Maybe you’ve read my last blog, 5 Symptoms of a Siloed Ecommerce & Back End System, and concluded – “yes, this is me. I have siloed systems”. The next question is always going to be “So what should I do about it?”
At this point you have 2 options.
- Run your business with manual processes as you pass information from your ecommerce to your business management system(s) and vice versa.
- Invest in an integrated solution that can automate many of your existing processes and give you the real-time data you need to get ahead.
Sure, there are risks to both options:
You could continue on as you are now. At some point, you will hit a glass ceiling and realize you are spending way too much time on the day-to-day operations because:
- You’re constantly passing information back and forth.
- You’re always trying to go back and fix old mistakes.
- By the time your report has been created, it’s already out of date.
You’re inundated with options, which can could potentially create problems because:
- You have to spend extra time to pick the best system for your company.
- You also need to find time to choose a partner who has experience in your industry.
- There is always a learning curve.
However, a real-time data an integrated solution provides is arguably more valuable because it is long-term and sustainable.
To help you make your decision, I’ve put together a step by step list of things to consider so that you can better understand what path you should take.
- Create a List of Requirements
Build a list of things you need for you to scale as a company. Mark each line item as “Must Have” or “Nice to Have”.
- Analyze your list
At this point of the exercise, you will likely come to find that you do in fact need a system that is completely integrated or a solution that includes both the ecommerce and back end system. Both are good options to consider!
- Determine your desired path
If you think one solution for everything will suit you best, consider looking into a business management solution that has a built in ecommerce solution that does everything on your list.
- Look into Business Management Systems that will help you reach your goals
In many of these cases, my clients actually find that it’s time to upgrade their back office systems anyways, so they look for a solution that helps them get the most out of their existing ecommerce investment and that the Magentos, Shopifys and BigCommerces of the world will not outpace.
NetSuite has been the business management solution of choice for many growing retail companies. In fact, NetSuite SuiteCommerce is a great one for that. However, if you already have a robust ecommerce in place such as Magento and Shopify, I would advise you to consider looking into a back office that easily integrates with your ecommerce. It’s not as big of an investment, you can use your existing ecommerce setup (Magentos, Shopifys and BigCommerces), and it will accomplish all the same goals of an all-inclusive business management solution.
NetSuite is the ideal cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution because:
- You can have your entire organization accessing your company information securely from their home.
- It’s “pandemic-proof”.
- It will bring your company into the digital age.
- It provides your employees with flexible working options in the future.
- It allows you to recruit top talent from anywhere in the nation.
NetSuite is also the retail ERP of choice because it:
- Provides real-time inventory information
- Integrates with the top WMS solutions
- Delivers on-demand, real time reporting to help you take your business to the next level
- And much more.
- Find the right partner
Once you’ve determined what route you want to take and the solution that you want to pursue, find a knowledgeable partner to help you get there. Consider a partner who will look at your business from a holistic view so that they can not only parrot best practices to you, but can actually understand what’s best for your unique business needs.
A couple quick things to look for in a partner:
- Proven retail experience
- Extensive knowledge of your existing ecommerce solution
- Business process assessment in addition to systems assessments
- Ongoing service and support capabilities
- A focus on change management
- Extensive training
If you’ve determined that your systems are siloed and that it’s time to make a change try our step by step process and see where it takes you. If you need help or need someone to help talk you through the process, let’s have a conversation.