Most manufacturers and distributors traditionally look to customer relationship management (CRM) software as a solution for strengthening customer interactions and improving satisfaction levels. However, according to a study discussed in “Putting The ERP In Customer Experience Initiatives,” posted by Erik Johnson on BusinessComputingWorld.co.uk, your enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can impact customer satisfaction more than you may think.
As Johnson noted in the article, a positive customer experience can lead to a long-term business relationship that can grow and become even more profitable over time. Johnson suggests that a positive customer experience may include how easy it is to communicate and work with your team, the speed at which they get results, and the quality of the products delivered. A customer also wants to get the products that they need at a fair price and delivered at the agreed upon time. Backorders and sending incomplete orders or the wrong items are problems that can quickly end a business relationship. When you consider these situations, it seems logical for manufacturers and distributors to turn to their ERP solution before CRM solution.
A robust ERP solution will monitor the key parts to providing a positive customer experience including inventory control, manufacturing and distribution operations, and shipping activities, as well as the financial backbone tied to these and the rest of your business activities. Maintaining tight inventory control and having strong supplier relationships will get you closer to the high quality products your customers want, at the prices they demand, and when they need them. Your ERP solution should be able to point you to the suppliers that can deliver quickly, so you can deliver your products quickly.
The study that Johnson discusses also looks into the barriers to providing a good customer experience. The results include the lack of timely and accurate information and lack of integration between the front office and the warehouse. Again, the hallmark of the right ERP solution is the ability to integrate all of your core business operations into a single software solution, as well as leverage your real-time data to your advantage – including providing unsurpassed customer satisfaction.
We often think that implementing a CRM solution can improve our ability to provide superior customer service, which is true. However, the right ERP solution can also have an impact on your ability to satisfy your customers’ needs and demands. Contact the experts at RAM Software Systems for more information about using your ERP solution to provide a superior customer experience.
By RAM Software Systems, an Epicor Authorized Partner out of Texas