There are endless options when choosing business management software. If you have a Magento eCommerce store, linking the store to your chosen ERP, CRM or POS software is essential to manage your business data and present customers with accurate up-to-date information. In this article I’ll give a brief overview of what these acronyms mean, and how they relate to your Magento store. Also, I’ll list some of the more popular pieces of software and some ideas for integrating these into Magento.
ERP – Enterprise resource planning
ERP software is a collection of tools used to collect, monitor and handle data related to the operations of a business. Activities such as managing inventories, finances, supply chains and manufacturing are commonly managed by ERP software. Monitoring these activities can provide valuable insights. It can also provide supporting evidence for making business decisions and promote error free transactions and production by utilising real-time data.
With relation to eCommerce, ERP is essential for supplying real-time information to the eCommerce platform to allow accurate availability, stock levels and pricing.
- Sage – A highly popular name in the ERP market providing multiple solutions for small business through to large companies, and they also have a cloud based service.
Integration – Integrate Sage 50 with Magento using Cart Span extension.
- SAP – An industry leader with a large market share. SAP provide ERP solutions for almost any business.
Integration – Magento integration with SAP can be achieved using the CloudConnect ERP extension.
- Oracle – Another large player with many options, but not really catering to smaller businesses.
Integration – There doesn’t appear to be readily available Magento extensions to implement Oracle. A custom scheduled import and export of data is required. See more detail here.
CRM – Customer relationship management
CRM software is a system for managing and analyzing customer data with the goal of improving business relationships with customers and driving sales growth. This software allows targeted and automated interaction with current and potential customers.
Syncing customer details from Magento to a CRM is a must for aiding customer retention and for potential future targeted marketing.
- Salesforce – A fairly costly option that is very feature rich.
Integration – Integrates with Magento using Powersync which is highly popular on Magento Connect.
- MailChimp – An email focused CRM that offer a great free service as well as free options.
Integration – A highly popular Magento extension for MailChimp integration is MailChimp / eCommerce 360 Integration.
- SugarCRM – Another very popular CRM with a more open platform, allowing easier expandability.
Integration – Synchronize customer and order with Magento using SugarCRM Bridge.
POS – Point of sale
Point of sale is where a retail transaction is completed. Software and hardware for POS are used to calculate cost, accept payment, generate a receipt and transfer data back to ERP software. POS can often be part of a larger ERP system or it can be a standalone product.
Similarly to ERP software, this is important for supplying real-time information to Magento.
- Vend – High end solution for POS at a reasonable price.
Integration – Fooman Connect provides real-time 2 way integration with Magento.
- Lightspeed – A POS with cloud based options, with a focus on retail.
Integration – Lightspeed Connect is a highly popular, free extension with mixed reviews.