An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a technology solution that brings together the various processes and resources of an organization into a single platform.
For a typical e-commerce business, these resources usually include the products that you sell online, the money that you make from selling, and the data that you gather from and about these transactions. This list only grows more complex as other factors are thrown into the mix, such as having physical stores alongside online ones, selling on multiple webshops, or implementing and maintaining an omnichannel strategy.
Traditionally, these resources were managed separately, with different processes scattered throughout the organization in different systems: orders in the webshop’s backend, physical purchases in the store’s local point-of-sale, financial data in a standalone accounting system, customer information in a separate CRM, and so on.
While these systems correspond to distinct aspects of the business, they still have to be connected in some way to ensure that data is up-to-date across all business functions. For example, when an order is placed on the webshop, the item purchased must be taken off the current inventory and the new stock count must be updated in other channels where the item is sold to avoid overselling.
When the systems keeping track of these things are not integrated, the data will have to be manually entered into each and every system. This highly requires a lot of human hours to complete, increasing turnaround time for task—and also raises the risk of errors in your data.
Disconnected and unsynchronized processes are inconvenient at best, but at worst, can result to expensive mistakes and even cause significant setback in your business’ growth.
This is where an ERP solution comes in.