Integration: Roadmap for Success
Welcome to NuORDER!
When you integrate your ERP (or other back office system) with NuORDER, the goal is to set up seamless communication between our two systems.
Depending on your system and setup, the level of automation we are able to achieve may vary. But ultimately we want you to make all your updates to style & customer information in your ERP and then have it sent to NuORDER with as little manual action as possible. On the other end, we want to eliminate any double entry of orders by sending them automatically back to your ERP.
Our integrations team will work with your team to set up the various export & import processes. Together we will make sure that the data going back and forth is not only the correct formats, but the correct content.
Think You’re Ready to integrate?
Below is an overview of what will be required from your team throughout the integration process. We’ve launched a wide variety of brands and ERPs, and we have a pretty good idea of what will make your integration a success
1. This will be a collaborative effort.
When we initially kick off the integration, we’ll prepare a suggested timeline according to your target launch date. Meeting that deadline will depend on both sides — some steps will be our responsibility, and some will be yours. If any stage of the integration process takes longer than expected, we may need to rethink your launch timeline.
2. You may need to change the way you do things.
You’ve signed up with NuORDER because you want to make your business better — you want to give your sales team new tools to help them work more effectively. One of the goals with integration is to set up NuORDER to work with your existing setup. However, in order to utilize (or optimize) certain features in NuORDER, you might need to adjust the way styles and customers are set up in your ERP. In some cases, you might need to request a custom development job from your ERP. This is all part of the long-term partnership your brand is making with NuORDER
3. Data is everything.
Data tends to be one of the key areas where all brands (large and small) struggle. Before we can get too far into the integration, your team will need to allocate some resources to go through the data in your ERP system with a fine toothed comb. It needs to be 100% accurate and 100% consistent.
Here’s why: When you’re working on paper, you’ve usually got a human set of eyes on every step of the sales process. If a style is in the system incorrectly, or if a sales rep writes a wrong number on an order, it’s easy to cross it out or retype it on the spot. When you integrate with NuORDER, these manual processes will become automated. You will no longer be able to make changes on the fly as you spot them. If something’s not right in NuORDER, you’ll need to go back to the source (your ERP) and wait for the change to come through on the next automated feed.
To communicate properly, our two systems will be relying on a perfect match in every data field — that means literally every letter, number, space, and even punctuation matters.
Every day we assist integrated brands with seemingly minor discrepancies that result in a failed transfer. FA14 is different than FALL 14. 1 is different than 001. 999-hyphen-BLK is different than 999_underscore_BLK. If a certain field is required in NuORDER, that means it cannot be blank on a single style or customer.
4. You will need a person to be responsible for your NuORDER data.
Data management doesn’t stop with the initial launch. Someone on your team will need to be responsible every day for making sure all the data and orders going back and forth are perfect.
This person will be the primary point of contact for your internal team and NuORDER. If one of the data feeds throws an error, they’ll need to locate that product/customer in your ERP and NuORDER, and make the necessary changes in one or both systems to resolve it. If your sales team says a product or customer is incorrect or missing in NuORDER, this person will be responsible for figuring out what should be displaying, and getting the right data loaded.
Think carefully on whether you have someone on your team (or the resources to hire someone) who can own this area. If not, you might not be ready for integration just yet.
5. Product imagery: plan ahead.
Images need to be formatted in a particular spec for NuORDER — including pixel dimensions, file type, color profile, and web compression. Chances are these aren’t the exact specs you’ve been using. Additionally, to make sure they automatically link with the right styles & colors in NuORDER, the files need to be named in a very specific way.
Imagery has an enormous impact on the overall NuORDER user experience. We might have worked through some incredible feats of data manipulation and special functionality — but if you’re missing a lot of images, your reps will have a hard time appreciating it.
Imagery formatting & naming can be one of the most time consuming areas to change. If you need help in this area, let us know – we have some great bulk resizing/renaming tools we can recommend, and we’re happy to walk your team through the steps. The sooner you can get started on image resizing & renaming — or let your photographer know the new specs they need to follow going forward — the sooner you can deliver a beautiful visual presentation to your reps and buyers. And we promise that your hard work will pay off!
6. Allow at least 2 weeks between your go-live and your next selling period.
Once the automated feeds are switched on, your team will need to be extremely diligent for a few weeks. You’ll need to look carefully each day to make sure products, customers, inventory, and images are all updating the right way. You’ll also need to review and verify every order placed, and compare the order in NuORDER to the order that came through to the ERP.
Additionally, everyone on your team — sales, customer service, order entry, IT — is learning a new workflow. They need time to adjust.
To make sure your team has the best possible launch, we will not schedule a go-live that coincides too closely with a major trade show or holiday.
7. Expect a few bumps.
As much work as both sides put in, it probably won’t be perfect right out of the gate. Data will be missing or incorrect. Orders will get rejected from your ERP. This is to be expected, and should in no way diminish the work everyone has done.
The fact of the matter is that no amount of testing can replicate real life usage. Your users are going to do things in ways we didn’t anticipate. A style will be updated in a way we didn’t expect. So you’ll need to allow time each day to troubleshoot with us and work through it. It’s all part of the process.
8. It will all be worth it!
We’ve helped many brands set up integration, and ultimately the benefits will far outweigh the challenges. It’s important to keep the big picture in mind: you are eliminating double entry while making more information (and more accurate information) available to your entire team.
Your reps and buyers will be ordering from a centralized catalog – no more phone calls to verify a price or confirm availability. No more stock report getting faxed out each morning. When it comes to order entry, instead of spending time deciphering and keying in each order, your customer service team can focus on making sure the orders are being processed correctly and efficiently.
You are giving your team the tools and information they need to maximize their usage of NuORDER, focus their time in a meaningful way, and ultimately sell more!