In our previous blog post, Ecommerce / ERP Solution QA Using Scenario Based Testing, we shared how setting up a scenario based testing environment with well defined use cases helps to drive effective testing coverage. This level of confidence in system performance is critical for all businesses, but especially so for growing Ecommerce businesses. The other aspect of an Ecommerce platform that is most important to growing Ecommerce businesses is back office ERP. Without good ERP, the joy of growing an Ecommerce business can quickly turn into the pain of mismanaged business processes and unhappy customers. So it is important to think ahead and plan for a system that provides the back office processes you will need over the coming months and years.
Ecommerce ERP Evaluation
Evaluation of any ERP solution is a challenging task with long term impact on the organization and its productivity. Once an Ecommerce and ERP platform is chosen, the commitments required in terms of personnel, data management, and expense can be substantial. We have some tips and techniques that can help you to evaluate the most suitable enterprise solution for your business.
- Consider the right mix of people to include in your ERP selection team – all areas of the business should be represented
- Review integration capabilities with regard to existing applications
- Address system performance and UI capabilities with the goal of user friendliness
- Plan short and long term implementation and support
Available Library of Documents and Artifacts
For an Ecommerce ERP evaluation, buyers begin by documenting and prioritizing required use cases. Once the use cases are documented in the form of artifacts, it becomes easier for the business owner to map system capabilities to her own business. (Apart from this, a well written and documented use case can also be a foundation for future test cases.)
Key Scenarios in an Ecommerce ERP
In an Ecommerce business there are multiple events, features, and processes that cooperate and interact with one another. An Ecommerce ERP solution (like Apache OFBiz) must be able to handle the fundamentals smoothly, in one unified platform. Some of the most important use cases forming the backbone of an Ecommerce ERP system are:
- Ecommerce Store
- Catalog Management (Product and Merchandising)
- Order Management (Customer Service)
- Warehouse (Inventory ManagementPick, Pack, Ship)
Quick Checklist For Business Owners
- Consider needs based on the size of your business today
- Project the expected growth rate for your business over the next five years
- Identify potential Ecommere ERP tools available on the market
- Look for use case documents and artifacts within the community or from proprietary vendors
- Compare the available use cases with your business scenarios
- Check the ratio of use cases matching your business
- Initiate a POC with the vendor if needed
- Analyze the results
- Make final selection
Evaluating OFBiz as Ecommerce ERP
- A trusted solution from the Apache Software Foundation
- A customizable platform that can be easily integrated with existing systems
- Unified platform (Storefront, Product, Catalog, Order, Inventory, Accounting….)
- Cloud-based or on premises
If you are interested in exploring OFBiz as an Ecommerce ERP solution, we would be glad to speak with you and understand how we can help you. Feel free to get in touch with us.
Pranay Pandey has been in the software industry since 2006. He specializes in Enterprise Software Design and Development. At HotWax he currently leads the effort of architecting quality software products and training resources. He continues to be dedicated to the Apache OFBiz open source project since 2007 and became a committer in 2014. He leads our internal training programs in Apache OFBiz, ERP and new technologies under the roof of HotWax University. He is an Electronics graduate and has a masters degree in Computer Applications from Rajeev Gandhi Technical University, Bhopal (M.P.) India. He loves learning and sharing knowledge. He believes that one of the keys to success in this industry is to "keep learning". His hobbies are reading, writing, walking, running, cycling, cooking and watching science fiction movies.