ERP Meet at Manufacturing Crossroads
big, multi-industry ERP vendors rush to fold CRM tools into their
suites, CRM software firms are hustling into partnerships that will
meld their applications with back-office suites. The reason is the
same for all -- most companies now understand that their enterprise
software must talk with their customer and sales tools.
knows integration needs to happen. The question is how to get it
done. And the manufacturing industry is no exception.
example, to meet the needs of its mid-sized customers, Relevant
Business Systems has integrated CRM tools into its Infimacs II ERP
suite for build-to-order manufacturers and maintenance organizations.
software's new CRM functions include scheduling contacts and interviews.
Users can record and manage interview content, incorporating analyses
and keyboard searches. They also can track and manage incidents
vice president Chuck Stevenson told CRMDaily.com that the new development
addressed the needs of the company's customers. For example, such
manufacturers as Lockheed Martin have a project-oriented workflow
that affects how modules of enterprise software handle information.
said that when Relevant looked at its existing ERP package, it found
that the application already contained several CRM functions. For
instance, Infimacs II already collected and managed prospect- and
customer-oriented data along with quotations and sales orders. It
also tracked shop orders and service requests.
chose to take a proprietary development approach instead of partnering
with a software firm that offered the functions Relevant wanted
to add, Stevenson explained.
we felt that a lot of what we already had, although we never called
it CRM, addressed the needs of the small-to-medium manufacturer,"
he said, "and we knew what we needed to do to round out our
offering, we felt more confident in our ability to construct it
instead of finding a more horizontal solution.
great advantage of CRM implemented within an ERP system is the promise
of complete integration," Stevenson added. "Instead of
segregating CRM in a stand-alone system, Infimacs II leads CRM directly
into the customer management function within the Sales module."