Many online merchants will tell you that synchronizing all of their information across the various platforms they use to run their business, can be an extremely difficult task. In some cases, merchants will have sales data coming from various channels that need to be distributed to other platforms, such as their accounting or fulfillment systems. A lot of times merchants will combat this issue with manpower, meaning that they hire employees whose responsibility it is to transfer data from one application to the next. The problem with this manual interaction is that it’s expensive and subject to human error both of which cut into a company’s profits.
Merchants can streamline their administration process by looking to integrate their various platforms. It’s rare to find a software service today that doesn’t have some kind of API (Application Programming Interface). Most accounting packages, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications will offer an automated method for you to transfer information into their platform. But how do you get the applications to interface or “speak” to one another?
For most companies the integration will need to be done by a 3rd party developer or integrator. Simply stating, this is someone who is responsible for pulling information from one system and massaging the data so it can be pushed into another without the need for a manual interaction. Unlike several years ago, it is much easier to find an integrator and this process has become much more affordable. In most cases, the company you’re looking to integrate with such as your shopping cart provider or accounting package will be able to recommend a development company to you.
Merchants of all shapes and sizes should look at automation as a key factor to increasing company profits and a big way to automate, is through integrating their various platforms.
Nexternal’s eCommerce Platform offers a powerful set of XML Tools for synchronizing data from one application to the next. You can read more by visiting: http://www.nexternal.com/xml/
Or by viewing this video.