ERP vs. CRM: What’s The Difference, and Which Does Your Business Need?

When looking for new business software, consider the two main options on the market. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are standard software types for streamlining business operations. These software solutions aim to increase profitability, and each uses specific methods to achieve company goals. 

When you upgrade your program, you can maximize your company’s potential with today’s technology. If you find yourself questioning ERP vs. CRM software and wondering which one would be best for your company, Multiview Financial Software can help. Learn more about the two choices to determine whether your business needs CRM or ERP.

What is a CRM?

CRM is a process for managing a company’s customer interactions and the overall customer experience. CRM software is consumer-focused and usually organizes, synchronizes and records sales and customer communications. The overall goal of a CRM system is to increase customer satisfaction to improve sales concentrations and revenue. 

A typical application of a CRM program would be in a sales or marketing department, where there is more direct contact with customers. Building a solid audience and customer base can improve your company overall, and CRM focuses on external sales processes. 

What is an ERP?

ERP manages the business instead of the customer. With ERP software, companies improve their functionality by integrating finance, inventory and distribution data across multiple departments. The goal of ERP software is to centralize data and improve internal processes to cut costs. 

Many companies use ERP software to automate their processes and improve productivity all around. ERP can also strengthen communication by combining all in-office information on one platform and giving all departments access to the same data. ERP works with existing processes and helps companies provide better experiences for their customers. 


These two software options share one goal — companies use their IT software to streamline their data and increase profits. Each one has unique features that demonstrate its focus. 

The main differences between CRM and ERP are: 

  • CRM aims to increase sales volume, where ERP minimizes required resources. 
  • CRM is the “front office” since it is what customers will experience, and ERP is the “back office” where all the organizational processes occur. 
  • ERP systems can include CRM services, but CRM is specific to customer relations. 
  • ERP creates a single system for all departments (sales, distribution, marketing, etc.), while CRM only accounts for customer service sectors. 

If you want to focus on building your customer base and improving customer relations, CRM is an excellent option. Its most valuable features can include call centers, contact management and client interaction tracking. If you want to maximize your internal processes to minimize resource waste, ERP can help through financial, human capital and inventory management.

At Multiview our vision is to End Month EndTM.

For over 30 years, Multiview has been driving successful client outcomes with a scalable ERP solution by partnering with our clients to break down data silos, automate accounting process’ and provide more access to information through industry leading dynamic reporting solutions.

Our mission, is to help our clients stop chasing numbers and empower them to start using them.

Request a demo today to see how our ERP solution can impact your business operations.


Multiview Financials ERP provides our clients with a comprehensive software suite that empowers their finance teams. Request a demo today!

Further Reading

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The Challenges of Legacy Software in Healthcare

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It doesn't matter what field you work in: You will never use the most up-to-date technology on a regular basis. In some fields, this isn't the end of the world, and you should still be able to use ...

HIPAA Compliance Considerations for Legacy Health

There are few federal laws as meaningful or impactful to the healthcare industry as HIPAA. HIPAA — or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — is the governing federal law that ...

Legacy ERP Systems: Maintain, Rebuild or Replace?

The concept behind an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is not a new one: ERPs have been around in some form or fashion for the past 60 years. Of course, over this time, the software and ...

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