E-Commerce is Drawing Interest from Epicor Prophet 21 Users
Trend lines are never a function of simple math. As much as I’d like my world around me to conform to the simple y=mx+b along a clean Cartesian plane, the world around me thinks otherwise. Life, they say, is non-Euclidean. I would surmise it is also non-Cartesian. So, what does this have to do with Prophet 21 e-commerce integrations?
Prophet 21 Trends
A trend of the distribution industry that hit me especially hard at the recent P21WWUG CONNECT 2021 event was the proliferation of e-commerce as a subject of interest, as a pressing concern for members of the distribution ERP community and for solution providers working to narrow the gap between the capabilities of the industry and the changing needs of the market.
E-Commerce Solutions Flow From Online Trends
This should really be no surprise—as soon as the World Wide Web became commonplace in offices and households, the possibilities of virtual commerce enamored businesses and consumers. As such, e-commerce has been a pervading topic for companies, as they try to take advantage of these possibilities.
If a trend-line is a topography, then the recent changes to the landscape have been a shift from a steady incline to a fever pitch.
Distribution Industry, P21 & E-Commerce Challenges
The obstacles to traditional procurement such as labor shortages, delivery schedule changes, shipping land congestion, and limits to brick-and-mortar acquisition that have been prevalent over 2020 and 2021 necessitated an increasing emphasis in e-commerce strategies. These strategies needed to support a type of acquisition and delivery that was quicker, more granular, more flexible, and more reactive to the world around us.
This new emphasis has certainly affected the Prophet 21 distribution community. Distributors are diverging in multiple directions, with working both to satisfy the needs of B2B customers, while also opening up their product directly to consumers through B2C opportunities. On this note, Ryan Horvath of Ripen recently offered some helpful points to consider when approaching a P21 e-commerce integration.
Processes: A successful e-commerce platform must support solid business processes. Before you build out your e-commerce solution, make sure to understand the business processes that they enable.
Platform: There are many idiosyncrasies to a given e-commerce platform, which differentiate one platform from another. Understand these differences before you pick one.
Resources: E-commerce solutions require resources to build, configure, deploy, and maintain. These resources can be internal or external. Before you begin, build a resource plan to support the creation and support of the e-commerce platform.
Scalability: As I noted above, we are in a period of rapid and radical upheaval. As such, the solution with which you go live may need to shift, scale, or otherwise morph as the needs of the market change. Make sure you’re building a solution that can handle such needs.
Ownership: The ownership of data, solutions, intellectual content, and transaction history may shift, depending on how the solution is licensed and deployed. Consider what you own and what you are giving up, prior to selecting a solution.
Long-Term Cost: Cost is an important consideration, as the cost to maintain the solution can erode into the profitability of the transactions it handles. Consider the long-term costs of your solution before you pick one.
Do you need help with your Prophet 21 E-Commerce Integration?
Ripen is an EstesGroup e-commerce partner, offering digital transformations that drive growth and strengthen brand loyalty. Ask us your e-commerce questions by filling out the form below or chatting with us now. EstesGroup offers enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and technology services to manufacturing and distribution companies. Prophet 21 hosting solutions and services bring P21 users into the secure and affordable infrastructure of a private cloud.