Challenges Faced in Ecommerce ERP Integration and How to Overcome

SoftwareSuggest

SoftwareSuggest

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: October 30, 2020

eCommerce integration involves the coordination that takes place between a company’s website and its back-end accounting, inventory, and ERP system. With a proper integration in place, you can enjoy the flow of information bi-directionally, i.e., between the two systems, and you will just have to enter data into the system once. 

Benefits of ERP integration in eCommerce business

With an ERP system, large and medium-sized eCommerce businesses can save plenty of time in entering the information manually. The following are a few benefits of ERP systems that a business can enjoy:

  1. Easily share data between the departments
  2. Make accurate forecasts
  3. Reduce administrative and operations costs
  4. Provide access to the centralized database anywhere in the world
  5. Increase productivity due to a high degree of automation
  6. Provide accuracy and security to the information

Top 7 Challenges in eCommerce ERP Integration

Successful integration between an eCommerce platform and an ERP software goes beyond a mere exchange of data. It is a flawless integration of the complex business process for promoting your business to the next level.

Since most companies are not clearly able to understand the complexities required for a successful E-commerce and ERP integration, their results don’t meet their expectations. Over here, we have explored a few challenges that you must resolve for achieving a successful eCommerce – ERP integration.

1. Integrating with intention

Your intention behind the process of integration should be clear and crisp. Your expectations should be quantitative and not qualitative. You should be ready with a clear set of quantifiable expectations such as sales growth numbers, the increased percentage in growth, and improved customer experience. Be ready with a fitting picture of your organization’s ultimate goal.

Looking for ERP Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of Best ERP Software solutions.

2. Lack of clear understanding of requirements

Most often, business owners/representatives spend almost negligible time with their integration partners. This is the reason why the understanding of the business integration requirements is often pretty unclear, which may lead to project delays, cost overruns, and an increase in efforts. A clear understanding of all the requirements is an essential part of successful integration.

The integration partners should have a clear picture of all the challenges they have to address along with the objective behind the integration.

It is a good practice for all the stakeholders to map the entire business flow using proper workflow management. Having a pictorial representation of the business process will layout a concise understanding of the process and its requirements.

3. Insufficient testing for eCommerce ERP integration

Testing is an essential step, but it also happens to be one of the most neglected processes involved in successful integration. It is common for projects to get delayed, and every time a project is running late, the worst affected area is testing. Testing is carried out to check whether the software is working fine and to see if the system can meet the business needs or not. Testing takes place to ensure the intention behind the entire integration process goes well. So it is very important to properly plan and execute the testing phase for successful integration.

4. Training and support

The management should refrain from using the integration system until and unless they have not provided adequate training to those who are going to use it. Generally, training comes after the testing phase; so, it involves a very small phase with a severe time crunch. This is why it gets very difficult for end-users to work with the tool.

Now, even if the entire business process is flawlessly integrated, if the users who would be running the tool are poorly trained, the tool will result in a bad investment. This can further lead to the failure of a rather successful project. Therefore, proper training and support to the end-users should be mandatory for a successful and sustained integration system.

5. Integrate for the future

You need to have a long-term view for a successful ERP integration. While short-term goals are great when they are achieved, this shortsightedness may turn dangerous for the future. You need to have clear intentions about what should happen after the short-term milestones are fulfilled.

Organizations that often integrate and work without considering the upcoming events often find themselves in an unwanted situation in the future. Therefore, planning for the long-term will help you determine how well the integration will roll out for your company’s future.

6. Stiff integrations

Another most overlooked aspect of such an application integration process is how intertwined an application can be. All the applications that are so closely assembled with other operating systems remain well-linked but are also highly dependent on each other.

It can get difficult to carry out a migration process for such applications. Plus, the closely combined applications do not react well to any updates or changes, are very brittle, and costly to modify.

Ensure your eCommerce and ERP system has a few independent aspects to avoid any such future troubles.

7.  Limited capabilities

There are several ERP applications that are not well integrated within an enterprise’s IT environment. This can directly affect how quick and well a company can interact with its customers. 

Usually, a customer’s response time lags every time an employee tries to work across different applications or business processes, which are not effectively equipped to work together. 

Don’t forget, every time an enterprise falls behind in their response time, they are at risk of violating SLA and subpar customer service scores.

Top 5 eCommerce ERP Software you need to know about it

The market is flooded with several ERP solutions to operate eCommerce business processes effectively. Let’s take a look at some of the leading ones right here.

1. Sage

Established in 1981, Sage is designed to provide ERP solutions specifically designed for small and medium-sized firms. You can enjoy Sage’s ERP system in three different products:

  1. X3 for enterprises
  2. 100 for small and mid-sized light manufacturers
  3. Sage 300 for small and mid-sized businesses with multiple locations

Sage 100 offers modules for core distribution, manufacturing, accounting, business intelligence, customer relationship management, as well as human resources. X3 is pretty much web based, and it is specifically designed for mobile devices. You can also configure it to your company’s specific user roles, requirements, and preferences.

2.  Oracle Netsuite

For over 20 years now, organizations have used Oracle NetSuite to grow, adapt to change, and scale in business. With NetSuite, you can enjoy a suite of cloud-based applications, including professional services automation, financials / ERP, HR management, and omnichannel commerce.

The software is used in over 203 countries and dependent territories by more than 15,000 customers. Oracle NetSuite ERP allows users to consolidate in real-time.

It also includes foreign currency translation and automated intercompany eliminations. It is a web-based solution that runs on a range of Internet browsers. The company ensures full safety with its built-in security controls and data center.

3. Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft offers ERP software to companies of all sizes with its Dynamics 365 platform. The platform consists of six separate products mentioned here- Microsoft AX, GP, SL, NAV, CRM, and RMS.

Microsoft Dynamics was started in 2001 after the acquisition of Great Plains Software, Soloman, and Navison; and Axapta in 2002.

Combining all these technologies make up the Microsoft Business Solutions Group (MBS), which is a major supplier of ERP solutions worldwide. While Dynamics GP, NAV, and SL are used by small and medium enterprises, Dynamics AX, on the other hand, is best suited for larger companies.

 4.  Batchmaster

BatchMaster Software presents users process manufacturing software solutions involving chemical, nutraceutical, food, and pharmaceutical industries.

You can run the manufacturing application using QuickBooks, Sage 100 & 300, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and SAP Business One financials. also choose to upgrade to an end-to-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that supports financials, supply chain process manufacturing, CRM, and more. 

Some of its impressive supported process manufacturing capabilities include R&D, recipe, and formula management, packaging BOM management, scheduling, warehousing, analytics, reporting, etc. With the optional mobile application, you can perform production and warehousing tasks using smart devices.

5. SYSPRO

SYSPRO is an ERP solution designed for manufacturers and distributors, and it can be deployed, on-premise, in the cloud or through a hybrid model. It is easily accessible from any device. You can license SYSPRO through either a perpetual or subscription pricing model. 

It offers an end-to-end, fully integrated business solution including order management, planning and scheduling, supply chain management, accounting, inventory management, warehouse management, production, and much more. 

SYSPRO focuses on delivering tools for integrating technologies such as ML, IoT, AI, cloud, and consumer-grade user experience (UX) into your eCommerce business’s ERP system.

Final Thought

By flawlessly integrating eCommerce and ERP together, you can promote your business to the next level. Just ensure it is planned well and executed properly.

While the process is not difficult or risky, you need to have a clear intention right at the beginning so that you can easily work around it. Get a seamlessly set integration by planning your project and overcoming these basic challenges.

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