A Complete Introduction to ERP and ERP for Magento 2

erp-for-magento-2-solution

A Complete Introduction to ERP and ERP for Magento 2

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, the act of managing the resources within the organization to optimize costs. ERP is a complete process covering all business aspects: HR, Finance, Manufacturing, Services, or Supply chain. 

An ERP software or tool collects and manages the business’s data and automates such functions as sales quotes, accounting, or production. ERP systems help with resource tracking and reporting without additional IT or staffing costs. 

How can we integrate this tool with our Magento 2 system? This detailed article will walk you through what ERP is and how you can increase your profitability with ERP for Magento 2. 

JUMP TO Magento 2 B2B extension package to optimize your wholesale business from Login to Checkout.

A – ERP

Benefits of ERP Integration 

1. Data Management 

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  • Reduced silos: No more messing with multiple data platforms and various login credentials; every member now can access their share of data.  
  • Centralized data: With data being gathered in one place, searching and monitoring now becomes a piece of cake. Visualized workflows help members know what others are doing and how things are getting ahead.
  • Increase data mobility: With ERP, you have full access to all your data from anywhere at any time with a single hub. 
  • Data synchronization: ERP software can manage data migration and synchronization from your previous tools or e-commerce platforms.  
  • Reporting & Analytics: ERP comes with a set of built-in reports, visually designed so you can grab the most insights out of your data and even get suggestions.
  • 24/7 Access: With ERP integrated, you get the real-time data from anywhere at any time and monitor every single update in stock levels or order status.

>> OPTIMIZING DATA MANAGEMENT? Read this article on B2B Data Providers for Magento 2!

2. Task Automation

  • Automate processes: A lot of tasks are automated, so every process gets optimized. Also, less manual work means you can save time and costs needed, thereby creating more business values.
  • Reduce human errors and duplication: Typos & duplicates are inevitable when humans input data, so automation helps reduce such problems, making your business more professional. 
  • Increase productivity: As your employees do not have to do such outdated and manual back-office work, they can spend more time on producing new ideas or supporting customers, thus raising their productivity substantially. 

3. Business Performance

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  • Enhanced order and inventory management: With ERP, you can track all stock and order status changes. You will also have a bird’s eye view of the sales board among you, your reps, and your customers. 
  • Increased trust and credibility: Accurate and consistent pricing throughout the website, like your sales reps and your catalogs, will create more trust for your customers.
  • Improved collaboration: ERP connects members from different departments; thus, they can update information and assign works and resources better for their projects.
  • Customize to business needs: ERP software allows customization, so you can direct it to meet your specific requirements. 
  • Standardize business processes: With reduced costs and errors, you continually improve your workflow and business operations and better manage the processes. 

4. Profitability

  • Increased sales conversions: You can utilize your well-managed database to reach out to your current and potential customers, provide what they need, and increase sales.
  • Reduced IT and Training costs: As you do not manage your business with multiple platforms, you do not have to spend much on starting and maintaining data on those platforms, nor hiring more IT staff. 
  • Rescale business: As you scale up your business with ERP, you do not need more staff or storage to manage your data. 
  • More time more projects: As your employees free up their time with automated tasks, they will focus more on quality work and complete more labor-intensive projects for you. Consequently, you will stay competitive and ahead of the curve.

Elements in ERP Integrations

 erp-integration-elements

For each process within the business, there are specific needs to be met, and an equivalent ERP Module. Here are some of the most common ones: 

1. Human Resources

The HR department manages the core of the business values, thus requires a smooth workflow to organize the back-office stuff. ERP modules for HR deal with human-related tasks like administration, recruitment, payroll, knowledge sharing, or internal communication. 

With an HR module, you get:

  • Real-time overview of the HR department
  • Precise and up-to-date HR database for better decisions
  • Automated daily management tasks for data entry and reporting
  • Improved data and knowledge sharing among members of different departments
  • Reduced system expenses with a single HR module keeping track of everything

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM could also be part of an ERP system, managing and monitoring customer interactions, and overall business sales. A useful CRM module should allow monitors to effectively manage customer data, provide practical insights, and above all, tools to optimize communication with customers.

