One of the main reasons that enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations fail is that businesses try to lever ERP into a system that it’s not been designed for. While ERP can automate and manage many back office functions for a company, it does not solve or replace other aspects of the business. One such area is customer interactions. This is where customer relationship management (CRM) systems come in. Using a CRM system enables a company to learn and act upon every single customer interaction – something ERP is not designed to do. Integrating both ERP and CRM systems to work side by side could open many possibilities for a company. With such an action, a company has a single view of all customer interactions including contact details, meetings, emails, quotes, orders, products purchased and warranty details. A significant reduction of errors or repeat data means a much more efficient process. In order to get the best out of the two types of software, the most efficient approach is to take an example of each and get them working together. It’s important to note that CRM and ERP are two very different systems. But it’s apparent that with some time and effort, successful integration of the two systems can produce an efficient and cost-effective way of working.
If your business is not using a customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage contacts and improve customer experiences, you are missing out. CRM has evolved throughout the years to better sales, customer data and maintain relationships. Today, big data and artificial intelligence are integrating with CRM systems. However, this doesn’t mean that CRM technology, though becoming fully automated, will not be as effective for sales and marketing. In fact, the technology available can help your business manage customer relationships better than ever. It can provide what your customers are looking for before your competition can. The following are measures to leverage CRM software most effectively to focus on customer relationships.
- Create Relationship-based Touchpoints – Once a customer relationship is formed, it’s crucial to maintain it. It often takes several touchpoints for customers to gather and fully process information about a brand. The key here is personalization and customers can usually pick out if a message is automated by a robot, or personally written by a salesperson. So invest in utilizing CRM data to have more personalized touchpoints with customers.
- Finding the Right Amount of Touchpoints – Every customer is different, but marketing professional Jeff Hoffman suggests using 5-7 touchpoints. Learn about your customer segments, demographics and buying behaviors to determine the ideal touchpoint for your customers to increase your chances of success.
- Optimizing Customer Data – The optimal CRM system will allow you to see all of the touchpoints with a customer displayed on one single page. These insights are the building blocks of a solid customer relationship. They can help you plan future outreach messages and analyze business growth.
- Building Relationship Through Emotional Connection – Many people claim they make decisions based solely on facts, but the truth is that most choices are based on emotion and subconscious rationales. Buying behavior, especially, has an emotional factor to it for some customers, so utilize your CRM data for your marketing team to reach out to customers on an emotional level.
- Creating Integrations – Integrations make work so much easier. It de-clutters, saves time, and organizes your productivity. Integration your favorite tools and applications to your CRM system will provide maximum coverage and optimal contact to your clientele.
True CRMs help businesses forge meaningful relationships with their customers. Cultivating relationships with the help of your CRM system will lead to an increase in customer loyalty and increased brand reputation.
If your organization doesn’t yet have an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system implemented, you are way behind in the competition. Taking advantage of data management with erp systems is crucial in today’s competitive landscape. Not all ERP systems are the same, so it takes a great deal of research to find the one best for your business. If you already have an ERP system in place, you might want to consider if it’s the right fit or if it’s still not at full potential. Lexie Lu at socpoub.com shares the common areas where ERP systems fail, and how you can focus on these to improve your business processes and data processing.
- Flexible Databases – While you don’t want to make all information accessible, you can set up tiers where department heads have more access to data than other employees, for example.
- Manufacturing Execution System (MES) – For businesses with a manufacturing floor, adding MES functionality to your software systems helps with everything from overtime scheduling to quarterly productivity goals.
- Visualization Tools – One way of breaking down complex data is with data visualization tools, which takes complex data, analyzes it and creates visual representations, making it easier to understand.
- Security – Securing your system is vital and one of the reasons many companies turn to cloud-based solutions.
- Remote Accessibility – Having a cloud ERP system can be accessible for any and all remote workers, business travelers, and on-the-go sales people in your company.
- Vendor and Client Access – Vendors and clients alike should have easy access to profile information, past purchases/activities and general data provided by your ERP system.
