ERP vs CRM. What’s the difference?

There are so many acronyms bandied about in the world of IT that it can be off-putting if you are a business owner who wants to keep on top of developments but wants to avoid jargon and tech-speak. You’ll most likely be familiar with the three-letter tag CRM, as customer relationship management has been around as a concept for a long time and most business software applications are centred on the functionalities involved. ERP might be new to some people, but even so, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 offers both Apps in a combined and fully integrated application.

What is ERP?

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. It is a business process management approach software that allows integrated applications to come together under one system to manage and even automate many back office functions. It can be useful for project planning and supply chain management as well as in areas such as services and various tech applications. It is also ideal for human resources as the software can manage payroll and employee life-cycle.

What is CRM?

In contrast, CRM software is all about the front office, as it directly involves interactions with customers. Information and data can be tracked across different departments, providing a seamless process which allows the use of targeted marketing campaigns and sales data to increase productivity. As well as this, the software can automate customer service, keep track of interactions between the business and its customers. Which means contacts and leads are easy to manage.


ERP and CRM are similar because businesses can use both of them to increase profitability in several ways. The systems also overlap in some areas, and in others, they can be fully integrated, as Dynamics 365 shows. In fact, many ERP systems come with a CRM component, although it will not usually be as advanced as a standalone CRM system.

As the core functions of both systems differ considerably, knowing the advantages of each, as well as how to use them both in tandem for maximum effect is the way to working out the best software solution for your business.


The size and complexity of your business will, of course, be the deciding factor for the type of software you need to run and how expensive it will be. Streamlining working processes need not be a complex task when the right systems are in place. Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 has built its reputation for the way it can be adapted to a wide range of businesses across the spectrum, making it easier to find the best way to increase productivity and cut overheads, resulting in increased profits.


As both ERP and CRM are valuable assets, understanding how they can best be used is key to getting the most out of them for your unique business needs. At GCC, we pride ourselves on having a proactive and responsive software support approach for our customers. It includes explaining how different systems work, and what might be their advantages for your business. Get in touch today to find out more.

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