Keep hurdles in mind when you develop your eCommerce B2B approach. There are several diversions on the route. However, there are a few critical impediments to development. When it comes to eCommerce deployment, B2B eCommerce ERP integration is crucial to project success. If you get it wrong, it may be disastrous. To avoid integration issues, you must prepare ahead of time for ERP integration in B2B eCommerce and pick your eCommerce platform correctly.
eCommerce and ERP integration for B2B may assist your firm in streamlining sales processes, gaining more meaningful information into client behavior, and improving the entire customer experience.
SAP ERP for eCommerce may help a company’s many divisions in the seven ways listed below:
- Because fewer orders must be manually entered, the processing of those orders is more exact. Order and delivery mistakes are minimized, saving time and increasing productivity.
- Inventory control has improved thanks to automated inventory synchronization. Customers do not need to seek assistance to gain access to the appropriate inventory levels.
- Customers receive an email notification when their purchases are dispatched, and they may monitor the status of their goods online.
- Inventory management has become more accessible due to the synchronization of product stock and availability.
- Tax compliance that is automated lowers the possibility of rate and collection mistakes.
- Scalability that does not need the addition of more resources.
- More money in the bank as a result of targeted sales promotions to key clients. When ERP B2B system data is linked with eCommerce, marketing activities are more focused and productive.
ERP Software Types
ERP software is frequently available in two flavors: System model and deployment model.
- Because of the large number of modules they feature, generalist systems may be used in various industries. Firms must instead purchase a single, semi-finished product that might be stiff and inflexible for customization.
- Using a modular system lowers your overall software costs since you may add new modules as needed. These are commonly used in specialist sectors or for specific reasons. It might be challenging to manage big groups on a modular system.
- ERP systems are a collection of products known as ERP suites. ERP providers work with software vendors to create suites that provide a single solution for a specific group of clients, typically big organizations with many sites and activities.
Here are some examples of ERP types based on the deployment model:
- On-premise ERP is manually installed on company-owned and managed local servers.
- In contrast to on-premise ERP systems, cloud ERP systems run on a vendor’s cloud platform and may be implemented more rapidly and for less money.
- A hybrid ERP system that is both on-premises and cloud-based combines the most exemplary characteristics of both. Financials and accounting modules can be retained on-site depending on departmental needs, while other modules are accessible through the internet.
Accounting, customer databases, production scheduling, materials management, order management, and shipping are just a few of the data types handled by ERP software.
How Does ERP Integration Work?
B2B ERP integration refers to the process of integrating and syncing data between an ERP platform and external data sources. ERP software integration, regardless of where the data comes from, allows you to collect and analyze data from many systems in real-time, whether the ERP or another system. Many B2B companies use ERP, CRM, and eCommerce technology to improve corporate operations and communication.
ERP is unquestionably a valuable corporate tool. Because your eCommerce platform is a powerful sales tool, it must integrate with your enterprise resource planning system (ERP). ERP integration is critical for businesses because it allows them to exchange data across systems, improving efficiency and insight and offering a single source of truth.
Integrating an eCommerce site with an ERP system, on the other hand, is not as simple as you would think. This is due to the structure of your ERP and the data it includes. As a result, integrating ERP with a B2B eCommerce site is a challenging task. elements of an enterprise resource planning system (ERP)
Data Quantity and Variety
Your ERP stores all of your company’s historical data. This tool may be used to investigate everything from production trends to the impact of seasonality on sales. The ERP’s massive array of data, on the other hand, is a hurdle in and of itself. It is more difficult for data systems to interact with massive datasets containing many data fields.
- An integration plan is required for effective ERP integration. So, if this is the case, you’ll need to select early on in the planning phase which ERP data should be synced and connected to your eCommerce system. If you wish to accomplish this, you must first determine the types of data that will be transmitted between ERP and eCommerce systems and the importance of that data.
- To guarantee that customers receive exactly what they ordered, SKUs, product names, and product descriptions must be similar.
- To ensure that shipments and bills are accurate, you must enter your contact information, shipping details, payment conditions, and credit status.
- Because most business-to-business transactions are based on negotiated prices, both systems’ rates and rules must be correct.
- Shipping – For shipment, inventory, and account management reasons, fulfillment rules, shipping logistics, order status, and bill of lading information must flow between the two systems.
- Customers, buying managers, and warehouse employees all rely on inventory data. As a result, inventory status (for example, in stock, back-ordered, discontinued), quantities, and lead times must be coordinated and synchronized.
- Customers, accounting employees, and customer support representatives all require comprehensive order information. This covers details on both current and previous orders. The following information is included: order line items, past order and invoice history, current order and invoice status, sales and purchase order status, and payment information.
- International transactions are subject to a variety of tax regulations and rules and various tax rates. To increase compliance and reduce risk, eCommerce and ERP platforms must automatically send this data. There will be a great deal of information exchanged across the two platforms.
- Return goods authorizations and credit notes are required in the event of an accident, a breakdown, or a shipment error. Customers and workers need the same account information. Therefore both systems must exchange it.
The Four Advantages of Integrating eCommerce with ERP:
- More effective data management
- Real-time, synced data is made available to both systems by integrating ERP and eCommerce applications.
- Consolidated data
- Marketing and sales teams, for example, may generate helpful reports to assist them in making well-informed decisions.
There is Plenty of Inventory Available
Even the best-selling items may face increased demand and run out of supply more frequently during a crisis. It is tough to keep your eCommerce website up to date without an ERP B2B interface. An ERP connection maintains a precise inventory record for both eCommerce employees and customers.
Assume that your ERP and eCommerce platform don’t exchange purchase information. As a consequence, you’ll be compelled to keep excess inventory on hand, make incorrect predictions, and deceive consumers and partners. Finally, what do you want to achieve? There is a scarcity of supplies, unscrupulous business transactions, and inefficiencies all over the place.
By combining eCommerce and ERP, these challenges are handled, and new cost-cutting options are made available.
Create A Favorable Impression of Your Product or Service
Buyers are increasingly turning to omnichannel experiences and self-service rather than phoning salespeople to place orders. Businesses may better manage and personalize their customers’ accounts with ERP and eCommerce connectivity while automatically delivering order status, purchase history, and shipment information.
A successful B2B eCommerce ERP integration strategy, like any other project, begins with careful preparation. As a consequence, selecting an eCommerce platform starts the integration process before you do. You’ll need to decide how data should be transferred, create a synchronization implementation strategy, and plan for future expansion scenarios.
When developing your eCommerce and ERP integration strategy, you must also determine whether to employ point-to-point integration or middleware integration. Make sure you know exactly your goals and how you intend to reach them before choosing an ERP integrated B2B eCommerce solution.
Models to consider, include:
- Point-to-Point (P2P) Integration Model
- Middleware Integration Model
- Hub/Spoke model
- Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)
Begin the Vendor Selection Process by Prioritizing ERP
Write down your integration partner and eCommerce provider needs when you’ve figured out how the ERP and eCommerce connections operate. As a consequence, your partners should be aware of the difficulties you confront as well as your long-term goals. A good partner considers how much money their organization generates from the agreement rather than how much money they receive from you.