What Data Should You Sync Between ERP and CRM?
When it comes to integrating CRM and ERP software, data sync directions and times are important factors to plan out before you get started. However, what if you haven’t even figured out exactly which data you’re going to be syncing? That’s what this post is for.
Knowing what sync points and shared fields your business needs before an integration is integral to the success of a project. Whether it’s customer order history or hours billable for your field service workers, well-synced ERP and CRM data helps your team avoid manual entries, which are an invitation for missed contacts and lost information. Here are some of the main touch points between CRM and ERP that you should consider when integrating the two platforms.
One of the greatest benefits of integrating CRM and ERP software is the full picture that the shared data can paint of each customer. Customer and account information are key bidirectional sync points between your enterprise systems. With basic ID information, shipment history, contracts, accounts receivable and more captured in one solution, both your shop floor and your sales team will gain easy access to customer insights. Furthermore, nobody will need to manually transfer any new account or customer data into the ERP or CRM systems. This reduces labor, time and the risk of human error.
By keeping an accurate record of invoice history from your CRM within ERP, you will have a valuable pool of data to predict future demand and track sales trends through the year. Imagine how crucial this information could be when planning expected capacity and scheduling production for a new quarter or year. You can plan for an increase or decrease in your output with actionable data, bringing on new team members for busy periods or scheduling maintenance when demand slows down. This means that your inventory is always as lean and efficient as possible. You'll not only know all you can about customers, but also enjoy a better understanding of your business.
Whether you currently quote within CRM or ERP, integrating that process in both of your systems is considered best practice. All of your team members will be able to access quote information and plan around expected demand and supply. Think about your quoting process and all of the factors that must funnel into it. For manufacturers who offer customizations or specific part configurations, the process may have many levels and different parts that add a great deal of complexity. On the other hand, you might be a much more simplified company when it comes to quote management.
Your success lies in carefully evaluating your unique business processes and modeling your software integration to support them. How high is your sales volume? Do you need special customizations within your CRM to support a specific function of your quoting? Make sure you fully consider all of your business processes and needs before integrating CRM and ERP. It is much more efficient (and economical) for you to invest a significant amount of time into process modelling before an integration, not putting out the fires that result from poor integration after go-live.
Field Service Work
Field service work can be an incredibly helpful touch point when integrating CRM and ERP. Not only will integrating your CRM and ERP help you on the customer service front, but it is also bound to help increase the productivity of your field service representatives. If they have access to both CRM and ERP data, they know when parts critical to their cases will be in stock or sent out and can schedule visits accordingly. You can say goodbye to waiting around weeks just for one part to become available. Additionally, support cases opened in CRM can be tied to billable hours for field work in the ERP interface. By streamlining field service, your integration helps you deliver quality customer experiences.
Of course, this is only a consideration to make if you are running a business that relies on support or installation work in the field. As we like to say here, it is all about building the right tool for the right job—if you don’t need to invest the money to accommodate for field service work, then don’t overextend yourself.
Integrating a product catalog into the CRM interface is essential for accelerating the sales pipeline. A full list of product and pricing data is invaluable for your sales reps, giving them insight into the different pricing structures within your business. Orders from each client can be priced accurately within ERP on the spot, allowing your sales team to close deals faster and ensure that they rapidly give their customers the most accurate information.
If your business handles a lot of returns, this might also be a crucial sync point for your integration, as returns will have a significant effect on inventory and planning for production. However, if you are not heavily reliant on returns for customer satisfaction, or simply do not deal with enough requests to make this integration financially viable, it may be a better idea to save the money on this sync point and keep your existing method for return processing.
Where are the roadblocks in your current processes? How are you suffering from information silos or manual data entries? Considering your current challenges will help you determine the sync points you will need for your ERP and CRM integration.
The integration process is far too important to take on alone. That's why you should team up with Datix, an Epicor Gold Partner with over 20 years of experience in enterprise software integration. To streamline integrations, we've created Unity, a pre-built application designed to connect Epicor ERP with an array of systems, including Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce. Whether cloud or on-premises, Unity can seamlessly integrate your software to help you drive sales and improve efficiency. Unity is pre-built to handle common bidirectional sync points without any coding on your end. Our certified consultants can also customize your solution to align with your specific needs.
To gain a fast, hassle-free CRM and ERP integration, contact the experts at Datix today and be sure to check out our Unity video demo!