Defining successful e-commerce integration strategies with JD Edwards

With e-commerce innovation on the rise, and because there has been more growth during the past year than there has been during the last decade, organizations will be seen adjusting their strategies to meet the changing environment in which they operate. Nothing is more transformative to operations than an ERP Implementation – and when the ERP Implementation is JD Edwards, proper integration and better operations can be counted on.
When defining e-commerce strategies to integrate with JD Edwards, the aim is to present a flexible framework for e-strategists that facilitates their gaining an understanding of the interactions of the environment within which they are to operate and then developing a successful counter strategy for their organizational entity.
Because this kind of an extensive integration affects, in some way or another, nearly every staff member of a company, an organizational change management plan must make provisions for every staff member. A solid strategy also takes into account external stakeholders — the vendors, customers, suppliers, shareholders and others who work with or provide support to the company. Similar to employees, these individuals need to know what’s happening, why it’s happening and what the short-term and long-term effects of it will be.
The five key components of a solid organizational change management plan that, at the very least, your company should be leveraging when integrating the e-commerce with JD Edwards:
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Organizational readiness assessments. You can’t tell where you need to go if you don’t know where you are. Companies should plan for assessments throughout the implementation to gauge effectiveness, uncover pockets of resistance and discover areas in need of improvement.
Segmented communications planning. Your communication efforts must be segmented by audience, needs, messaging and so forth. A good ERP implementation requires a sound communications plan that treats everyone individually.
Change impact analysis. You can’t know what to communicate without knowing what specifically is changing, when it’s changing and what the impact of the change will be.
Executive alignment efforts. It is critical that the organization’s executives are clear on the reasons behind the integration and implementation, the benefits it will bring to the organization, the priority of the project, the resource requirements and so forth.
Separate system and process training. Panorama typically recommends that organizations separate their process and procedure training from their system training and spread the training out over months to improve results.
The foundations of a strong e-commerce strategy lie in the preparation of the ground before the functional issues are addressed. The ability of established organizations to react, understand, and deploy an ecommerce solution is very dependent upon the ability of an organization to effectively leverage its organizational learning.

Developing a Winning E-strategy

Several keys to the successful development of an e-commerce strategy have been highlighted:
• Ensure the project is backed by a senior executive.
• Develop a strategy before developing a Web presence.
• Develop a strategy by focusing on technology, branding, marketing, and service.
• Develop an IT infrastructure capable of matching the strategic objectives.
• Identify and use knowledge in the organization.
• The strategy must add value for customers, and it must change as the requirements of those customers change.
It is possible for companies that were not “born on the Web” to create similar Internet-based channels to those that the newer competition has so far exploited. By focusing on the factors outlined above they stand a good chance of success; by monitoring their performance and responding to changes in their markets, they can sustain that success. The established fixed-asset company of today can be the nimble Internet Company of tomorrow.

What translates out of a successful integration?

A key benefit of being a prepared online niche retailer is the ability to build a distinct, easily recognizable brand that can grow customer loyalty even as new brands are just a click (or discovery site) away. While physical stores may have once enjoyed the advantage in crafting cool shopping experiences, the aesthetics of the iPad and all the social sharing surrounding online shopping today are now shifting that advantage to e-commerce retailers.
By making their own unique products that can’t be found elsewhere through a quick Google search, these pure play e-tailers can still thrive – even surrounded by large incumbents.
The traditional retail value chain has significant costs built into both the retail and wholesale channel – such as stores, warehouses, and inventory. By controlling the whole supply chain, vertically integrated companies take a lot of the costs out of the system. That can be good news for consumers: They get high-quality products at a fraction of the price at department stores and other retailers.

The ultimate say

No matter how great your new ERP system is, its efficacy and impact on the company is truly going to depend on the people using it day to day. If your company has already chosen JD Edwards for the ERP Implementation, then it has made a significant investment in both integrating and bettering its operations. Don’t let a misguided or shortsighted organizational change management plan lead you astray now and that too with such a critical element in today’s business world – the e-commerce integration!
Has your company thought of integrating the ongoing ecommerce hype into their ERP system? Tell us about your experience or share your views with us.

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