What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and how can it help you?
Gartner defines enterprise resource planning (ERP) as "the ability to deliver an integrated suite of business applications." ERP tools integrate many administrative and operational business processes. These include human resources, finance, and inventory levels. Orders and other business processes are also included.
ERPs allow back-office functions to collaborate, giving retailers a central hub for all the information and data they need to run their businesses.
Many small businesses begin with siloed back-end solutions. However, complexity can grow and overwhelm those solutions. For seamless, integrated business operations, bringing these capabilities together in one unified solution improves the connectivity of your processes and procedures. Merchants can expand for many years if their ecommerce platform is connected to multiple systems that support back-office tasks. But you may lose control over your data at some point. You may find your customer data, such as shipping addresses, isn't consistent across systems, or you have to manage multiple warehouses in your current systems. Merchants look for solutions, and Arion ERP is one of the cloud ERPs they can use.
The basics of an Ecommerce ERP
Let's begin by describing the back-office ecommerce workflows ERPs can handle to help you understand how an ERP integrates with an ecommerce platform. This includes fulfilling orders, processing payments, and handling returns. It also involves managing inventory, providing customer support, calculating taxes, and tracking financials.
Phew. Let's take a deep breath. The ERP is a ledger that contains all of your company data. This can be used to analyze everything, from trends in seasonality to inventory production.
As your business grows, all of these tasks become more difficult.
This is where your ERP solution can help. These are some characteristics of an ERP.
Incorporates with other solutions in your tech stack in real-time or in near-real time
It serves as a common database that stores information from all applications
There are three options for deployment: on-premise, cloud, and SaaS
An ERP can integrate with your ecommerce platform either through modules or add-ons or as a prebuilt integration. It's easy to connect the two because they can share data points such as:
Information about the product
Shipping and Returns
Inventory levels and lead times
Diverse tax regulations
Brightpearl, for example, makes it simple for merchants to connect with Arion ERP. This is mainly because they don’t operate like a traditional ERP. Brightpearl's ERP system is different than other ERP systems on the market. It has a wide range of prebuilt connectors and integrations, including a native integration that allows seamless connectivity to your Arion ERP shop. Our Arion ERP software allows you to connect your storefront to the rest of your business requirements. This helps streamline and automate your day-to-day retail companies operations, such as inventory, sales orders, and fulfillment management. It also provides seamless connectivity to your Arion ERP store.
Five Key Features of an ERP
Here are some key advanced features to consider when you are ready to integrate your ERP solution with your ecommerce platform.
Integrate real-time data about ecommerce orders into your financial management and accounting information, such as your accounts payable, receivable, and other financial and accounting information. An example: When an ecommerce order is received into your enterprise ECommerce software, it instantly appears in your sales order and populates your financial statements. Once the payment is processed, revenue is recognized.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Integrating your customer relationship management function into your ERP centralizes the management of leads and contacts, opportunities, accounts, and other related interactions -- throughout the buyer's journey. Your centralized CRM will assign the order to the right customer, regardless of channel. This gives you a complete view of all your customers and lets you see how they interact with you across channels.
Integrated inventory management allows you to keep your inventory current across multiple warehouse locations. You will also be able to see where your inventory is located, whether at a warehouse or in transit.
Shipment, distribution, and warehouse management.
ERP software can automate logistics processes once an order is placed. This includes creating shipping labels, calculating shipping costs, and shipping the order to the warehouse for picking, packing, and shipping. Warehouse workers can use tablets or phones to complete their tasks. Errors are eliminated through lot and serial number tracking, and EDI compliance is handled by external EDI software.
Management of product information.
Product Information Management (PIM) solutions simplify multi-channel sales. They centralize product information such as pricing, options, variants, pricing, pricing for customers, etc. You can update all information from one location and send it to your channels directly.
Also Read : Ecommerce ERP: What Is It?
Is ERP a must for your business?
As you grow from a small business, you can't rely on multiple systems with weak integrations. Everyone will be impacted by a lack of control, data, and consistency.
Brightpearl is a solution that automates and streamlines the more complex operations of ecommerce businesses as they grow.
Review analysis is a good way to determine if you have reached this stage. 77% of 1-star reviews relate to problems after the purchase button. This could include delayed delivery or incorrect shipping. These issues are usually due to inefficient manual workflows or human error on the operations side of the house. This is a sign that your business models needs an intelligent automated operating system.
