Handling enterprise data isn’t fun. Especially if it’s stored in two gigantic systems, such as Magento ecommerce platform and Epicor ERP.
Epicor isn’t the largest enterprise software vendor, but it certainly is one of the top Magento ERP solutions in B2B development. Here are three reasons why:
- With ∼20,000 clients running their software worldwide and $1 billion in revenue, Epicor can handle the requirements of multinational manufacturers and distributors.
- Epicor covers the classic mid-market companies with up to 999 employees and $249 million in revenue, which is where most Magento merchants stand.
- Manufacturing and distribution are the primary drivers of Epicor, which forms a powerful combination for retailers when coupled with Magento B2B capabilities.
Yet, something is always stopping distributors from integrating these two powerful systems — either the difficulty of the integration or the time/cost of its implementation.
In this article, you’ll find what exactly Epicor ERP is, which advantages it gives to the Magento B2B merchants, and how to seamlessly integrate Epicor with Magento to orchestrate your data flow. You’ll also see how we have implemented an exclusive Epicor Commerce Connect Magento 2 connector (the 2nd time in Europe!) for our Finnish client.
What is Epicor ERP?
Epicor ERP is a modular, industry-specific system for managing complex business operations, including customers, supply chain, inventory, distribution, manufacturing production, among others. Companies that benefit the most from Epicor ERP operate in the manufacturing, distribution, retail, automotive, and services industries.
When it comes to Magento ERP integration, Epicor offers the following system versions:
- Epicor 9 (E9) is one of the earliest Epicor ERP editions. Released in 2007, it stands as a full project management module although now considered a bit complex and outdated compared to new editions.
- Epicor 10 (E10) is a simplified version of E9 that provides a more intuitive interface and data flow for orders, invoices, jobs, and inventory.
- Kinetic (the new name for Epicor ERP) upgrades the E9 and E10 versions and allows discrete manufacturers to embrace powerful analysis, customer engagement, and inventory management tools.
- Prophet 21 (P21) is a cloud-based ERP designed strictly for distribution.
- Eclipse is an on-premise solution targeting wholesalers in the plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and PVF industries.
- Epicor Eagle provides a fully integrated retail management system for the growth of automotive and vehicle replacement parts market players.
What Are the Benefits of Epicor Integration?
Magento and Epicor can be a real power couple when it comes to efficient business management. Here are four key benefits of Epicor Magento integration for both retailers and customers.
Benefit #1: Faster Data Flow
Epicor ecommerce integration with Magento automates the data exchange processes. A customer uses Magento interface to make a purchase: they see the number of SKUs available, the shipping time, and the payment methods. What they see is updated in real time lightning fast: Epicor ERP pulls all sales order details, including quantity, product code & description, customer billing and shipping details etc., and pushes the updates back to the user interface.
Automated data flow brings two side benefits. First, the speed and ease of purchase allow your B2B customer to shop as if they were B2C. Second, there’s no need for entering product data in two different systems. As a result, your customer is fascinated with the speed of order processing, and your employees stay more productive while saving time on tedious manual tasks.
Benefit #2: Improved Data Accuracy
Data accuracy is another major benefit of Magento ERP system integration. Up-to-date information is shared between orders, customer accounts, warehouse inventory, and billing. There’s no need for manual data entry, so the chance of human errors is zeroed out. If coupled with PIM software, ERP presents an extra validation layer that checks the data input and, thus, reduces the costly errors and chargebacks.
Epicor Magento integration can also be a lifesaver for businesses concerned with inventory planning, especially those operating in markets with high volatility or seasonality. ERP houses inventory updates when receiving or selling products, so you can forecast how many items you need to produce or store in your warehouses.
Benefit #3: Optimized Financials
Epicor ERP integration will also allow you and your customers to gain real-time financial visibility. On the one hand, automated login will validate returning users and offer them account-based tiered pricing (a must-have feature for B2B sellers!). On the other hand, you will avoid billing issues with your clients. Your customers will be able to save, print, and pay the invoices pulled from Epicor ERP into the Magento interface online.
