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How to Prepare ECommerce ERP Integration

Modern technology has seen more and more businesses adopt an online approach, especially in the light of the pandemic, where working remotely has become the new normal.

With the rapid boom in the ECommerce industry, how exactly do businessmen and entrepreneurs efficiently manage and monitor their online companies? The answer lies in integrating ERP with ECommerce.

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. An ERP system is software used by companies to run their business on a daily.

ERP incorporates all the processes involved in running a business and creates a channel of communication between the front and back offices of the ECommerce domain. An ERP system will store the company’s data in a single, centralized location so that it is easily accessible and maintains its authenticity.

Integrating ECommerce with an ERP system is vital to promote the efficiency and profitability of a business and ensure that it maintains its competitive edge in the rapidly growing commerce industry.

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What is ERP ECommerce Integration?

ERP ECommerce integration is the use of an ERP system in your ECommerce business to ensure efficient organization and management.

Enterprise Resource Planning is cloud technology that automates communication between front and back offices.

An ECommerce front office consists of a website that houses the company’s online store that caters to customers. A back-office includes all the processes involved in running the business. An ERP system will provide a link between these two fronts so that data from inventory, customers, shipping, and items can be communicated effectively and with minimum human interaction.

ECommerce and ERP integration is particularly important because limit the need for manual tasks and human interaction. This automates the business and significantly decreases human error and time wastage.

An ERP system also presents all the different types of data involved in running a business in one centralized location. Through integration, overall data visibility and authenticity increase and allow data analysts to make more accurate calculations which mitigate risks involved in decision making.

Integration of ECommerce with ERP also leads to an improvement of quality customer service. Since ERP automatically updates the company’s data in real-time with any changes in customer or product information, retailers can provide a more personalized response to customer needs. The latest order information is available instantaneously, leading to not only better-quality customer service, but also faster customer service.

ERP ECommerce integration also means that multiple tasks can take place simultaneously, leading to overall efficiency. For example, an order can be placed and updated in the company’s database in real-time while the company warehouse will process and ship the required item. These two tasks occurring together means that the time from order placement to fulfillment is significantly lessened.

Overall, ERP ECommerce integration is essential in running a modern-day ECommerce business efficiently and productively.

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What are the steps involved in preparing for successful ERP ECommerce Integration?

  1. Make an outline of the processes involved in your ECommerce business

Listing all your business operations will give you a clear idea of what ERP software you need to integrate into your system to meet all your company needs.

Mapping out all the steps involved in your business will help you identify the best way to integrate ERP with ECommerce.

  • Recognize all the major sources of data involved in your company

ERP and ECommerce integration is supposed to create a centralized location of all the critical data involved in your business. Identifying this data is essential because it will help you choose what ERP software would be best suited in accurately recording and updating your stored information.

ERPs specific to certain industries are better equipped to handle their data and your choice of ERP will be heavily influenced by the type of business you run.

  • Label processes as resource, labor or capital intensive

Identifying which processes in business cost you the most time and money wise will help you figure out the key steps in your business that need to be automated.

ERP integration is supposed to simplify your business, so an important part of preparing for integration is understanding which business operations need ERP assistance the most. For example, if accounting and finance management is time consuming and costly for you and your team, investing in an ERP that automates this process will make your business efficient.

  • Calculating the return of investment (ROI) you will receive upon ERP integration

Compare the costs of running your business manually with the cost of using ERP software.

The return of investment calculations will help you determine the profit you will receive from ERP integration. This step is important because it will decide the extent to which you want to integrate ERP in your ECommerce business. A high ROI with ERP integration would mean that complete automation of your company operations would be the most profitable.

These 4 steps need to take place when you prepare for ERP integration because they determine what type of software you will use and the extent of integration your business operations will undergo. Completion of these steps will bring you to the final and most important part of integration preparation: choosing the ERP software to be used.

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What is the 10 Best ERP Software for ECommerce in 2022?

To prepare for ECommerce ERP integration, one of the most crucial steps is choosing which ERP software to use.

ERP software can differ and the one best suited for your business depends on what needs you deem the most important.

Here we have compiled a list of some of the best ERP software in 2022 along with its pros and cons so that your journey to finding an app that is personalized to your needs is made easier.

  1. Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite is the first cloud ERP system. It provides an all-in-one platform that helps organizations automate all their business processes and communicate efficiently.

Oracle NetSuite stores all data in a centralized location and comes with an integrated suite that enables all operations to be run from one center. This provides the company with easy access to data and allows them to monitor their business closely.

With the concise presentation of data in a central location, companies have information at their fingertips to make rapid decisions with lower risks due to increased information credibility.

Oracle NetSuite simplifies the business process by limiting human interaction and cutting down excess communication channels. The software also enables you to expand your online business to a global scale.

Pros:

  • The software has continuous updates which increase its efficiency
  • Oracle NetSuite has excellent customer service and a good support system
  • It allows users to customize it based on their specific business needs
  • A lot of programming functions are pre-built

Cons:

  • Its revenue and expense calculation operations can be a bit lacking and need to be focused on more
  • Oracle and their partners do not provide free in-depth training to learn how to effectively navigate the app
  • It can be slow when it is forming lists or working in certain areas
  • The keyword searches are not very precise
  • SAP ERP

SAP ERP is software that integrates all the crucial business processes on one platform.

The software focuses on being very adaptable and flexible and is customizable to individual business needs. SAP ERP also invests in continuous new updates to keep the software as in sync with modern technology as possible.

The app offers an in-depth analysis of business operations to help owners recognize risk factors and make smarter decisions.

