The power of the ERP and CRM combination on Salesforce

Historical Salesforce customers have quickly realized the power and benefits of the Salesforce platform for CRM, but what about ERPs?


Original article written by Rootstock.


Nowadays, it should be noted that most of the ERP market is far from current technological standards, which is all the more true for companies that sell or distribute tangible products. ERP systems in operation today at most manufacturers and distributors are on average more than 12 years old according to industry analysts, and many companies are still using systems they bought in the 90s. following the concerns aroused by the passing of the year 2000, that was… almost 20 years ago. You probably don't own a 19-year-old TV, phone, car, microwave, or toaster today, but companies think it's okay to use an ERP system. archaic, far from new opportunities.


There are many reasons why ERP is lagging behind in the move to the cloud, but as Diginomica icon Brian Sommer wrote in his article – "It's 2018 so why is my ERP system not not multi-tenant? Legacy ERP vendors themselves dragged their feet and delayed moving to the cloud for a variety of business and technical reasons. Some ERP vendors have “rebooted the cloud” (adding the word “cloud” to older hosted products) and further confused the market. As Brian simply puts it, "it's time for multi-tenants" always on the subject of ERP.


As a Salesforce user, you probably take Salesforce's scalable multitenancy architecture for granted. It's about customizing and expanding the CRM over time, while continually integrating new updates from a cost-effective public cloud, a key factor in the popularity of this platform.


This is an undeniable advantage of CRM, but it is even more important for ERP. Legacy ERP is notoriously expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to customize, modify, integrate, and upgrade. In addition, people who are competent in the field are retiring, not transferring their skills to anyone to perform these functions. As a result, businesses are stuck on older versions of ERP, while trying to stay competitive in the digital age.


Salesforce solved this problem by cracking the code of multitenancy a long time ago. From now on, you can add, modify and customize your applications on the platform and keep up to date with new versions available. This is one of the main reasons companies want to migrate to an ERP running on the Salesforce platform. Other reasons include full mobile, workflow, Chatter, analytics and AI services, but multitenancy is still the #1 argument.


And if moving to a modern, scalable cloud platform wasn't a worthy enough goal, here are some other benefits when you "unlock ERP."


Leverage ERP customer data for better customer service

If your company is trying to position itself in the market through quality customer service, you are doing yourself a disservice if you have cloud CRM and ERP on a system that has been in place for some time. Due to this phenomenon, most companies have artificially separated customer information into different silos across their CRMs and ERPs, causing inefficient processes and tedious customer relationship management.


Information collected by an ERP such as inventory availability, delivery status, customer profitability, invoices, credits and returns information is literally locked inside on-premises systems, away from on-site personnel. contact with customers. Conversely, back-office (but still customer-facing) staff, such as credit and collection professionals, do not have a full view of sales opportunities and histories. The result is poor customer response times, poor first call resolution rates, and the dreaded phone turnover of your customers as they are routed from one department to another. In short, your business appears impersonal and inconsistent when CRM and ERP are separated. It even turns into a weakness in a world where the customer is king and volatile.


Combine CRM and ERP for more speed

The concept of "front office" and "back office" is a very old concept that originated when computer systems had limited computing power and were designed to automate a set of tasks less important. In the days when memory, storage and CPU cycles were limited, functions were divided into several parts to be automated. The back office received the lion's share of investment and was developed first, leading to today's ERP. The front office second. Today we have virtually unlimited resources on the cloud, so why settle for these old concepts and old versions?


The speed and responsiveness with which businesses must compete demands a more unified approach. Cross-cutting processes for business functions and needs must be 100% automated and synchronized in real time. The room for errors, manual actions or delays becomes minimal. However, many companies act without coordinating sales and production, effectively slowing down activity and generating, in the meantime, friction and additional costs. This can be more acute if your business tries to personalize its products and each order is unique. So it's pretty obvious to see that your business will run faster with CRM and ERP on one and the same cloud.


Adopt a new reading of your data

Einstein Analytics and AI have state-of-the-art capabilities, but without data from an ERP, they can only provide a partial and incomplete view of the business. Fragmentation, core management, latency, and data normalization have long been the bane of BI projects, and these issues are still relevant when ERP and CRM are separated. Combining them on the Salesforce platform using a single data model goes a long way in solving these thorny data issues. This makes it easier for Einstein to triangulate information between front and back office functions for demand planning and predictive analysis of customer behavior. These factors are nearly impossible to correlate when CRM and ERP data are disconnected.


Change or Status Quo: What possible solutions?

What comes to mind after reading these lines? Changing ERP will be too complicated. There is no doubt that moving to a new ERP system will pose some challenges. But more and more companies realize that in the long term, it would be much more difficult to keep their existing ERP. It is also strategically and competitively restrictive to stay in the status quo for almost 20 years. Many companies have given in and chosen to accept the daily constraints coming from their aging ERP. But it shouldn't and shouldn't be that way. While not entirely flawless, modern ERP systems built on a forgiving cloud platform, such as the Salesforce Platform, will be much easier to “maintain” than their predecessors and will provide significant strategic benefits. Customer and financial impacts will be noticeable from the first reports.


You also don't need to implement ERP in a breakthrough style. You can start by gradually moving certain processes to the cloud or smaller operations to the cloud in a model called two-tier ERP. This kind of step-by-step approach allows you to implement smaller ERP components at one point (probably customer-centric processes first). You can organize the data feed of the company's existing ERP system from the Salesforce platform. For example, some companies choose to automate smaller or specialized business units and periodically transmit a trial balance of information to the company system. In many cases, new specialized operations simply don't scale to how older ERP systems were set up, making them excellent candidates to start your cloud journey.


You can also start by just moving data from ERP to the platform alongside CRM with tools like Mulesoft to solve some of the information visibility issues of ERP. To this end, Rootstock Software provides an ERP data framework to facilitate this task. Rather than having to create new custom ERP objects, Rootstock provides an ERP dataframe or set of ERP objects with all the typical ERP fields predefined, for example inventory. Data can be integrated and refreshed using an API, making implementation much easier than a completely custom object integration project. You quickly get all the ERP information you need on a single platform where you can view it, discuss it with v or analyze them by running Einstein end-to-end on all the data.


ERP as a source of opportunities

If you are considering migrating your entire ERP, or just a process, business unit, or just information from your initial ERP to the Salesforce platform, at Rootstock and Flow Line we are here to help. We have a methods and toolkit for ERP buyers that includes a number of resources if you are considering upgrading your tools and systems.

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