The best e-commerce firms use ERP integrity tools, which are their secret weapons. ERP stands for enterprise resource planning and refers to the software and systems that link all company activities, including production, supply chain, sales, and procurement. ERP essentially unifies various procedures into a single system.
An ERP integration tool can’t be put to use immediately away. It must be connected with the structures and objectives of a business. In order to assist enterprise-level planning and operations, it combines data from the financial, logistical, and human resources sectors.
A large-scale e-commerce enterprise must have a centralized ERP, and your selected integrations reflect your success. This manual will show you the fundamentals of ERP integration and how to create an ERP system immediately.
Table of Contents
What is an ERP integration?
By linking and synchronizing your ERP software with other business systems, you can capture, track, and analyze real-time data from a single truth source with greater efficiency. This process is known as ERP integration.
ERP integration creates a uniform database and allows users to log in through the ERP system by mapping fields from several software programs to work together.
Software that is hosted on-premises or in the cloud can be used to integrate ERP systems. Reduce human data entry by automating company processes and workflows with applications not included in the ERP software system.
ERP API integration
The communication between software and outside applications is outlined by an application program interface (API). APIs are required in ERP integration solutions to ensure that other programs can access the data from the ERP application.
In other words, an API serves as a data intermediary between an ERP system and an application requesting data. As long as the request has the necessary permissions, the API receives it and responds with the requested data. Additionally, the API regulates what data can be requested and how it is delivered.
APIs have existed for some time. The ability to transfer data across programs is made possible via APIs, regardless of the computing hardware you use. An API is used in each of the following scenarios: transferring data from Word to Excel, utilizing a Facebook ID to log into apps and websites, and saving your game’s progress to the Dropbox cloud.
The reason APIs are so popular is straightforward: they make it possible for programs’ internal functions to communicate data without divulging all of the source code, saving time and lowering the chance of security breaches.
APIs do the exact same tasks in the world of ERP applications. The third-party suppliers a client chooses to work with use APIs to offer more capabilities based on ERP data.
The importance of ERP integration
According to research conducted by G2, over 53% of organizations believe that ERP is one of the industries where expenditures should be prioritized. ERP integration enables your company to establish a single source of truth, which makes it simple and quick to transfer pertinent information across departments.
The most popular ERP integration techniques comprise:
- Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS): It is a cloud-based ERP integration building and deployment tool. Organizations can link cloud-based applications using iPaaS and deploy them without setting up or managing hardware.
- Custom ERP integrations: A company creating its own core ERP integration is meant by this. Programmers can match the API code of a piece of software with the ERP system they wish to interface with. They take time and technological resources.
- Vendor-built ERP integrations: These are pre-built connectors that let you link particular applications.
ERP integration can speed up order fulfillment for firms and enhance same-day delivery of online orders. Consider how many hours of labor you could save each month.
Without an ERP link, the business would have to manually update inventory counts in its ERP system and e-commerce platform. As sales volume and inventories grow, it is challenging to scale ineffective, labor-intensive operating processes.
The beauty of ERP integration is just that. Whether you’re a B2B, B2C, or DTC company, as your operations become more sophisticated, so does your business. You end up needing more than what isolated, disconnected solutions can offer.
An ERP also incorporates other elements of e-commerce, including stock management, purchasing and supply chain management, CRM, fulfillment, and data on sales and payments. The business will be inconsistent if there is a compartmentalized or fragmented strategy.
Types of ERP integrations
Below you can review the types of ERP integrations.
Every e-commerce business needs a systematic approach to managing leads and clients. Sales and marketing teams can utilize CRM systems to manage customer data such as purchases and contact information. Businesses utilize this information to understand their clients better and decide how to communicate with them.
For instance, an ERP and CRM interface between Salesforce and Netsuite by Oracle passes data back and forth to provide businesses with a 360-degree view of their customers. Your business will have all the required information in one location, whether for sales, support, marketing, or shopper data. Utilizing the data makes it simple to design interactions that strengthen client relationships.
E-commerce integration comprises connecting your online ERP integration application with your e-commerce platform. They enhance the overall performance of your e-commerce store, improving customers’ shopping experiences.
Data like leads, customers, orders, shipping dates, taxes, and customer help are all tracked by an e-commerce ERP integration. Making data available to all employees who manage the online business is the aim of the ERP integration.
