If you are a company that is looking at upgrading your workers to the latest CRM platform that your company will be able to grow with, there are some pretty good reasons to choose to add ERP capabilities the first time around instead of choosing a CRM and then adding ERP features.
Using Oracle + NetSuite ERP of Gurus Solutions Software as an example, there are simply too many consultants creating add-ons and customizations that put your firm far ahead of the competition in the big data game for you to ignore leveraging the power that comes with an ERP.
Here are 4 specific reasons to get an ERP instead of sticking with just a CRM:
It probably won’t surprise you to find out that firms like Amazon have moved towards full automation in their warehouse. Most other firms are able to integrate pick-list optimization through their ERP, giving their drivers precise instructions. Amazon went out and bought a robotics company and builds thousands of robots each month to handle the dirty and dangerous tasks of moving things around in their warehouses. Because the robots are completely automated and tied to their ERP, the pick list and orders automatically arrive at the human consolidators that are ready to package them or take them to the next level of manufacturing.
When you get an ERP, you can put yourself into position to get to this type of factory automation so that you too can realize the savings and safety gains that Amazon is. Of course, it is also important to remember that Amazon redeployed people instead of laying them off because they are able to put those people into roles that add value after the order is picked. Important to remember because that too might be a model that represents a new best practice in the warehouse.
If you create any products in-house at all, you might not even know how much the total cost of producing each product actually is. One company in Australia ended up selling their products for less than they cost to make because their accounting system was segregated between manufacturing and the rest of the firm. They weren’t able to figure out that by accounting measures, they were in a situation where they had planned incorrectly until they put all parts of the company together under one computing system.
Managerial accounting can set you free if you are willing to support it with a transparent system that allows the people working for you access to all parts of your company.
You may have some facility management capabilities with your CRM. At the same time, there are specific needs that a manufacturing facility has when it is being put into a company application that will not be covered by a CRM. Only an ERP can add the functionality that allows you to work with maintenance of major factory parts and built-in systems that are production-related.
Moreover, you will be able to have the data flow from the right accounts to the right accounts because the infrastructure will be something that is intended to be created in that space instead of a custom data set that extends a CRM needlessly.
If you have goods coming in for manufacturing or wholesale or retail sale, it is often interesting to see that the features that are available for inventory are not that sophisticated in a CRM. You may choose to get a consultant to add what you need on top of a CRM, however, you still will not have the built-in overall support for adjustment and reporting that you will when you use an ERP.
Getting an ERP is a big step for any firm. Just the same, passing up a phased deployment where you start at CRM and later go for ERP is actually saving more and more firms time and money.