If ERP is used as a customer communications interface in your company, you need to reconsider immediately. In this article, we explain why.
It is quite common for organizations to send their customers a mishmash of communication via ERP, several back-end solutions such as CRM, and multiple other custom applications.
In this article you'll learn:
The documentation that we send is integral to the customers’ service experience. We all know it is a struggle to keep all documents up to date regarding branding – and even more importantly, keeping them legal and accessible. Any changes need to be replicated to all involved systems. Even recognizing the different document processes is challenging. The same applies to integrations. Handling multiple endpoints and custom integrations will surely keep your IT busy and increases the risks of broken integrations.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are in general meant for internal processes. An ERP is a perfect tool for what it is meant: accounting, procurement, supply chain operations, project and risk management. But it is not designed for managing external customer communication.
Multiple back-end solutions are in direct contact with your customers, making it almost impossible to keep track of all communications
Quality and consistency of customer communications
It is impossible to control the consistency of communications throughout accumulated technology stacks that are channel-specific, business-specific, and department specific.
It is very difficult for business users to create and personalize customer communications with back-end solutions.
There is an increased risk of colliding with legal or accessibility regulations.
Customers are getting increasingly demanding about content and channels. In today’s daily data bombardment, it is crucial that all company documents they receive from you are perfectly aligned with your company brand, and are compliant, accessible, and accurate.
The modern way to handle customer communications happens at the front end of your systems. Customer Communications Management (CCM) solutions like Quadient’s Inspire give you full control and visibility of all communication deliveries. It enables the easy creation and maintenance of templates and constant screening of compliance and accessibility.
The platform is easy to use for business users, which frees time for IT to concentrate on their core services.
Ideally customer-facing communications are centralized to Customer Communication Management (CCM). All back-end solutions are integrated to CCM, and it will centrally manage the creation, delivery and archiving of the messages.
With user centric UI (User Interface), content is easy to create, and it is also easy to gather data from multiple solutions into your documents. For example, you can add images from your DAM (Digital Asset Management), product specs and drawings from PIM (Product Information Management), and customer insights from CRM (Customer Relations Management) and fine-tune them to fit with CCM’s built-in AI (Artificial Intelligence).
In today’s world, simple documents like Sales Orders can include personalized images of custom products, distinctive product specifications, and special instructions to deliver the order via multichannel sends. All this happens easily when using a modern CCM.
Even this simple customer notification document from the previous example can use several data sources such as ERP, CRM, PIM, DAM and be aligned with the company brand. This is easily generated in the CCM solution, contributing to much better customer satisfaction and upsell/cross-sell opportunities.
Modern communication tools, such as Quadient’s Inspire, can empower business users to manage customer communication with an easy-to-use user interface and template structure. This reduces IT’s workload, which is especially important when going through an ERP update that puts high demands on IT.
We have seen first-hand just how much Quadient can help companies in SAP S/4HANA integrations. The Quadient Inspire CCM especially has great compatibility with SAP S/4HANA architecture. To ensure a frictionless process in all cases, we are also working on packaging the integration tools for SAP S/4HANA.
Organizations starting their SAP update, or already using S/4 without the support of modern CCM, typically encounter these following challenges in their SAP-based customer communications:
These challenges may sound detailed and specific – but just think about the inefficiency and frustration that they cause in everyday communications. All these pain points are tackled in Quadient’s modern CCM tool.
On top of this, it is good to know that when updating from SAP ECC6.0 to S/4HANA, all document templates will need manual rewriting in every case. There is no automation to make them accessible in an updated environment.
This means that there is no difference in workload whether you re-build your templates for S/4HANA native tools or with Quadient CCM. The latter option just gives you so much more in the future.
We are eager to hear your thoughts. Please contact us via LinkedIn or via the contact form.