Human resources are the department with the most administrative duties. Managing HR data can quickly become too much to handle with regard to payroll, hiring, evaluating candidates, and making job offers. Any organization that handles critical HR data faces financial costs as well as a security risks.
Software for business intelligence (BI) is made to collect, examine, and present data. Due to its ability to give firms access to their data, BI software is crucial for businesses going through a digital transition. Data is quickly gathered and visualized so stakeholders can gain new perspectives and take action to improve their bottom line.
In some circumstances, your ERP system may have a BI feature. However, the functionality is frequently insufficient for enterprises that receive enormous amounts of data daily.
When a company integrates a third-party BI solution with ERP integration, these insights are readily available to any authorized employee. They also have access to sophisticated reporting, which enables a company to maximize the value of each piece of data it receives.
Some ERP systems, like BI software, might have project management tools. However, many businesses that start constructing their ERP systems already utilize more sophisticated project management tools. Anyone can see who is working on what and when it will be delivered when a project management module is created in your ERP. Understanding these routines promotes departmental responsibility and can assist businesses in resolving minor project concerns before they become major ones.
Benefits of ERP integration
Think of your company’s operations as an automobile engine. You can determine whether it’s time for maintenance or if you have another 1,000 miles before your next oil change by being able to glance under the hood while the car is running.
ERP connectors provide a comprehensive view of your business and all active apps. In addition to many other things, they can support real-time tracking of critical performance indicators and data integrity. Let’s examine some of the main advantages of ERP integration.
ERP integration examples: Best practices
These typical company procedures can all benefit from ERP integration.
It’s critical to upload orders to your ERP solution as soon as they are added to your customer relationship management (CRM) platform. If you don’t, you risk missing the opportunity to complete the remaining preliminary steps in the client engagement, such as sending your invoice and onboarding the client.
You can combine an ERP program like NetSuite with a CRM program like Salesforce to avoid any delays. From there, you can set up a procedure such that whenever a new customer order is placed in the CRM, a duplicate order is immediately created in the ERP system.
Oversee important documents in your ERP
It can be difficult to keep track of every document in your ERP and update any of them over time.
By combining the platform with storage software you are familiar with using, like Box, you can find any object more quickly. Once integrated, you can immediately share the ERP’s documents with the storage app and enable seamless syncing of changes performed on one platform to the other.
Create an invoice in your ERP in real-time
You can use your ERP integration solution with a spend management tool, such as Coupa, and set up a workflow so that a duplicate invoice is generated in the ERP whenever an invoice enters the spend management tool. This will speed up the processing of invoices and ensure that no payment is ever late—or worse, never made.
Purchase order approval
You will require internal permissions for purchase orders to function properly so your team can swiftly access the resources they require.
When a PO is submitted for review, the necessary approvers are notified via a channel in the business communications platform and asked to review the document. This workflow can be built to address this business process by connecting your ERP and business communications platform. Once they have, they can simply click a button on the business communications platform to accept (or reject) it.
ERP integration tools
These are some of the most significant ERP integration tools you can use:
The most popular database management system on the internet is probably MySQL. It also uses SQL (Structured Query Language) for adding, accessing, and managing content in a database and is open source. It is well known for its speedy processing, established dependability, simplicity, and application versatility.
It’s an additional open-source database choice. It is referred to as the world’s first engagement database and is meant to assist in delivering ever-richer and ever-more-personalized experiences for both customers and employees.
With interactive data visualization features, this business analytics application claims to help you view your company’s data in new ways.
Businesses can automate and improve their business processes using the BizTalk business process management (BPM) server. It gives firms strong tools that can aid in developing, designing and implementing those processes.
Businesses use add-on software with smoothly integrated API or flat file interfaces and an ESB (enterprise service bus) for communications to combine processes and workflows with an ERP system. The add-on and ERP software are compatible because add-on software fields are linked to ERP software fields. In order to use integrated software functions, users must log into the ERP system.
ERP connection enables customers to customize and expedite system workflows and business processes to match their own internal procedures. Businesses conduct business process re-engineering (BPR) regularly to map, evaluate, and streamline workflows and get rid of processing time bottlenecks. Automation from an intelligently built ERP integration system helps businesses optimize their processes.