SAP Business One is a powerful ERP that’s perfect for growing businesses, especially those with active eCommerce stores such as Shopify.
There are many options available for integrating Shopify or other platforms with SAP Business One. However, though many such solutions tout their simplicity, system integrations must account for the nuances of your business. For instance, is this a Wholesale environment with named customers or Retail with new web customers? How will tax be handled? Will items be managed both on SAP and the store web site and so need to be synchronized based on a common SKU which would match the SAP item code? Your business will have these and many more unique attributes all of which may play into your Shopify integration.
The best Shopify SAP integration must handle the most common synchronization patterns out of the box while providing the flexibility to solve your unique requirements. If the tool is too rigid and offers no pre-configured setup, your cost of ownership will be higher as you’ll be paying for ground-up product customizations to synchronize SAP Business One with Shopify.
Third Wave has helped many of our customers overcome their SAP Business One integration challenges thanks to industry-leading tools that others can’t offer.
When you “open the box” of our BizWeaver application, you see pre-built integrations covering the most common needs and easy-to-use features that match your business processes without custom software development. As your eCommerce capabilities grow and evolve with your business, the flexibility of BizWeaver adjusts your integrations along with you. We call them templates.
There are four essential data synchronizations shared between SAP Business One and a Shopify Store: Orders, Items, Inventory, and Deliveries.
Bizweaver’s pre-built Shopify integration for SAP Business One covers these essentials. It reflects the most common requirements from businesses running on SAP Business One, based on years of integration experience at Third Wave. Bizweaver also provides the flexibility and ease of use to add to, or modify, the pre-built templates.
This post is part four of a four-part series that gives you a deeper look at how to integrate each of these specific elements and fields in SAP Business One with your Shopify Store using our application Bizweaver and web app Versago.
In this post, we’re covering the “Deliveries” data synchronization.
Check out the rest of the series as well, covering the three other primary data elements:
Now let’s dive in and explore SAP Business One inventory Deliveries and how this powerful prebuilt integration demonstrates Third Wave’s commitment to Connecting and Control (two of our 4 Cs).
Before we walk through exactly how to leverage the Deliveries synchronization, we need to show you the tool that makes this integration so powerful: Bizweaver. (note: if you’ve already read this section in another post in this series, feel free to jump to the next heading.)
Bizweaver is a user-friendly yet powerful app available from Third Wave Business Systems. It’s an integration and process automation platform that bridges the gap between SAP Business One and your business’s ecosystem of third-party tools, including Shopify. It provides a crucial missing layer between Business One and other systems, handling data to and from both and acting as a hub for automating transaction synchronization.
BizWeaver provides the following capabilities:
To sum up, Bizweaver enables you and your team to perform data integrations using an intuitive application, without the need for expert-level data skills.
It provides a way to automate data processing which can be used to further augment the capabilities of SAP Business One or integrate external systems like Shopify with SAP Business One. Of course, Third Wave experts back-stop Bizweaver for you helping as needed every step of the way.
Now we’re ready to see how Bizweaver works in this situation.
Bizweaver allows you to configure and automate data flows, simplifying the process of getting the Shopify Fulfillment API and the SAP Business One deliveries data field to work in harmony with each other. Here are the steps to follow to synchronize SAP deliveries with Shopify order fulfillment. These steps assume you’ve already synced orders from Shopify to SAP; if not, refer back to our article on the “Orders” data field.
It starts when a delivery with a tracking number is created from an order in SAP. We cover how orders get into SAP from Shopify in a separate article.
Next, switch over to Bizweaver to open the appropriate workflow that deals with deliveries and fulfillment. It’s clearly labeled.
You’ll notice when you open the pre-built workflow that it has numerous easy-to-follow graphical steps. These provide the essential processing to synchronize the data on the two platforms. With Bizweaver, you can tweak, customize, and even save new workflows that are tuned even better for your unique context.
The delivery and fulfillment workflow scans for orders in a staging table (See Step 3) that have not been completely fulfilled. These orders are coming down from Shopify via the Bizweaver order processing integration described in a separate article. Note: Our Shopify integration supports partial order fulfillment. Items on unfulfilled orders are pulled from SAP and the tracking numbers are synchronized to the ordered items on Shopify.
Progress against complete fulfillment of the orders is also tracked, flagging items that are on hold or where the delivery date has changed.
A Note About User Defined Fields: From Third Wave’s deep SAP Business One expertise and experience supporting eCommerce integrations we know when and where the flags (UDFs) need to be set in SAP Business One to ensure proper synchronization with eCommerce stores. So, our templates include the automatic setup of those UDFs in SAP Business One.
Step 3 leverages what we like to call the secret sauce in our integration package: staging tables. Staging tables effectively decouple Shopify from SAP Business One so that neither system is directly affected by the other.
Staging tables provide a mid-point for data to and from the systems where it can be reviewed, updated, and corrected if needed. This protects both your data and your users.
The status of data in the staging tables is both managed and used by the delivery integration as instructions on what to do next, in this case, fetch unfulfilled items from SAP.
The prebuilt flow you saw in Step 2 pulls an order from that staging table and starts moving it through the flow.
At any time in the process, you can view the data in the staging tables using the complimentary Versago web app and immediately see that the order was fulfilled in Shopify.
It provides access to orders from Shopify, whether or not they were rejected from SAP Business One, their fulfillment status, and items and item information.
Of course, no system is perfect, and problem transactions will inevitably occur. When they do, simply find them and make corrections in your Versago app, and everything updates in your Bizweaver staging tables. Corrected transactions are then processed automatically.
BONUS: With many errors, you can go into your prebuilt Bizweaver workflow and add a step to automatically correct such anomalies the next time they occur. This saves significant time and effort over time.
The last step in this process is an ongoing one. As you get more familiar with Bizweaver or as your processes grow and change over time, you may need to modify your integration workflows. Doing so in Bizweaver is simple and straightforward, allowing you to make the needed changes without diving into the complex Shopify inventory API directly.
Even better, as a Third Wave Business Systems customer, you’ll have ongoing access to our customer success team. If you need guidance in modifying your integration workflows, we can help. Other vendors and partners can’t—because they don’t even have a tool like this in the first place.
SAP Business One delivers a ton of value across your organization. But out of the box, its connections with eCommerce platforms like Shopify are not as seamless and intuitive as we’d like.
Third Wave Business Systems resolves this weakness for your Shopify store and SAP Business One thanks to a combination of two powerful custom tools, Bizweaver and Versago. Together, they keep your inventory Items and related data in sync and up to date, giving you a “single source of truth” in one system. The result? You save time and reduce complexity so you can focus more on meeting customer needs and less on backend logistics.
Don’t forget to check out the other articles in our SAP Business One and Shopify series:
Ready to explore how Third Wave can transform your eCommerce and ERP environments by integrating them more seamlessly than you thought possible? Reach out to our team today to start the conversation.
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