There are tremendous benefits to ERP-CRM integration, but many companies struggle with unification because of workarounds and customisations. Search CRM gives five tips from industry experts to help ease these pains:
- Take an enterprise view. One of the first steps in ERP-CRM integration is to start with an enterprise process view. According to Ray Wang, an analyst at Forrester, organisations need to think about how integration will improve the business as a whole rather than just a particular business process.
- Determine how it can benefit end users. What is good for the company isn't necessarily good for individual employees. According to Richard Smith, vice president of CRM strategy at Green Beacon Solutions, in order for integrations to work, everyone has to see a measurable benefit. Employees must understand how it benefits them personally.
- Reduce fears around loss of control. Companies can reduce risk by employing one-way integrations, in which the CRM can query financial data and change it only through approved business processes.
- Cultivate the right team. One of the biggest questions with integration is who should be brought in to help plan it. By having too many people involved, the project risks getting mired in endless debates that are likely to reduce the efficiency of the enterprise-wide process. With too few people, it risks being sabotaged by departments that weren't involved and resent the changes. According to Wang, there will be many hard decisions to make that will impact business models. This is a business process problem that requires both business and IT. There's process integration and technical integration, and both require assistance in not only the planning and design, but sometimes the implementation.
- Assigning process ownership. As the organisation begins to evaluate the project, the planning team needs to look at which systems manage the different types of data. It's best not to put everything in both systems. Use each system for what it is best suited for.
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