- Automated Workflow – You can add different software modules to your ERP that automate workflow for sales and marketing.
- HR and Payroll Management – Adding HR and payroll management software to your ERP not only frees up HR but also makes life easier on your accounting department.
In a perfect world there would be an ERP system that crosses off everything on your checklist, but that doesn’t (yet) exist). However, the best ERP systems out there do have quite a few exclusive benefits. Thanks to third party add-ons (make sure they are compatible and fully integrated with your ERP system) you can customize your ERP system to your liking.
The rise of mobile device has not only changed the way we communicate and do things as consumers, but also the way we do business as companies. In this day and age, most interaction businesses have with customers – whether it’s a point of sale or speaking to a representative – is done on a mobile device. Mobile apps are more popular than ever for both the business and consumer, and mobile customer relationship management (CRM) applications are on the rise. With mobile CRM apps, employees can interact with colleagues and clients on the go, as well as access data and other information at the palm of their hands. MobileAppDaily provides more benefits a mobile CRM solution can have for any business:
- Customer Expectations – Customers expect any business they interact with to have an online presence to make interaction easier.
- Services On-the-Go – With such easy access to your company information, you save your company and customer’s time.
- Stay With The Customer – Instant communication helps build brand trust with new customers and turns them into returning customers.
- A Connected Workforce – Traveling employees and those who work remotely can be more productive with a mobile CRM application.
- Combine The CRM With Marketing Automation – Mobile CRM applications help your employees stay in sync no matter where they are.
Consider a Mobile CRM application for your business for its convenience, connectivity, and popularity with the current digital lifestyle we all have.
Database errors and security breaches have increased significantly in recent years. With data migration, vulnerability to error and hacking is a great risk. “We have seen a large number of breaches and failures due to human error,” says Robert Reeves, Co-founder and CTO of Datical. Often times, humans underestimate and rely too much on “technology” to believe there will be room for error, but you can still make mistakes. Reeves emphasizes the need to automate security and system standards to eliminate (or significantly decrease) human error. Below are five recommendations on how to ensure that new technologies and systems are properly automated and secured:
- Mandate corporate security standards are applied to any new technology before deployment.
- Secure C-level and board support for universal application of security standards
- Automate security process whenever possible
- Continuously improve security as threats change
- Link IT security management with the organization’s overall risk management assessments
By automating security with technology, we can significantly lower the potential risk for human error.
Since its inception, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been a high-level asset to businesses, by providing automated business processes within an enterprise. Most businesses operate within a network of partners and vendors, and with the economy becoming more integrated, the need for cross-company collaboration continuously grows. But there aren’t many ERPs today that offer a fully comprehensive set of solutions for automating external business process. Yes, there are workarounds and third party sources, but none yet fully integrated in ERP systems. This is where blockchain technology has found an opportunity. Incorporating blockchain technology into ERP products allows business partners in your network to store their own copies of digitally signed transactions. Dimitri Tyles, senior director of engineering at Deltek explains the importance of blockchain and the future of ERP systems.
- It’s All About Trust – mutual agreement with sensitivity of data for all parties.
- What About Digital Signatures? – digital signing is generally built around documents, but doesn’t provide the necessary user experience if we need to sign transactions in an ERP. However, you can workaround it with an unrelated technology — FIDO (fast ID online) or Web Authentication to digitally sign any business transaction.
- Why Blockchain? – While a digitally signed transaction can’t be altered without detection, it can still be deleted without a trace. Enterprise blockchains gives each participant their own node and stores their own copy of all signed transactions.
What we need is for ERP vendors to deliver blockchain-based solutions as SaaS offerings with all the additional tools provided as part of an ERP “all-in-one” system.
