Brokerage firms will be big adopters of CRM

by Sharon Lobo    Apr 05, 2010

Small and Medium Enterprises are fast opting for ERP and CRM solutions to improve their business processes. Talking about mapping the best practices that these solutions have to offer in large enterprises, to the SME is Thomas Abraham, managing director, Sage India, who spoke to Sharon Lobo, on the impact of ERP and CRM solutions in the SME space.

Could you give us an overview of CRM and ERP adoption in the Indian SME space?
Currently there is a steady growth in market penetration for ERP and CRM solutions in India. We have seen good traction for ERP in distribution and manufacturing sectors while for CRM it has been in the financial services and assorted services sectors.

With the economy starting to revive, several companies have started evaluating various CRM and ERP solutions. Having said that there are certain verticals where an accelerated approach is warranted. Brokerage firms and stock exchanges will be big adopters of CRM solutions. The reason being, with the upswing in markets brokerage firms are seeing growth, while stock exchanges have begun focusing on automation. Additionally, as new commodity exchanges are being set up the need for CRM solutions is bound to increase.

Which industry verticals would adopt CRM & ERP in a big way this year? Nowadays there is an overall requirement for lead management among a variety of businesses. Such businesses are bound to implement CRM solutions. Likewise ERP is being implemented at firms who are into trading, distribution, infrastructure and process manufacturing. Currently trading and distribution firms are growing quite rapidly and getting organized, hence they would require an ERP solution in place. Also with the burgeoning in the infrastructure sector, many new firms in this space would want to implement an ERP solution. In process manufacturing, the pharmaceutical segment is doing well and we see a very good opportunity here.

Apart from these, companies irrespective of their verticals, who are outgrowing their accounting package would look towards other good ERP solutions.
In future, which factors would determine the penetration of CRM and ERP solutions in the Indian SME space?
Firstly it is the preparedness of SMEs in terms of process sophistication and availability of qualified manpower that will determine the adoption of CRM and ERP solutions. Also more references in specific industries will lend confidence to companies seeking to automate. Additionally if the companies have better understanding of the ROI they can expect after they implement such solutions, they would want to deploy such solutions.

It is also important that there is an availability of end to end solutions in terms of an integrated ERP and CRM solution and simplicity of the applications and availability of multiple deployment options. All these factors would play a key role in the growth of the CRM and ERP market in India.

Could you give an example of how an Indian SMEs has benefited from an ERP solution?
Agarwal Fasteners manufactures of fasteners using modern multi stationed equipment had implemented our Accpac ERP solution. This enabled the manufacturer to have a real time inventory control, which ensured that production planning was done accurately and the correct quantity of raw material was ordered at the right price from the right vendor.