Get the Right ERP and CRM Systems in a Manufacturing Environment

Oct 26 2021
Get the Right ERP and CRM Systems in a Manufacturing Environment

Digitalisation is a long-term investment and not a one-off project. It is a marathon and not a sprint. This is a common differentiation many manufacturing companies fail to grasp. Digitalisation essentially helps companies to standardise, simplify, and automate work processes that in turn enhances a firm’s work productivity and efficiency. However, it is critical for companies to implement the right Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relation Management (CRM) software and strategy as a runway for their digitalisation efforts to take off.

During the “Transform Your Manufacturing Business with the Right ERP/ CRM Strategy” webinar hosted by the Manufacturing Alliance Transformation Office (MATO) on October 21, Eileen Tan, Executive Director of RSM Stone Forest, introduced concepts and applications through the following talking points:

  • Digitalisation with ERP/CRM
  • Roadmap to digital transformation
  • Key considerations and best practices
  • Government Incentives

Before strategizing, it is crucial that you get acquainted with ERP and CRM systems. 

  • ERP and CRM – What Do They Really Do

The two main components that can propel your digitalisation journey are ERP and CRM workflow systems. ERP is an application that centralises data from different business units or departments. It is primarily used to manage daily business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, compliance, and supply chain operations in a manufacturing environment. Whereas CRM is an application that is used to provide customer insights by analysing large amount of data related to sales and service operations, forecasting, and analysis of customer behaviours. Data from these two systems can be seamlessly integrated.   

How does an ERP system help to manage business processes in the manufacturing industry? ERP can help streamline and automate processing, scheduling, production, and order fulfilment processes. Taking a closer look, ERP typically helps in the following functions:  

Table showing the summary on how does ERP helps manufacturer's different business functions

On the other hand, CRM can empower a company’s sales team by managing the following core functions:

Table showing the summary on how does CRM helps to improve the performance of sales team

  • Key Considerations before Deciding on a System

There are a few areas you should consider to make an informed decision:

  1. Data Security: Know where the server is located – on premise (physical server) or cloud (SaaS).  
  2. Software Upgrades: Have an efficient patch management process in place, and set aside an annual budget for software upgrades and maintenance. 
  3. Hardware Upgrades: Replace your hardware every five years to minimise unforeseen downtime and possible disruptions. Opt for a SaaS solution if you do not wish to worry about periodical upgrades.
  4. Customisation: Heavy customisation will hinder software upgrades and incur huge amount of money for subsequent upgrading.
  5. Intellectual Property (IP): Bear in mind that the custom source code is your intellectual property. It is, therefore, advisable to have a non-disclosure agreement with your IT vendor to avoid future disputes over IP issues. Typically, you can claim IP rights to the source code if 18-25 per cent of your budget goes to customisation.

To find out more and how we can assist you to develop the right ERP/CRM strategy, please reach out to our specialists.

Eileen Tan
Executive Director & Head, IT Services
T +65 6594 7889