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March 2, 2018

Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool knows all about your demand. Your Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) tool knows all about your supplies. Now, if they spoke to one another, your computer would be able to tell you who is going to want what product in which part of the globe, how long it’ll take to make and send it, and when and how much raw materials you will need to seize the opportunity.

That’s the power of systems that talk to one another. Technically speaking, an established integrator will be required to integrate CRM and SRM in a way that produces intelligent and intuitive insights. Once done you will notice that there are wonders waiting to happen.

Here’s an example. Customers often demand products at short notice and are willing to pay a premium if you deliver to their requirements and on time. If you succeed, you stand to build a stronger relationship with your customers and earn a higher margin. If you fail, however, you not only lose their confidence but also, potentially, their business.

With an integrated CRM-SRM system to serve you, you’ll know if you can procure the raw materials required, check if you have vacant manufacturing capacity in a nearby factory, and arrange for necessary transportation – all with a few clicks, seamlessly and automatically. You’ll be able to determine with certainty if you should accept or refuse the offer. If you refuse, you’ll be able to explain the reason for the refusal and also provide a date by which you can produce and deliver what your customer needs.

Some of the more popular platforms that allow seamless integrations are SAP’s Supply Network Collaboration and Oracle’s PeopleSoft Supplier Relationship Management suites. These are both incredible solutions in themselves and widely trusted by customers. A case study on Turkish electronics giant Vestel featured on SAP’s product site mentions the time and cost savings, visibility into supplies of critical components, and newfound forecasting advantages. And Vestel isn’t alone – there are plenty of other examples.

What’s particularly interesting about CRM-SRM integrations is the increased collaboration with suppliers. You’re able to build stronger relationships, work on centralized databases sharing information about customers’ needs and schedules, and together, create synergistic solutions that help everyone win.

The benefits of CRM-SRM integrations are plenty, and companies need to get started now to rope in suppliers, strengthen bonds, and build an intuitive and robust supply chain, giving them a truly significant competitive advantage.

If you’re looking to learn more about such integrations, read my recent whitepaper CRM-SRM Integration Promises Transformational Growth.

Sudeep Dayal is an ex TCSer and was a part of the Consulting and Service Integration practice at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He is a certified supply chain professional (APICS CSCP) with over six years of experience in the supply chain domain. Sudeep has deep knowledge in sourcing operations including supplier selection, supplier handling, ordering and costing, quotation management, localization of parts, as well as R&D ideas implementation. He has worked on account planning, S&OP planning, demand forecasting, sourcing and procurement, and SAP IBP implementation. Sudeep holds an MBA in finance and operations, along with a mechanical engineering degree.


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