Turning a profit through eCommerce is powerful, due in large part to the freedom in choosing where to sell your products. Whether you reach customers through a wholesale directory, private label dropshipping, online marketplace, or retail, the sky’s the limit.
When your revenue is growing and business data is growing with it, you can feel stressed trying to organize it all. You need an ERP system to streamline invoicing, recurring costs, monthly profit, and human resources. This type of software helps you build data-oriented projections for your company.
Keep reading for the answers to these questions and more.
Before reading about ERP examples, it’s helpful to know what ERP stands for. ERP is enterprise resource planning--the process of analyzing and improving the core functions of a business. ERP principles center on data-driven forecasting, which is the practice of making informed business decisions based on current and historical info.
Business functions that ERP can clarify include managing pipeline inventory, eCommerce accounting, calculating a product’s reorder point, and fill rate. These metrics show how profitable, efficient, and cost-effective a business currently is, as well as where they can be improved.
ERP work isn’t always assisted by a computer, but thanks to ongoing advancements in eCommerce software, much of it is today. In many cases, relevant computer programs can help humans make key decisions at the right times.
ERP Software Examples
Much of modern business is done through computer- and Internet-based services. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible for someone to keep track of all the data that their business relies upon. This is where ERP software comes in.
ERP software integrates with your core business operations, like your inventory tracking system, eCommerce payment gateway, and shipping and handling. You no longer need to bounce through multiple software programs when you have the answers you need in one place.
If you already use warehouse inventory management software, your ERP system can integrate with this, too. Here are some of the leading ERP software companies:
- SAP S/4HANA. This next-generation service is known for its far-reaching compatibility with multiple company sizes and existing software.
- Oracle Cloud ERP. Oracle is one of the most well-established software companies in the world. They boast a broad range of capabilities within their ERP solution, including expense and risk management.
- Sage Intacct. This company is known for its extensive third-party integration capabilities and being useful for smaller, high-growth companies.
- Epicor ERP. Epicor offers a high degree of scalability and customizability for businesses of different sizes. Also includes options for in-house or cloud-based usability.
Example of Company Use ERP System
Since ERP systems centralize so much data, it’s far easier to get the information you need, when you need it. Gone are the days of reviewing paper records when you can click into digital reports full of useful insights.
With such a powerful tool at your fingertips, you may be wondering what some common use cases are. Here are some examples of how companies use an ERP system:
- Streamlining billing and invoicing. One of the biggest challenges faced by eCommerce companies is getting invoices paid on time. Many businesses allow customers to place an order without paying upfront, which only delays the inevitable. An ERP system can help you implement net 30 payment terms so you aren’t constantly chasing clients for payment. Automated invoicing and payment reminders are one of the many benefits of using an eCommerce platform like BlueCart.
- Tracking work in process inventory. Keeping track of items in your warehouse is crucial for profitability, but it’s hard when you have to do it manually. First, warehouse managers verify that new shipments have been logged in the appropriate system. Second, they give staff handheld scanners that automatically send data to the ERP system during the order fulfillment process. Third, warehouse workers (see what is a warehouse associate) scan items as they’re moved from one stage to another. This reduces paper usage and prevents redundancy.
- Improve your warehouse management process flow. Successful warehousing is built on the fact that each inbound shipment makes it through every stage of your warehouse. This is called a process flow, and without it, you’re simply guessing where items need to be stored. Your ERP can help you develop a flow chart of where items need to go and when.
- Clarifying communication. Getting the information you need usually isn’t a problem if you can consult your own team. If an employee relies on critical info from another department, however, issues can arise. ERPs offer a bridge between various departments where staff can get the answers they need in a fraction of the time. Even without an ERP system in place, an all-in-one platform like BlueCart eCommerce can provide you with in-app chat capabilities to improve team-wide communication.
ERP Accounting System: ERP Financial Systems
An ERP accounting system is a type of ERP software that offers accounting functionality. These functions include accounts payable, accounts receivable, financial planning, and resource management.
While accounting and ERP tools may offer specific benefits independent of each other, you often save time and money by combining them. It’s easier to know what areas of the budget need to be reduced or expanded when your product data is right next to financial reports.
Using the data your ERP gathers has direct benefits on essential business activities, like order processing. If you’re normally covering shipping costs by weight but would save money by using flat-rate fees, ERPs can identify this.
What Is An ERP System In Accounting?
ERP systems and accounting software are different, but most ERP software comes with accounting features. This is because financial data influences other business decisions and vice versa.
ERP systems can be used by accountants, purchasing managers, and other financial specialists to evaluate the financial health of a business. These professionals may work with supply chain specialists and other experts to ensure a business is running at peak efficiency.
Revenue must exceed both the cost of goods sold (COGS) plus overhead expenses in order for a business to remain operable. Normally this information is reviewed separately by accountants. However, when financial data is available right next to inventory and manufacturing information, time is saved and decisions become easier.
Manufacturing ERP Systems
A manufacturing ERP system is computer software that streamlines the stages manufacturing inventory is sent through. It tracks information from suppliers, raw materials, production stages, and distributors.
By using manufacturing ERP software, you can spot problems faster than you would manually. An ERP can show that your distributor’s deliveries have been chronically late for a month. It can also show that inventory isn’t making it to shelves on time. This could indicate that your warehouse organization or warehouse labels need to be updated.
Each element of the manufacturing process becomes more complex the more parties are involved in a supply chain. Make sure to select an ERP system that fits your type of business and the needs of your customers.
If you’re focused on how to become a wholesaler and enjoy selling wholesale items, you likely won’t need a manufacturing ERP system. Many wholesalers make money by selling to third parties or retailers, who sometimes have their own production process.
If you are starting an eCommerce business based on your own products, it’s wise to consider a manufacturing ERP system. This gives you visibility into how efficiently products are being made and whether any area needs immediate attention.
Here are some examples of manufacturing-focused ERP systems:
- Fishbowl Manufacturing
- Oracle ERP Cloud
- E2 Shop System
Cloud Based ERP Systems
A cloud-based ERP system is an Internet-hosted computer program that tracks the data of key business functions. It provides the current status and trajectory of your inbound shipments, inventory, sales, outbound shipments, and more.
Many types of eCommerce businesses have opted for cloud-based ERPs because of their convenience. Instead of needing to work from a specific location, you can view critical business information anywhere you have an Internet connection. A cloud-based ERP frees your time to focus on improving your products or generating more sales.
Below are a few popular, cloud-based ERP systems:
- Oracle NetSuite
ERP System For Small Business
Learning how to start an eCommerce business comes with a lot to be aware of. You need an eCommerce business license, eCommerce marketing strategy, and more. Once you become profitable, juggling multiple tasks successfully becomes challenging, even for talented solopreneurs.
Many small businesses don’t have the staff or resources to necessitate enterprise-scale software. However, their revenue is growing and they still need help keeping business data streamlined.
Numerous ERP companies spotted a market opportunity and have since capitalized on serving small and high-growth businesses.
Here are a few ERP companies committed to serving small businesses:
- SAP Business One
- Sage 100cloud
- Dynamics 365
- MIE Trak Pro
- Sage Intacct
Systematizing Small Business Success
Getting all the areas of your business up and running is an accomplishment to be proud of. An efficient ERP system and a smooth ERP implementation is the glue that holds it all together.
ERP software provides a window into your business’s trends and prevents major issues before they happen. Keep using the data you uncover to satisfy customers and remain competitive in the marketplace.