The weakness of ERP and CRM

For many people, ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’ software is the perfect ‘software for domain experts’ – since it can be used to plan and manage a wide variety of activities.

The limitation is activities which are not process based and require expert judgement.

Ie, activities which need more than “collecting, storing, managing and interpreting data”.

An ERP system will help you track business resources, where your business transactions are (purchase orders), your payroll.

Typical modules can be accounting, HR, managing manufacturing processes, order processing, supply chain management.

This only works for aspects of business which are processes. Plenty of business isn’t.

A customer relationship management system – which is similar in design – basically a database of customers, and a system to analyse the data.

It can gather data from all the different channels customers use, and then be used to put together marketing and sales plans.

But this only works to the extent that customers’ relationships can be managed, and if this is useful. For example, if you work for a music company, your success depends on getting the music (and everything associated with it, ie the people) into the market, which an audience wants to build a relationship with – you end up with Adele or Taylor Swift. This is a task requiring enormous expertise, and not something a computer could help you with.

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