Benefits Of Integrating Your ERP With eCommerce
The need for eCommerce integration with ERP is often overlooked. Perhaps this is because people think it will cause disruption to systems and downtime, which doesn’t seem worth it. It is very worth the time and effort, however. An integrated solution will reduce your cost of operations and increase revenue.
Some of the main benefits of integrating are:
- Greater productivity
Integrated systems streamline business processes by reducing the amount of human involvement you need in your data processes. All the data from your online sales will be automatically integrated into your ERP system, in real time. You can view your customer information, order details, payment and shipping information in the same place as all your back-end information such as inventory. With this comes the huge benefit of removing the need for data entry multiple times. When employees manually enter web orders into your ERP system, it’s tiring work that makes it easy to put in the wrong numbers or shipping information. With less redundancy and less chance of error comes greater efficiency and much happier employees who can focus other tasks that need their time.
- Happier customers
When you have the most up-to-date product information synced with your available inventory and customer information in one place, delivering the optimal customer experience becomes easy. Less chance of error, fewer customer calls to resolve issues and a supply chain that works like it’s meant to means increased customer satisfaction levels. Integration will also shorten your cycle from order to delivery, another big ‘yes’ in the customer’s book. When your data is in real time, it allows your order to flow seamlessly from the front-end to the back-end making the time between receiving orders and picking, packing and shipping shorter. More often than not, a happy customer keeps coming back!
- Increased savings
With an integrated system, all the data from your online sales will immediately show in your ERP system. With real-time visibility of the required product, you can better plan your inventory management. You can make purchases in bulk based on the patterns you’ll see from the reports you can pull. You can stock up on the SKUs that have been moving and cut down on others which might perhaps be seasonal. The automated streamlining of your inventory can also save you the cost of hiring staff to manage these tasks.
- Holistic business intelligence
While eCommerce apps can give you sales reports, integrating with ERP can provide comprehensive reporting, which includes profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow and more. This gives the organization end-to-end transparency and consistency. For business owners, especially medium-sized ones, this means better control and the ability to deliver on your competitive advantage. Up-to-the-minute business intelligence allows you to stay flexible and add or reduce online and offline sales channels with efficiency. You can also better gear up for periods of increased demand when you have the data to back up your hunch.
It’s 2016. eCommerce is here to stay, and more people are buying online now that ever before. For the business owner, eCommerce means retailing at a much lower cost as well. With that plethora of advantages, to us, it seems like integrated systems are the only way to go.
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!