Is CRM the same as ERP?


Many companies looking to automate their business processes look at either Customer Relationship Management software like Axonaut or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software programmes to meet their goals. Many do not know the differences between the two and if one can do all the tasks. They may not be wrong, as both systems are similar in many ways. However, their core functionalities are quite different.

Here are the differences between the two and applications where each is best used.

Customer Relationship Management and Its Functions

Customer Relationship Management is a piece of software that manages all the customer interactions with a business. In its early days, the software was made for the sales department to automate some of their functions. However, it has evolved to incorporate all customer touchpoints, even where other departments are involved.

The system stores every piece of information as regards customer interactions. This data stored is standardised so that it is easy to manipulate and share across the organisation.

Here is an example:

A salesperson may call a prospective client and enter the details of the client into the system. They can also add a few notes about the call they made. A member of the marketing team can then use the information to create a newsletter personalised for the client. This information is also added to the system so that future contacts with the client can be personalised according to the characteristics stored in the software.

Organisations also use the Customer Relationship Management software to create sales projections to determine their production. Besides, they also nurture prospects through the sales funnel, increasing the chances of one buying from the company. It can also manage customer invoices. The use of the software improves efficiency, streamlines sales processes, offers accurate customer data and increases sales volumes.

Here are some activities you can accomplish with an all-in-One CRM system.

  • Find new leads.
  • Manage and automate your marketing campaigns.
  • Provide customer support
  • Automate repetitive tasks.
  • Analyse customer purchase patterns.

What is an ERP System?

ERP systems evolved out of MRPs (material requirements planning), a system that manufacturers used to manage their resources to reduce wastage and shortages. The system is used to streamline business processes by providing a shared database to all departments in the business. 

Here is an example of its functions across different departments.

In the finance department, ERP can be used to store data from the general ledger, accounts receivable and payable, payroll management and financial reporting. In supply management, it can be used for inventory, supplier, supply chain and order management. On the other hand, some ERPs offer Human Resource Management, eCommerce and CRM.

Like Customer Relationship Management systems, ERP offers interconnected management of different functions and store data in a standardised format so that it can be used with ease across departments. It can also send alerts to specific parties through alerts for prompt action. With the system, there are fewer errors and streamlined processes that enable the organisation to make better decisions and manage resources more effectively.

Core Functions You Can Carry Out with an ERP System

  • Track your manufacturing and supply chain.
  • Update your accounts and produce reports in real-time.
  • Manage your employees’ information, payroll, and benefits.
  • Update accounts
  • Manage your hiring initiatives.
  • Get alerts when there are issues in your processes.


Customer Relationship Management software lets businesses track transactions with customers while ERP manages business processes across different departments. Besides, ERP consolidates information from various departments within the organisation.

In addition, Customer Relationship Management software is mainly used in front office activities, while ERP is usually utilised in the back office. Finally, Customer Relationship Management software deal with managing customer data and touchpoints while ERP is a resource planning tool.

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