To help you distinguish CRM from ERP, we have come up with this comparison:

Similarities 

  • Goal: Increase the profitability of the business by focusing on data instead of operations. 
  • Performance: Streamline business operations by automating and improving productivity for everyday tasks.
  • Function: Allow sharing data to different departments within the organization from a centralized database anytime and anywhere.
  • Data: Both offer a complete repository of customer data and a real-time overview of business operations. 

Differences

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Pro Tip: Pick CRM if your business is of small size with limited resources. Yet if you also need to take care of other departments and processes, select ERP with advanced CRM to the best of your business’s demands and budgets. 

3. Project Management

The software market already offers many project management tools, but only ERP can link this feature’s data to the overall business database. Instead of struggling with several management tools, you can now utilize the Project Management module in ERP  to better manage your projects. 

Specifically, a Project Management module lets you:

  • Manage project members and their productivity 
  • Track project status, costs, and performance
  • Incorporate project data into your business intelligence reports
  • Focus on employees in projects 
  • Push data to the shared source and use the accounting system to manage projects

4. Business Intelligence (BI)

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Business Intelligence is a tool for data analytics, used by many businesses nowadays. Just like other modules, a BI module in ERP allows you to collect all the data from a single source, explore new ideas and insights, and share appropriate access to authorized employees. 

A BI module helps with:

  • Interactive dashboards of real-time data of multiple departments
  • Access restriction for specific team members
  • An overview of the business performance
  • Ample data storage to provide required data at anytime
  • Predictive Analytics for well-founded decisions 

5. eCommerce

If your business has an online store, then eCommerce Integration in ERP can help with order management by linking with a lot of order data like inventory, customers, sales, payment methods, invoices etc. By closely following your stock levels, it ensures the fulfillment of orders, prevents stock-outs or backorders, and reduces unnecessary inventory costs.

Let eCommerce track your online sales:

  • Monitor stock levels with minimum errors through automated stock updates
  • Enhance order tracking features for customers with automatic alerts
  • Reducing accounting errors by automating accounting tasks
  • Expand sales and traffic without the need for additional staff 
  • Record customer actions on the e-store and provides insights for marketing 

>> MASTER the requirements for building your website with this E-commerce Cost Breakdown

B – ERP for Magento 2

With the above-mentioned classification and benefits, we believe you are now excited to explore how ERP works for Magento 2. Thus, this second part of the article shall deal mainly with solutions to integrate ERP into Magento 2 eCommerce.

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Why integrate ERP into Magento 2?

As we have gone over with the eCommerce ERP Integration, you might have a vague idea of how ERP can benefit your e-store. Yet how does it apply to Magento 2? Let’s read on:

Real-time inventory tracking

ERP can help with storing your transactional data. Magento does offer a detailed product management tab, but it cannot log all historical changes to inventory nor automatically update stocks when order status changes toward “complete”. ERP for Magento 2 allows you to update products automatically and accurately for different stores of your Magento website. 

Control inventory costs and resupply

Order on the Magento website can trigger various processes, including accounting, shipping, inventory updating, or tax calculating. The inventory data can be transferred to ERP to set manufacturing targets or make automatic supply requests. With Magento 2 ERP Integration, you manage your stocks more precisely and quickly, thereby reducing the warehouse costs as you store fewer products. 

Better order tracking

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ERP can help your Magento website manage shipping information. No more frustrating “where is my order” (WISMO) calls as your customers can track all their order shipping status from the frontend. The ERP database also allows your support team to keep close track of orders and send delivery updates to your customers. 

Self-service account management

The ERP system can store all customer data from the contact details to order history and other interactions like quoting. All your Magento customers will then be able to track their historical data, make reports, or do quick reorder (for B2B customers). Meanwhile, your sales reps or account reps will have more time contacting and nurturing new leads. 

