Customer resource management (CRM) tools for manufacturers are often built right into their enterprise resource planning systems (ERP). In searching for the right ERP system, however, is the fact that while you might find the right general ERP system, the CRM tool within the system doesn’t match your needs—or vice versa. In fact, solution fit is probably the single most important criteria in searching for a CRM. That is to say: Does the solution fit with your manufacturing business strategy, and can it integrate easily into my current ERP system?
The core components of any CRM are the database and the tools it contains for processing that data. It is for this reason many people believe that CRM is a concept separate and apart from shop floor control or front office paperwork. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When starting construction of CRM in ERP, the first thing a manager should always consider is which what sort of CRM criteria will be collected and store within the ERP system in order to advance the customer relationship. (more…)