Running a Multichannel Operation? An Integrated ERP System Can Help
If you’re running a multichannel operation, an integrated ERP system is essential. Without it, your company may struggle to get a complete picture of customer activities, inventory levels, and other business areas. Integrated ERP systems make collecting and analyzing data easier, which leads to better business decisions.
Multichannel Sales: The New Normal
Total global ecommerce sales is expected to top $4.5 trillion by 2021. Add into that mix businesses who sell through in-person distributors or salespeople, a print catalog, and a call center to take phone orders, and you have a complex omnichannel approach to marketing and sales that requires an equally complex system to handle the data.
Customers, years ago, had more patience for companies that handled their sales channels in silos. Today, with the top e-tailers and other companies offering a seamless omnichannel experience, customers no longer have such patience. Even business-to-business sales must provide the same level and quality of service and information throughout all sales channels. Companies like Walmart have set the bar high for customers who now expect even their business transactions to be the same pleasant, streamlined experience as their consumer transactions. Multichannel sales are truly the new normal for both B2C and B2B brands.
An Integrated ERP System Provides Great Multichannel Support
A system that doesn’t keep up with every sales channel leads to big problems. If the website shows a product in stock but the warehouse just ran out, you could face a very disappointed customer. Sales teams need up-to-the-minute information to ensure they’re providing customers with accurate information, too.
Such discrepancies in information stem from systems that fail to communicate or are too slow for today’s fast-paced ecommerce sales. The solution? An integrated ERP system that offers multichannel support.
Here’s how such a system can help you improve a multichannel operation:
Standardize product information
Inconsistent product information can be frustrating to employees and customers alike. Size, color, materials, weight, SKU, and availability should be consistent in every system. But, if you are running separate systems, the information may be different among the various systems. Someone may have typed the information incorrectly or failed to update product specs when the supplier revised them. There are plenty of reasons why information varies across different systems in the same company, but the outcome is the same: frustrated customers and employees.
An ERP system shares information with all areas of the company’s technology. A change made in the inventory system is reflected in the front-end sales interface, the website, the call center, and any other technology connected to the ERP system. It enables secure, fast, and thorough standardization of all product information throughout the company.
Updated inventory status
Another area in which an integrated ERP system can provide exceptional support in a multichannel environment is by providing updated stock levels and inventory counts. If your company’s website displays an in-stock message and customers purchase the product but it is out of stock, your team may spend additional time sorting out the problem and issuing returns. How much easier would it be to have the item in stock or, at the very least, providing customers with an updated inventory status?
ERP integration enables data from your warehouse and distribution center to flow without interruption, ensuring constant updates to the warehouse of orders that need to go out and updates throughout all channels about warehouse stock. It’s ideal for companies with a multichannel sales model because of its ability to keep all channels updated simultaneously.
Accurate customer information
Have you ever had the experience of calling a company with a problem and having to repeat the problem to every single employee you speak with? It’s as if you’re invisible!
Many business-to-business sellers fail to appreciate just how frustrating it is for customers when their companies lack an integrated database. Although it may be common in their industry to have separate systems, customers are used to better service from many of the retailers with whom they do business. They expect the same level of service from their business partners, too.
ERP integration offers the ease of such updates by synchronizing and linking customer information across all channels. This approach ensures everyone from sales to service can access and use customer information to answer questions or solve problems. Customers never have to struggle for an answer about their order. Data is shared across all points in the ERP system, ensuring constant, continuous updates.
Mindover Software: ERP Integration and More
If you’re ready to take the next step and improve your systems, contact Mindover Software for more information. Visit our website and view our ERP systems. Then, contact us or call 512-330-3994 for an appointment.