When a company acquires more business and expands, one of the big question is what to do with their current enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Growing companies typically try to integrate everything into an all-in-one ERP system, but sometimes a one-tier system isn’t enough. A two-tier ERP approach may be a good solution. This is when two ERP systems operate simultaneously and integrate with each other. This results in a robust, comprehensive ERP system at the corporate level (tier one), while keeping the more flexible, agile, and cost-effective solution at the subsidiary level (tier two). Enterprise technology writer Elizabeth Quirk and members of the ERP provider United VARs shared the advantages of running a two-tier ERP system.
- Fast Integration – can be implemented and customized in half the time compared with a one-tier solution of the same scope
- Increased Customization and Simplicity – can be simplified and reduced to just the processes required by the end users
- Value for Money: Bob Atkinson, Managing Director of In Cloud Solutions (UK) states that “you can do two to three times as much in the same time”
- Simple and Cost-Efficient Implementation – The two-tier strategy often saves time and cuts costs compared to the one-tier approach
- Avoiding Complication: less complex, cheaper and more suitable to your business’ needs
Money is usually a vital factor when implementing a new or upgraded ERP system. Often times companies choose to implement a whole new system, but stop and consider if a two-tier system is right for you.
Due to the massive amounts of valuable data stored in their systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are a huge target by attackers. But thanks to technology, most ERP systems are prepared for these attacks. There are a few things, however, that you can do to help prevent hackers as well. Sean Michael Kerner, senior editor at eWEEK and Onapsis CTO JP Perez-Etchegoyen shares what’s behind ERP breaches and provided additional insight. When looking at ERP breaches, there are two things to consider: how the attacker got in and what they do once they have access. According to Perez-Etchegoyen, most people will not notice an ERP breach after an attacker has already gained access. Below are a number of things that organizations can and should do to limit the risk of attacks and improve ERP security:
- Basic hygiene – find and fix vulnerabilities through patching or configuration changes
- Define secure configurations
- Repeatable processes – automate best practices for ERP updates
- Manage and monitor the environment
These basic maintenance steps with your ERP systems could reduce the risk of being the target of attackers, securing your data with more more peace of mind.
In this digital era, the cost of acquiring a new customer is substantially higher than the cost of retaining an existing one. So, when it comes to prioritizing and organization your customer database with leads and existing relationships, having the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in place is essential. With the internet being the backbone of every communication, using CRM systems to keep constant interaction, experiences and satisfaction of customers must be closely monitored and the system must also be utilized to make personalization and automated messaging more efficient. Virender Jeet, Sr. VP Technology at Newgen Software, shares that being a business in the digital era, CRM can be your game changer. Here are some ways how:
- Simplified Customer On-Boarding: CRM can help the customers understand the products and services of a company better.
- Omni-Channel Experience: Reaching out to your customers with the help of multi-channel interaction helps forward the key goals of targeting, acquiring, retaining, understanding and collaborating with your customers.
- Visibility, Accountability, and Faster Resolution: A CRM system which helps track all activities related to a case in terms of progress and resolution, and in turn provides a complete view of all interactions and customer relationships, can help bring down the turnaround time massively.
A CRM system is an investment that makes the most sense because it eliminates the complexities associated with customer management and helps to create personal connections with customers making it possible to reach out and connect with customers at all the times.
Infor recently announced the completion of a transformative upgrade to Infor EzRMS Mobile as well as the Infor EzRMS Pricing Engine – both key components of the company’s overall portfolio of Hospitality Revenue Management Solutions. The newest iteration of Infor EzRMS Mobile is one of the only revenue management mobile applications that allows users to view their most important metrics instantly, including total revenues, and adjust pricing and control decisions, while checking what competitors are doing, and update selling strategies on the go. This sophisticated Pricing Engine is infused with AI capabilities and addresses the industry need to deliver optimized pricing recommendations, and to support flexibility needs for different properties and markets. The application automatically calculates demand forecasts for the future use hotel rooms, and recommends the appropriate selling strategies, such as open/close rates, stay controls, open/close room categories, and overbooking levels-maximizing yield and profit. Infor EzRMS Mobile is available via Google Play Store and Apple App Store.