eCommerce, ERP & EDI Integration Benefits for B2B Businesses
Thursday, June 18, 2020Eric Zegarski
Benefits of eCommerce, ERP, & EDI Integration for B2B Businesses
Integrating your commerce network has long term positive effects on your B2B business. It’s an investment that streamlines your organization, allowing for agile business decisions. B2B businesses are no longer relying on just one sales channel that traditionally, is powered by a human salesforce. B2B brands now have a multi-channel approach selling through their own eCommerce stores, human salesforce, and on online marketplaces like Amazon or Walmart.
A multi-channel B2B strategy creates a lot of data that businesses must deal with. This data needs to be organized and processed FAST! Entry of this data has an impact on how quickly a business can operate. Orders need to be packaged, labels need to be printed, and products need to be shipped in a timely manner. Done the traditional way, ample amounts of hours must be dedicated to manual data entry. With the rise of eCommerce over the last couple of years, B2B commerce has become a 24/7 operation. As a result, orders pile up during non-business hours and can cause a bottleneck the next business day.
Overall eCommerce, ERP, and EDI Integration Benefits for B2B Businesses
- Eliminate manual and duplicate entry: Integration of eCommerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Amazon with ERP systems.
- Improve speed of data exchange: By eliminating the time-consuming manual data entry process, the eBridge Connections integration platform greatly increases the speed of information exchange, resulting in improved customer service efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- Improve data accuracy: Each time data is manually entered into a system, there is the chance of errors being introduced. Data passes through a validation layer, resulting in a decrease in costly errors and chargebacks.
- Streamline business processes: eCommerce integration will help to create an efficient workflow between departments and functionalities in your organization. An integrated flow of data will provide you with the insight you need to make strong decisions that align with your business strategy and objectives.
- Liberate valuable resources: Focus your resources on other high priority work, instead of tedious manual data entry to and from your ERP system. An eCommerce integration solution will automatically schedule and process data without human intervention.
Department Based B2B eCommerce, ERP, and EDI Integration Benefits
Data from your commerce network is required by multiple departments for your B2B business to function properly. Transparency is key to building an agile operation that can adapt to changing market trends. Different teams need data so they can work together. Here’s how integrating your commerce network benefits different departments:
Impact on Marketing and Sales
Modern B2B marketing departments are driven by data. With integration, marketing can have almost real-time statistics. Marketing can effectively identify which products are selling well and if their campaigns are having a positive impact on the bottom line. With the growth of account-based marketing, the marketing department can pinpoint high preforming accounts. This allows them to build better personalized messaging. In addition, they have a better understanding of what type of accounts perform best. As a result, marketing can craft niche targeting campaigns to bring in similar.
With the emergence of eCommerce in the B2B space, customers can now make standard purchases online. When purchasing parts or additional consumables that are a simple buy, customers can complete a purchase without going directly through an account rep. Integration enables account reps to track purchases done either through them, on an eCommerce store, or an online marketplace like Amazon. With integration, account reps get a better smapshot of their accounts. This allows for timelier conversations and they can accurately advise the right product or solution for their accounts.
Impact on Operations
The operations team is responsible for all the behind the scenes “magic” that ensures orders are shipped and there are no stock outs. An integrated B2B commerce network allows them to manage inbound and outbound orders effectively. Whether you have an in-house or outsourced manufacturing team, inventory needs to be ordered in a timely manner to account for lead times. Having your commerce channels connected to your ERP, allows your ops team to have almost real-time numbers. Therefore, you can manage your lead times and lead times for your customers effectively. If you’re selling on marketplaces like Amazon, you could face hefty penalty fees if your orders are not shipped according to their standards. In addition, if one of your customers has a lean manufacturing operation, they need to receive their products on time in order to avoid production shortages on their end.
Impact on Finance and Accounting
Integration allows finance to have accurate and almost real-time numbers at their disposal. As a result, finance can pre-plan for future promotions by working with marketing to identify well performing products and establishing profit margins. They can also offer price breaks on products that are overstocked. This tactic comes in handy if you have limited warehouse space. If you’re running a multi-channel strategy, integration allows finance, sales, and accounting to see all incoming orders and payments. Therefore, managing accounts payable and receivable is easier. This is important for your B2B operation since not all sales channels provide payment reconciliation instantaneously. For example, Amazon pays the merchant based on sales in a specific window vs the net 30 or 60 terms the customer would have if they bought directly from you.
eBridge Makes Integration Easy for Your B2B Business
Our integration solution is universal! You can add or remove systems with ease as your business grows and your needs change. Our integration platform has pre-built connectors for leading eCommerce platforms, ERP solutions, and 100s of EDI trading partners. As a result, we can implement an integration solution in a timely manner.
In addition, eBridge is hosted on Microsoft Azure, therefore ensuring an almost 99.9% uptime and industry leading security. With an integration solution from eBridge, you can ensure that your commerce network is connected and communicating data bi-directionally.