In 2017, Amazon shipped more than 5 million items through its Prime program. Some of the more popular items included bananas and the Instant Pot. But the bigger point is: five million items. And not a single thing would have gotten out the door on time at that volume if Amazon didn’t have a well-researched, well-connected, real-time system in place for their ecommerce shipments.
You might not send out 5 million items in a year, but even lower volume sellers can experience some Amazon-like efficiency with integration between ERP and shipping for their ecommerce business. Integration saves companies time and money, and can significantly improve service as well.
Many ecommerce companies utilize a mosaic of systems, apps, and connectors to run their businesses. It’s not uncommon to find an ERP for accounting and operations, a separate inventory management system for the warehouse, a website platform and shopping cart cobbled together in a system that is not the picture of efficiency.
This disarray often occurs when companies start small and grow over time. Because the site grew organically from a smaller ecommerce operation, each app or module was added to solve a specific problem during the growth phase. For example, the company may have started in the founder’s home with a website and backstock in a spare bedroom or the basement. The owners fulfilled orders with UPS or USPS pickup from their home. As the company grew, however, they obtained a business office with warehouse space. Then they needed an inventory tracking system since they could no longer rely upon scratch counts. Their accounting program, a simple package from the local office supply store, didn’t offer all the advantages they needed, so they switched to a cloud ERP program. Over time, you can easily see how this results in a conglomeration of programs that don’t work well together but may be difficult to untangle and start anew.
Why You Should Integrate ERP and Shipping
Take a look at just one area of ecommerce integration: ERP and shipping. There are many benefits you can obtain from integrating even just these two areas of your company’s software.
- Tighter inventory control: ERP and shipping integration means data from your ecommerce platform updates as soon as someone completes their purchase. Inventory data updates the moment the shopping cart empties and the sale is complete. This helps maintain tight inventory control for better decisions based on real-time data.
- Reduced costs: Tight inventory control means you’re spending less on unsold inventory. You know precisely what has sold, when, and to whom. Reorder only when stock levels reach a pre-set low. Conversely, you can also find out which items aren’t moving and make an effort to sell aging stock. The better the inventory data, the better your inventory management decisions.
- Self-service support: When ERP and shipping are integrated and data updates in your system, customers can perform self-service tasks such as checking to see if items are in stock, verifying delivery dates, and more. You’ll be able to run a leaner customer service staff to answer questions.
- Fewer errors: When multiple systems are cobbled together, it is likely that someone, somewhere is running manual reports or entering data to update the system. Manual data entry risks errors entering into the system. With automation, you eliminate manual data entry and reduce the opportunity for mistakes. You’ll also avoid having to enter data multiple times.
Ecommerce is one of the most competitive industries around. If you aren’t keeping your systems up to speed, it’s a safe bet your competitors are gaining ground. The time your team is spending typing data into the system because your system is slow, unreliable, or antiquated is time wasted. Move your employees to more productive and analytical tasks and let faster, efficient software handle routine tasks.
Integration Solutions as Unique as Your Business
Every ecommerce company is unique, and yours is no exception. You need software that is perfectly tailored to your needs. With Accounting Systems, Inc., you can be assured that you’ll get just the right fit of software tools to integrate all the most important aspects of your business. Let us help you find the right integration solution today.