If you run a business, manage a business, manage a department, or you’re just a great worker bee, you have lots of things you need to get done every day.
You probably use several different software programs so you don’t have to do all the manual work that a computer can do. You have a CRM, an accounting program, maybe an inventory program, a human resources program, and many more.
And since we know that software can do just about anything you can think of, why do we have to have all of these different software programs? Why isn’t there just one program that will do everything that I need to do?
Software is Specialized
Just like you do completely different things in your business, software is also designed to do completely different things. Your CRM was specifically designed to help you manage your customers. The people who built that software are experts and know everything about helping you get new customers, following up with your past customers, and managing the current customers you are working with now.
Your accounting system is perfectly designed to keep track of your money: What’s coming in, what’s going out, who you owe money to, and who owes you money.
Even though both of these systems might have a contact’s name and address in them, they do very different things. One tracks people and the other tracks money. You can bet that the programmers working on the CRM are not experts in money management and accounting. And the programmers who built the accounting system are not going to be great at helping you find and follow up with customers.
But What About Duplicate Entries?
Your CRM has the name and address of your clients and so does your accounting system. Your inventory system shows products you have on your shelves and your CRM shows those same products purchased by your customers. So there is definitely some overlap in the data housed in your various software systems.
Wouldn’t it be smart to find a single system that can handle all three of these functions? Couldn’t a programmer build all this functionality into one software program? Or at a minimum, shouldn’t all these systems talk to each other so you don’t have to do double entry?
One Piece of Software That Does It All
You can probably find one software tool that will handle your CRM functions, accounting tasks, and inventory management. And if you can’t, you could find someone to build you a custom program. But is that what you really want: A program that does just an adequate job at these 3 critical functions?
The reason that an all-in-one CRM software is, for the most part, a myth, is that most people want software that is perfectly suited for the job at hand. You want a CRM perfectly set up for your customers, one perfectly handling your money, and one keeping accurate inventory levels.
But then why not just build integrations so all of your software talks to each other? That would eliminate duplicate entries – like when you have a name and address in two different systems.
Integrating 2 (or more) Different Programs
Since you have contact information in both programs, you should only have to type that in once…right? You should be able to type it in one system and it should automatically copy that information to the other systems.
While integration always sounds good on the surface, there is more to it than meets the eye.
Integrations are costly, they take time to think through and build, and they can cause lots of unintended consequences. If you need more information to talk you out of integrating software, read this article.
All-in-one Software is a great concept. But in reality, it is an overrated and old concept that you want to avoid at all costs.