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For manufacturing, cabinetmaking, kitchens and joinery work, the right business management software is almost important as the tools in your workshop.

Software is everywhere nowadays.

There are so many acronyms and overlapping functions that it’s easy to get lost in the weeds.

So let’s break down three common business management platforms to see how they stack up.

At a time when Australian manufacturers face disruption, price competition and supply chain challenges from all directions, reliable data has never been more important.

But businesses are also generating more data than ever, contributing to a potential information overload for managers trying to catch up.

First things first: What do ERP, CRM and SCM stand for?

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

CRM systems help companies manage customer relationships and win more business.

The primary responsibilities of CRM software are:

  • Providing context to sales teams
  • Storing customer information
  • Recording communication
  • Generating insight into customer behaviour
  • Optimising lead management

SCM: Supply Chain Management 

Supply chain management solutions monitor the flow of goods and services from the origin point to the end customer.

Where CRMs deal with customer-facing questions, SCM is the companion for the supplier side:

  • Keeping supplier records updated
  • Managing inventory on hand
  • Ordering stock and material
  • Overseeing logistics
  • Forecasting inventory requirements

ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

ERP software is a complete business management platform comprising modules that centralise, simplify and streamline operations.

The best manufacturing ERPs have CRM and SCM modules, as well as a selection of powerful productivity features and cost-cutting business intelligence:

  • Job scheduling
  • Production monitoring
  • Time and attendance
  • Integrated CRM
  • SCM modules including inventory control
  • Quoting and invoicing automation
  • Purchase orders
  • Integrations with third-party accounting, CAD/CAM or storage solutions

How to choose the best solution for your business

Investing in business management software can be a complex puzzle.

Balancing cost against immediate need is one thing.

But forecasting the need for better business systems in the future requires a well-organised growth strategy and collaboration across the business.

So to find the answer, we need to flip the question on its head:

Where is your business heading?

ERP, SCM and CRM software each serve a specific purpose.

Although ERP platforms are often pricier than standalone SCM and CRM software, the scalability, simplicity and control of an industry-specific ERP enable your business to scale up.

On the other hand, most businesses require a combination of SCM and CRM solutions to manage end-to-end processes.

If these systems are siloed or incompatible, the time you will spend bridging the gap will probably negate most productivity benefits.

The bottom line is that ERP software is a growth enabler.

CRM and SCM software is handy to organise an out-of-control business, but productivity will soon hit a ceiling.

Making an intelligent ERP investment decision

ERP is an investment, but it shouldn’t blow your budget.

Jobman is a modular and scalable cloud-based ERP system for the manufacturing industry.

You can start with a focused set of features and add more as and when you need, unlocking growth potential at an exponential rate.

Plus, implementing an ERP early means you don’t need to switch systems in the future.

Visit the Jobman blog to learn more about implementing an ERP or explore the full range of features on our website.

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