Client Login
Menu

ERP & e-commerce - Can a Cloud ERP help a modern online business survive & thrive?

This year has seen businesses adopt digital change like never before!

For some this has been due to planned modernisation projects but we are also seeing that projects are rushed due to unprecedented growth through what are undoubtedly extraordinary times.  However this has led to complete business and consumer acceptance for trading via online presence. Our larger growth clients are in and amongst the most active for on-line presence brands in Australia. In these cases, given the current circumstances, they have seen significant growth due to physical stores being shut down and consumer confidence rocketing for on-line transactions associated with great return policies!  We have seen clients of all shapes and sizes from Hobby Stores to Australia's largest on-line retailer deploy new systems and all have rapidly moved their solutions and services online. According to new data from IBM US Retail Index, the pandemic has accelerated the inevitable "balanced" shift from physical stores to online stores by roughly 5 years and with that, acceptance. Consumer and Business (B2B and B2C) are ordering online more than ever and many eCommerce businesses are finding it hard to keep up with the demand, effectively centralise and manage Inventory, warehousing and the associated Finance implications.

So before we dive into why your eCommerce business needs an ERP system, lets quickly outline what is an ERP system. 

erp-for-ecommerce-banner

What is an ERP System?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a solution that brings together all the processes of a business into a single integrated system. This solution allows different business management applications such as Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce platforms and Point-of-Sale to seamlessly work together with your Warehouse. All the back-office functions, such as Purchasing, Inventory, Warehouse management, and Planning can be completed harmoniously within the ERP software. When your ERP is paired with e-commerce, they work as one, and you benefit from a single, unified data hub that eliminates silos of information.

Finer detail on Inventory - Wiise 1MYOB Advanced

Inventory in the ERP becomes the single point of truth.

As a consequence your e-commerce website reflects accurate availability and this integrated process keeps your data, processes and people organised with a streamlined business process where the right ERP system and crucial touch points are deployed. For example, a customer has just completed the checkout process on your website. Your ERP software may then send the customer an automated confirmation email, instructs the Warehouse to pick and despatch the goods with integration into carriers for shipping thereby providing live status of orders with Inventory information being spot-on!  From Planning to your Shop-front (i.e. e-commerce or Orders coming in via Sales Reps) your Inventory and Sales data is always available real-time for all to see and action!

With ERP software as the central source of truth for Inventory implemented to your business, your customer service is exceptional because your customer is kept in the loop on the sales process. Your business benefits from the software because your inventory data remains accurate and you remove manual processes. You are organised throughout the sale and each step of the process is automated.

ERP components for e-commerce

Netstock-inventory-production

When you implement ERP software and integrate with your e-commerce functions, it can make many tasks simpler, faster or redundant. The specific ERP functions outlined below depends on the type of business you run and the software you integrate. However, most ERP software helps with:

  • Order placement: Your integrated ERP software can help in the order placement process by automatically setting into motion the next steps that your business requires.
  • Customer updates: With your ERP software integrated into your e-commerce platform, you can send automatic communications to your customer. Keep your customers up-to-date with updates such as when an order is received successfully, when it is despatched, or indeed an item has been delayed in the shipping process.
  • Simplify changes: Simplify changes with an ERP system that can assist in changing prices within product categories, making it easier to mark down several item categories.
  • Inventory details: When an item is purchased, an integrated ERP system automatically changes the inventory count and maintains - indeed as the picker goes to bin they can be instructed to do a stock-count.

Benefits of integrated ERP and e-commerce

Benefits will differ according to the system you implement. However, all ERP solutions offer, to a greater or lesser degree, benefits to a company’s online ordering processes and procedures, including:

Banner---inventory-and-distribution-SAP-Business-One-V10

  • Ensuring stock is sufficient: Avoid human error and minimise time spent on hand-keying stock in your system by implementing an ERP system. ERP solutions automatically update stock, ensuring these numbers are accurate and current so you can avoid any awkward communications with your customers.
  • Simplifying order tracking: With a number of customer centric ecommerce out there, customers want to know where their orders are and when they can be expected. They expect this transparency as a minimum. An ERP solution updates order tracking and automatically alerts customers on the whereabouts of their orders as needed so you don't have to worry about communicating those changes. 
  • Automating accounting tasks: eliminate human error by automating accounting tasks. An ERP solution that assists with accounting can ensure your business turns-in accurate numbers to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) each year, reducing the likelihood of tax errors.
  • Handling increases in demand: If your business has deployed a capable ERP solution, you won’t have to worry about increased sales or e-commerce traffic. ERP software can continue to automate services for you without the need for additional staff.

ERP Systems and e-Commerce integration

Inecom has worked with many eCommerce businesses and integrated SAP Business One or MYOB Advanced or Dynamics Business Central as the main ERP system. Our team has extensive experience with working with e-commerce and POS partners in integrating Shopify, WooCommerce or Magento. Please book a free assessment with us to learn how we can help your growing e-Commerce business thrive! 

book-free-assessment-CTA

Free Initial Assessment

Book a free initial assessment with us where we understand your business problem and suggest a solution which suits you best and ensures growth for your business.