SAP BusinessOne, NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics are three of the world’s leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. We decided to look at the impact they can make when effectively integrated into your growing business to business (B2B) ecommerce operation.
Ecommerce functionality has grown in response to ever-higher customer expectations and with the benefit of new technology. Now, integrating your company’s ecommerce platform with an ERP solution is the next step towards increasing productivity, building customer loyalty, and boosting revenue.
The benefits of ERP
Because ecommerce often relies on speed, efficiency and volume, the scope to automate processes and minimise data entry can bring substantial benefits. You can streamline your operations, reduce errors and increase productivity and profitability.
When correctly implemented, an ERP system improves the flow of information across your organization, integrating different aspects of your operations into a single source of truth for your whole business.
Typically, you can use different ERP modules to automate and manage back-office activities including:
- distribution and supply chain management
- accounting and finance management
- human resources and payroll management
- business analytics.
You can monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), standardize critical business processes and improve the efficiency of your projects, helping to eliminate unnecessary activities.
If you thought these solutions were only needed or cost-effective for large corporations then you will be pleased to know that each of these three leading ERPs has an entry-level option to suit smaller fast-growing businesses.
Overview – SAP BusinessOne, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics
|SAP BusinessOne||NetSuite||Microsoft Dynamics|
|Business type||Small and medium-sized enterprises.||Growing mid-sized companies as well as large enterprises.||Business Central for small and medium-sized enterprises and an Enterprise Edition for larger organizations.|
|Functionality||Accounting, inventory and warehouse management, purchasing, reporting, and analytics.||Accounting, inventory management, reporting and analytics across enterprises of all sizes.||Financial planning and reporting, customer relationship management, logistics, and human resource management.|
|Hosting||Cloud-based and on-premise.||Cloud-based.||Cloud-based.|
|Pricing||User licenses for modules from $56 per month, starter packs from $1,680.||Subscription based from $999 for a base licence.||Per module from $50 to $1,500 per month.|
|System updates||Planned and deployed by your business.||Phased releases automatically installed in the Cloud.||Planned release waves installed in the Cloud.|
|Customization||Choose and add relevant fields in the database and amend code.||Choose and add relevant fields in the database and tailor forms, records, and performance indicators.||Tailor fields, forms, views and workflows. Synchronize and integrate with other Microsoft business applications.|
|Analytics||SAP Analytics component for real time reports, automatic calculations and tracking, and an Excel tool for analysis. Advanced analytics require a separate licence.||Suite Analytics for real time reports, automatic calculations and tracking.||Works with Microsoft Power BI and allows embedded dashboards for reporting and tracking.|
|Ease of use||In-depth capabilities might be more than smaller businesses need.||NetSuite dashboard allows users to choose and view key information, based on roles.||Uses built-in tools and integrates with other MS business applications.|
|Integration||Can integrate with SAP certified solutions.||Can integrate with many other third-party solutions.||AppSource provides access to Microsoft and approved third-party solutions.|
The best ERP choice for your business
Each of these ERP solutions is available in the Cloud, making them all attractive options for fast-growing businesses that need to scale their operations quickly and cost-effectively.
There isn’t a simple answer to how well any ERP solution will integrate with your ecommerce platform. The choice will depend on factors like your industry sector, the size and complexity of your company, and your customers’ needs.
Here are some considerations for each of these ERP powerhouses.
SAP BusinessOne – frequently used by small to medium-sized companies, SAP BusinessOne is a scalable solution that has been designed to support business growth. As your business grows, you could find that additional modules add to your costs. Migrating to SAP solutions designed for larger enterprises might then become a better option.
It’s easy to implement and maintain, so you won’t need to spend too much time on training. There are also industry-specific enhancements that can be installed to tailor your solution quickly without technical support. Certified extensions can be integrated automatically into the core functionality.
However, since SAP BusinessOne doesn’t offer built-in payroll functionality, you will need a third-party add-on.
SAP BusinessOne also offers less implementation flexibility than Microsoft Dynamics, for example. Even if you don’t need all the functionality, ten core modules might be included in your initial implementation. Although the option to customize code is available this can make upgrades and integrations more difficult.
NetSuite – the user interface is role-based so user adoption is quick and easy. You can control who can access reports and departmental information. Operational overheads can be minimised because users can customize reports and workflows themselves, without technical resources, servers, and software. However, you will need to spend time making sure that your customizations meet the needs of your business.
Your system will be upgraded automatically twice a year without additional costs. It’s a scalable solution with flexibility for additional customization as your business grows.
Microsoft Dynamics – the underlying architecture and functionality of Microsoft Dynamics is well-suited to new and growing ecommerce businesses. The modular approach means that you can combine all the business processes you need. You can have a comprehensive overview of pricing and inventory, orders and invoices, clients and prospects, and accounts. The diverse subscription model means you can access apps when you need them so that you only pay for the services and applications you need.
If you already use Microsoft products you will probably find Dynamics easy to implement and use. However, compatibility could be a challenge if you use a variety of other business systems.
Seamless ERP integration with Cloudfy
Cloudfy has pre-built integration for all major business systems, out of the box and ready to go. Whichever ERP system suits your business you can benefit from seamless integration and the support of our integration specialists for any specific requirements you might have.
Our open and transparent application programming interface (API) means we can quickly deliver specialist solutions for you. We also offer flat file integration for customers who want to implement some aspects of their integration themselves.
Find out how easy it is to harness the power of ERP for your ecommerce business. Book a free Cloudfy demonstration today.