There used to be some truth to the assumption that enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management software was only beneficial for some specific industries. The key point to remember, however, is that business software now benefits many different markets, reaching far beyond the original target industries of ERP and CRM systems. While it’s easy to see how a manufacturing or a sales company can use ERP and CRM to their advantage, companies in other fields – especially new and quickly growing ones – may not have considered all the benefits of those same systems for their own ventures.
Here’s a look at the ways in which business software can help two industries significantly different from each other in some very similar ways:
Family office management
Businesses focused on managing the finances, possessions and investments of very wealthy families are involved in an emerging industry in some respects. The concept may be somewhat new in its current form, but these companies have many traditional needs when it comes to managing finances, tracking return on investment and managing a diverse portfolio of assets, among a host of others. The fact of the matter is that many businesses involved in family wealth and asset management may be using outmoded systems. For organizations that started out small – as many do – there may be a reliance on Excel spreadsheets and other processes that are significantly less useful than CRM and ERP software.
There are a variety of issues that arise from using basic spreadsheets and multiple processes for managing information about a wealthy family’s financial affairs. Some, such as a lack of end-to-end visibility related to assets and the potential for gaps or inconsistencies to arise due to problems with incomplete information, are common to many different industries. Others, such as providing on-demand access to the most recent information related to family assets, is more particular to this field. The use of Web portals to access financial information has quickly become a standard in the market and businesses that don’t provide such access may soon see themselves falling behind.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM, ERP and SharePoint can all work together to provide a more effective environment for family office management businesses. Relationship management through CRM is especially important for dealing with a small group of high-value clients, some of whom may have extensive discussions with staff.
Businesses that service mechanical and technologic equipment in the field have their share of unique and sometimes difficult concerns. The physical disconnect between the home office and the staff members working outside of it is certainly able to be overcome – but the right software needs to aid in these efforts. Similarly, inventory management and asset tracking are both made more complicated by the need to work off-site. Of course, there’s also the need to provide clients or other parts of the same organization with up-to-date information about repairs in process and recently completed as well.
Business software helps create a strong, consistent connection between the central office and traveling staff as well as between clients and the business itself. The mobile applications of CRM and ERP software come into play in this situation, as employees on the move can report back nearly instantaneously after each job is completed. This software also allows businesses to keep accurate records related to equipment, parts, service and billing. Ultimately, both the company and its clients benefit from using ERP and CRM to manage its operations. Data is more complete and current, employees have better insights into operations and clients have more visibility into the process.