To what extent was the merge of CRM and ERP successful in Bitrix24?

CRM

CRM

All of us are used now to the various combinations of products: honey and lemon flavored pills, sea breeze smelling powder and more. Quite often this happens thanks to the marketing specialists that make the goods more attractive for the buyers. Sometimes, the manufacturers try to combine incompatible things to meet the wide range of the buyer’s needs. The latter are actually rather skeptical about such a symbiosis, as they believe that each of the product will be better and more efficient individually. However, there are some bold projects out there worthy of attention.

Since 2012, the specialists of our international company Avivi are engaged in the implementation of various business development software. We work with many products of the CRM, ERP, BI directions and automatization, thus, today we offer our own review of the multifunctional set of tools by Bitrix24.

Weak area of a business that Bitrix24 is capable of eliminating

According to the creators, Bitrix24 is designed for the widest use in the B2B, B2C and even B2G segments. The representatives of middle and large companies are the main clients of the company, although, in fact, the highest number of the server’s users are the small entrepreneurs. This comes as no surprise, since Bitrix 24 crm leads a very neutral policy exactly for the starting businessmen: a product is available in a completely free version for an unlimited number of users. Of course, its functionality is very limited; the full capacity of the product may be tested only using the commercial tariff plans. But don’t jump to conclusion that Bitrix24 developers are altruists: a well-though client marketing helps to hook up basic users by offering them a free tariff to develop their business, but over time will eventually want to switch to a paid one.

The product eliminates several major issues at once:

  • Provides the CRM system for the development of the sales office;
  • Allows managing the company and all of its resources online;
  • Provides a possibility for the employees to communicate on the corporate portal without using any additional services;
  • Allows to create landing pages in the designer mode for businesses that do not have their own website, or need to constantly create the new web-pages without attracting the developers.

Indeed, all of these tools in one set is enough for a small company. However, to conduct a robust modern business activity, a lot of tools are missing. And the existing functions are not at a satisfactory level, for example:

  • There are no budgetary and financial tools. An additional integration for the financial programs is required;
  • The Analytics is presented by several types of reports that are not enough to develop a business;
  • A large amount of tools clutters the interface for the ordinary users. This makes Bitrix24 complex to study. However, many people get used to it.

Clients and company management

Although, several software sections deserve separate analysis and attention. The developers integrated two major systems at once: for clients relationship management (CRM) and for company’s resources management (ERP). The modern IT sphere offers a variety of various solutions independently. Some specific products have certain makings of a different system, but in a rather limited representation.

But in most cases, developers solve this issue by creating modules. The users are offered a choice of self-contained products to address specific business goals. If the users still need more tools, it is required to purchase another product from the same developers and integrate it with the one already in use. Due to the fact that the programs are created by the same companies, the products easily integrate with each other and are capable to just as easily break the connection if it is required in the future. All of that can be done for an additional fee.

The creators of Bitrix24 initially sell their product in a complex way, even with a free version. The users are, of course, asked what are their plans when registering a new Portal: sales or management. Depending on that, the main Bitrix24 menu is customized accordingly:

  • The menu options such as CRM, Analytics, Sales reports, Online Shop and Contact Center are moved to the top positions for the sales department, and so on;
  • For the project activities: Projects and Tasks, Bitrix24.Disc, Documents, Reports on timings, etc.;

It should be noted that, in fact, only the order of the tools changes – nothing ever disappears from Bitrix24 for good. If needed, a user can independently customize the main menu regardless of the field of their actual activity.

CRM and ERP relations

And now it is time to talk about the advantages of the integration of two different modules in one product. It’s worth knowing that each of them has their unique elements and is developed to solve different issues. The CRM provides communication between the clients, stores the communication history, moving the clients’ request through the purchase funnels and the accumulation of the databases for the reporting purpose. The ERP is used to organize the collaboration process for the team, record the working schedule, manage the resources of the company and measure the efficiency of every employee individually and the team as a whole.

Having determined the point where two modules cross, Bitrix24 developers created a tight integration and predicted the exchange of the various information. Thus, when a new Lead or Deal is created in the CRM, the robots might send alerts that automatically create the tasks for the respective employees in charge. They differ from the simple notifications widely used within other systems. A notification simply tells you that something has changed and does not require any follow-up from the user. A Task is actually an event recorded in the system that requires not only a follow up, but also a completion. Thus, there is a possibility to track the time spent, which allows following the efficiency trend of the employees.

If we take a view from another point, CRM entities may be connected to any given task. We are talking about the Lead, Contact, Company, Receipt, Deal and Order. This way, when collaborating, the employees do not need to follow up or provide explanations: just connect the desired entity, and it will provide the capability to see the data relating to the task.

When it comes to the communication possibilities for the employees, Bitrix24 offers a variety of options for that, too. The communication is carried out in the chats created both automatically and manually in a required location and timing:

  •     A new chat is started when a new project or a working team is created for all of the members;
  •     A new chat can be created to discuss any given entity of Bitrix24;
  •     A new chat can be created out of any message in an already existing chat;
  •     There is the possibility to comment every Task, which is, basically, a styled chat.

Conclusions

CRM and ERP symbiosis in Bitrix24 is realized in a quite efficient way, which greatly expands the possibilities for the employees of the company. From a practical point of view, that is very convenient as both of the systems are already included in all the tariff plans of the product, and do not require any additional integrations. Although, for these tools to function at their best when integrated, a customization and enhancement processes are required. On separate occasions, even this functionality requires enhancement when users need the capabilities not provided by the standards of the system.

On this note, we would like to add that the professionals of our company made the conclusions based on their experience regarding the use of CRM and ERP from Bitrix24. Only one system to engage with the clients is wide-known among small companies: the vendors of the exclusive production, craft goods, narrowly specialized services. The ERP system without Sales, Marketing and Online Shops is implemented by large companies with an extensive employees pool for an efficient collaboration. In any case, the cost of any Bitrix24 tariff is substantially lower than the one offered by the same independent products on the market; thus, all those who need it, have the possibility to try out this set of tools.

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