The Need For ERP and CRM Software

by Abolo Chatterjee

June 20, 2016

What are the main hurdles in running any business seamlessly?

The answer is lack of coordination between different departments in an organisation. Since ages businesses are striving to achieve perfect coordination between departments. A major breakthrough came in this area with the discovery of ‘Cloud’ based business applications. Cloud enables all employees to update the information into the integrated system and whoever needs it gets to see it subject to the level of ‘Permission’. This whole system is popularly known as the Enterprise Resource Planning or simply ERP.

When defined ERP is business processes management software to integrate all back office operations, Human Resources and Customer Services related details. Back offices operations are actually quite extensive. This may include all or part of Accounting Functions, Inventory Related Functions such as Inventory Aging, Warehousing & Distribution, Logistics, and Shipping. The details available in the modern Cloud ERP systems such as NetSuite are so precise that it actually tracks the items down from the moment a Purchase Order is generated till the item is actually shipped out to the end customer.

Like back office operations modern Cloud business suites like NetSuite have a huge Customer Relationship Management component. This is basically the reservoir of all customer data including frequency and likely types of ordering to any kind of interaction which happen at pre-order or post-order stage. The interactions which are recorded include any pre-order sales pitch made by the organisation in order to get the order to any kind of issues post ordering. The Customer Relationship Management applications or CRM, as they is popularly known as, have real time tracking facilities for any kind of open issues between the organisation and the customer. This real time tracking keeps it from slipping into the backburner due to any kind of office paper pushing or absence of internal coordination. Real time resolution means increase in customer satisfaction.

CRM is not only about issue resolution and ordering pattern, it has another very important component in which the system is able to send surveys and campaigns mostly promotional. This is largely an automatic process which gives an idea of customer satisfaction level or likelihood of customer interest in case the organisation chooses to go ahead with launching that particular item. At times it helps in popularization of the new items where orders have been scanty due to lack of customer information.

CRM gathers all kind of customer information through its precisely recorded data. This data can easily be shaped into logical information on the sound ERP/CRM systems like NetSuite, bpm'online. Logically and aesthetically plotted graphs and diagrams to furnish the recorded data wherever required have come as big boon for the business planners. NetSuite and some other ERP software have another special ability which has cut the analysis process time to a fraction.

Like an excel sheet you are able to logically define and then come to conclusions using ‘Search’ functionality. These searches can show basic results like that in an excel sheet and yet can be seriously complicated using database SQL language formulae to reach their results. These searches tell you the current position of anything and everything happening in the organisation. With such detailed searches all you need to do is to apply your mind to tackle that situation without actually trying to figure out the situation itself without going through hundreds of records manually on your computer.

Another important aspect of ERP’s is Accounting. From time immemorial Accounting Departments of all organisations have been struggling with hundreds of pages of data which they then collate into integrated records which finally becomes balance sheets of that organisation. This has become quite easy with the new ERP’s like NetSuite. Perfectly balanced data is prepared by the system itself if the entries are correct. There are systems in place to prevent incorrect entries or forced modifications. All ERPs like NetSuite clearly tell the users that outputs may be wrong and illegal if wrong entries are made. All that needs to be done is a correct opening balance entry at the time of Implementation of the ERP and you will get perfect records at the end of the year, quarterly, monthly & weekly.

Another serious issue which has plagued organisations from the early days is that of Accountability. Organisations have been victims of intentional mischief and careless staff related losses and information leak. To mitigate such risks, NetSuite is equipped with role or work based permissions and access levels. This means only people with related work get to access and use concerned data.

A clerk related to do purchase ordering can’t see accounting files. Similarly, warehouse staff will not be able to view customer service related files. As we go up the organisation ladder, the senior most staff have wider access levels. Meaning a CEO, President, COO or CFO is able to access all records within moments on their computer whenever they need it. Even the ‘Search’ and Reports are permission based making it accessible for certain people only.

There are further accountability controls inbuilt in the new age ERPs like NetSuite. The moment someone accesses or edits anything back end logs get generated and get saved in the system. These logs fix exact responsibility of the actions taken by an individual.

New age ERP and CRM modules developed by companies like NetSuite are quite generic. They have all the modules which may not be applicable for all organisations. Similarly, Searches and Reports are company specific varying from company to company. Likewise the historical data stored on paper or on older CRM have to move into new systems. These things are moved into the systems by ERP consultancy firms that have experienced consultants and implementers who are able to analyse and give custom solutions to fit the needs of the organization.

Erudita Cloud Solutions is one such company around Dubai, UAE which specialises in implementing and integrating NetSuite into the organisation’s systems. It has senior consultants with more than a decade of experience into customizing solutions for numerous companies. If you want to go “Cloud” then NetSuite ERP is the answer and if you want it to be perfect for you Erudita Cloud Solutions is there for you.