Don't let your data stay siloed

Front-end and back-end solutions are both crucial for improving efficiency and yet for most businesses, these systems remain isolated. ERP is seen as being exclusive to finances and operations, while CRM is used to provide a quality customer experience.

But as different as those functions are, both systems serve the same purpose: transforming your processes and providing insights so that your business can continue to grow. By integrating these systems to share important data, you can help your business realize that purpose more effectively.

The benefits of integrating ERP and CRM

Integrating your front-end and back-end solutions lets your organization operate from a single source of truth.

Transferring data from one system to another takes time and can lead to errors. Too often, one system will have accurate data while the other will fall behind, potentially leading to damaging miscommunications.

Syncing your data across systems helps eliminate those inefficiencies, bridge any potential information gaps and enable employees to:

Deepen customer relationships

Integration gives your customer-facing employees access to accurate data that reflects the latest changes in inventory, fulfillment and pricing. With this data, your salespeople can offer the most up-to-date product information to customers and prospects, increasing your reliability.

It also centralizes a customer’s complete history, including their previous resolutions, orders and preferences. For customer-facing employees, this makes it easier to offer personalized services. They have the information they need to provide more targeted resolutions and relevant upselling or cross-selling opportunities.

Make smarter business decisions

Integration gives employees from across your organization more access to critical business intelligence. They’ll have information on revenue, inventory levels and operations available in near real time.

This data can help employees better match forecast to demand and make more efficient inventory purchases. They’ll also be able to better predict and plan for customer trends, helping your business improve customer satisfaction.

How to ensure a successful CRM and ERP integration

Integration can be challenging since it impacts multiple systems, but proper planning and preparation can help you complete the process successfully.

Here are three factors you’ll want to consider that can help make your integration process easier:

1. Your current technology

If you’re still operating older tech, consider upgrading your systems individually before integration. Older systems will eventually have to be upgraded, and once they are, you’ll have to repeat the whole integration process over again.

Current technologies can also make the process smoother.

Integrating cloud-based systems is often easier compared to on-premises systems. Cloud infrastructure is also scalable, meaning it will be able to continue to adapt in both price and capability as your business changes.

2. Your data needs

When planning your integration, start by figuring out where visibility will have the most benefit for your business. Knowing how you want your people to access and use data will help you implement features more effectively.

Some common options for data touchpoints include:

  • Customer information, such as addresses, contact information and purchase history.
  • Account information for clients, such as their point of contact and shipping information.
  • Current promotions and historical data on previous promotions or sales.
  • Data on inventory, pricing and delivery.

Establishing these touchpoints ahead of time will help simplify data cleanup and your integration planning.

3. Your testing phase

Many businesses make the mistake of underestimating how useful the testing phase can be. It’s key in having a successful go-live, especially when you’re making changes to two separate systems at once. Any potential issues carry the risk of being duplicated, making it all the more important to identify them beforehand.

It’s also an opportunity for your business to see where your integration plan may not be giving you the results you wanted so that you can address those areas.

How Wipfli can help

Our team of dedicated consultants is ready to offer guidance no matter where you are in your digital road map. What makes Wipfli different is that our team handles both CRM and ERP implementations, specializing in how to integrate the two. Learn more on our enterprise solutions page.