ERP or CRM?
Every business consists of 2 main components: operations and sales.
Operations is the core of the business. This is everything that relates to creating value for the end-consumer
such as production, order handling, finance, logistics, human resource, etc.
Automation of operations due to effective integration of business processes is the key aim of EPR‑systems
or enterprise resource planning systems.
Sales is everything related to consumer engagement, application handling, negotiations, marketing, maintaining customer relationships.
Sales are usually automated by implementing CRM-systems or
customer relationship management systems. It is important to note, that CRM-system can be a part of an ERP‑system.
Any business automation system is an information system (IS) per say.
What is an IS? or how do ERP‑systems work
ERP‑system creates an integrated information handling system in the firm.
Data is entered there only once and instantly becomes available for the whole company.
Additionally, if the data is maintained properly, it is always up-to-date.
This creates a solid base for effective collaboration and decision-making.
The easiest way to understand how ERP-systems work is on an example. Let's imagine that our company is a training center.
Manager Ilana registers a new student and enters his personal information into the system.
Teacher Bob immediately sees that he has a new student in his class.
And the new pupil gets instant access to the course training materials via his personal account.
Finance department knows instantly that the course was paid, while John, the CEO,
has access to up-to-date information regarding the number of students in a group and the profitability of each of the groups.
Our systems are web‑applications. You can work with them from everywhere provided you have internet access.
You can also divide the access levels so that, for instance, employees will get certain permissions, and can only work with authorized data or perform authorized actions.
Do you need an IS?
There is a set stereotype that ERP is complex, expensive and accessible only for big profitable corporates. This is wrong.
Even small business cannot operate with Excel or standard CRM-systems alone, they need more complex applications.
Excel is a great tool for a business that is no bigger than a waffle stand.
A standard CRM‑system will only work perfectly if all your business processes exactly follow a set scenario.
But, in this case, you will always be limited by the system functionality as well as depend on its operator.
Furthermore, CRM-system automates sales, but long-term customer value is not created due to marketing and
sales but because of the quality of the service provided. Therefore, automation of the core business is far more important than sales automation!
The best solution is to create a personalized and customized IS, which would automate both: operations and sales. ERP‑system will bring accountability and process transparency in all the departments as well
as unite all the data flows into a single mechanism.
Undoubtedly, this is affordable for small businesses. The minimum project budget is $15.000‑$20.000. Average yearly turnover of our clients is approximately $500.000. If you do not consider these numbers to be unreal, then, perhaps, it is the right time to create a customized ERP‑system.