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Enterprise Resource Planning: ERP Integration Choices

Embarking on the journey to integrate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) into your business operations is a strategic decision. It promises enhanced efficiency, streamlined processes, and better resource management. With the ERP market size reaching its expected $44.6 billion worth in 2024, businesses are realising the advantage of integrating their business processes through ERP modules.

The GoodFirms Enterprise Resource Planning: Market, Trends and Future Scope survey reveals that around 60% of surveyed businesses have implemented an ERP system. The most significant ERP modules for businesses were found to be:

  • 83% CRM
  • 79% Finance
  • 62% Logistics
  • 60% Ecommerce
  • 41% Human Resources
  • 40% Marketing Automation
  • 33% Customer Service
  • 29% Order Management
  • 27% Procurement
  • 20% Manufacturing

ERP integration lies at the heart of an ERP implementation. It may involve pre-built inter-modular integrations or connecting an ERP system with other software applications, databases, external business systems or legacy applications. The types of ERP integrations you implement will depend on your chosen ERP system, whether your vendor provides pre-built application adaptors, your IT resource availability and business needs. Here are some common areas of ERP integrations used by businesses.

Five Areas of ERP Integrations

1. ERP Inter-Module Integrations

If your ERP system consists of multiple modules e.g. Financials, HCM and Supply Chain then your vendor e.g. SAP, Oracle will have already provided a form of pre-built integration between them where relevant. However, you may need to deploy skilled ERP resources to configure and customise these integrations. These ERP integrations can then be aligned with your organisation’s specific requirements.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration
In today’s competitive landscape, building and maintaining customer relationships is paramount. Every company needs a standardised way to manage leads, clients, and customers. CRM systems manage customer data that can be used by sales and marketing teams. Businesses use this data to gain better customer insights and make decisions when interacting with them. Integrating CRM with ERP ensures an integrated view of customer interactions and transactional activity. It enables personalised marketing strategies, efficient sales processes, and good customer service. Salesforce and NetSuite by Oracle, Aan ERP and CRM integration allows for strategic reporting across, pass data between each other. This enables businesses to get a 360-degree customer view. The data can be used to create experiences that improve customer relationships. This integral view of data can be used to analyse customer buying behaviour and ultimately improve customer relationships.

3. Business Intelligence (BI) Integration

Business intelligence software is designed to retrieve, analyse, and report data. Unlocking the power of data is fundamental for informed decision-making. For companies undergoing a digital transformation, BI software gives visibility into a company’s data. It compiles and visualises data so stakeholders can discover new insights and act on them to enhance their profitability. ERP integration with BI tools consolidates data from different sources, giving actionable insights, predictive analytics, data visualisation and KPI reporting, empowering business growth.

In some cases, a BI function is built into an ERP system. If this functionality is not powerful enough, your ERP system can be connected to a third-party BI system such as Microsoft Power BI or Oracle Analytics Cloud. Authorised employees can then access these insights and advanced reporting.

4. Project Management Integrations

ERP systems may include project management solutions but often businesses may already use project management software. When you integrate a project management application with your ERP, anyone can see who’s working on what and when it’ll be delivered. Integrating project management tools with ERP centralises project data, and helps with resource allocation, budget tracking, and milestone monitoring. Seeing the status of projects in your ERP enables project managers to:

  • Better determine project costs and profitability
  • See project updates and processes
  • Identify if project methodologies are working
  • Collaborate with other departments, such as HR, Finance and payroll
  • Scale to accommodate organisational growth

Understanding workflows encourages ownership across departments and can help firms solve small project issues early on. This helps ensure project success and client satisfaction.

5. E-commerce Integration

With the growth of online commerce, integrating ERP with an e-commerce platform streamlines order processing, inventory management, and customer data synchronisation. This optimises online presence, enhances the customer experience, and drives sales growth.

Ecommerce integration involves connecting your e-commerce system with a cloud-based ERP solution. Together, they help expand your ecommerce store’s functionality and create better shopping experiences. With integration, data is available to everyone in the business who manages the e-commerce store. An e-commerce ERP integration tracks data, including:

  • Leads
  • Customers
  • Orders
  • Shipping times
  • Taxes
  • Customer service

In summary, ERP integration involves aligning technology with your business goals and processes across key functional areas. Using the right integration strategies, you can unlock the full potential of ERP.

Having the right skilled resources is paramount. For skilled ERP professionals to fuel your integration journey, contact NU Concept Solutions today. Let us help you build a dynamic team equipped to harness the full potential of ERP and drive your business forward.