Pros:

  • SAP ERP can be used on any device, including mobile devices, this makes it very accessible
  • It is available in multiple languages and offers excellent support
  • It offers a shortcut option on detailed platforms for faster use
  • It functions via the Cloud and can store and process huge amounts of data in one go

Cons:

  • It may face connectivity issues, especially when using a VPN
  • Subscription is not free and subscription costs are quite high- it may not be affordable for small-scale businesses
  • Installation of the software is time-consuming
  • SAP ERP may not function for a while after an update
  • Sage X3

Sage X3 is a Cloud-based ERP software that integrates all business processes. These include inventory, accounting, customer service, and HR.

The software is suited to all types of business models, ranging from small-scale businesses to large, complex organizations.

Sage X3 focuses on maximizing efficiency and profitability and studies tour business operations to identify any shortcomings that can be rectified.

Pros:

  • It can be used on all devices including mobile devices
  • The app offers customizable features so that it can match the needs specific to each business
  • It is easy to use
  • Ensures data security

Cons:

  • It may have Java Bridge errors and small errors can lead to the entire system being frozen
  • It does not have any centralized update management feature
  • The addition of any new features requires extensive coding and is a time-consuming process
  • Support staff may take a long time to respond to any queries
  • Workday

Workday is an ERP software that focuses on helping businesses plan and organizes their operations, regardless of the scale, more efficiently.

The software is very flexible and focuses on functioning at an accelerated pace compared to other ERP software.

Workday focuses on reducing costly upgrades and any time-consuming feature so that you can work without any distractions.

Workday also integrates all data in one location that is always live so that you can always seek help.

Pros:

  • The app is easy to navigate and is very user-friendly
  • It works even when connectivity is poor and bandwidth is low which means that it can be used while traveling or in remote areas
  • The HR feature is particularly well-designed

Cons:

  • The sign-in process is tedious and time-consuming
  • There are no free training courses that help you learn how to navigate the app and training costs are high
  • Updates may stretch on for long periods
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an ERP software that focuses on maximizing its flexibility and productivity. It is used by Coco-Cola, BMW, and Adobe, making it an extremely lucrative ERP software for large-scale ECommerce businesses.

The software has independent categories that cater to different aspects of business operations, like inventory, finances, and customer service.

It has a built-in analytical feature that helps in smarter decision-making.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is also integrated with other Microsoft applications like Excel and Word to simplify the business process and boost efficiency.

Pros:

  • It can be used offline as well as online
  • It is highly customizable
  • It offers feature like GPS tracking and site route analysis that helps workers perform their tasks with ease
  • Excellent customer services and support are available at every hour

Cons:

  • You need a license to be able to use it and obtaining a license requires rigorous training, making the process costly and time-consuming
  • It is not very easy to integrate with other systems
  • It has old templates which makes it less competitive compared to apps that utilize the latest technology
  • It requires a lot of initial formatting
  • Syspro

Syspro is an ERP software that focuses on the manufacturing and design operations of a business.

The app is flexible and can easily be customized, making it a good match for any business size. Syspro is also a great app to use if you plan on expanding your business size.

The software’s flexibility lies in the fact that it can cater to any type of business, for example, beverages, food, metals, and clothes companies can all be run by Syspro.

Pros:

  • It is very user-friendly and does not require any training
  • Data from previous orders can be reused so that data sections do not need to be refilled with identical information. This feature saves time
  • It has a highly intelligent key search operator
  • Information can be exported to Excel instantly

Cons:

  • The interface may have some bugs
  • Multiple tabs need to be kept open to transfer information
  • It does not have technical support staff to help you in case of any problems
  • Acumatica

Acumatica is a Cloud-based ERP software aimed towards small and medium-sized businesses to help them grow and expand their reach.

The app is highly customizable and incorporates the use of the latest technology like AI, making it competitive in the market.

Acumatica offers data protection and security and its instant analysis feature provides users with rapid updates that lead to smarter decision making.

Pros:

  • It is easy to use and navigate
  • It offers an excellent accounting feature that helps to keep track of finances
  • it is very simple to set up and is cost-effective

Cons:

  • it may be slow to use at times
  • it cannot efficiently cater to a large number of users
  • Infor

Infor is ERP software that is known for being specific to business types. It can be customized to cater to one specific industry, like fashion, construction, food, etc.

The software provides in-depth analytics and warranty tracking features as well.

Pros:

  • Excellent support and customer service that is available around the clock
  • It can be used via mobile devices
  • Its data collection feature is very strong

Cons:

  • It may have forced/unplanned “downtimes” at inconvenient moments
  • Kinetic (Epicor)

Kinetic (Epicor) is ERP software that focuses on expanding businesses and maximizing profitability.

The software is very flexible and allows you to customize it based on your companies needs. Kinetic offers strong accounting, finance, and capital management features so that business owners can efficiently budget and allocate their resources.

The app also allows you to participate in multiple projects at one time.

Pros:

  • Downtime can be scheduled so that it does not disrupt work
  • The data collection feature is very strong
  • It can effectively integrate with Excel
  • It has a very user-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Some features are listed as “hidden” and cannot be used easily
  • Installing the app is tedious and time-consuming
  1. IQMS

IQMS is ERP software that caters to businesses in the manufacturing industry.

IQMS has a wide range of tools specific to manufacturing so that integration to any apps outside of it is not required.

Pros:

  • Crystal Reports are used to create reports
  • Multiple operations can be worked on at the same time
  • The app makes sure that all deliveries are done on time
  • It has a low installation cost

Cons:

  • A lot of users operating it can lead to decreased speed
  • Data importation can take a lot of time
  • The data protection feature is not very strong

Conclusion

Whatever type of ECommerce business you run, integration your company with ERP software is guaranteed to boost your efficiency and profitability. The type of software you use depends on the type and scale of your business. Luckily, with the wide variety of options available in the market, you are sure to find an ERP that matches your needs and compliments your business.

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