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Again and again, it has been proven that ERP implementations are most successful when ERP software is used to augment an organization’s competitive advantage – and doesn’t stuff it into “best practice” functionality. For many organizations, customer service is an obvious competitive advantage and organizations will do whatever they can to differentiate their customer-driven business processes from those of their competition.

When Panorama advises clients on software customization, one thing we consistently recommend is that organizations should not fit their competitive differentiators into off-the-shelf software functionality but instead customize the software to maintain this competitive advantage. Because many organizations recognize customer service as a competitive differentiator and because they see the value in customization, it comes as no surprise that CRM software (e.g., offerings from Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, etc.) is growing in popularity among business-savvy organizations.

In the current economic environment, many organizations have drastically cut their operating and labor costs to save money. Still wanting to increase sales, however, these organizations are turning to CRM software to fuel sales without increasing labor costs. Many organizations have found that CRM software improves customer service by making customer-facing business processes more efficient and effective.

From a customer’s point of view, this translates to sales messaging and outreach targeted directly to their needs which increases the value of every interaction. Our research shows that improved customer service is one of the top reasons organizations implement ERP software. What do you think is the best reason for implementing an ERP system? Take a moment to vote in our recent poll and be sure to download our 2013 ERP Report for further analysis of what compels organizations to embark on ERP implementations.