Benefit #4: Increased Customer Conversion Rate
Many B2B businesses use the new vs. returning customers metric to check their ecommerce conversion rate. But this rate is impossible to measure ー let alone increase ー without a tightly integrated back-end ERP with a user log-in portal.
Thanks to Epicor Magento 2 solution, your customers will be able to access info on their order history, payments, and shipping options in their webstore personal profiles. It simplifies the purchase of complex B2B orders and ensures a seamless customer experience across sales channels.
Epicor Commerce Connect Magento & Integration Method
Epicor ERP and Magento can be integrated with a native Epicor Commerce Connect (ECC). Mind though: it may not be as fun and easy as it seems.
Step #1: Get the Epicor Commerce Connect
The tricky part of Epicor Magento integration is that you either have to partner with Epicor or get to install the connector yourself. Epicor explicitly states,
For both your ERP platform and eCommerce platform you are working with one vendor who is accountable for delivering the solution and providing the support needed to meet your business goals and day-to-day operations.
If you choose to go with Epicor, you can count on a proven methodology that they’ve perfected through years of upgrades and solution implementation. But expect to see overhead expenses: you’ll need to pay not only the ECC but also the implementation costs, consulting, additional IT staff, Epicor training, etc.
If you decide to proceed with the integration yourself, you can either partner with an Epicor representative or a third-party vendor, like Elogic. You’ll get the source code of the connector alongside such tools as documentation, the Analyzer, and Epicor Learning Center to help you make it through. Your partner will take care of the rest.
Step #2: Check System Requirements
Each ECC version has quite strict environmental requirements for Magento integration. It is a good idea to check them for the specific version retailer is going to work with.
If these numbers you’ll find seem all Greek to you, you might need to hire a Magento developer to bypass the tech stack limitations and adjust your Magento system to Epicor requirements.
Step #3: Start Integrating
If you comply with all the system requirements, it may be enough to run the connector install script to integrate Magento and Epicor. However, if you want to customize the code or bypass some system requirements to minimize the risk of future system updates, you’ll need to install each script component separately.
Epicor Magento Integration Success Story: How Wexon Streamlined Its Business Operations and Increased Customer Retention Tenfold
Let us finish the Epicor Magento 2 discussion with an illustrative case of Elogic’s client, a Finnish B2B technical component company Wexon.
Wexon specializes in importing and selling technical components across the Nordics and East Europe. The brand represents several of the world’s leading manufacturers in valves and pneumatics, pressure, temperature and measurement tools, and other process industries.
The biggest concern that drove Wexon to implement Epicor Magento integration was the increasing demand for quick and reliable delivery as well as the need to improve B2B customer experience. The solution was further backed by a PIM system that ensured a smooth flow of orders and product information.
Here are the main outcomes of Epicor 10 integration that Wexon has seen:
- Improved B2B customer experience: users can now see custom tiered prices once they log in their personal accounts. So a returning customer doesn’t need to request quotes and/or contact support to make a purchase.
- Increased employee efficiency: there’s no need for manual data entry in two separate systems. Product information automatically flows from Magento to ERP and PIM and back.
- Flexible invoicing: thanks to credit limit functionality in E10, customers can buy a product without paying for it upfront. Credit limits vary from one customer to another and should enhance the company’s sales.
- User control over order history: a customer has the archives of all their previous orders in the palm of their hand, no matter if the purchase was made online or via traditional sales channels (in store, via email, via the phone).
- Real-time customer info updates: users can manage their ship-to and bill-to locations, specify preferred payment methods, etc. directly in their personal profile. This info is synchronized between Magento and Epicor, and a business owner can make decisions on delivery & cross-selling based on the most up-to-date data.
Needless to say, Epicor Magento integration boosted customer retention rates and optimized the company’s business operations. This was the second Epicor API integration ever implemented in Europe, and Wexon took the risk to upgrade its business to a whole new level.
Impressed with the results of Wexon? Try Epicor ERP integration for your business! At Elogic, we offer end-to-end assistance in the implementation of any third-party system, including Epicor ERP.