In today’s competitive market, companies must provide superior service to customers at every stage of their interaction with a brand. Forbes contributors assessed that fifty-nine percent of customers say they give brand reputation more weight than they used to.
Organizations nowadays require a cutting-edge method of ERP integration to help them overcome obstacles and get on the path to providing extraordinary customer service. That’s why the Enterprise Resource Planning Market remains in a phase of rapid expansion. According to Market Research Engine estimates, it is expected to grow more than US$ 49.50 Billion by 2027. Why? See on the chart below.
Simply Put, What Is Magento ERP Integration?
Efficient administration of a company’s resources is made easier using Enterprise Resource Planning software. Many businesses rely on Magento ERP system integration because of its ability to aggregate data from a wide variety of sources, including accounting, production, distribution, sales, marketing, and more.
Commonly, the word “ERP system” is interchanged with “finance system”. According to a poll, 89% of people think accounting is the most important part of an enterprise resource planning system.
However, suppliers of integrated business software also provide a wide range of other modules, including
- business intelligence (BI)
- customer relationship management (CRM)
- omnichannel commerce
- material requirements planning (MRP)
- supply chain management (SCM)
- human resource planning (HRP).
To create excellent client experiences, businesses must integrate their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with their other apps and data sources.
ERP Integration with Magento: Why Do Businesses Need It?
ERP systems are the secret to growing a company’s competitive edgeOliver Schoenborn, Forbes contributor
ERP integration, in its simplest form, is the linking and synchronization of ERP software with many additional applications and data sources. Integrating ERP software allows for a consolidated view of data in real time, regardless of where that data originated (inside the ERP or outside). Integrating with an ERP system is crucial since it improves the productivity of workflows and business operations and fosters more cooperation among employees.
What Is ERP Integration?
To put it simply, the phrase ERP integration is used to describe the process of connecting all the systems you use to your ERP software. When integrated, the ERP system enables easy communication among all the systems you use. With an open flow of information from one system to another, you can improve productivity, increase transparency, and make operations easier overall.
Magento ERP Integrations: Challenges
Even though ERP systems can help your business run smoother and improve your overall customer experience, they also come with risks. Here are some common challenges businesses and individuals face when integrating their ERP system with other programs:
Risk of cyber-attacks
Cybercrime will cost companies worldwide an estimated $10.5 trillion a year by 2025.globenewswire.com
When you work with one system that has sensitive information, it’s quite easy to secure it and protect it from cyber-attacks. You can add a layer of security to each system you work with. However, once you connect them all through an ERP system, the network becomes more vulnerable to cyber security threats. This is something you need to pay great attention to when you’re hosting sensitive customer information like credit card numbers, addresses, names, and telephone numbers.
Of course, you can employ multiple protective software solutions and security systems to protect your data. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to provide 100% protection from all cyber threats.
It is not uncommon for businesses to go over their budget on planned projects. The truth is, the projected budget is often just an estimate. If you want to stick to the budget for your ERP integration project, we suggest you account for some additional expenses (read more about the budget for a Magento marketplace). Many firms admit that they had to exceed their budget by over 50% when it came to making their ERP system work with their other programs.
As long as your firm can afford it, don’t worry about spending more than you thought you would. More often than not, an ERP system will actually save you money in the long run. It will also help you reduce costs and optimize your business in a way that could lead to higher profits in the future.
Poor data quality
Though using an ERP system sounds amazing in theory, reality can often be quite brutal. Implementation can fail if the data that’s being transferred between systems was not properly prepared for the process. For instance, poor-quality data may not survive the transfer. Imagine paying all this money and having to do it all over again because the data didn’t transfer!
This issue can be avoided. If you’re working with a developer, it’s important to follow their instructions closely. But in case you’re handling the integration yourself, stick to what the system tells you to do. Note that if data of a certain quality are a prerequisite, you should take that seriously!
For a system like this to be successful, you need to get people to use it. You may come across employees who are resistant to change. Most people are, at first. If you fail to properly educate them on using the platform and explain how it can benefit them, they will avoid using it at all costs. Even though your employees’ complaints may not sound constructive, keep in mind that they are the people who will ultimately decide if ERP integration will be a success or a sunk cost.
Types of ERP Integrations
There are different integration methods you can employ. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. Consider your needs and the size of your company, as well as the systems you use. Here are some of the most popular ERP integration methods in use today:
You can work on your own custom integration. If you choose to do so, you can hire a development team that will do it for you. The way that this works best, is that the API code of each system you use is matched with your ERP system, thus enabling integration. This method is probably the most time-consuming and tedious in terms of programming knowledge.
