ERP and CRM Integration for Lean Manufacturing
It seems counterintuitive to say that enterprise software can help manufacturers reduce waste and support leaner practices. If you spend time and money on a new system, aren’t you creating more waste? Sounds logical, but here’s the truth: Enterprise software offers the most effective tools to support lean manufacturing.
This is especially true when you integrate multiple instances into a single source of truth. Combining your front and back-office data gives you full visibility and up-to-date information to help you pinpoint inefficiencies and areas of waste. When integrated successfully around lean manufacturing strategies, your ERP and CRM software work together to streamline processes, diminish waste and increase insight.
Smarter Supply Chain
Precise demand planning and inventory management simply can’t be done when you don’t have access to both front and back-end data. What if a major repeat customer decides to delay their normally scheduled order? What if your sales team doesn’t know when a promoted product is set to run? What if you start production without realizing that your customers have been requesting an additional feature or improvement? These “what ifs” create a lot of concerns for manufacturers who lack insight into customer data.
An integrated CRM and ERP system acts as a central hub for critical business data. That means manufacturers can easily see what is happening in the front office. They can develop accurate forecasts using historical data and respond to changes in demand based on new information entered into the CRM. With easy access to all the information you need in one place, users can maintain the right amount of raw materials, resulting in less waste and fewer back orders. Furthermore, Epicor ERP can leverage your data to enact Kanban workflows and pull production to support leaner practices, order supplies exactly when they’re needed and save space in your warehouse.
When manufacturers think of waste, their minds tend to go to surplus stock or excess raw materials. However, waste isn’t just tangible; anything that doesn’t contribute value to your end product fits the definition of business waste. Inefficiencies in the sales process, therefore, constitute as waste. Sales representatives who can’t access order history, inventory data or product details can’t provide accurate information at the fast speed that customers expect. When you move back and forth between systems to find the right data or end up making an embarrassing phone call to a customer to explain that you provided incorrect information, you hold up the sales pipeline or derail deals altogether.
A connected system can save your sales department from costly mistakes and wasted time. Sales reps can set realistic expectations by having direct access to product availability. With mobile solutions, this data isn’t just available on their desktops. While meeting with clients off site, salespeople can answer any customer questions by simply checking their phones or tablets. Nobody has to waste time entering data into multiple applications or wait until the next day to answer a prospect’s question—data is automatically updated in one solution to streamline the sales cycle and provide fast, accurate service.
Manufacturers don’t have room for waste in their business processes. A CRM and ERP integration paves the path towards greater productivity and leaner operations by maximizing visibility and allowing each user to operate out of one system.
To assure your integration doesn’t go awry, get in touch with the experts at Datix. We’ve earned the distinction of being an Epicor Gold Partner as well as a certified partner of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce. Our experience with premier ERP and CRM platforms makes us a one-stop shop for executing software projects across the globe, including integrations. Unity is our scalable integration application that instantly connects your ERP and CRM data into one seamless system. Our expert consultants rapidly install and fully manage Unity to help each client enforce lean practices and generate ROI.