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ERP Integration Integrated Payments

The Overlooked Opportunities of B2B Ecommerce

Think that ecommerce is really more of a B2C thing? Think again. B2B ecommerce is in fact twice the size of B2C ecommerce today, and it’s anticipated to be the largest area of ecommerce growth for 2020-2025.

At the end of the day, everyone wants to accomplish more online these days, and this desire is only going to accelerate with time as younger cohorts become the buying class of the B2B world. In fact, that day might already be here, as a 2017 report by Merit found that a full 73% of B2B buyers today are Millennials, and that this group strongly prefers to buy online.

That’s why it’s essential for B2B customers to be able to achieve core transaction tasks, like viewing and paying open invoices, or viewing order and transaction history, through an online portal just as any B2C customer might expect.

This vision might not feel right to many, who still believe that in-person sales and relationships are at the core of B2B commerce, especially in sectors with long sales cycles and multi-year, even multi-decade vendor relationships. The fact is that both things are true, and this is why B2B ecommerce requires not only a portal where customers can view and pay invoices, but also a portal that your sales and customer service reps can easily create new orders.

Traditionalists are also right when they say that B2B customers aren’t the same as B2C customers. B2B customers often know what they’re looking for. They also have a greater need to have their invoices and order history easily viewable, as well as the ability to easily reorder items that they typically order on repeating cycles. These needs are so different that many companies that serve both groups have begun having a separate ecommerce platform for their B2C and B2B business.

While it’s crucial to have user-friendly portals for your customers and sales reps, it’s just as essential to make sure that these solutions send data directly into your backend accounting and inventory system, or ERP. When your online B2B portal is also connected to ERP-integrated payment processing, you truly have all the most vital data being inputted by your customers and running directly into your ERP. This creates a more frictionless experience for all involved, and if there’s one principle that’s true in the digital age, it’s that the less friction you have in your processes, the easier it’ll be to retain both customers and talented staff.

To learn more about the benefits of letting your B2B customers view and pay invoices online, and of having this information automatically run back to your ERP system, please reach out to us today at sales@conligo.ca. We’d love to connect to learn more about your current needs and how to meet your goals moving forward.

Categories
ERP Integration

How to Know When it’s Time to Integrate a Solution with Your ERP

You’re probably aware that there are solutions out there that can help you automate the flow of data from your payment, sales, and ecommerce solutions back into your ERP. You’ve probably also been pitched on many of these solutions over the years, and have heard the promises about improved efficiency, happier customers, and the like. But sometimes, all this talk of benefits can overcomplicate what is really a pretty straightforward proposition—

At the end of the day, ERP integration is about automating or streamlining the flow of data from external sources to and from your ERP and making sure it lands in the right places. That’s it.

There might be many different benefits associated with doing
this, but getting this data into your ERP in the most efficient, durable, and foolproof way is what it’s all about.

The question you then need to ask yourself is where and when
you would benefit most from this kind of integration. And here are some questions that will help you figure it out.

  • Where are your team members spending a lot of time manually re-entering data into your ERP system?
  • What is the real cost (financial + human cost)
    of all this manual re-entering of data?
  • How often are mistakes made?
  • How much do those mistakes cost?
  • Of all the reasons for not integrating, how high on that list is inertia, or the sheer mental barrier to making a change in your
    processes? (be honest…)

Once you’ve asked these questions of yourself and your team,
then it’s a matter of setting your priorities and moving forward on making a change for the better. These types of changes can sometimes involve big up-front costs that make it all the harder to bring change to your organization.

Luckily, these types of integrations are now available on a
SaaS or monthly subscription model, so you have the chance to deploy the integrations you want, see whether they’re worth it, and then turn them off if you don’t see enough of a return.

If you’d like to learn more about how our ERP-integrated
solutions can provide you with seamless payment processing, remote order entry, and ecommerce, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at sales@conligo.ca. It’s our pleasure to answer any questions you might have and to do everything we can to bring your business to the next level.

Categories
ERP Integration

Backward Integration vs. Building Out from Your ERP

You’ve made a big investment in your accounting and inventory software. After a lot of time, money, and effort, you’ve gotten to the point where you and your team can use it the way you like.

But how do you make sure that your ERP knows what’s happening on your other business platforms, like your online store or payment card gateway? Leaving these platforms unconnected to your ERP requires you to constantly re-enter all the data from these platforms into your ERP, which can lead to costly errors. Worse yet, members of your sales or customer service teams might not have the ability to access vital customer information contained in your ERP.

To deal with these issues, you might go out and get yourself an external ecommerce platform, payment solution, and sales team dashboard. As SelectHub notes, there are many different platforms you can integrate with your ERP. But now you need to manage all these different platforms that don’t talk to each other. That means your sales team might not know vital information about a certain customer’s order history, or they might not be able to remotely send new orders to your ERP. Someone in your office might also forget to take the information from your online orders and enter it into your ERP, which can annoy customers and damage your brand. Or your payment card solution might not send crucial payment and ordering details to your ERP.

One way people try to deal with this problem is backward integration, where you ask a company to build and configure a set of custom connectors to link all of your scattered solutions back to your ERP. But the flow of data in this situation is often not done in real-time, and you find yourself needing to rebuild, redesign, or reconfigure these connectors as your business scales.

The other option is building outward from your ERP with purpose-built solutions. These cloud-based solutions start with your ERP and build outward to provide seamless e-commerce, payment card processing, and sales team intelligence that flows to and from your ERP. That means your ERP knows what the rest of your business solutions are doing. That means more accurate data, more reliable payment card processing, and solutions that scale easily as your business grows.  

If you’d like to learn more about how your company can
further unlock the potential of its ERP by building outward, please don’t hesitate to contact Conligo today at sales@conligo.ca. We’d be very happy to offer advice on the best path forward and to discuss your options.