Benefits of integrating B2B eCommerce with ERP
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software or applications serves the basis of any businesses that require financial statements, demand generation reports, predicting inventory levels in various warehouses around the globe required by the management. ERP applications such as Oracle, SAP, MS Dynamics, JD Edwards and others have useful historical data since early 1980s. By connecting ERP service to an eCommerce platform, one can significantly eliminate redundant data that would have otherwise existed on both ERP and eCommerce platform.
So what makes ERP data critical to B2B e-Commerce ?
Unlike B2C, B2B often involves purchasing directly from the manufacturers who may not want to ship in smaller units. In addition to this, many B2B clients also have unique checkout requirements as follows:
- Multiple carts for splitting the ordering of multiple catalogs with their individual checkout flows
- Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) to facilitate the customer’s role to login, navigate the product catalog and place a complete an order on behalf of the customer
- Multi-line shipping to ship to multiple store locations
- Single Page Checkout (including the Shipping, Billing and Payment modules on the same page)
- Request to Quote flow (instead of directly placing the order)
B2B customer relationships often involve negotiated pricing that’s spelled out in a contract. Since complex business rules governing contract pricing is already live in the ERP system, it doesn’t make sense to rebuild them in ecommerce.
A B2B e-Commerce integrated with ERP application gives buyers insights into the supply chain. They get an idea of the stock of a particular SKU before they complete an online order. This improves the customer experience and significantly reducing backorders, optimizing the stock in the inventory, reducing related costs. The ERP contains the most detailed information that includes current and past customers, their buying habits, order details, product details, discontinued products, account-based price lists, inventory levels in every warehouse, and many other details that can be made useful to the B2B consumers. With eComchain, B2B site administrators can also enable their B2C dealers to procure the products from their primary manufacturer site to sell it directly to their end consumers or customers.
eComchain is the only next-generation B2B eCommerce platform that starts with your ERP data and works outward. eComchain has pre-built integration to six major ERP platforms. This empowers us to drive personalized experiences for your B2B customers in real time – leveraging the ERP business rules, without duplicating the data.
Following are some of the advantages that we have with the ERP endpoints built directly into the B2B e-commerce platform:
- Eliminating the duplicate entries – From initial order entry, Bulk catalog uploads including quantities and shipping addresses, to the transmission of tracking information, the omission of a third-party layer for the backend ERP system reduces the number of human errors that the employees can make
- Reducing cost – A real-time ERP ecommerce integration offers one more benefit. Maintenance nightmare is eliminated to a great extent due to the seamless real-time integration, thus reducing cost considerably. IT resources can focus on their core daily activities thus freeing them from troubleshooting ecommerce related challenges that typically arise due to asynchronous integration between eCommerce and ERP.
- Streamlined customer accessibility – With real-time integrated approach, the order information flows to the ERP, with minimal or zero errors, wherein the eCommerce order is created in ERP, ready to picked, packed, shipped and an invoice is generated for the shipped orders. The invoice and tracking information can then be sent back to the eCommerce storefront where it is easily accessible to the B2B customer.
There are many unique features that eComchain offers within its B2B eCommerce platform that’s integrated with an ERP application, that include the following :
- Product / Catalog comparison with Cross-sell / Upsell – This is a distinct B2B2C flow where the B2B manufacturer can spin out multiple B2C dealer networks integrated within the same platform and offer them various commission rates for their online product catalog
- Direct Item entry –Customers can directly perform a bulk upload of the various products within a catalog or within a set of various catalogs, making their order and checkout process seamless.
- Detailed Order History and Tracking – This feature offers the B2B site administrators complete access of the various orders on the website and the details of the orders with their freight and shipping information in sync with the values within the backend ERP system. The status of these various orders going into the ERP can also be modified by the admins as required.
- Robust search capabilities with advanced type ahead features
- Point of Sale (POS) integration offering a next level omnichannel experience to the end consumers with the data and order transactions being exchanged directly with the backend ERP
Summarizing all of the above, real time integration between eComchain’s B2B e-Commerce platform and ERP systems equates to fewer third-party plugins and zero maintenance to keep the data in sync between the two discrete systems. This in turn gives the marketing and sales team more flexibility to sell with up-to-date critical information available in a snap.