These are additional indicators that you might be ready to go for an ERP research.
Scaling is difficult: Maybe you've been doing well with the basics, but your current software solution may limit your market expansion or your global ability to grow.
Tech is a collection of disparate systems. As technology evolves, you start to notice that the systems that aren't compatible with each other don't work well together. It's likely that your new accounting programme won't function with your current human resources software. You're tired of trying to find a solution. Your company is not delivering the best customer experience. If customers and staff are mobile, it's time for you to upgrade to one that suits your needs. Suppose you don't feel you have the financial resources to meet your customer's expectations, and your staff doesn't have the tools to succeed. In that case, they will go to a competitor.
An ERP can bring you many benefits.
People may be unable to see the benefits of ecommerce operations when they think about ERPs. This is especially true if they imagine legacy ERP systems used by large enterprises. ERP systems designed for ecommerce offer many benefits that can increase productivity, customer retention rates, revenue, and overall profitability. ERPs enable businesses to function more efficiently and effectively by automating warehouse management, fulfillment processes, and accounting. Merchants can then focus on growing activities such as adding new products, increasing fulfillment times, and marketing campaigns. This allows employees to have more freedom and creativity, which is what helps businesses grow and succeed.
Establish a central, integrated data hub.
An ERP system integrates your data, allowing you to see all aspects of your business management resources. It also ensures that your data is accurate and reliable. This data-driven, singular perspective will help you make the right decisions to move your business forward.
Increase reporting and forecasting.
You can view all your data from one place to compare sales, finance, logistics, and procurement and see how they impact each other. Your historical data will also be more comprehensive. You'll be able to better forecast demand with comprehensive historical data and real-time insight into trends.
Increase operational efficiency
The key to process standardization is automation. Your ERP and ecommerce solutions automatically exchange data, so your staff doesn't have to manually enter the data. This saves time and prevents mistakes.
Let's take an example. When a customer places an online order, it triggers the next process stage. This automates order management. Your system will then automatically show you when your order was shipped, its status in transit, and the impact on your inventory. You can save time and reduce human error. Brightpearl is much more than an ERP. Our solution supports scalable commerce. We are proud of our wide range of prebuilt connectors and integrations to third-party services and apps. This allows us flexibility in developing your ecommerce experience. Brightpearl's key advantages are that merchants can save time and regain control of their operations by automating key retail workflows. This allows them to grow confidently.
Tighten inventory control.
It is crucial to have real-time inventory visibility to prevent stock-outs and assure supply chain management software. You can save money by streamlining your sourcing process and improving the efficiency of your warehouse. You can also optimize your inventory costs by using better sales forecasting.
Strengthen and build customer relationships
Enterprise resource planning software that include CRM functionality allow you to combine sales data with customer information to better tailor messaging and promotions. These offers will also be available to you, which will allow you to optimize your marketing efforts in the future.
Marketing is not the only department that can delight customer service. Your support team is a key part of customer retention and loyalty. Having access to all information regarding customer interaction and activity gives them an advantage. Your ability to give customers information about delivery status and when they can expect to receive their order will be appreciated by them.
Optimize your omnichannel experience.
No matter what your channel mix looks like:
Ecommerce storefront + Amazon Marketplace
Brick-and-mortar + online store
Ecommerce storefront + Insta checkout + eBay
Or any combination of these, you must be providing a consistent, cohesive shopping experience that includes trusted information.
ERP integrations will allow you to manage inventory across all channels, provide up-to-date product information optimized for each channel, and send targeted messages to past buyers or potential buyers at the right time.
Increase the visibility of KPIs
You can create dashboards from your central data that provide you with the sales, marketing, and finance information you require at a glance. You can customize the functionality to create dashboards that are unique for each individual based on what data they require. You can gain insight faster and more quickly than ever before and analyze trends in real time.
You need the right ERP solution to optimize your online business for omnichannel operations. An cloud ERP can make your tech stack more sophisticated. This can lead to some confusion, but it also offers many benefits.
Improve your KPI reporting
Increasing operational efficiency in terms of productivity and spending
Get a handle on your inventory: supply, demand, and cost
Stabilizing your customer relationships
What is the most important thing? It is important to ensure that your ERP integrates with your ecommerce platform. Arion ERP offers prebuilt integrations to many ERP solutions.