Integrating your ERP and eCommerce systems can raise a lot of questions. Determining how things should work in advance and attempting to answer the questions you can anticipate ahead of time will save you from potentially painful “gotchas” later in the project. Here are some of the important questions to work through up front to set your project up for success.
ERP & eCommerce: which system “owns” the data?
One of the most important things to consider as you plan automation for each business process is which system is the “system of record” or the “owner” of every type of data that will be integrated. It’s critical to understand how your business works with regard to where data is stored and which system is considered the “true source” for each type of data in question. Investigating this topic will help you and your partners create an integration plan that ensures each type of data flows in the right direction(s).
What is the process for customers to “register” on the site?
Considering how existing and new customer registration will work on your eCommerce site is an important decision to make before the project starts because it identifies the critical details required to make that registration process work smoothly. This is especially important for B2B sales environments, but it’s also a valuable step for B2C businesses.
eCommerce ERP Integration project planning
Ask yourself questions like these and work to come up with a process that provides the answers:
- How will an existing customer make a purchase on the site for the first time?
- What unique data will be used to connect the customer’s existing (offline) account to their eCommerce order?
- If a new customer (who has never purchased from you before) creates an account on your website, what data is required for account creation and can that customer place an order right away or must the account be approved first?
- Are there any ERP system data issues that must be addressed before implementing the integration?
- What business process changes are needed in order to create a positive, simple, easy-to-use experience for site visitors?
What happens if the ERP system goes down during the checkout process?
This is an important question to ask before committing to an integration solution, as it will help you uncover differences between the options on the table for accomplishing the ERP eCommerce automation goals you’ve set. Ask Sage 100 eCommerce integration solution providers how this situation is handled, and consider the impact on your customer and your business.
Consider eCommerce ERP integration example for some additional context:
Companies using Web-Stor for Sage 100cloud are shielded from data loss due to an endpoint (like the ERP system) going down in two important ways. First, when data from the eCommerce site can’t be integrated immediately into the ERP system for some reason, Web-Stor collects and holds the data until a time in the future when the ERP system is available to receive that data. At that time, the data (collected eCommerce orders, for example) are transferred into the ERP system for processing. Second, the Web-Stor dashboard continuously monitors the status of each endpoint and sends a notification when it detects that an endpoint is down, allowing troubleshooting to be initiated quickly to correct the problem and get the endpoint back online.