Integrating your eCommerce platform with an ERP system has many advantages. It can help to centralize your data as well as streamline back-office processes, which will increase efficiency and ensures business growth. Even though the benefits may seem obvious, many businesses hold back because of the challenges an ERP eCommerce integration may impose. However, with the right logic, strategy, methodology and choosing the right implementation partner, difficulties can be pushed aside.
Let us tell you why you should integrate, what the benefits are and what aspects you should pay attention to.
In a previous blog, we explained four main reasons to implement an ERP system. A quick overview of problems in eCommerce businesses:
- There are too many software solutions for back-office processes in place:
Within eCommerce businesses, teams often use different types of software to register processes. This may lead to increased costs for acquiring and maintaining software as well as a decreased efficiency between teams.
- No insight into KPI’s
Not having a centralized system also means having difficulties in tracking eCommerce Key Performance Indicators. ERP solutions ensure the evaluation of KPI’s at any time.
- Inventory problems
Inventory management is one of the challenges that companies face as they grow. Having the right amount of products, at the right time and place, is a crucial part of business operations.
- Working paper-based
Is your business still working paper-based? Or are spreadsheets used to register and save invoices and sales orders? This means that employees spend a lot of time on manually entering data into different systems and an increased risk of manual errors.
Whether you have a small mid-size or large eCommerce company, if you recognize your business in one of these points, integrating an ERP system will be worth the while.
What are the benefits?
You have now identified the problems you might also want to know what the benefits are. Let us show you ten:
- Streamline inventory synchronization, track updates, and provide accurate inventory levels to customers, without hiring staff to manage these tasks.
- Handle increased deman for online orders without extra resources.
- Make sure you always have enough inventory balanced across sales channels and warehouses.
- Automatically notify customers when orders have been shipped and allow them to track the delivery of products.
- Do the same for returns and refunds.
- Simplify how you manage price and product changes to inventory.
- Be flexible and add multiple online (web-stores and marketplaces) and offline (brick & mortar) sales channels, without losing operational efficiency.
- Reduce manual entry to save time and increase output while reducing errors, when entering order, inventory, item, customer and shipping data.
- Decrease software costs by using one system for most of your business processes
- Have teams work together and easily share information between departments.
ERP eCommerce Integration Process
But how can an ERP eCommerce integration help to solve the problems mentioned above?
Before choosing an ERP system and integrating it with your eCommerce platform, make sure you have a map of all data that are used within your business. What processes are in place? In an eCommerce business, this means looking at your sales, inventory, shipments, returns, refunds, purchasing, accounting and sales channels. Of course, every eCommerce business is different so make sure to involve all your teams to create a clear map of your business processes.
Next, decide on how you would ideally store and process your data. What data from your eCommerce channel would you like to have more insight in? What data do your teams need to have access to? What processes need automation? How can inventory problems be solved?
Once you have mapped out your business needs, make sure you find the right partner to help you in evaluating your goals. Show them your map, discuss the possibilities and maybe even add new plans to your ERP schedule. Start the implementation process and experience the benefits immediately!
Evaluate your progress on a regular basis. How is your ROI? Has human error decreased? Have productivity levels gone up? And have you noticed the rise in customer satisfaction?
We would be happy to advise you about the possibilities of integrating Marello with your eCommerce platform. Let us know, we’d be happy to schedule a call!