By Henning Lund - April 29, 2016
I hate being the witness of a good investment not being fruitful. Throughout my career in the ERP world, I have seen many companies take the big step and heavily invest in new ERP and CRM systems – some simultaneously, some step wise. The benefits of each system separately are undeniable, and can by themselves make a huge difference in a company’s operations. In many projects, integrating the two systems is part of the initial vision.
However, many organizations refrain from performing the integration. Why? Often because the initial investment in the two systems has been bigger than planned and has utilized a great deal of the resources, time, and budget – sometimes more than originally allocated. So, the integration of the two systems might be set aside for a shorter or longer period. But is it wise? Combined together however, these two systems can help companies take an exponential leap.
From a conceptual point-of-view, integration makes a lot of sense: ERP systems provide much-needed internal information that can be shared with new stakeholders. CRM systems provide the entry point for stakeholders to engage with an organization. You can't really have one without the other and be successful in the marketplace.
From an operational point of view, you can achieve much greater benefits by integrating the two systems. I’ll give you my top 4 reasons:
To sum it up, it is quite simple: Do you want to get the most out of your ERP and CRM systems? Integrate them. Nowadays, there are even very cost-effective cloud-based solutions that allow fast, automated and secure data integration. Integration solutions run as a service, and implementation time is in the large majority of the cases cases limited to 3-10 man days; making it both possible and affordable to move forward with an integration. In reality, I think that there is a much bigger risk in NOT integrating the two systems as you will fail to reap the full benefits of your investment.