Microsoft Dynamics: ERP or CRM?

As businesses grow and expand the need for resource management and access to pertinent information grows along with them. The key to handling the growth of your systems is the platforms you choose to handle your data and how you implement them. One of the most popular platforms today is Microsoft Dynamics.

Chances are you need an ERP and a CRM system. Now if you have started your research and feel like you are drowning in data, let me try to clear a few things up for you. ERP and CRM systems help you keep your business visible, accessible, and organized. A lot of the questions we get fall along the lines of “What is the difference between ERP and CRM?”, and “Where does Microsoft Dynamics fit into the platform landscape?”. Let’s start with a few definitions.

What is ERP?

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and its job is to consolidate all your systems and information into one easily accessible platform available to those you choose. Each department can still carry out their individual functions in their systems like normal, however, with an ERP system, the lines of communication between departments are more open allowing for a constant flow of information. This creates more visibility and can reduce the amount of wasted time waiting for employees in other departments to respond to an email or phone call due to lack of information. ERP systems also automate a lot of the usual manual processes, saving you time and manpower. A lot of new ERP systems are cloud-based, where data is stored in servers offsite reducing the need for excessive hardware, infrastructure, and upkeep.

What is CRM?

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is a tool used to track customer leads and information, manage workflows, and increase productivity. It allows you to store meeting notes, contact information, call records, organization information, and requests all in one place. Based on this definition you can kind of start to piece how CRM and ERP can work side-by-side to form a more cohesive system and accessible work environment. Now that you understand each systems function, where does Microsoft Dynamics fit in?

Dynamics in the Workplace

I like to describe Dynamics as sort of a hybrid platform. Yes, dynamics can include both CRM and ERP solutions to fit exactly what you need.

Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s cloud-based CRM system. As previously stated, you can store all of your important customer and lead info as well as business processes in the cloud and access it anywhere you can access the internet. Dynamics 365 also has a long list of add-ons to extend functionality based on your specific needs. Microsoft also provides ERP solutions under the Dynamics umbrella.

Microsoft Dynamics GP, AX, NAV and SL are all ERP systems for different situations. You can match with a certain system based on the size of your company and its primary function. AX is generally utilized in larger manufacturing and distribution enterprises with multiple worksites. Dynamics GP, on the other hand, is mostly used in small to medium business with a strong focus on financial management and HR.

Best of both worlds

In the end, Microsoft has solutions for each customer in both the CRM and ERP spaces. Whether you are looking for customizability, accessibility, or scalability, all it takes is a business evaluation and you can be on your way to freeing up resources, saving time, and becoming more profitable. Want to know more? Contact us at Alta Vista Technology and we can help! We provide free business consultations and process reviews to fit you with the perfect system to improve your company and help you grow!