Simplified compliance

Synchronizing your tax rates per region or customer role in the supply chain allows you to calculate the exact tax amount your customers have to pay. You will also minimize errors in complying with local tax regulations and better assist your customers eligible for a refund of VAT taxes.  

To integrate ERP to your Magento 2 store, you can opt for one of the two choices: Magento 2 ERP module or Integration service from another party. 

Magento 2 ERP Extensions 

1. Amasty – Import and Export for Magento 2

Upcoming Extension

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The Magento 2 ERP module allows for convenient data migration and updates, along with smooth connections with third-party sources like Marketplaces or ERP/CRM systems.  

What does it offer?

  • Import and export the essential entities in Magento 2: products, orders, customers, and product reviews
  • Various file formats and sources supported, including Json, Zip & Tar, FTP/SFTP, Dropbox, and others by request
  • Easy migration from Magento 1, Shopify, Woocommerce & other platforms that help save time and ensure security 
  • Schedule for automatic reports and stock updates
  • Support modifying data while importing or exporting like adding columns or changing the format
  • 3rd-party software synchronization via APIs 
  • Expected features in the future: support importing and exporting other entities like CMS Blocks, CMS Pages, URL Rewrites, Widgets, etc. 

ERP integration

This extension uses REST and SOAP APIs to provide a bridge or integration with third-party software, in this case, ERP software. One use case of ERP for Magento 2 provided by the Amasty team is scheduling synchronization with MS Dynamics at a specific time each week. 

>> MORE IMPORT EXPORT CHOICES? Explore Magento 2 Import Export Extension Combo for data migration and updates! 

2. Firebear Studio – Improved Import & Export for Magento 2

$599 – 75 Reviews

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This Magento 2 ERP extension has been around for so long, the rich functionality and competitive price make it too attractive to ignore. Beyond including all features that we have explored in the Amasty module above, this extension offers a lot more: 

  • Import any XML file structures to Magento 2 with XSLT
  • Also, support importing & exporting a mine of other entities: gift cards, search terms, synonyms, custom attributes, MSI, cart & catalog price rules
  • Allow creating configurable products while importing
  • Allow importing tier prices along with products
  • Support importing a bunch of B2B features: company accounts, shared catalogs, quotes, requisition lists
  • MSI-Addon to work with many warehouses
  • ERP-Addons: allow connecting Magento 2 with MS Dynamics, NetSuite, and Banggood
  • Email notifications for import and export jobs with detailed log files
  • Fast import of products and product images with Rabbit MQ & Magento 2 DB queue

ERP Integration

The extension also provides REST/SOAP APIs to connect with CRM, ERP, PIM, and other systems. It has the full set of import/export features that support all business types, from Dropshipping to B2C to B2B and B2B2C! We can confidently expect this extension to connect our Magento 2 module with our ERP software for the best data management and synchronization. 

3. Boostmyshop – Embedded ERP Magento 2

€790 – 4 Reviews

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The Embedded Magento 2 ERP extension helps to manage inventory, logistics, and orders. It monitors stock changes, suppliers, and order details. 

The unique features offered:

  • Support MSI with multiple warehouses for both mortar and online stores
  • Manage deposits (or warehouses) with custom attributes as salable, deliverable, or requiring changes
  • Assigning proceeds from a sales order to a specific warehouse with custom rules by “Router”
  • Manage inventory with barcode reading
  • Conveniently manage four stock levels: physical inventory, stock available, stock alert, and ideal stock
  • Rigorously monitor stock movements regardless of transaction type: sales order, purchase order, money back product suite
  • Products Booking to manage reservation (or pre-order)

And many more

ERP Integration

Unlike the two extensions above, Embedded ERP does not connect with any third-party ERP software. Instead, it builds an exhaustive list of features on its own devoted to warehouse and inventory management. The extension already manages three of the main functions of an ERP for Magento 2 system: customers, orders, and inventory. 

