With the announcement that Shopify launched a global ERP program, the eCommerce world has now had some time to figure out what it all means. Is this new offering going to solve integration problems once and for all? We at VL OMNI who have been in the business for 27 years say no way, but there is a place for what they are doing.
The new ERP Global program is a great new plug-and-play offering that will help support small-to-slightly bigger-sized businesses. It’s clear however that enterprise Merchants will still need to rely on more complex and sophisticated ERP offerings with strategic and targeted consultation.
Like most large-scale product offerings, the Shopify solution will not serve every Merchant in the ecosystem equally. In this article, we will break down who benefits the most from Shopify’s Global ERP program and which businesses will benefit from strategic and targeted consultation and complex integrations that VL OMNI and other partners in the Shopify Partner ecosystem can offer.
Let’s break it down.
Who’s best suited for the Shopify Global ERP Program?
Smaller Shopify Merchants who have simple ERP needs that fit within the predefined parameters of the Oracle NetSuite, Infor, Acumatica, and Brightpearl’s app available on the Shopify store will benefit. This will give these merchants access to a system that connects their Shopify store to key business data like financials, pricing, and inventory so they can optimize operations and processes.
This is a fantastic opportunity for small merchants to level up their business operations and processes that will allow them to grow their business at scale. The devil in the detail however is, that if your business does not fit into the predefined template these solutions are built upon, you will have only two choices. You will need to either change your ERP setup and processes or take an alternative route.
Is the Shopify Global ERP Program for Enterprise Brands?
If you are already an enterprise merchant with your own ERP and considering integration, should you switch to Shopify’s app program? We suggest not. Though Shopify’s program is widening access to smaller merchants worldwide, it is not a complete solution.
Enterprise merchants have sophisticated and complex ERP integration requirements that simply are not able to be met in an app environment. Creating a strategic vision for your integrations that encompasses both technical flexibilities as well as specific business rules, requires strategic consultation and managed services to ensure that your business ERP integration needs are met with accuracy, scalability, and agility.
Integration apps only serve half of the integration challenge
Shopify’s offering of ERP integration apps in partnership with various ERP vendors offers up just the technical side of the solution. The other side is a thorough discussion on how data is being handled between the systems being connected. This is where these types of plug-and-play solutions require you to fit into a specific box that has been defined for the lowest and often the simplest common denominator.
The benefit of a managed service solution like VL OMNI’s is that we power your integrations with a consultative approach. We work in partnership with the Merchant on understanding what data is needed, where does the data need to go, and how the data source has been customized in any way that needs to be accounted for.
Quality and robust ERP integrations are often not plug-and-play and are far more nuanced than a single app can provide. Enter iPaaS solutions that allow point-to-multipoint application integration.
There is no one-size-fits-all with ERP Integration
Almost certainly integration apps are designed to be used with default configurations on a given ERP. While there may be some ability to map data in custom scenarios or create simple xref. tables, there remains a high probability the app framework will be purposely rigid to work with. Products, in particular, can have numerous configurations depending on the ERP setup. Apps may require a specific product setup in the ERP to achieve integration with Shopify. This may and can often limit what can be done on the front-end website.
VL OMNI’s managed service allows each unique and individual Merchant to map out their specific business rules and make sure the integrations fit them without changing the business strategy and processes around the constraints of applications. Whether you are looking for an agile Shopify ERP integration or trying to connect other applications together, we’ve got you covered!
Where should ERP Connectors and Apps “Live”?
With so many different solutions on the market, Merchants understandably have questions. The main concern is “Where would be the best place to install a connector app to move data back and forth?”
Since an ERP is generally the source of truth for businesses, it makes more sense to configure sales channels (e.g. Shopify, Amazon, eBay) on the ERP side and not through the eCommerce platform itself. However, if you have many plug-and-play solutions, you may be using a native tool that has volume limitations and only handles a single channel.
Sophisticated enterprise businesses must strategically decide if there is an inherent benefit from the ERP integration apps currently available on Shopify. The checklist below will allow Merchants to gauge the correct fit.
Key Considerations Before Choosing an ERP Integration Solution
If you are a Merchant trying to wade your way through the many offers before you, we always recommend going for a strategic approach.
ERP Integrations are not as easy to implement as when Thanos snapped his fingers and caused the extermination of half of all life in the virtual universe of Marvel (just a relevant example to illustrate this concept). Before choosing an ERP integration solution, Merchants must understand the benefits of having robust integration that supports their growth and scalability, and improves their customer experience.
Wondering if the Shopify ERP Global Program is right for you?
Ask yourself and business the below questions when evaluating the right ERP integration solution for your business. Once you have done that, give us a call and we will be happy to chat about your needs.
- Are you an enterprise merchant with complex and sophisticated integration needs?
- Will you receive enough support for your strategic integration vision through an in-app experience?
- Do you require integration support with consultative integration experts?
- Is your ERP currently the central-point-of data truth in your organization’s data flow? If so, does it make strategic sense to move it to your eCommerce store?
- What are your long-term growth goals and will the Shopify Global ERP program help you reach them?