consultative advice. Readers must not rely solely on any information posted on the KIT Blog, doing so would be at their own risk. For any Consultative advice regarding IT solutions, products and/or services, please contact

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