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Crown vs. HCM vs. ERP: Which workforce management system is right for your business?

One of the biggest problems faced by modern businesses is that of technology saturation. The average employee uses 35 job-critical applications every day. With so many different systems now being used, you can see why organisations might want to rationalise their software and streamline their tech stack. But does fewer really mean better?

The right software has the power to transform processes, create greater efficiencies and improve a business’ bottom line. However, this can only succeed if employees find the technology easy to use and if they understand its purpose. If systems are clunky and confusing, they can create bottlenecks and frustration.

The needs of staff members must be the top consideration when investing in new workplace software, especially HR technology. While 90% of senior leaders say they consider people’s needs when introducing new technology, only 53% of employees agree. This suggests certain IT systems could be causing more problems than they solve. So, what should organisations consider when looking for new software? How can they make sure their decision will bring the benefits they hope for, not add to their woes?

When it comes to workforce management (WFM), there are a range of options available – which generally fall into three categories. There are the specialist solutions, either focusing solely on WFM or dedicated to a particular industry or function. Alternatively, Human Capital Management (HCM) systems also support many other functions such as payroll, benefits and talent management, alongside workforce management. Finally, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are holistic platforms encompassing all a business’ key processes and enabling one source of data truth.

It's easy to see the appeal of a multi-purpose system, but look a little deeper and it’s possible to see the potential drawbacks. Is it wise to “put all your eggs in one basket” or is it better to go with “horses for courses”? Crown Workforce Management is a specialist WFM platform, enabling complete customisation to your business requirements with a dedicated support team.

Here’s how Crown stacks up against a typical HCM and ERP.


Crown Workforce Management was designed specifically to help organisations manage their workforce better. It has been an established presence in the market for more than 30 years, over this time gaining an unrivalled understanding of what customers need. We focus all our efforts on making attendance and absence management, rostering and resource scheduling and control access as effective as possible, always looking to improve and innovate.

HCM systems provide a broad spectrum of functions, covering various aspects of human resources. While they might not match the specialised depth of dedicated systems, they excel in integrating diverse HR functions, offering a comprehensive solution for talent management, recruitment, benefits administration and more. However, their broad scope can sometimes make specific customisations more complex and costly.

ERP systems, on the other hand, extend beyond HR functionalities to integrate various business processes such as finance, supply chain, and operations. This holistic approach provides a unified view of the business but may not delve deeply into specialised workforce management details. However, their all-encompassing nature can make them indispensable for large organisations seeking to streamline multiple business processes under one umbrella.

Customer support

Crown has a team of highly experienced consultants who know workforce management inside out. It is what they do all day, every day. They have the skills and knowhow to provide dedicated support, working collaboratively with clients to ensure they get exactly what they want. 

HCM systems may have a diverse team to support a wide range of HR functionalities, depending on the vendor. While these staff might not possess niche expertise in workforce management, they generally provide robust support across the entire human resources spectrum.

ERP systems often have support teams knowledgeable in various business processes, which may not specialise in HR or workforce management but excel in offering integrated support across various business functions. This makes them suitable for organisations looking for comprehensive system support.


Crown’s system delivers powerful analytics, based on years of data and experience, which are easy to digest and action. At a time when every business is looking to do more for less, these insights can deliver tangible benefits, highlighting existing and future trends and where efficiencies can be made.

An HCM is unlikely to offer the same level of rich, detailed data as it will lack the specific knowledge and depth of understanding. As the workforce management functionality tends to be more superficial, the insights and trends available will also be lacking. They may also be less flexible in the types of reports and insights they can produce.

ERP systems offer extensive analytics that encompass not just HR but also financial, operational, and supply chain data, providing a comprehensive business overview. However, they are likely to lack real depth in workforce-specific analytics.


The secure Crown app, suitable for Android and iOS devices, allows employees to easily and quickly access the system whenever and wherever they need to. The app gives employees greater transparency and control over absence and attendance management.

As an HCM has so much sensitive data, involving areas such as pay and benefits, that employees are likely to have restricted access. Staff may not be able to log details themselves, which instead pushes admin back on to busy line managers and HR staff, taking up more of their valuable time.

ERP systems also offer mobile accessibility, typically focusing on broader business functions. However, their access protocols are often more complex due to the integration of various business processes.


Crown takes online security extremely seriously and is Cyber Essentials certified. Recent ransomware attacks on other WFM platforms have demonstrated just how crucial this area is. Crown offers a managed cloud service, providing a higher level of protection aligned with the UK Government National Cyber Security Centre guidelines. 

HCMs also make cyber security a priority. Many may offer a cloud service too, but this may well come at an additional cost and might not be part of their standard package. Their support staff may also be less knowledgeable of the safeguards in place and less able to advise on how to make the system as safe as possible.

ERP systems, too, place a high priority on security, especially considering the wide range of business data they handle. They may offer different levels of security customisation, depending on the business needs.


While Crown is a specialist system, it is designed to offer a seamless service, integrating perfectly with every single HR and payroll application on the market. This eliminates the need for any duplication of data and allows organisations to take advantage of the best of both worlds – a flexible, comprehensive workforce management system that fits with your other HR applications.

In theory, an HCM provides all the HR support that an organisation will need in one, neat package. However, as a single, all-encompassing solution, linking it to other management systems could be tricky as it may lack the flexibility needed to make that happen.

ERP systems excel in integration, and are capable of connecting a wide array of business applications and systems. However, their comprehensive nature might sometimes result in complex integration processes with specialised external systems.

Crown is the superior choice for your business’s specific needs

Streamline your workforce management with Crown Workforce Management, the specialist solution that outperforms broader HCM and ERP systems in focused functionality, customisation options and customer support. Book a demo today and discover how Crown can transform your workforce management efficiency.

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