ERP Integration can be a daunting task, especially for those who aren’t very tech savvy, but with a solid battle plan you can prepare for the typical pitfalls and minimize the unforeseen ones. Integration is time-consuming and has many moving parts, but to keep it simple, here are the 5 main things you need to consider in planning ERP integration.
Establish what data will be integrated
Also known as your “data integration points”, it is important to establish what information you will be passing between systems and how often, right from the get-go. You may want to start with just the key product data and pricing used for inventory management and then add more as you get more comfortable with the process.
When communicating with an online ordering solution like OrderEase Integrate, there are some common data integration points that are utilized to make sure that all your information lines up with your ERP system.
Data Integration Points
- Products Catalog
- Pricing and Pricing Levels
- Order Status Changes
Aligning your SKUs
Mapping your SKUs from your ERP system to your online ordering solution is critical to a successful integration. Your ERP system is configured with specific SKUs for your products, so it is important to make sure your integration provider can “map” or link your SKUs to the platform SKU system. Not all systems are created equal and there is nothing worse than a customer ordering a product online, only to find out that you have no availability because you integration didn’t sync.
Mapping over your existing customer accounts
Keep in mind that you will still need to deal with customers who order directly, outside of the online ordering solution. It is important to make sure that your offline order records align with your online order records. You will need a common point of information to “align” your customers’ online and offline activities. This is typically an account number, along with other information like a rep contact number.
Migrating data for the first time
Your first migration is the most time-consuming and it is crucial that you and your solution vendor do your due diligence to make sure it runs smoothly. It is critical to make sure that your product SKUs align properly between your ERP system and the online ordering solution during the product data migration. Do a review of random products to make sure your SKUs are all valid.
Ok, so this is pretty obvious, but it just as important as any of the other steps in this article. Talk to your integration provider with the mentality that, “There are no stupid questions. Stupidity only lies in not asking the question.” This is your business and you want to make sure that everything is done right, so make sure that you have clarity on every aspect of the process. Establish with your vendor a schedule for updates so that you can develop a plan for updating your data that lines up with your scheduled updates to your online ordering solution.
Learn more about inventory integration.