When you launch a B2B e-commerce site, your sales volume may be modest enough that you can manage all your record-keeping by hand. As the size and complexity of your operations grow, tracking incoming transactions becomes increasingly difficult.
You inevitably start running into problems:
- Manual data entry is time-consuming and expensive.
- Updating records by hand is also prone to errors and redundancies.
In addition, you’ll begin missing out on key insights if your sales tools, accounting software, inventory platform and customer relationship management (CRM) suite don’t communicate with one another.
Yet integrating your B2B e-commerce store with enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology allows you to automate much of the above.
As new sales come in, those details are automatically reflected in the business tools you already use. This eliminates the need for manual data entry, allowing you to:
- Reduce errors
- Cut costs
- Save time
These benefits alone make ERP integration a worthwhile investment for most B2B e-commerce businesses, but there are additional benefits.
Improved Customer Experience
ERP integration makes it easier for customers to “stay in the loop” without having to contact you directly:
- Because of inventory synchronization, B2B clients benefit from up-to-date information about product availability and pricing.
- Your clients can also track their orders in real time, removing the need to clog your call center with status updates.
Improved Customer Analytics
ERP integration allows for bidirectional information sharing between all of your business tools. Sales, prices and inventory levels remain in perfect sync. By running customized reports with this information, you can spot opportunities that you might otherwise miss.
For example, ERP integration allows you to easily identify:
- The best (and worst) sellers in your inventory
- The most frequently used payment options
- The busiest times of the day, month or year
With these actionable insights, you’re no longer shooting in the dark. ERP integration allows you to make smarter decisions based on historic and real-time data.
These reports also simplify tax preparation. You can instantly call up all of your sales and expenses without having to sift through shoeboxes full of paper receipts.
Is ERP Integration Right for Your B2B E-Commerce Store?
Every business is unique, and you may still be at a point where you’re able to manage everything by hand.
Regardless, just think of the money and time you currently spend:
- Updating inventory levels and pricing
- Logging each new sale, return or refund
- Fielding phone calls about order status
In the absence of ERP integration, you’ll likely have to manage these tasks manually — or pay someone else to do it.
Not only does this waste valuable resources, but mistakes are inevitable — no matter how meticulous a record-keeper you are. Worse still, you’re potentially leaving money on the table when you don’t have actionable, real-time data to drive your decision-making.
Because of these hidden costs (and missed opportunities), ERP integration is an investment that pays for itself — even for newer B2B merchants just getting started.
Want more information on ERP integration? Contact the experts at CDI Tecchnology.