CRM and ERP are aimed to provide easy solution to business organizations. ERP is aimed to provide automated service to a number of departments such as financials, manufacturing, production and HRM, and CRM is specifically designed to automate the work process of sales and marketing. There are number of ERPs which have integrated CRM module and some vendors sell both the products individually. A few vendors have CRM and ERP developed on different platforms, and both the products are later integrated at one place.
Integrated package verses single module: CRM is aimed to provide improvements in the customer base of the organization and it can keep track of the job done by the sales and marketing force. It provides detailed information related to customers and marketing efforts made by the sales personal but it has nothing to do with the performance of other departments such as accounts or production. Sometimes keeping huge unnecessary data related to other departments in system can reduce the performance of the system. To prevent overloads, the module can be individually bought and it will provide fast and accurate solution related to sales and marketing.
It is not a complete solution and there are companies which have a growing business in various fields and it may not get a compete automated system on buying just the customer relationship management but if a company has not enough resources for spending on complete Enterprise solution, it can go for one module at a time. It is about promoting a product, generating customer demand, fulfilling the demand and providing customer service and to retail clients to improve business.
ERP provide an integrated solution where the various departments work in coordination. The other modules such as financial, HRM, manufacturing, packaging, production and delivery are integrated to sales and marketing, and anytime and from anywhere, the data related to a product can be accessed by the sales personnel from these modules but the CRM package provides solution related to only one module and one department.
Front office verses back office support: CRM is for customer and ERP is both back office and front office solution. The main advantage is that it helps in reaching more clients and enables the organization to satisfy customer requirements on time but it may not automate various other process of the organization such as it may not provide automated material engineering or it may not help in increasing production cycles.
Cost and time of implementation of one module is less: Every department has to be integrated to other department of the organization to provide a better job and in such case ERP provide a solution but if a company has most of the business in marketing and sales it can restrict to CRM.
Cost of the ERP implementation is very high as compared to CRM and the time of implementation will also be more. The organizations can decide which software to buy depending on the need and business. Some companies go for limited number of ERP modules such as inventory, financials and customer relationship management - and it is commonly seen in organizations which do not have work in production or manufacturing.