Why Not All Enterprise Automation is Equal

Automation has impacted how our lives are run.  From automatic doors and self flushing toilets, to smart homes and self-driving cars; innovative technologies have converted the mundane day-to-day functions into economical contributions that are both convenient and save time.


The ABCs of ERP
In business, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is the epitome of automation. ERP is a management software suite that streamlines business’ day-to-day core functions from different departments, for instance: accounting, sales, purchasing, warehousing, inventory and invoicing.  Whether cloud-based or on-site, manufacturing, distribution, and wholesaler enterprises, across different industries (food and beverage, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, beauty and cosmetics, apparel, etc.…), rely on their ERP solution to automate and simplify their operations.
A good ERP has the advantage to increase process efficiencies and insights, reduce manual labour, costs and errors.  Implementation and deployment of available modules vary by organization type and size, but the basic business functions should at the very least include procurement (vendor management, payments, purchase orders), finance (accounts payables, accounts receivables), inventory management and customer relationship (maintain customer profiles).  But imagine, trading in your smartphone for a flip phone with single key strokes, or going back to working with one computer screen if you have worked with two.  The simple, effective and quick now becomes time consuming and costly.  And just like that, a good ERP can still have challenges.
Like an email inbox that does not sync, the systems are disconnected.  From staff needing to manually enter data and transfer payment information from one system to the next, the system is weakened by redundancies, duplicate entries and extra steps.


The missing pieces – Integrations and partners

Integrations – The right solution can help consolidate the costs and software a business uses, but the selection process should not be one sided. Prime factors a business may look for is software with corporate backing and install base, but overlooking the importance of 3rd party integrations to various components of an enterprise’s operations: freight, barcode scanning, and most significantly credit card processing.
From a merchant perspective, especially with business-to-business, simplifying the payment processing internally to single step actions, lends to the importance of an ERP system to integrate with a payment processor.

As an ERP solution, offer integrated payments to the equation, and the once disconnected system is now unified in a single platform across back-office and front-office operations.  The external processing the merchant had to once do, can now be synced with the ability to authorize, capture and record payments directly from a customer profile within the internal ERP system and automatically apply them against invoices.

An ERP’s add-on credit card processing module with embedded payments provides a centralized user experience and interface complete with security and card tokenization.  The ability to store, verify and authorize transactions from an encrypted randomized token card vault, ensures that sensitive credit card data is protected and data breaches are minimized through enhanced PCI compliance measures. Incorporating such a payment system:

  • Reduces administrative and operational costs
  • Improves cash flow
  • Increases productivity
  • Saves time
  • Minimizes human error
  • Offers better reporting and day-to-day reconciliation

These benefits are accomplished by eliminating duplicate and manual entry, and reducing external touches.

Partners – Integrating payments places the ERP within the payment ecosystem.  There are several players (acquirers, card issuers, payment gateways and merchant service providers), that connect and interact in the transaction process.    Evaluating an ERP solution holds as much weight as working and/or integrating with the right payment partner. Both merchants and ERP solution providers should look to work with individuals that come from business backgrounds and understand the importance to remain competitive through their knowledge of trends and changes.
From the merchant perspective, with respect to payment processing, pricing and support play a key role in their evaluation.  Working with an ERP that has a personal relationship with the payment provider and inversely a payment provider that has great partnerships with ERPs, can provide a single point of contact for implementation, management and support.


Direct vs Indirect
Choosing a Cartis Payments preferred ERP partner with a direct integration to Converge, Elavon’s omni commerce payment gateway, offers a host of benefits by removing the friction of a third-party payment gateway and can offer:

  • Ability to accept all card acceptance methods
  • Built in fraud management
  • Level 3 processing
  • Add-on value-add features

With alternative ERPs like Acumatica, Odoo, SAP Business One; that offer integrations to other payment gateways (i.e., Authorize.net, USAePay, Bambora (Worldline), Cybersource or PayFlow), which all have direct to host integrations to Elavon; we are able to accommodate merchants looking to utilize their ERP of choice all the while benefiting from a relationship with Cartis Payments for their credit card processing.


Let us help
If you are an ERP solution provider looking to win more clients, and generate a revenue stream by integrating credit card processing with your application; contact us to ask about built-in payments and some of the features you can integrate to: invoicing, payment links, ACH (US), keyed, card present, and online payments.

If you are an existing or prospective merchant and still doing things manually, reach out to us today to learn if we can integrate with your existing systems or if you need recommendations for others.