By Nicole Laurier on Jun 3, 2014 10:41:00 AM
If you run an eCommerce website, you may have discovered it can be both a blessing and a curse. While your web store can attract new customers and increase sales, a whole new set of costs and operational challenges can crop up if your online shopping cart is NOT integrated with your accounting software or ERP system.
Here are 4 signs that it's time to consider the benefits of integrated eCommerce and ERP.
1. You Can't Keep Up with Online Order Volume
If you're only processing a handful of orders every day, then integration between your online shopping cart and ERP software may not be as critical for you.
But if your online order volume is growing, the amount of time it takes to pull orders down from the website and then manually re-enter all of that data into your ERP system can cripple your business.
2. Your Labor Costs are Climbing
Most companies would tell you that the most significant benefit of eCommerce ERP integration is the labor cost savings.
That's mostly because duplicate data entry or manual re-keying isn't scalable. More orders require more people, more data entry, more resources, and increasing operational costs that can seriously diminish any benefit you gain from the increased order volume/revenue from your online store.
Simply put, you're working harder for online sales that end up being less profitable because of the cost to process them.
3. Errors Are Up
For the same reasons as #1 and #2 above, most companies discover that costly errors can increase significantly when their online shopping cart and ERP/accounting software are disconnected.
Let's face it ... duplicate data entry is tedious, repetitive, and boring. When people are manually re-keying hundreds or even thousands of web orders into the ERP system, it's really easy to lose focus and transpose numbers, enter the wrong quantity, enter the wrong shipping address, or even lose track of a stack of orders completely.
All of which can lead to a drop in customer satisfaction.
4. Inventory and Customer Data is Out of Whack
When integrating eCommerce with ERP, much of the focus is on increasing efficiency, reducing operating costs, and eliminating errors.
But an often overlooked benefit of integration is the sharing and synchronization of data between your online store and ERP system. That means when an order is placed online, inventory in the back office accounting or inventory system is automatically updated and decremented.
The same holds true for customer information and other data. For example if a customer adds or changes a shipping address, that new data is automatically shared and synchronized both online and in your ERP system.
The Benefits of eCommerce ERP Integration
By integrating your online shopping cart and ERP software, you can eliminate all 4 of these costly challenges and turn your online store into a strategic and profitable advantage - instead of a drag on company resources.
Through integration, orders placed on your website are automatically transferred to your ERP system in real-time and without any human intervention or duplicate data entry. Regardless of whether you process 1 or 1,000 orders, it's the same fast, efficient, consistent, and totally error-free process every single time.
When you leverage integration technology like BPA Platform (formerly TaskCentre), there's no hard-coding or complex, technical programming required.
And the beauty with BPA Platform is that not only can the integration be built and customized to your specific needs, but it's a suite of tools that offers other features such as workflow automation and triggered business alerts.