As a manufacturer, your sales techniques have probably evolved in the past decade. Your website is now the first thing your clients find when they search you; it is the interface that gives them the first impression of your company and your products. Many manufacturers have invested in great websites with lengthy product descriptions, success stories, and video demos, but what if your website could also generate your companies’ profits?
It could, with an E-commerce module integrated to your ERP System.
E-commerce modules allow your customers to enter quotes in a quick, user-friendly, graphical web interface similar to ones you would find on the BestBuy and Amazon platforms. These quotes are then converted into orders directly into your ERP system. This module speeds up your sales cycle, lets you keep track of quote conversion rates, and facilitates communication between your sales team and other departments.
Let’s dive deeper and discover more advantages of integrating eCommerce and ERP systems.
Read Also: What is an ERP System?
Quicker Sales Cycle
Web developers and website designers have one main rule when designing a website, create as little friction possible between the site and the user. Friction refers to anything that prevents a user from accomplishing a goal; it can be any unnecessary step before adding an item to a cart or to complete the quote.
Consider a Google search. It only requires two steps:
- Type in query
- Hit “Enter” or click the search button.
Faster is better, and that applies to your sales process. If you are a manufacturer of pre-engineered metal buildings, your quotes could include parts as detailed as “a Purlin Bearing Leg with Major ribs 1-¼” in depth and on 12″ centers and a 24 gauge-GALVALUME®.” Let’s agree that those are complex quotes to assemble. But an easy e-commerce module that includes pre-recorded items can make this process a breeze.
There are two ways a quote can be completed with an e-Commerce module. First, the customer could access this page from your website and fill out a quote by themselves. This is made even easier when clients need to re-enter a similar quote as before, the system will have that data saved for them. Or, as a second option, your sales team could use this portal as a tool to create a complex quote. A pre-recorded items list allows the sales person to assemble a detailed and accurate quote in just a few clicks. As items are added, the software automatically compares them to your current inventory, calculates the total cost, and can even convert the quote into an order once agreed upon. This logic considerably reduces the time to produce a quote and helps your sales force strike the iron while it is hot, increasing your chances to win the sale.
Improved Departmental Communication
Unlike many traditional e-commerce platforms, the MetalEZ Ecommerce module goes beyond a customer facing interface. ABIS has utilized focus groups, best practices, and its vast industry knowledge to develop a comprehensive tool that can not only manage quotes and orders but also synchronize communication and traceability throughout the entire organization. By leveraging the integration between e-commerce and ERP, our customers have bridged the communication and automation gaps between sales, production, accounting, and management that other legacy systems continue to struggle with.
The most advanced e-commerce modules like the one created by ABIS include catalog creation, item setup, customer specific pricing, standard form setup, security setup, and system logic option setup.
E-commerce allows your sales team to create detailed quotes tailored to a specific customer. Imagine you are a manufacturer of pre-engineered metal buildings and your sales team needs to create a quote for a buyer. They could discuss the type of panel the customer wants for their building, adding length, height, color, and add pre-recorded items to the quote in an instant.
All details necessary to follow up with the customer such as company and contact name, phone number, shipping address, quotes and PO # would only need to be added once.
If the quote is accepted, all details stay in your system and can be accessed by the production department or accounting from the same interface. Relevant information can be sent to the correct point of contact and managed easily by every stakeholder.
Reduction in Data Entry Errors
Paper quotes and negotiations are not immune to mistakes and errors. A “7” can become a “1”, a “Weistheimer rd” becomes “Westeimer rd” and “Mr Davis” is entered by the sales department, while “John Davis” is entered by Production, and “J. Davis” is entered by Accounting, creating 3 different persons on file.
With one point of entry from quoting to production and delivery, these mistakes are a thing of the past. Entering wrong quantities, transposing numbers, entering wrong shipping address or completely losing an order will be impossible. ERP e-commerce integration guarantees you a consistent, fast and error-free process, where customers quotes, production orders, and bills are attached to a single profile.
It also gives you traceability and visibility over your entire process. With historical documents automatically stored and attached to the customer profile, keeping track of the sales cycle is a breeze.
In the ABIS e-Commerce module, all open quotes for the selected customer are displayed in a searchable grid and can be viewed by any team member with the appropriate authorization.
These are a few of the many benefits of integrating your ERP system with the e-Commerce website. If you are interested in learning more about the impacts of this module on your business, feel free to contact us.
Read Also: What is an ERP System?