E commerce ERP integration happens when a business’ eCommerce website coordinates with its accounting and inventory, or ERP system, which is at the back-end of the organization. When these things are properly integrated, then information can flow in both directions between the different systems. As a result, data only has to be entered one time, which significantly reduces the chance of human error but also of processing speed.
Key Questions to Ask about E Commerce ERP Integration
Before looking into integrating, you need to ask yourself a number of questions, including:
- What are the benefits to be enjoyed by a B2B company by integrating their ecommerce solutions?
- Why should your business in particular consider integration?
- What are the disadvantages of sticking to manual processes?
- What are the difficulties associated with integration?
- What options are available to you?
- What can you expect when you integrate?
The Benefits of E Commerce ERP Integration for a B2B
One of the biggest benefits of integrating is that it will render your entire process more efficient. This is because your inventory levels will automatically be updated where it matters, being:
- At the back end, which happens immediately when someone purchases your product through your website, thereby freeing up time for your in-house staff.
- At the front end, which happens when a product is automatically added to your inventory, thereby making life easier for your customers.
Most of today’s ecommerce businesses use batch updates or one way integration. However, when you opt for two way integration instead, you will ensure that all data flows in real time. It can also integrate with your mobile apps and your ecommerce cloud platform.
So why should you integrate? Mainly because it stops you from being frustrated with the overall process involved in B2B ecommerce. When you opt for two way integration, all your pricing and inventory levels will be accurate in real time for your staff and customers alike. Furthermore, it means that you can cut costs because you won’t need as many members of staff to handle each element of the transactions on your website.
When you integrate your ERP system and your ecommerce sales channel, you will almost instantly become more efficient. This is because all the important independent data – shipping and tracking, customer information, specifics on the item, inventory levels, and order status – will be communicated properly and automatically. Consider all the things that can go wrong when you do this manually:
- Human error means the shipping address can be entered incorrectly.
- Inventory levels may be wrong, meaning products are oversold or sold when they are not in stock.
- You could miss product information, or list incorrect or incomplete information.
Essentially, without two way integration, you could risk your entire business process. You need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable taking that risk, or whether it makes more sense for your business to implement two way integration. While there is a financial cost associated with this, that tends to be much lower than the cost of a single mistake.