How does ERP relate to a Product Information Management (PIM) system?
ERP and PIM work hand-in-hand to improve your workflow and information management.
ERP typically contains the basic data concerning your products, including prices and inventory—but while important, such data does not do much to help you sell your product. It’s the enriched marketing information, images, product stories, and other assets, that enable you to offer customers much more than basic product information—all of which you can manage within PIM.
A PIM system supports your e-commerce strategy in a lot of ways that ERP may not. For instance, you can:
- Collect the necessary product information from your suppliers and consolidate them in one place, so you don’t have to look through different files just to complete a product profile on your webshop/s.
- Write your product information in ways that sell, not just tell.
- Create product copies tailored for different segments of your market, whether it’s for desktop vs mobile users, local customer groups, or different buyer personas.
- Distribute consistent product information across your different channels, and lessen the risk of errors by doing this from a single source.
Read our guide on PIM systems here to learn more about how it can help your business.
How do you integrate ERP with other parts of your company?
Once you have successfully implemented your ERP system, the next step is making sure that it’s well connected with other parts of your business so that you really get the smooth and streamlined workflow that you wanted.
Workflows vary from one business to another and the more complex it is, the more complicated the integration can be. There are usually two aspects to consider—the number of systems that need to be connected with the ERP, and the various ways that such systems need to be connected with each other.
Here are three common ways to integrate your ERP with the other systems you have in your company:
1. Pre-built integrations or connectors. There are different third-party modules available in the market that offer pre-built connectors between an ERP and another system, either through a one-time purchase or subscription-type payments.
- NetSuite with Magento - https://marketplace.magento.com/celigo-novamodule-netsuiteconnector.html
- NetSuite with WooCommerce – http://suiteapp.com/WooCommerce-Connector-for-NetSuite
- NetSuite with Shopify - https://apps.shopify.com/netsuite-integrator
- Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta) with Magento - https://marketplace.magento.com/i95devconnect-axbase.html
- Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) with Magento - https://marketplace.magento.com/i95devconnect-navbases.html
- SAP with Magento - https://marketplace.magento.com/i95devconnect-sapbase.html
- E-conomic with Magento - https://www.e-conomic.dk/apps/magento2-integration
- Most ERP systems with Shopify - https://apps.shopify.com/ebridge
This option best fits companies who are only looking to integrate their ERP with one other system, such as an e-commerce site. It could also work with linear workflows that consist of chronological processes and not much crisscrossing between different systems.
2. Custom integrations. If you have very specific requirements for the integration that the typical connector module doesn’t offer, then you can build your own custom integration. For this, you will need certified developers for your chosen ERP system to work with the application programming interface (API) available for your ERP, as well as the one available for your e-commerce platform or other systems.
3. Multi-channel connectors or integration platforms. A multi-channel connector or integration platform acts as the central hub where all of your systems are connected, enabling you to get your different systems synchronized without worrying about too many connection points.
With this type of integration, you only need to have connectors between the integration platform and your different systems, while the integration platform will take care of the synchronization of data across all the interconnected systems.
This is the most efficient way to go if you have various systems that need to be connected—a webshop (or multiple webshops hosted in different platforms), ERP, PIM, inventory and warehouse, etc.
How can we help?
At 1902 Software, we have dedicated teams of developers with extensive experience in building custom integrations between webshops (Magento, WordPress, Umbraco) and ERP systems, as well as any other systems (e.g., PIM systems) within your company that it may need to connect to.
We work together with ERP integrators or developers that our clients use to help them achieve a synchronized and connected workflow in their businesses. We have also built our own multi-channel connector that helps clients juggling complicated processes within their company.
Get in touch with us today, and our project managers will be happy to help with any questions you have about implementing an ERP system.