How to Mess Up an ERP and eCommerce Integration
Mistakes you can make when integrating eCommerce with ERP and tips on how to avoid them
Integrations have quickly become a vital component of eCommerce businesses. They help share vital data, save valuable time, and make it easier for businesses to access their data from any piece of software. An eCommerce and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software integration is one of the most beneficial integrations because it connects one of the most used backend systems with the place where you get the most customer information, your eCommerce site. But could you be sabotaging your eCommerce and ERP integration without even knowing it? Below are some common mistakes businesses make when integrating their systems and tips on how to avoid them.
Not Mapping Out Your Integration
The first mistake that you can make when integrating your eCommerce with your ERP can happen before the developer even writes one piece of code. Not creating a thorough integration plan and mapping all of the connections you want made before work begins can wreak havoc on your integration. You need to have plans put in place before any work begins otherwise you won’t be able to effectively communicate the goals of integration and the steps you want to take to reach the goals. Getting your teams together to discuss what they need out of the integration, creating a mapping matrix to plan out connections, and speaking with your developers about what they can do to meet your goals will help you avoid this major and costly mistake.
Skipping Out on Middleware
Another big mistake that could wreck your integration is skipping out on a middleware layer. Middleware is a layer between two systems that helps them communicate better and safer. It helps connect systems so that they are able to share information and helps integrations run smoothly and seamlessly. Clarity has created its own middleware layer, Clarity Connect, that we use for every one of our clients’ integrations to ensure that their systems are able to transfer and receive their businesses’ and customers’ information quickly and securely.
The developers have finished the integration, and you are ready for it to go live, but wait! If you take the integration live right after it has been finished, you could be making another big integration mistake. Before your eCommerce and ERP integration goes live in the real world, you need to do testing to ensure that it is working right and there are no holes in the integration. Testing the integration in a controlled environment will keep you from missing out on important data and help you discover problems before it is entrusted to handle and transfer customer information and data. The security of your data (and your customer's data) is also crucial to the success of your business. Choose an integration platform with built in security and test it thoroughly before taking it live. Clarity Connect, for example, has several security features like a key/username/password combination unique to the ERP it connects to, IP whitelisting and blocking, utilizing a secure port, and using an SSL connection. These are some features you might look for in your own integration.
Not Planning for the Future
One of the most important things when planning your eCommerce and ERP integration is looking ahead. You need to plan for the future of your business and incorporate tools that will be able to allow for it to grow and expand. Your eCommerce and ERP systems, as well as their integration, needs to be capable of not only transferring order information, but a host of other data too, including customer behavior and information. The integration also needs to be scalable; it may be able to handle 50 orders per week, but what if you are receiving 300 orders a week in the future? You need to plan ahead and make sure that your business’s integration can handle all of your current needs and foreseeable future ones as well.
Clarity Can Help
For nearly a decade, Clarity Ventures has been providing its clients with scalable, customized integrations. Our team of expert developers has helped numerous businesses integrate their eCommerce with numerous different business systems. Our robust middleware layer, Clarity Connect, makes it possible for our developers to ensure a seamless integration that keeps customers’ information secure. To find out more about integrating your eCommerce with your ERP system, call or click to contact us today!