Developing the key infrastructure of a business costs money–lots of it if done incorrectly. Companies spend money needlessly to correct missteps, hire software-specific specialists, and pay with the opportunity cost of lost revenue from customers they did not capture. Building an e-commerce platform, website, and customer portal independent from each other is extremely inefficient and the following post will explain why.
Standard Web Presence Content Development
Let me first state that you can certainly buy, build, and integrate a flawless proprietary ERP system, website, e-commerce platform, customer portal, and customer support system without NetSuite or Luxent. You will just spend an order of magnitude more money than you would ever need to (and probably end up with an inferior result), but it can be done. I have been a developer and consultant who has worked with several companies for almost ten years and there are significant disadvantages to integrating multiple software products from different vendors or building each platform in-house. These include:
- Multiple platforms will lead to multiple backends which means potentially multiple separate databases servicing multiple different platforms and each containing their own set of erroneous or redundant data. Each database will, of course, also require maintenance and updates either by hand or using web services for front end applications to be dynamic.
- Every platform you have will require a web services application to be developed so that each database may sync and update with the proper records, items, and transactions. Not all data may be transferrable depending on the functionality of the web service API.
- Specialists and developers will need to be hired and and/or kept on staff. The required technical knowledge usually pertains to SQL, PHP, ASP, or some other technology-specific coding solution depending on the platform. Even if parts of this work are contracted out, a technical expert will be likely be required to remain on your team as a full-time employee.
- The end-customer experience may no longer be seamless. Keeping your customer on the same website, on the same URL, with the same theme and templates may not be possible with multiple platforms which may lead you to spending even more money to get them all at least appearing to work together, or taking the gamble that an end-customer may get sidetracked or confused and end a transaction accidentally or out of frustration.
NetSuite’s ERP platform and Luxent’s implementation of their product offering reduces and in almost all previous instances eliminates these issues.
The Benefits of Leveraging NetSuite’s Core Products
The greatest benefit from a Luxent implementation of NetSuite’s e-commerce package, Site Builder Website, and customer portal is the reduced development time, cost savings, and seamless integration of all product offerings because they are already built. They simply need to be configured and deployed.
These are not multiple platforms. NetSuite is the single platform and if you have NetSuite’s ERP setup, there is also only one database. This database will display the same data across all configured front end services. Database redundancy and synching errors are eliminated.
There is no need for custom web services to move and sync data. All data across applications relies on the same database. The only time you would need to build a web services application is to move data to a project outside of the mentioned scope.
Luxent develops and deploys all configurations in-house. Cost savings would be seen by not having to keep technical specialists on staff and lower development time. All software changes would be made by NetSuite itself and platform configurations done by Luxent.
The end-customer experience would be seamless. Templates created for the website would be the same as those used in the customer center, which would also be the same ones used on the e-commerce platform.
Lastly, the customer center comes with a built-in customer support ticketing system. This allows quick, orderly, and tracked interactions with customers. Increased customer satisfaction will increase the overall customer lifecycle itself.
The Argument for a Turn-Key Solution
NetSuite creates the option to leverage its ERP system into an e-commerce platform, website, and customer portal. This produces massive economies of scale in terms of cost, development time, and reduced platform integrations. The effort and cost to maintain an online corporate infrastructure will be reduced in such a way that resources can be devoted to other online resources that convert prospects into customers. A company looking to optimize its online budget expenditures should spend the majority of resources on the following:
- Content Creation
- Google Adwords
- Yahoo Adwords
- Social Media
- Link Back Creation
- Analysis of analytics
- Industry Events and Circulars
- Customer Service
If you are planning, or are already in the process of creating any of these platforms, contact us and learn how Luxent can shorten your implementation time and offer your customers a superior experience that keeps them coming back. We would be happy to talk to you about the benefits of leveraging your current ERP system to produce powerful tools that benefit your company and customers.