Enterprise Resource Applications (ERP) is what mainly mid to larger sized businesses use and need to manage their business operations. This includes, logistics, shipping, inventory, receiving and sales.
ERP lets you know that your shipment of shoes has left the dock in China. Lets you know when it arrives in your warehouse. Let’s you know when it ships to your retail stores and more.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is also critically important as it is the intelligent glue that ensures you know what your customers want and that you can deliver it to them, when they want it and how they want it. It tells you that Mary and 100 other customers travel 15 miles every week to shop at your store. It tells you that Ted calls up every Mother’s day to order pink orthopedic shoes for his Mom. Take a look at how Amazon.com tries to “know you” this what CRM is all about.
Being able to blend together ERP with CRM is important and this is what Sage has done with its new Sage Accpac Extended Enterprise Suite consisting of Sage Accpac ERP version 5.5 with integrated CRM.
One new feature is an analytical dashboards feature. According to Sage’s press release, The dashboards provide easily accessed snapshots of the business that help managers better analyze, predict, and manage business performance. Key performance indicators, such as age of accounts, are instantly available, providing alerts that can be turned into actions through collections, payables and other tasks, resulting in potential cost and cash flow improvements.
Being able to combine your ERP and customer data is what will ensure the myriad of data points across a variety of business processes are tracked and turned from raw data into intelligence. Being able to plot the inventory cycles of your product combined with data on all your customers needs and preferences will help you maximize nuances of inventory and customer repeat purchases.
If Sage’s new solution is something for your business (mainly for medium-larger sized businesses) check it out here.
Other solutions include QuickBooks Enterprise, Microsoft Accounting, Microsoft Business Dynamics, NetSuite and NetBooks.
IT Tool Box writes , “Do Small Businesses Need ERP” and Allbusiness.com writes When Does ERP Make Sense for Small Business. These are useful articles to read.