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What is an ERP?

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. An ERP system is a software solution that is used to run day-to-day business operations including accounting, procurement, managing customers, pricing and more. For most, an ERP is the source of truth for all the critical data across an organization.

Why is it important to have an ERP?

ERPs allow manufacturers and distributors to manage their business functions and processes within a centralized and fully integrated system.

History of the ERP

The term ERP was coined by Gartner in 1990. But its roots date back to the 1960s. Back then the concept applied to inventory management and control in manufacturing. Software engineers created programs to monitor inventory, reconcile balances and report on status of product.

Today, ERPs do all the awesome stuff they did in the 60s, while also handling front-office functions like sales force automation, marketing automation and even in some cases, for eCommerce. (But we don’t recommend doing this. Check out our article that covers why it’s a bad idea to build your eCommerce experience with your ERP provider).

Are ERPs specific to industries?

There are many different ERP solutions available including those specific to Wholesale Distribution and Manufacturing. There are also some that are designed for both distribution and manufacturing such as Epicor Cloud ERP, IFS, JD Edwards, Infor ERP, Infor CloudSuite, Microsoft ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Oracle NetSuite, Oracle Cloud, Oracle Peoplesoft, and SAP.

Common ERP systems built for manufacturers include: Epicor ERP, Infor SyteLine, QAD Manufacturing Pro, Plex Systems, and Infor System 21.

Wholesale Distribution:
Distributors often use ERP systems like: Epicor Prophet 21, Epicor Eclipse, Infor FACTS, and Infor SX.e.

Why should your ERP connect to your eCommerce platform?

When it comes to building modern, intuitive customer-facing experiences, some B2B companies think the ERP is the problem and build a plan to tackle the ERP or rip it out. However, the better route is finding a better way to serve customers while utilizing the important data stored in the ERP. An ERP was not built to handle eCommerce or be customer facing. They are back office systems. They’re good at what they do in the back office but it ends there. Your customers want a different experience that you can only deliver from a robust and fully functional eCommerce platform. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that your eCommerce platform integrates with your ERP system.

So, for B2B eCommerce to be successful, the eCommerce solution must integrate with the ERP. This enables the eCommerce solution to expose the data in the ERP in a way that is usable and accessible to customers and other people outside the organization. When your ERP is integrated with your eCommerce platform, your business is on its way to becoming revolutionized.

Does InsiteCommerce connect to ERP systems?

InsiteCommerce quickly connects to multiple ERPs. We provide a set of integration tools that allow users to build and integrate between InsiteCommerce and their backend business systems without middleware. This is what we call InsiteConnect™.

InsiteConnect is a suite of connectors designed to make integration to other business systems like ERPs easier through pre-established connections to the most common data points. Activation of our connectors occurs in the InsiteCommerce Admin Console through configuration which in turn reduces integration efforts.

Insite has built quick connectors to common ERPs used by B2B companies like Infor SX.e, Infor A+, IFS and Epicor Prophet 21. We’ve successfully integrated with more than 30 ERPs and 40 homegrown systems. To view more information on Insite’s integration capabilities, visit our Integration Resource Center.

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