An ERP system (enterprise resource planning) is a company which develops a vast range of software. That is specially designed to handle the various functions related to businesses. ERP is beneficial for billing, transactions, payments, cash management, and supply chain etc. Industries can get the complete transformation and integration with the help of ERP systems. The industries which indulge in wholesale distribution, E-Commerce and retailing are getting benefits of ERP solutions.
However, it was initially developed to automate core back-office functions. But now, it has grown into business intelligence that is capable of handling even front office functions. As the scope of ERP functionality is increasing day by day, then you don’t think that you must integrate your business with ERP applications. Thus, let’s take a look into the importance of ERP integration for your business.
What is the meaning of ERP Integration?
ERP integration provides a link between ERP software and other business software. The integration is connected with EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), eCommerce (front-end), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and marketing tools. In brief, by connecting the different points a business enters to input, track, manage and output data which is prominent for the growth. For example, in an e-commerce storefront, a visitor leads to submission, asks for a demo and then buys an item.
A CRM software is created to take care of lead data like needs, quality of lead, entry point, status at the sales pipeline, information of customer and transactions. Generally, it is also required to make sure that your ERP software is able to communicate with more platforms. Synchronisation of ERP is also necessary to get data from Omni-channels.
Why should you Integrate your Business with ERP?
The main purpose of an ERP system is to develop a single source functionality for a business. The integration offers a numerous range of benefits such as growth of productivity, low operational expenses, real-time reporting and and lift up the organisation insights. Firstly, let’s look into the things which can go wrong if you don’t integrate your business with ERP software.
Manual flow of data
What is the next step? If in your eCommerce website, a lead form is submitted and E-Commerce is not integrated with ERP. Of course, it will be stuck in your e-commerce until any staff member manually provides an entry into ERP. This not only affects the process of operation but also increases the extra load of the workforce. Due to this, a business must be integrated with the ERP system to avoid the time consuming and labour intensive job.
This issue is created as a side effect of the above mentioned problem with manual data entry. Humans tend to create mistakes over and over again. As a result, the entry of wrong or missing consumer’s information or item details occurs in the ERP system. By this, departments are dealing with wrong information and several other mistakes. As a consequence, consumers are getting disappointed and dropouts. Therefore, all these issues would be repeated one after another. If your business is not implemented with ERP systems.
Absence of Real-time Data
As it is already noted in the above points, disintegrated systems lead to manual data entry. This shows that the communication for the data does not immediately proceed with ERP. Consequently, the stakeholders in your organisation only indulge in their activities, thereby wasting precious time in manually transferring data. The problems are not ended here, even if it goes to the last point of operations. And after completing all the operations, even more time is wasted to offer the end service to the consumer. Ultimately, again, this is responsible for a loss of finances.
Conversions of Poor Sales Funnel
Sales funnel is a cycle process which starts the deals from a person who visits a website to a businessman. The different types of stages like the customer, prospect, lead, repeat customer and business evangelist are included in this process. A best sales funnel feature increases the rates of conversion and decreases the time of conversion. This circle of conversion is processing between one stage to another. There is no doubt that without ERP integration, the possibility of poor sales funnel in your business is higher. On the other hand, the chances of loss of customers also cannot be ignored.
Inhibit the Team Collaboration
If a team wants to collaborate for the work, with the same objective and without the presence of any conflicts. Then, the ERP integration is compulsory. It means that in the absence of ERP integration, team collaboration is inhibited to perform that work. For instance, as in the scenario of inventory management:
- The item has become unavailable in the eCommerce Store.
- The sales team makes a contact with the inventory team to get assurance about the maintenance of product stock. The inventory team about the presence of stock through the ERP product section. After that they give feedback to the sales team to check the availability of products in e-commerce.
- This cycle of communication continues between the sales and inventory team. This creates conflict and dissatisfaction among the teams.
- The end result comes as loss of revenue in business.
Advantageous Functions of ERP integration
Till now, you will definitely know about the exact definition of ERP integration and why it is necessary. Now the turn is to discuss the advantages of ERP integration.
Business Operations with Automation
An ERP software is able to collect the data in the form of e-commerce, CRM, EDT, EAM and many more. It also records the customer information, details of order, and other business related data that comes from different applications. But it can only be possible if your business applications are integrated with ERP. Otherwise you have no other option except the manually data entries into the ERP. This process definitely will be responsible for wasting your valuable time. ERP integration provides you the benefit to run your business work throughout the several departments
Single Source of Truth
When Integrating ERP systems with other applications, data collected from them is updated in the ERP software. Employees from different departments would be able to access the business data in the Omni channel. For example, inventory management teams have the capacity to access the real-time Inventory about the stock of items in e-commerce. In case, availability of product is shortlisted then they can immediately take action. To know about the revenue details, the accounts team doesn’t need to depend upon the marketing and sales team. Moreover, if all the data stored in the ERP then it remains as a single source of truth. If employees find any discrepancies in the ERP system then they can collect the data from it.
Accuracy of Work Process
As we already know that ERP integration provides automation for all business processes and reduces the man hand workload. It is also capable of eliminating human error. As a result, the teams indulge in accurate data for business operations through the ERP software. For instance, If the functions of e-commerce would be done without ERP integration like orders from customers. Because of the manual data entry, the process can be error-prone. Hence, the possibility of wrong products is there which leads to dissatisfaction of customers.
Proficiency of Time Spent
To repel the time wasting part of the work that is manually data entry, ERP system plays a key role. It can eliminate the extra burden of work. And also offer the equivalent time which can be beneficial for other business operations, including expansion of business, implementation, and marketing strategy etc. Since ERP integration offers the error-free real time data. Then, you can take the advantage of it to derive actionable insights to make your business smarter and on the peak level.
Increases the Workflow
Integration of ERP with other primary business tools, is helpful to provide the centralization of work process data. It means all the employees of a company can see the work of others.And you can also set the task and schedule processes for workers. By keeping an eye on the work of employees, you can guide them. But also provide modifications related to operations, wherever and whenever it is required. For instance, if you want a project report from one of your employees, and you find that they are working on another task. At that time, you can reschedule the task according to the demand and priority of the business.
Speed up the Sales Conversions
By enhancing the sales conversion you are able to get more visitors on your website. In a short span of time, they are further converted into leads and then leads converted into customers. By getting the lead data from CRM and e-commerce, which starts immediately to run into e-commerce. And further provides a collaboration among several departments to fulfill the needs of customers. A wide range of leads are operated efficiently in less time, which offers a double benefit of customer satisfaction as well as increasing the revenue of the company.