SELECTING AN ERP FOR YOUR NEEDS
General Rules When Shopping for a Suitable ERP
When shopping for an eCommerce ERP solution, one should take into consideration the reputation of the vendor, the available ERP options, the functionalities of a specific software and the ease to use, the availability of technical support and training, and of course, the pricing of the product.
A well-known ERP provider tends to be beneficial in terms of product functionalities and technical support, but it can also be associated with increased costs. Trusting the data handling of your business to an ERP solution developed and provided from a smaller, not-so-well-established company might lead to reduced cost for implementation, but it could result to issues with software operability. This could include glitches during expansion or lack of personalized support. In the long run, investing on an ostensibly cheaper option might end up costing a business more money. No ERP vendor can claim that the offer the unequivocally best ERP solution, but a client can state that the “X” ERP solution was the best for the needs of their business.
How can an ERP make or break your eCommerce Business? An ERP solution is supposed to be your right hand for your business, integrating information, connecting different departments of your business, keeping up to date with information changes, and presenting an accurate picture of your business interface to potential clients. Consider this example: an online fashion retailer. What would happen if online customers could not see half of the available merchandise? Or if the inventory was not updated after every customer purchase and/or delivery from merchandise providers? Or if marketing strategies (such as discount codes, SEO, and online campaigns) could not be applied? These are issues that a suitable ERP system for this particular business would be able to keep on track of, integrate, and make sure that customers see an up-to-date, optimised storefront.
What Should You Check Before Investing In an ERP for your eCommerce Business? Overall, the ideal eCommerce SaaS ERP should:
- Offer the ability to be tailored to your business’s needs
- Be flexible to implement different configurations or applications to cover emerging needs
- Offer fast, cross-departmental communication and deliver fast insight into resources, sales data, costs, and performance
- Be simple to operate and allow you to manage your company
- Improve business-specific areas that could benefit from an integrated approach (e.g. inventory visibility, quality control, waste minimization, responsiveness to customer needs, project management)
- Offer easy scalability, especially given that we are talking about SaaS options, rather than on-premise options
The ideal ERP should pave the digital transformation and automation of a company, allowing it to reach — and possibly surpass — the potential envisioned by its creators.