I know that CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, CMS stands for Content Management System and ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planner. I would like to know what each of things does best and which scenarios they are used in. So basic understanding of the three with differences among them and the environments in which they are used.

Edit: I read up on the Wiki a bit more and now I understand according to the ERP wiki that a CRM is a part of the ERP. My question to be more specific is:

  • Why have a CRM separately if it's already a part of the ERP? Abstraction?
  • To log and store the information of a call-center that calls a hundred odd people to get info, which is more better to achieve the following tasks, a CRM or an ERP? :
    • Store all the information about all the people that we have been called
    • Store information about which person called and how many hours a person has worked?
    • Find out which employee has been more productive?

My friend strongly believes a CRM will get the job done. So thought I'd ask you guys which would be better and why does it make it better.

  • I thought CRM was customer resource manager...
    – KallDrexx
    Sep 16 '11 at 15:36
  • Indeed, he got it wrong Sep 16 '11 at 15:38
  • 2
    When you read the wikipedia definitions, I'm sure that gave you more detailed and specific things to ask. Please include those more detailed and specific topics that were raised after reading the wikipedia articles. We don't know what you read and how much you understood. It helps us if you can provide specific links or quotes or references and what specifically you found confusing or incomplete in that material.
    – S.Lott
    Sep 16 '11 at 15:38
  • Sorry guys, got confused, edited it... Sep 16 '11 at 15:39
  • @nitstorm: Your edits did not provide specific links or quotes or references and what specifically you found confusing or incomplete in that material. That makes the question hard to answer.
    – S.Lott
    Sep 16 '11 at 15:49

In short, and from the viewpoint of a user of these systems:

A user of a CMS manages the content and structure of a website. A user of a CRM manages a company's contacts. A user of an ERP application manages invoices, product prices and inventory.

A CMS is something completely different than a CRM/ERP application.

There is often overlap between a CRM and an ERP, but a CRM is more focused towards sales people and an ERP system is more often used by administration.

I think wikipedia will tell you all you want to know.



A CRM is used to manage contact information (Salesforce).

A CMS is used to manage information for display to the general public (such as a web based CMS like Drupal).

An ERP system can typically refer to a system that is used to manage all aspects of operating a business, possibly including but not limited to: Purchasing, Sales, Accounting, Production, Payroll, Contacts/Customers/Vendors, etc. (DEACOM, SAP ERP, Oracle ERP, Microsoft Dynamics, ProsessPro).

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