Why Distributors Need ERP and CRM Integration

Distribution ERP CRM Integration

3 Benefits of ERP and CRM Integration 

If you’ve been relying on the same processes and technology to manage your distribution business for five or ten years, you might want to look around. More manufacturers and retailers are building their own distribution networks. Globalization has crowded the distribution market. Consumers want their products at their doors faster than ever. Your outdated methods can’t withstand these pressures. 

By integrating ERP and CRM software, you form the basis of a modern, connected enterprise that can keep up with distribution challenges. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software handles back-office data, such as inventory levels and finances. Customer relationship management (CRM) software takes care of front-office data, such as contact information and customer service. Putting the two systems together gives you end-to-end control over your business. Below, we’ll go over three key benefits of integrating ERP and CRM to boost your distribution operations.  

ERP CRM Integration Ebook

1. Inventory Management 

Counting inventory by hand has always been tedious and error-prone, but in today’s distribution environment, inventory is spread out across warehouses, store shelves, trucks in transit and other areas throughout the supply chain. Manual inventory tracking holds your business back from thriving in a competitive industry.  

ERP software is critical to automating inventory management. ERP keeps track of stock levels, provides complete product traceability and gives you a full view of inventory across your warehouses. Integrating ERP and CRM takes your inventory management strategies to the next level. Instant access to CRM data can improve demand planning and forecasting, so you order the right quantity of products to satisfy customers. 

Additionally, CRM and ERP integration gives sales teams visibility into inventory levels. Nearly one-third of businesses will ship late because they’ve sold a product that wasn’t in stock. An integration gives sales teams access to inventory data, allowing them to provide accurate information to customers and avoid costly errors. Better yet, sales teams can acquire this data without logging into the ERP platform and potentially entering incorrect information.  

Inventory serves as the cornerstone of your distribution enterprise. Integrating ERP and CRM helps you keep your inventory in order to serve customers and reduce waste.  

2. Enterprise Visibility 

To run a successful distribution enterprise, it’s not enough to have full visibility into inventory. From the top floor to the shop floor, your employees should have insight into your company’s performance. But disconnected applications and documents often get in the way of complete transparency. If each department has its own data and reports, you can’t get a real-time, 360-degree view of your business practices. That severely limits your ability to optimize strategies and respond to issues.  

ERP and CRM integration tears down silos by automatically syncing data between your software systems. This gives you a single source of truth for your business, allowing you to ground decisions in comprehensive metrics. You can also count on this data to be precise. Instead of manually entering data into separate platforms, integrations will bidirectionally transfer data, giving you accurate, up-to-date information at your fingertips. Equipping every member of your organization with end-to-end insights is key to improving efficiency and working together to achieve business growth.  

3. Customer Experiences 

As consumers get more and more demanding, your distribution business can’t fall behind their expectations. Customers want fast service, shorter lead times and personalized experiences. They also want the ability to reach out to businesses through a variety of channels. Aligning customer needs with distribution operations requires a fully integrated software solution.  

A CRM and ERP integration forms the basis of strong customer experiences by facilitating faster and deeper insights. With data automatically flowing between your systems, you always have a complete picture of each customer. Metrics will show you which channels are driving the most sales, where you should cut costs and other key insights that can help you satisfy customers. 

An integration also enables you to respond quickly and appropriately to each contact. For example, our Unity integration solution includes an order tracker that gives sales and service reps an instant view of order statuses. When customers ask about their order, you can immediately let them know where their product is and when it will be delivered. Additionally, a full view of your contacts and products will allow you to personalize customer journeys. You can offer relevant value-added services, determine the next move to make in the sales cycle and perform other tasks to provide tailored customer experiences. 

Bringing your ERP and CRM data together makes your distribution enterprise quicker and more informed, so you can meet the demands of modern consumers.  

Wrap Up 

Forming a connected distribution enterprise is essential to gaining a leg up over your competition. But not just any integration method will work. ERP vendors don’t have sufficient CRM modules to manage customer needs. Coding a connector requires more labor and maintenance than most businesses can handle.  

At Datix, we make integration easy. Our pre-built Unity integration solution instantly connects Prophet 21 or Epicor ERP with your CRM software. Our certified consultants rapidly install Unity, giving you instant two-way data synchronization without any coding on your end. A scalable application, Unity grows with your business, so you can add on platforms and modules without any trouble. We’ll even provide on-going support to help you expand the lifetime of your investment. An Epicor Gold Partner and certified partner of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRMDatix is the most trusted source for ERP and CRM services and solutions. 

Unite your ERP and CRM platforms with Unity. Learn more by contacting Datix today!  


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