July 20, 2017
Integrating your eCommerce platform with your enterprise resource planning software can interconnect disparate parts of your business, improving data visibility and accuracy. Breaking data out of silos can lead to faster order processing, improved visibility into shipping requirements and better customer experiences. Achieving these goals is possible through a smooth ERP integration process that aligns data across lines of the business to create transparency and get users the information they need when they need it. Following these five best practices can ensure a smooth integration:
1. Identify what should be integrated for ERP
Identifying what data generated by your eCommerce site needs to be incorporated into the ERP is vital. Data pertaining to orders, product information, inventory and similar matters are common staples of an ERP integration, but they are only the starting point. Do you need customer data to be moved into the ERP, or can that reside within Magento without limiting your capabilities?
The process of identifying what to integrate is a critical business discussion. It is important to analyze your processes, ideal customer journey and brand goals as you decide what data to integrate. The goal here is to ensure the technical data integration capabilities align with what you are trying to achieve as a business.
2. Consider timing and triggering
As you establish data workflows between your ERP and Magento platforms, you must also consider the timing for how different processes will trigger. For example, there are strict laws regulating the amount of time allowable between when payment is accepted for goods and when items need to ship. As such, payment should only be captured after the ERP system has verified readiness to fulfill the order and triggered the fulfillment event.
3. Ensure tracking information gets back to the site
As your ERP system processes shipping details and sets up an order tracking number, it is vital to get that information back to the Magento site quickly so it can include it in customer emails. Amazon has set new standards for efficiency in terms of quick visibility into shipping, and this kind of data integration simultaneously helps retailers keep up with that pace and avoid double data entry.
4. Take advantage of middleware opportunities
Multichannel selling creates a wide range of data integration challenges, including handling different API connectors and a variety of business rules that do not necessarily belong solely to your Magento or ERP platform. Middleware solutions can streamline data workflows and make it easier to interconnect information across your ERP and Magento platforms by acting as a hub. A middleware system also creates an added layer of security by keeping the front-office functions of the web platform segregated from the back-office ERP system.
5. Evaluate other value opportunities for ERP Integration
Maximizing the potential value of an ERP integration plan becomes possible when organizations look beyond low-hanging fruit and consider the full scope of potential value opportunities. Working to integrate data between platforms can deliver a wide range of benefits, including:
Making it easier to handle large volumes of small-price units, contributing to efficiency gains that increase value.
Improving scalability to prepare you for future growth.
Maximizing the value of existing Magento investments.
Automating more components of customer returns.
Integrating ERP systems with Magento offers organizations an opportunity to drive efficiency gains. These include streamlined data workflows across the entire business. Following these best practices can ensure you achieve that goal in the most efficient way possible.
Pixafy is a full-service eCommerce agency anchored in tradition and deeply invested in the future of digital commerce. We are online retail experts that specialize in B2C and B2B implementations. Pixafy is a sister company to Net@Work, a leading ERP integrator, and well-recognized partner of Sage, NetSuite, and other best-of-breed technologies. With our combined ecosystem and expertise across business, technology, and commerce we provide more valuable and comprehensive solutions to our customers.
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