First of all, a huge thanks to Peoplevox for inviting us to write a guest blog post! We’re Excellent Zephyr, an eCommerce agency that builds, implements, and manages integrated tech stacks for retailers.
You might be sitting there wondering – what is an integrated tech stack? In a nutshell, it’s a collection of different platforms/technologies that work together to create a powerful, reliable and scalable end to end retail solution. We present this end to end solution in for form of our eCommerce Blueprint - you can explore that in more detail here.
Over the past 10 years, the eCommerce landscape has drastically changed, seeing an almost 800% increase in global sales! This rapid growth has transformed how the average consumer shops and created holes in the infrastructure that supports a retailer’s eCommerce operations. The backbone of an eCommerce setup - ERP, CRM and Shipping have been left lacking in recent years despite such development in this area of commerce. Companies have identified these “holes” and are looking to plug them with individual solutions; however, it is best practice to implement solutions that are fit for purpose and integrate with the other solutions within the “eCommerce backbone”.
Without diving into the pros of having an integrated tech stack (there are many!), the main advantages are that it allows all types of important data to flow effortlessly throughout its systems. This allows for a retailer to streamline its activity and be more productive in the long run.
An often overlooked but essential part of any consumers’ eCommerce experience is shipping; if a retailer doesn’t have the correct solutions in place, it can cause a whole array of complicated and costly problems! Many retailers want the flexibility and control to manage their own warehouses, so, regardless of whether they only have one or multiple scattered around the globe, they will need a reliable and sturdy WMS (Warehouse Management System) to process all their shipping operations. WMS may not be the prettiest pup in the pack, but it is crucial to support any retail business looking to scale up in size! A reliable WMS is worth its weight in gold and has many benefits ranging from eliminating human error to internal automation, saving valuable time and resources.
An ERP is the beating heart of a retailer’s tech stack, and WMS Integration is essential to achieve a true end to end eCommerce experience. When implemented successfully, important data can be passed between systems such as product info, shipping details and stock levels. Because the WMS and ERP share the same integrated database, this provides real-time operations updates and removes the possibility of corrupted data. Sales transactions are another great example that showcases the benefits of ERP and WMS integration. When a sales transaction takes place, it will immediately and simultaneously notify the WMS and accountancy solution with the data, keeping all systems up to date.
An ERP - WMS integration eliminates any redundant data, removes the possibility of human error and gives the retailer more flexibility by offering the ability to select modules based on what functionalities are needed by the user. Traditionally, WMS use their own separate database that requests all inventory transactions to be processed through their system. This is a costly and exaggerated request because it deems that for a company to operate at a base level, they would have to purchase a package that offers all functionalities - not the ones relevant to said company. The direct integration between ERP and WMS provides the freedom for the retailer to mix and match the necessary modules for their operations, reducing costs in the process.
As a retail business grows and its tech stack expands, the number of different solutions increases! That’s why we’ve developed our tried and trusted eCommerce Blueprint. Our Blueprint is the industry standard to achieve an integrated end to end eCommerce experience where retailers can scale and grow their business (and there’s no surprise WMS plays a huge role in it!).
Fancy chatting further about all things WMS & ERP? Click here to book a chat with a member of our team to find out how a successful ERP - WMS integration can benefit your company today!