“With over 74 000 clients worldwide, HansaWorld has an enormous insight into the wants and needs of small to medium businesses. With the convenience and efficiency synonymous with online trading today, the ability to very quickly, easily and securely create an online shop is a big advantage for many such businesses,” says Johani Marais, country manager of HansaWorld South Africa.
Where other business owners may have to develop an entirely separate website and back end, the HansaWorld solution is an integral component of the ERP system. That’s noteworthy not only from a convenience point of view, notes Marais: “More importantly, it means integration of stock levels, integration of manufacturing and warehousing if relevant, and complete integration of processes from the front end right through to the back.”
Explaining how Webshop allows for the creation of an online presence without the need for developers, she says the same familiar interface which is used every day across the HansaWorld ERP solution, facilitates the website. “Users set up style sheets for different areas of the Webshop, controlling the look and feel of the site. The ERP system uses a fully configurable template approach for the management of the design of the ecommerce solution.”
For example, there are settings to determine how many frames will be used, where each frame will be positioned, what will be displayed in each frame. “Users can associate pictures with various elements in the HansaWorld data, and control how these pictures are displayed,” she adds.
There are no external databases to maintain and no new applications to install, learn or maintain.
“Products can be marketed internally, to partners or to the general public,” Marais adds – that is, Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C).
As a B2B solution, she says Webshop lets your customers place and pay for their orders; a common use is within franchise businesses where the franchisor provides a range of goods which are used by franchisees. “Instead of salespeople handling order processing, it is all done by online self-service. That means potentially increased and faster sales, savings of time and effort and your customers can search information about products and pricing and view their account status themselves.”
From a maintenance perspective, because users are in control of the web pages which will be accessed by customers ordering goods online, there is no ongoing maintenance of websites, which results in lower ongoing costs. “As a complete content management system, Webshop provides all that is required to put products online to sell.. There is the ability to add a shopping cart, a payment gateway and to add and remove products depending on availability,” says Marais.
Integration means that when a detail in the ERP system is changed, such as price, name or stock level of any item, the Webshop is updated in real time. “Automation and singe entry saves time and ensures accuracy,” she notes.
Already, Marais says many of HansaWorld clients are using Webshop to extend their enterprise online; “Any business which has a website or wants a website can benefit from this technology. The complete integration across the business means optimal convenience, with all financial transactions and processes initiated at the point of a customer placing an order online. As a full content management system, maintained within the ERP system, Webshop puts your business online in a snap,” she concludes.