04 May

Posted by Emma Stewart

Do you need an ERP system?

Shopify Plus is the leading omni-channel commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses, powering over 377,500 online shops across 175 countries. As brands grow in popularity and their sales increase, many businesses have taken that all important step of implementing an ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning) that drives greater efficiencies in-house.

So, before we get into the nitty-gritty of ERP systems, ask yourself these questions;

  1. Are you having trouble keeping up with your site’s order volumes and as a result your customer satisfaction scores are beginning to dwindle?
  2. Are you struggling to keep up with inventory levels in your warehouse?
  3. Is your finance department taking longer to consolidate and reconcile financial information through numerous systems and spreadsheets?

If any of the above are the common pain points in your business operation, it’s time to consider integrating your Shopify Plus site with an ERP system. But fear not, we’ve got the ultimate guide to selecting and implementing the solution that is right for you.

ERP System for ecommerce

What is an ERP system?

Firstly, let’s talk about what an ERP system is.

An Enterprise Resource Planning System – or ERP for short – is a database that supports and is shared across multiple functions within a business. These functions include sales, inventory and order management, finance and accounting, human resources and customer relationship management (CRM). It streamlines various processes and shares vital information across multiple functions within a business via one single piece of software.

For example, when a sale is made, all required information is automatically added to the system and sent through to the order management department. Due to its workflow automation, orders can be processed quickly and accurately by the warehouse team, resulting in a better customer experience – and it doesn’t end there. With synchronised reporting and dashboards, finance have access to accurate financial data, leading to faster completion of accounts.

How does an ERP benefit ecommerce?

I bet you’re now wondering how your business can benefit from implementing an ERP system.

ERP systems break down the barriers that usually occur across different teams, by sharing key information that enables greater efficiencies, better decision-making and an enhanced customer service. This is due to the system’s excellent ability to automate core business processes such as lead-to-cash, order-to-fulfilment, and procure-to-pay. Furthermore, by providing real-time reporting of key performance metrics, employees can understand opportunities and spot any potential issues early.

Other benefits include;

  • Faster service – from order to delivery
  • Reduced risk of human error and duplicate data entry
  • Improved financial compliance and reduced regulatory risk
  • Enhanced customer experience via a single source of billing and relationship tracking.

How do I select & implement the right ERP for my Shopify Plus business?

With so many packages in the marketplace, selecting the right solution for your business may seem daunting.

Luckily, we’ve put together some of our top tips to help you decide:

  1. Conduct a review of internal processes – Before you rush into finding ERP providers, take a step back to understand what’s important to your organisation. Start by documenting your current processes, strengths and any pain points you experience. Next, start to think about your ideal processes, workflows and any other business requirements. This will help your discussions with potential vendors.
  2. Evaluate the technical suitability – While it’s most important to choose a solution based on your business requirements, you should also ensure that the new system will align with your existing platform.
  3. Find out the total cost of an ERP system – Nobody likes to be hit with a hefty charge they were unaware of – be sure to uncover all hidden costs, including implementation costs, hardware upgrades, backfilling, software maintenance, etc.
  4. Create your roll-out plan – You’ve conducted your review, decided on your system and understood the full costings. Now it’s time to develop your full implementation plan. This should include everything from the software itself, ensuring it’s fully functional and accepted by users, through to data migration, updates to business processes, workflow design and employee training.
  5. Get a Shopify Plus Integration expert in – Integrating your Shopify Plus store with an ERP solution is no task for an amateur. It requires a great deal of expertise and strong attention to detail. However, the good news is that there are experts out there who will be able to take the pain of integrating away.

While it may seem a little daunting, implementing the right ERP system will transform your entire operation, enable greater scale and ultimately bring a host of competitive advantages to your business. We at Star Digital are a trusted Shopify Plus partner delivering world-class ecommerce sites and ERP integrations without headaches. Our team of Shopify experts are on hand to guide you through the process and integrate on your store, making your ERP implementation as seamless as possible.

If you have any questions about integrating an ERP system on to your site or would like to know more about our Shopify services, call our friendly team on 01604 696385 or email info@star-digital.co.uk

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