CRM vs ERP. What difference does it make?


The story usually goes like this. 

A colleague, a potential client, approaches one of their friends or us and asks about a CRM or ERP system because someone told them they need one or they read an article that said they need one. They have researched it and are now overwhelmed with the options available and whether they need a CRM or ERP. 


Let’s start by defining them:


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a method or application for managing your customers from lead to initial sale and retention. Generally, the tool will provide the means to track interactions, manage contacts, marketing lists, and provide productivity and pipeline data metrics for potential sales and forecasting. The results will show a company how to achieve customer loyalty and higher revenue. 


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is process management software that facilitates company operations across every department by sharing information, financials, supply chains, operations, reporting, manufacturing, inventory, and human resources activities. It focuses on the entire business, especially from the financial perspective with cost-cutting.


What is the difference between CRM and ERP?

The primary difference is an ERP focuses on financial data and the accounting department. CRM is customer-centric data used by sales and customer service. 


What is the same in CRM and ERP?

The common thread in both systems is the detailed customer information. A customer-centric view of a company can gauge the overall health of a company. Reporting can give you information on lead acquisition, average sales, lifetime value, what products or services are most successful, on-time payments, support, on-time delivery, overall satisfaction, and profit. 


Together both systems form a full view of the business. 


Today’s CRM and ERP

Whether they realize it or not, all businesses are using some form of a CRM or ERP system — some as simple as a contact list and desktop email, online billing, or old school rolodexes, clipboards, and notepads. Larger businesses have more complex processes for performing sales processes, tracking leads, follow-ups, email campaigns, and quoting. Once sold, the ERP side of the company manages the process through delivery. 


The challenge is that most businesses are using multiple systems, CRM, Accounting, ERP, spreadsheets. And they are not integrated! Disconnected data is problematic for various reasons.

  1. Duplicate Data with the potential for it to not be the same in all places
  2. Error-prone data entry from inputting into multiple systems
  3. Lack of productivity from entering information multiple times
  4. Excessive time looking for information.


You Need Both!

Whether you choose to integrate your systems, build a custom solution, or choose to maintain the status quo, you need both. Systems and processes need to be in place to manage your leads to nurture them through the sales process and delivery. They share a common goal of helping companies maintain control and increase profitability.


But, the options are overwhelming. What do you do? How do you decide? Start by listing data points that are important to your internal processes. Build metrics on that data for an overview of your company. Also, look down the road. What does your company look like in 5 years, and what are those metrics? Then begin by looking at the feature sets of what you have and available options. Consider your long-term plans, so, budget permitting, you can build a tool once or know at what point you will have to change based on growth. 


Look for a unicorn; systems do exist with CRM and ERP.

A combined CRM ERP system’s benefits will save time and money and prevent costly data entry errors while saving time in sales.

  1. Centralized information for Accounts and Contacts
  2. Elimination of Duplicate Data Entry
  3. Forecasting
  4. Company-wide Collaboration
  5. Ease of Quoting and Ordering
  6. Accurate Quoting and Inventory


What are the key features you need?

  1. Contact Management
  2. Email
  3. Automation
  4. Task/Activity Management
  5. Marketing
  6. Opportunities
  7. Quoting
  8. Orders
  9. Invoicing/Payments (Accounting)
  10. Vendors/Suppliers
  11. Human Resources
  12. Bonus: Projects


Meet Jarvis.

Jarvis is both a CRM and ERP. Jarvis goes one step further; it is fully customizable to your unique business. Jarvis is secure; it is a single-tenant application. It has all the flows and flexibility built by a team with many years of experience building custom applications for multiple industries. 


The sweet spot for Jarvis is for companies with one to 25 employees. This is where it truly shines. But, it can handle 100s. 


Let’s Build Something Amazing.