Intermediates that connect Magento 2 and ERP

Unlike Magento 2 ERP extensions, these intermediates help to connect Magento 2 with particular ERP software(s). They ensure that synchronization between the two ends happens smoothly, accurately, and automatically. Furthermore, intermediaries charge pricing monthly or annually instead of a one-time payment. Let’s figure out their outstanding features: 

1. APPSeCONNECT

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ERP brands: 

  • SAP: Business One, S/4 HANA, ECC, Business ByDesign
  • Microsoft Dynamics: AX, NAV, 365 Business Central
  • Priority 
  • NetSuite
  • Sage 300

Short description:  

As a dynamic service provider, AppseConnect connects various business tools, including e-commerce platforms, ERP, CRM, Marketplace, POS, Accounting software, etc. 

The above list of 5 ERP software packages represents the connectors for Magento currently available by AppseConnect. As there is a ready-made connector for each integration choice, you can quickly get Magento 2 ERP Integration through the AppseConnect Portal.

Pros:

  • Scheduled activation of the software for real-time sync, easy switch between manual and auto synchronization
  • Great customization power: almost anything you think of can be customized, not just plug and play tools
  • Detailed reports to track touchpoints and error during synchronization
  • Work with various versions: Open Source, Cloud, Commerce
  • Require little upkeep 
  • A dedicated support team that can meet tight schedules

Cons:

  • User Interface is not optimized yet, so even though the required functions do exist, it’s hard to find them.
  • Error messages are hard to understand, if not developers or a member of the InSync team. They are not descriptive enough, so users cannot tell whether it’s customer or product issues. 
  • Dramatic time zone difference problem

2. i95Dev 

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ERP brands: 

  • Dynamics: 365 Finance & Operations, 365 Business Central Connect, AX, NAV, GP
  • Sage 100
  • SAP Business One
  • QuickBooks 

Short description: 

i95Dev provides services relating to customer experience, ecommerce, and Magento 2 ERP Integration. The solution provider works exceptionally hard on improving data synchronization for Magento, both 1 and 2, both Commerce and Open Source.

i95Dev is addressed as a Silver Solution Partner of Adobe and has successfully integrated Magento to ERP systems for more than 180 customers, many of whom are famous brands. 

Highlighted features: 

  • Can handle more than 150 touch points between ERP and eCommerce systems
  • Customer sync provides self-service customer portals for B2B/B2C customers
  • Support importing tier prices seamlessly to personalize prices for customers
  • Multiple B2B Add-ons like Sales Rep, Advanced Quote, National Accounts, Credit Limits, Net Terms, and Bill Pay
  • Also, work with Marketplaces like eBay and Amazon
  • Can create multiple warehouses, assign inventory and specific stores to better track sales by region

3. FarApp

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Connect to: 

  • NetSuite
  • Marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Walmart
  • Other ERPs

Short description: 

FarApp specializes in eCommerce automation. Mostly, they pay special attention to NetSuite, integrating it into eCommerce platforms, Marketplaces, carts, or 3PL. Meanwhile, they provide comprehensive solutions for specific business models, so Magento 2 connector is born to meet those needs. 

Highlighted features:

  • Synchronize all types of product in Magento 2
  • Handle multiple Magento instances/websites/stores per instance
  • Detailed email notifications for error reporting
  • Supporting import/export of multi-currency and multi-store
  • Synchronize inventory with more than just one ERP system
  • Securely import credit card details for orders
  • Support managing partial shipping fulfilment
  • Synchronize gift certificates, coupons, and refund
  • Three pricing levels to meet specific customer needs

Conclusion

Let us help you summon up something to take away from this detailed article. ERP for Magento 2 helps with data management throughout the business, and ERP software can be linked to your store. You can complete the integration either by choosing Magento 2 ERP modules with a one-time payment or through an intermediate with monthly/annual charge. 

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