3 Reasons Why an ERP is Essential for Businesses with International Concerns

By October 20, 2017Blog

There’s no doubt our world is shrinking and, thanks to technology, we are connected in more ways than any one of us ever imagined. The internet brings us closer together and makes it possible to connect your business to customers around the globe.

If you are expanding your online selling to new international markets or embarking on a larger international expansion of your business, one thing you’ll need is the right ERP software solution that supports different currencies, enables e-commerce and makes export shipping a breeze for your business. The result? Your time and resources will free up so you can focus on what matters most: growing your business and satisfying your new international customers.

 

Multiple Currency Support

The exchange rate between various currencies is in constant fluctuation, 24 hours a day. Accurate reporting of sales is crucial to having balanced books and correct tax remittance. An ERP with multiple currency support will ensure your business is always working with accurate numbers.

To deal with the exchange rates, businesses can “pre-book” an exchange rate with their bank. The right ERP can help you do this in the most cost-effective way possible by forecasting the expected volume of international exchanges in each currency. This allows you to take advantage of more favorable exchange rates giving you the most bang for your American buck.

An ERP can also provide owners with reports on how much your business gained or lost due to the currency exchange rate. This can be particularly helpful when deciding which international markets, you should market to in order to grow sales or which countries you should limit your business’ activity.

 

E-Commerce Capabilities

Having a disconnect between your business’ online store and your current ERP or other pre-existing systems can cause you to oversell, over-promise delivery timeframes and even mix up your sold inventory.

An ERP solution with built-in e-commerce capabilities reduces the likelihood of these errors occurring and allows you to ensure a top-notch experience for your customers.Data is power. Manual data transfers from your business’ online store to a non-e-commerce- equipped ERP can cause a loss of details at the individual transaction level. Whether dealing with a customer’s return, tax audit or the need to recall products, robust data collection can help your business. ERP integration allows for the seamless transfer of e-commerce store data to the rest of your business without sacrificing data quality.

Data is power. Manual data transfers from your business’ online store to a non-e-commerce- equipped ERP can cause a loss of details at the individual transaction level. Whether dealing with a customer’s return, tax audit or the need to recall products, robust data collection can help your business. ERP integration allows for the seamless transfer of e-commerce store data to the rest of your business without sacrificing data quality.

In addition, one cohesive system will produce superior reports, providing you with better insights and analysis on your business’ growth, including a drilled-down view of the international sales and performance for your business. Understanding the customer retention rates for new international markets will provide you with highly valuable insights to evaluate the success of your international expansion.

 

International Shipping, Warehouse Tracking and Compliance.

From determining international shipping rates to dealing with international mail carriers, international selling can come with a lot of complexities, and complexities equal headaches for you and your business. Depending on the countries your you do business in, picking the right delivery system can save your business time and money. The ERP solution can help you make better decisions and manage pricing and tracking.

When shipping internationally, a business will need the right shipping labels, correct postage, and will need to charge or pay the appropriate shipping fee. Particularly robust ERPs will allow you to compare shipping rates across land, sea or air to make the right choices for your business.

One of the top features to look for as you grow your international sales is an ERP that can consolidate different shipments going to the same country or region to improve shipping efficiency. International shipments of sales also require additional documentation, so you must determine if the country you’re shipping to considers your product a document or a commodity. Many countries have specific requirements relating to the description of your product; failure to comply with the description standards can result in significant shipping delays.

You also need to ensure you comply with the relevant customs requirements for the countries you are shipping to. Businesses must declare relevant information about a package’s contents to determine the amount of duty to pay or determine the necessary customs clearance. Compliance is crucial to timely delivery! An ERP can help SMBs understand what product declarations are required for shipments to each country.

Finally, if your business has many international customers requiring local warehouses or if your business expanded to include vendors in other countries, international warehouse management and tracking will pose a big challenge for your business. An ERP solution can help track inventory levels, confirm shipments and, in general, give you real-time reports on your international operations.

 

Review Your Options

There’s a myth that an ERP technology solution is only for large companies, but that simply isn’t true. Due to demand for international growth of U.S. companies, providers learned a long time ago that their solutions needed to be entirely scalable, growing as you grow, even if you decide not to expand at this time. Review your options and ask your provider for guidance; that’s how smart decisions are made.

SWK Technologies, Inc.