The numerous aspects of an organization are managed through a variety of systems and processes, among which enterprise resource planning (ERP) is one of the most important. However, just understanding how to use ERP software is not enough; integrating it with other business systems is crucial to making sure companies are able to access data easily and streamline their business processes.
Enterprise resource planning integration can be challenging but if you have a complete understanding of what it is and how it benefits your business, you can create an ERP integration strategy that will enable you to overcome the obstacles in your path to success.
What is ERP Integration?
An organization can use ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software to gather, store, manage, and understand data from a variety of business activities. An ERP is a category of business management software that enables organizations to manage the crucial parts of their business from a single application.
For instance, apparel ERP software, such as ApparelMagic, integrates all aspects of the apparel business processes including design, manufacturing, distribution, sales, financial, and customer service in order to improve productivity and provide a more efficient workflow.
The overwhelming amount of solutions and data interaction, however, often causes enterprises to realize the need for integration as they roll out new enterprise resource planning systems. Marketing, inventory management, HR, sales, and customer relationships are just a few examples of other management systems that can be connected through ERP integration.
Thanks to this integration platform’s creation of a single source of truth, employees from all departments will be able to access data from numerous company processes. By improving communication, companies greatly increase productivity and efficiency within their organization.
Benefits of ERP Integration
System integration enhances the sharing of information and useful insights, enabling business owners and managers to make data-driven decisions with the aim to support business growth. Additional advantages of integrating enterprise resource planning systems with other systems include:
- Data accuracy. Real-time data updates and the absence of unexpected errors caused by manual processes are two benefits of ERP integration. All departments within the company can obtain accurate information utilizing one platform by creating a single, up-to-date interface. This reduces the need to assign a person to manually aggregate and input data into various systems or to navigate through multiple systems in order to find a certain piece of information.
- Improved legacy systems. A company can process an already existing reliable legacy system by integrating and updating it, lowering the price of the new system’s license and implementation.
- More effective decision-making. ERP integration makes sure that the single, common database contains aggregated, current information from multiple systems. Project managers can rest assured that their decisions are based on accurate data. For instance, warehouse managers would lack access to real-time information on inventory levels if sales and inventory management systems weren’t integrated. Without this information, the company can overstock or understock products, which would have detrimental effects like increased inventory costs.
- Reduced employee training. Once your employees have learned how to use ERP software, integrating it with other systems leads to more processes being automated and employees using fewer different platforms, which minimizes the need for training.
- Improved mobility. Employees won’t be trapped in the legacy system thanks to a fully integrated enterprise resource planning software that gives them instant access to data.
- Cost savings. Aggregating enterprise resource planning data manually from a number of different systems is one of the most time-consuming chores since it demands access to every system, as well as close attention to detail. Thanks to ERP integration, data is automatically pooled and made available to all team members, which virtually eliminates manual processes, reduces labor costs, and saves time. Employees can now devote more time and energy to labor-intensive tasks like creating an effective marketing strategy.
- Increased sales. Integrating ERP systems and eCommerce solutions boosts the possibility of turning website visitors into consumers through the use of customer data. This enables management to create marketing plans and promotions that are tailored to the needs and tastes of customers.
- Increased customer satisfaction. Improved client satisfaction. By integrating enterprise resource planning systems, businesses can give their clients more options. In addition, sales representatives have immediate access to consumer data, which facilitates efficient deal closure.
Types of ERP integrations
So, how to use ERP software in conjunction with other systems? There are various enterprise resource planning integration options, which often depend on the requirements and resources of the company. Here are a few types of integrations that can make apparel ERP software even more efficient:
eCommerce. Enterprise resource planning integration allows companies with online stores to track all incoming orders by connecting their website with in-store systems. When used in conjunction with inventory management software, these systems can keep track of stock levels and guarantee that all orders can be filled. This avoids stockouts and backorders, which can result in unnecessary inventory expenditures like shipping costs and lost revenue.
CRM. By maximizing communication, customer relationship management (CRM) technologies improve a company’s customer service and customer satisfaction. By providing consumer insights, CRM can give your company a competitive advantage over other businesses in the fashion industry. With the use of these insights, management can tailor the customer experiences and raise satisfaction levels. Even if a company already has customer relationship management software in place, ERP integration can improve it even more. CRM integration also streamlines marketing and sales procedures by connecting consumer demand data with supplier solutions.
Project management. The best ERP systems provide project management tools that let companies utilize specialized integration to combine data from many systems for certain projects. A central database can be used to carry out projects of different kinds, be it financial or production-related, giving managers an effective way to track teamwork and guarantee deadlines are met. With regard to managing enterprise projects, this functionality will save time, effort, and money.
Human resources. HR must operate efficiently because it is one of a company’s largest departments. Enterprise resource planning integration can increase an HR system’s capacity to store and exchange information, thus enabling it to perform employee management tasks including onboarding, training, human capital management, and paperwork even more effectively.
Business intelligence (BI). Business intelligence software gathers and analyzes internal data, giving business owners and managers useful insights that can be used to develop an action plan to enhance internal business operations. BI frequently identifies opportunities to add new software or elements to existing processes in order to improve functionality. Project managers and approved users can easily get this information by integrating enterprise resource planning software with BI.
ERP Integration Guide
ERP integration with other systems is a complex process that needs careful strategy and planning. A wide range of variables, including the company size, the data migration from other systems, and the number of users affect the process’ length and cost. These factors make having a plan essential for an ERP integration to be successful. The following ERP integration guide covers the essential steps you should take into consideration before beginning the process of integration.
- Decide which data needs to be integrated
Analyze the old data to remove any unnecessary information before deciding which data needs to be merged into the new system. It is difficult to overstate the significance of data research at this point because the efficiency of enterprise resource planning directly depends on the data system. To ensure that the data is accurate and thorough, look for the source documents if at all possible. Keep in mind that the integration might not work if the data is inaccurate or filled with errors. Once the data has been verified, create a data integration plan that gathers data and divides it into logical chunks in order to speed up the transition to the new system.
- Choose the best integration methods
Decide which integration strategies will be best for your company’s needs. At this point, you should also think about hiring an enterprise resource planning specialist if your budget permits it. The members of your team probably know your company the best, but when it comes to ERP integration, it makes sense to think about hiring ERP specialists to aid with the process. An enterprise resource planning consultant will ensure that all modification and implementation steps comply with your strategy, goals, timetable, and budget, all of which will result in a quicker and easier integration process.
- Start the integration process
Appoint a person or persons responsible for the integration and make sure all your employees are up to date. Include white papers and checklists in your standard operating procedures that are available to the entire company. Once the enterprise resource planning integration is completed, examine the outcomes in light of the objectives established by the project team during the planning stage and make sure everyone knows how to use ERP software after the integration.
The Bottom Line
Enterprise resource planning can be of great help when it comes to streamlining a company’s common processes and communication, but learning how to use ERP software on its own isn’t enough. In order to reap the full ERP benefits, you will need to integrate your clothing ERP software with the rest of your systems and applications.
ERP integration can be beneficial for your company, as it will reduce operational costs, improve business insights, and increase productivity. The tips provided in this post will shed a light on the importance of enterprise resource planning integration and help ensure its success.