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Should I Use a Manufacturing-Specific CRM?

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If you’ve landed on this page, it’s likely because you’re trying to decide what kind of customer relationship management (CRM) platform to get for your manufacturing business. There are plenty of manufacturing software options to choose from, and when it comes to choosing a CRM, you’re met with the “manufacturing-specific CRM vs. general-purpose CRM” debate.

Today we’re helping you answer the question, “Should I use a manufacturing-specific CRM?” by exploring the advantages of both options.

Keep reading to learn more about manufacturing and general CRMs and how both offer unique benefits for your manufacturing company.

What is a manufacturing-specific CRM?

A manufacturing-specific CRM is a CRM platform designed specifically for manufacturing businesses. The features, tools, integrations, and interface are created with manufacturers in mind.

Perks of a manufacturing CRM

Manufacturing CRMs bring a few different benefits to the table. Many manufacturing businesses turn to a manufacturing-specific CRM because:

  1. They have a quicker setup time
  2. They’re created with manufacturers in mind
  3. They have manufacturing-specific features

Read on to learn about these benefits of manufacturing CRMs in more detail.

1. They have a quicker setup time

The first benefit of a manufacturing CRM is its setup time. Manufacturing CRMs have configurations specific to your industry already in place. With a general CRM, you’ll have to take a bit of time during the initial setup to put those preferences in place.

Now, don’t get us wrong, there are manufacturing-specific CRMs out there that can be tricky to set up, and there are general CRMs whose setup process is a breeze. But in general, manufacturing companies will have an easier time setting up a manufacturing-specific CRM because it’s made for that industry.

2. They’re created with manufacturers in mind

Manufacturing CRMs have the distinct advantage of being created specifically for those in the manufacturing industry. While it sounds like we’re just repeating the definition of a manufacturing CRM again, let us explain.

Because these CRMs are made for manufacturers, the platform is going to use more industry-specific terminology and jargon. This can be incredibly helpful for manufacturers learning how to use the software.

Additionally, the CRM’s interface will prioritize the tools and features manufacturers value most.

3. They have manufacturing-specific features

Arguably the biggest benefit of a manufacturing-specific CRM is the built-in features and tools. Because they’re made with manufacturers in mind, manufacturing CRMs include industry-specific tools and features.

For example, some niche features you can find in a manufacturing CRM include:

  • Data analysis for quality control
  • Supply chain management tools
  • And more!

General CRMs may not have these specific features readily available, unlike manufacturing-specific CRMs.

What is a general-purpose CRM?

While manufacturing CRMs are made for that specific industry, general-purpose CRMs are built without a focus on any particular field. General CRMs come equipped with tools, features, integrations, and an interface that’s built to work for any business regardless of what industry they’re in.

Perks of a general CRM

Like manufacturing CRMs, general-purpose CRMs come with plenty of benefits that are hard to pass up. These are just a few of those perks:

  1. They often cost less than manufacturing CRMs
  2. They’re user-friendly
  3. They have more integration options

Take a closer look at these benefits below.

1. They often cost less than manufacturing CRMs

One of the biggest perks of a general CRM is the cost. Typically, general CRMs cost less than manufacturing-specific CRMs. Because general CRMs are made for different industries to use, they usually offer various plans.

This gives businesses more flexibility regarding how involved they want their CRM to be in their operations. If they’re not quite sure about the CRM yet, they can choose a cheaper, affordable plan and upgrade to a more expensive one whenever they’re ready.

On the other hand, manufacturing-specific CRMs won’t offer as many plans, meaning you’ll have less flexibility with pricing.

2. They’re user-friendly

While manufacturing CRMs can be easier for those in the manufacturing industry to understand because of the industry-specific tools, general CRMs are often much more user-friendly.

General CRMs are built for a wider audience, so the layout is created to be as user-friendly as possible. Not to mention, general CRMs are more widely used, meaning they drive more revenue. With more money, developers can spend more time and effort fine-tuning their CRM.

As we pointed out earlier, though, this benefit may not be applicable to all general-purpose CRMs. There are general CRMs out there that can be difficult to navigate compared to manufacturing-specific CRMs. Still, general CRMs are often more user-friendly than industry-specific ones.

3. They have more integration options

Finally, general-purpose CRMs offer a more diverse array of integration options compared to manufacturing CRMs. 

A CRM pulls customer and business data from different sources. To do that, it needs to be able to integrate with different tools. General CRMs typically have more integration options than manufacturing-specific CRMs because they have to accommodate the different industries their users are working in.

These integration options can help you add some of the manufacturing-specific features available in specialized CRMs to your CRM system.

Should I use a manufacturing-specific CRM or general CRM?

The answer to that question is tricky. Ultimately, the CRM you choose depends on your business’s goals and priorities. 

If you’re looking for a CRM that’ll give you access to unique manufacturing features—and if you have the time, patience, and budget to implement a CRM that’s less user-friendly—then a manufacturing-specific CRM might be a good choice for you.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to integrate a CRM into your daily business operations that’s easy to use and offers universal features to help you run your manufacturing business, a general CRM could be a perfect solution for you.

General CRM features may not be tailored specifically to the manufacturing industry, but they’re going to have capabilities any business can utilize, from pipeline management to analytics on day-to-day business activities. Most general CRMs also allow for customization and integrations that make them more tailored to your industry.

In the end, only you can make the call on what your business needs in a CRM. Once you’ve determined that, explore the available options and choose a CRM with the solutions you need.

Nutshell is a trusted CRM for all industries—including manufacturing

If you’re looking for a reliable and easy-to-use general CRM for your manufacturing business, you’ve come to the right place. Nutshell CRM is used by over 1,000 manufacturing businesses, offering sales automation tools to streamline your manufacturing process and in-depth reporting tools to give you a detailed look at how your products are performing.

Learn what the hype is about by contacting us online or starting a 14-day free trial!

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