Manufacturers can benefit from ERP integration with eCommerce websites

March 24, 2016 Ken Jacobsen

Manufacturers can benefit from ERP integration with eCommerce websites

As a manufacturer, you should have a business software system to integrate production information with warehouse activities and customer orders. Microsoft Dynamics NAV gives you visibility into all of the data associated with product creation and movement so you can compare it to relevant financial information, according to Find Accounting Software. Total oversight is crucial for decision makers and it can be more than helpful for staff members at all levels.

Online consumers can also benefit from data insight into products and order fulfillment. Internet Retailer detailed how a bank payment technology manufacturer, Panini SpA, performed ERP integration with Shopify eCommerce software. The company shed its outdated technology to speed up processes and increase sales.

When you need a new eCommerce solution
Some manufacturers launch a website because they are told they have to. A business may offer an eCommerce channel, but then invest its time and resources into phone sales or other proven channels instead of investigating potential innovations. If you make the effort to create a sales resource, you need to ensure you’re not just playing catch up with the competition.

CIO suggested an inability to translate investments into increased sales is an obvious sign you need a new eCommerce solution. Opening a new platform should extend the reach of your manufacturing operations and change to business practices should yield profits that justify the expense. Linking website sales to a centralized data system like Microsoft Dynamics NAV makes online results part of the easily observable company information network.

Other signs that your business needs a new website can come from online shoppers. If consumers don’t have resources for business and product information, aren’t contacting you online and move on to competitors, it’s time to reinvest. In the Internet Retailer example, the manufacturer wanted to update its website to avoid these problems and to optimize for mobile devices.

Advantages of ERP integration
Panini SpA felt its old eCommerce website was difficult to work with. Company users couldn’t update the site easily, which meant consumers weren’t getting real-time insight into product and order information and capturing data from online purchases was difficult.

The banking technology manufacturer was a global institution that worked with hundreds of financial clients. When it came time to update its website it decided to use Shopify and integrate the channel with its Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution. The managers used the ERP software to create a centralized resource for inventory records and financial accounting.

By linking eCommerce sites with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the organization integrates its online activities with its physical office. Automatic routines designed by company IT professionals or an ERP consultant keeps information up-to-date for online shoppers and frees staff members to concern themselves with more mentally stimulating tasks. Customers and business users can be kept abreast of each step of the order process so nothing gets overlooked and nobody gets frustrated from a lack of details.

Finding ERP solutions for eCommerce
An eCommerce and ERP integration should help both consumers and internal processes. For example, when sales records account for in-person, phone and online transactions then warehouse staff know when it’s time to replenish. Before you redesign your eCommerce solution, you should document – in writing – exactly what benefits integration should yield.

If you want to refocus on online sales channels, you should contact your ERP consultant to determine if it’s necessary to update your current platform or integrate with a new option. Panini SpA used Shopify and Magento is another great option for businesses looking for an eCommerce inventory system. Some are online platforms, but your ERP partner might know a third party provider that offers specific functionality.

You should communicate specific wants and work with an ERP consultant to create measurable results

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