ERP and CRM applications have distinct functionality and uses. ERP or enterprise resource planning applications are generally utilized for integrating internal business processes while CRM is more client-centric and used mainly for driving forward customer support, sales automation, and marketing campaigns.
Many companies are using both ERP and CRM applications on their business processes and functions. These applications serve as the backbone of several business process thus helping companies to gain efficiency and increase productivity. Some companies however have utilized integrated CRM packages to include other business functions covered by ERP.
For example, some CRM applications and solutions can provide a wide range of business suite that include inventory control, database management, production report and distribution processes. These are added utilities that reinforce the primary customer management functionality of CRM. Because of the increasing integrated utilities of most CRM applications, ERP applications are beginning to get integrated also with CRM. This development opens up new possibilities of creating a comprehensive business suite that can cover almost all business functions of companies. ERP CRM integration therefore could be very beneficial to companies in terms of software efficiency, corporate flexibility, and employee productivity.
Comprehensive integration however has many drawbacks. Companies would be required to invest significantly for technical training of its employees. Because ERP CRM integration offers a new dimension of running several business processes in one instance, it needs competent operators who have deep grasp of the integrated application. Corporate applications environment should also be reformatted in order to pave the way for the new integrated processes. This involves reconfiguration of both server and client environments.