What is the difference between a CRM system, an accounting system, an invoicing system and an ERP system? It is easy to lose track of so many different acronyms and designations. Here we will try to give you an overview and help you with the choice of the system or systems that meet your needs.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and comes in many varieties that can help you with everything from specific sales-related jobs to keeping track of countless customers and all their preferences and peculiarities.
CMS can be easy to mix with CRM, but stands for Content Management System and is a very common part of all dynamic web pages, and is a system for posting content on the web page.
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and is a term for a more comprehensive system that supports several of the company's business areas, such as production, warehousing, sales, purchasing and finance.
PLM stands for Product Lifecycle Management, and is a term for the entire life cycle of a product. A product's life cycle can be anything from idea, design and production to operation, maintenance and closure.
Simple invoicing systems or invoicing programs are created primarily with a view to covering a simple need to send invoices, but in reality they often offer a simple form of CRM as well. The systems can be anything from a simple system that generates a PDF invoice that you must send yourself, to systems that are highly integrated with EHF, KID, Vipps, eFaktura and agreement giro. Invoice systems alone are often designed to fill a need for a type of niche, such as sending out many identical invoices as a membership fee, or which can offer a unique solution for self-collection.
Here you can read a little about billing in Catacloud.
The financial system or accounting system aims to solve the financial management in the company and provides the opportunity to keep records and get different reports. As accounting systems have become smarter and grown larger, it is now common for, among other things, invoicing to be part of this system. By having invoicing and accounting in the same system, you can avoid entering the invoices you send, as these can easily be entered automatically in the accounts. In the beginning, these systems were more separate and specialized in a specific part of the business. Now that accounting systems are moving more and more into the ERP spectrum of systems, they can quickly become heavy and difficult.
Here you can read a little more accounting in Catacloud.
ERP may sound unnecessary and large to small businesses with few or no employees. Especially if you have heard about older systems more you need a lot of setup and configuration, and maybe a separate expert in the field to get started and that everything should work. There are many advantages and disadvantages to gathering a lot of functionality in an ERP system. Many synergies and simplifications can be done by having everything gathered in one place, and you do not have to enter information several times. A common problem for many companies is not having access to the latest and most up-to-date information, and having to navigate countless audits and file storage locations.
Some common features of ERP systems:
- Customer Relationship Management / CRM (Customer Dialogue, Sales and Marketing)
- Finance (Accounting, payroll, budget and invoicing)
- Document management (Storage, collaboration and publishing)
- Personnel / HR (Staffing planning, time registration, recruitment, competence mapping, holiday plans and sickness absence follow-up)
- Logistics / PLM (Order, warehousing, purchasing and production)
More about ERP systems on Wikipedia.
Catacloud wants to make ERP simple and easy for small and medium-sized businesses. An ERP system that you do not need to install, configure and customize as much, but that comes clearly out of the box. An all-in-one system, which talks well with other systems (Plug-and-Play) and is simple and intuitive, that is our goal with Catacloud. There is a lot of benefit to be gained from such systems, and if done easily, it can create many benefits and advantages for the business at no great cost.