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These are existing integrations that require little to no additional effort from you. Let’s say you’re using Shopware and you want to connect your accounting software, CRM program, and inventory management software to your account. Provided all of these vendors have their own application or plugin for Shopware, the integration will take you no longer than a few minutes. The effort required will be clicking a couple of buttons. No programming knowledge needed!
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)
The study shows that companies struggling with system integration and workflow automation succeed with iPaaS.TeamDynamix
This integration method is a bit more complex than the previous two, so we will discuss it in depth in one of the following sections. To put it simply, iPaaS is a tool that can build your integration in the cloud. It is very customizable and can be used with any workflow. A major benefit of this method is that there is no need to employ any hardware in the process of integration or after. Of course, the prerequisite is that the programs you want to connect have to be cloud-based.
Integrate Magento with ERP and Benefit from It
In essence, ERP integration connects all of your systems into one. That allows you to always have an overview of all the processes running in real time. That, as you can imagine, can have a tremendous impact on the way you run your business, individual processes, and the success of your enterprise as a whole. Here are some of the main benefits of ERP Magento integration:
Data analysis is a very important method of learning and self-reflection. You can’t learn from your mistakes if you never find out about them in the first place. Though you might feel quite confident about your accounting or HR data, it still doesn’t give you a good picture of how the whole business is doing from all angles.
ERP integration provides a place for all of your data analysis. Instead of only keeping tabs on your department, you can look through the data of all departments and see how it may affect your work or place your findings in context. Plus, you can be sure that all of the data is accurate and up-to-date. There is no risk of duplicate reports and old numbers that are no longer relevant, as everything is updated in real time.
Many businesses are used to conducting certain processes manually every day. For example, if you receive an order with the shipping details, customer information, product details, and pricing, you need to forward it to up to four or more different departments. Ideally, each department should receive the information that’s relevant to them.
Naturally, a small error can cost the business a lot of money to correct. Unfortunately, human error is impossible to avoid, especially when you have to decipher, separate, and rewrite hundreds of documents per day.
Research revealed that 66% of companies use business automation to reduce risk of performance issues, data breaches and regulatory violations, while 50% of them want to drive business opportunities and have IT staff more focused on strategic initiatives.Statista
An ERP system can take on that task and automate it. Provided your ERP system is integrated with all the departments involved, it can process information automatically and send the right data to the right department. The greatest benefit of computers is that they cannot make a mistake the way humans do. With an ERP system at the helm, you can rest assured that each department will receive accurate information.
Improved customer satisfaction
One of the most important things in business is the customer experience. You can’t work on your customer experience if you don’t possess accurate data regarding buyers’ preferences. These insights can help you connect with your audience and find a customized approach that suits your customers (more about improved customer satisfaction via customer journey mapping).
The same goes for customer engagement. Though finding new ways to engage with your customers is undoubtedly great for business, it’s difficult to engage with them in a meaningful way if you don’t know what they like, want, or care about.
You can utilize your ERP system to collect data about customer preferences and tailor your customer experience across all channels, including online and offline. Learning about your customers’ buying behavior can help you approach each customer at the right stage of their journey.
ERP Integration Tools: How to Integrate ERP With Other Systems
ERP integration tools can make the process smoother and quicker. Here are some tools to consider for your ERP integration:
If you’ve ever looked into database management, you probably know MySQL. The system uses Structured Query Language for managing databases and is among the most popular right now. The tool has a great reputation for being reliable and easy to use.
Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft Power BI focuses on data visualization. The tool can help you see your data in a different way and use it to your advantage. It is said to engage everyone in the organization into analytics creation and usage. The program’s AI capabilities promise to further enhance your findings and provide an even deeper insight into your data.
Couchbase claims to be fast and flexible when it comes to database management. The platform is widely considered one of the first in the field. Couchbase promises to help you take care of any database using multiple types of technology. Plus, you can try it for free!
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)
As we already know, Integration Platform as a Service is a cloud-based solution for ERP integration. You can use iPaaS if you’re a skilled programmer, but you can also use an out-of-the-box solution if you’re a beginner. The tool is meant to help you create ways to share data among different systems and platforms in your organization.
One potential drawback of iPaaS is that it is a cloud-based application, so all the systems you use have to be cloud-based as well. In this day and age, it’s not such a big problem, as most modern programs tend to operate in the cloud. However, you should consider this if you’re still using old-school solutions.
iPaaS tools offer a means to consolidate all of your data. As a result, your ERP system will possess one database with all the data collected from all the different systems you use. That may include financial data, HR and customer information, and more.
Conclusion on Magento ERP Integrations
ERP integration can make your life a lot easier but, depending on the type of integration you select, it might be a long way to get there. Trust that it will all be worth it in the end! And, if you need some help with all the technical work, you can turn to IT Delight for Magento ERP integration services!