In this guest post, Jonathan Tait, Head of Marketing at multichannel platform provider Volo Commerce, talks productivity, profitability and the P of ecommerce ERP.
The Back Office Drives Profit
They say that in business nothing happens until somebody sells something. In ecommerce it’s pretty much the case too. Once someone’s ordered from you, it’s down to you to deliver (literally.) Your challenge is to fulfil that order according to your promises in the most economic, efficient way possible. The more productive you are, the lower your costs and the more profit you make.
This is the key to running a great ecommerce business. Sales is all about leveraging those factors that bring you in more business – how well you list your products and get found, the breadth of products you sell, the number of channels your products are seen on, the ways you promote your products, and the countries you sell to. Operations, on the other hand, rely on the other side of the house: your inventory & stock control, warehousing, fulfilment and despatch, customer service and purchasing.
So much of the operational domain depends on a good back office. The trouble is, many sellers rely on their great selling platforms, like Magento, BigCommerce and Shopify, to take care of the back office part as well. This is risky if you don’t maintain your back office processes or get the right support for them. Put another way, if your back office is not properly backing up your front office, you’re losing margin.
ERP is Enterprise Resource Planning, and for me you’ve got to have a plan for how you’ll service your sales in the most productive way possible. And just because the E stands for Enterprise it doesn’t mean that only big business can benefit from good back office technology.
At Volo, many of our customers use us to automate all of their business processes for their websites as well as their marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. We help them centrally manage their selling channels and we are their ecommerce ERP system, ensuring that the movement of goods through the business – from supplier to consumer, via the seller, is as efficient as possible.
Your Back Office Backbone
Having a back office with a backbone is what you need to keep the control in your business. Central to this is maintaining accurate stock levels as you sell products, and accurate accounts that are not slowed down by manual ordering, re-ordering, refund processing and posting to accounts.
What’s more, with built-in warehouse management, you can map one or more warehouses, in one or multiple locations, so you can keep track of all your stock – physical or virtual – by quantity and location. You can also process returns for refund, credit or exchange in a straightforward manner and return goods to the same or a different location, all without the process eating a huge slice or in fact the whole of your profit pie.
Sales are like goals, and it’s great to be on the offense, scoring a ton of revenues. A rock-solid back office is your world-class defence, the finely-oiled machine helping you keep a clean sheet in the most efficient, profitable way.
Set yourself up for success – book a free, no-obligation ecommerce consultation with Volo.