There’s a concept in market, you might have heard of it- Integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). But what does it really mean? How will it help my business? Why should I go for ERP? There are many questions that come to mind when we hear ERP.
What is ERP integration?
Business often engages two or more departments to make different processes run smoothly and efficiently. Integrating your ERP primarily means to join functions of one department to another via centralized system. In simple terms, it means sharing of data within a business.
Consider a business where the owner is using an accounting software, a Magento based Ecommerce website and an Inventory management software. And the business has reached to a point where you can longer update each software individually. The owner would like that the product sold on website is automatically get updated in Inventory management system and the record is also created in Accounting software. This can be achieved via ERP. You are integrating your independent systems together. The best part is that it is done on single comprehensive database. The information of one department is readily available to the other department under one roof.
It helps to create the smooth flow of information that can be used to satisfy the needs at department level as well as organization level.
Some department level modules that can be integrated into one ERP system are Accounting and Finance, Human Resource, Inventory management, CRM’s, Dispatch management, Marketing and sales etc.
Why Use ERP?
One of the most important reason would be – Optimized Business process. Not only the business process will be efficient but it will save your lots and lots of time and energy. It’s like bringing various business aspects in harmony.
It gives you a better risk management.
It can be a start of your stress free life.
One more reason of using ERP is that it’s everywhere!
There’s cloud ERP and mobile ERP, in today’s scenarios these two covers ‘Everywhere’
We can even connect our social media to the ERP systems. And we all know the impact that social media can have on our businesses.
With help of cloud based solutions, Integrated ERP can reduce the physical distance between your business locations to zero. As if all the operations are getting performed in one location. To add further there can be an additional feature of mobility with the help of mobile apps for your smartphones and tablets. So you can access information on the run.
If you are worrying that too much information will be available to many people then there’s solution for that too.
Integrated ERP solutions also provide role based access to various integrated ERP modules.
How will your Business benefit from an Integrated ERP?
It facilitates the decision making process as it gives you ample Business Intelligence. This is backed by various Reports It will help to plan the different activities in your business.
It can be helpful in monitoring and analyzing sales activity, which in turn will help to make proper marketing strategy.
Inventory Management which can become headache if you have multistore and multi website. This process can be much easier and efficient with integrated ERP.
Communication with your customer and addressing your customer’s grievances can be managed timely, which is a very crucial for any business. After all Customer relationship is everything for the growth.
The customer Data can be strategically analyzed to boost your business.
What issues you can face when integrating your ERP?
The biggest challenge that you can face is the data format. The data coming from different channels have different data structure and this can possess a huge challenge.
Recently we were integrating an ERP module with Magento 2 Webshop. The data format of the two systems were different. The product attributes and the customer attributes of Magento need to be mapped with the attributes of ERP module.
The data is interchanged either via API or FTP i.e Real time vs Batch integration. Batch integration may fall short when web portal and mobile devices are used.
When the data is migrating in bulk there might come a time when is populating some product can create a conflict. Therefore it become almost impossible to keep the track of product that are successfully imported. Therefore, we implemented the log system to keep the track.
How can we help?
We have developers that not only have dealt with Integrating ERP module with Ecommerce website but also they understand the data coming from different channel to map the right data attribute. We can help you to smoothen the integration process and manage it.