Home / Blog / 2 powerful ways to leverage free ERP software to delight customers for South African businesses.
The reality of business is that it takes more effort to woe over new customers than it does to get more business from existing customers. It therefore makes sense to cement relations with existing customers and this can be done through a variety of means. Increasingly, businesses are leveraging information technology to do this.
Companies such as Amazon have perfected this by the recent introduction of the Amazon Dash for their customers. The Amazon Dash Button for those unfamiliar with the product, is a small electronic device designed to make ordering products easier and faster. The Dash buttons come in packs; each device contains an embedded button and is emblazoned with the name of an often-ordered product. How it works is that consumers configure each button to order a specific product and quantity, via their Amazon.com account, and mount the buttons, using adhesive tape or a plastic clip, to locations where they use the products. Pressing the button sends a Wi-Fi signal to the Amazon Shopping app, and automatically orders new stock of whatever product the button is configured to order; the click would also send a message to the user's mobile phone, and the user would have a half-hour window to cancel
What Amazon has accomplished deserves nothing less than a 10 out of 10 with respect to locking in customers by offering hard to beat convenience. Whist this concept may seem brand new, it is not so and was just built on top of what big businesses were doing already at an enterprise level .Please note that this post does not go over how to implement Amazon Dash for your business, but it does cover how your small business can offer similar convenience to customers that is also hard to beat, resulting in repeat business, greater collaboration with them and dominance of the market through hopefully more referrals from delighted customers.
Business to Business Application Integration
The most powerful way to leverage free ERP software is by building business to business integration between your business’s ERP and the ERP software of other corporate customers. This requires custom development between the entities which once complete, unlocks unmatched convenience similar to the Amazon Dash.
How it functions is that once the two ERP software get to talking with each other, then all that the customers has to do is to place a customer order on their system which within milliseconds creates a purchase order on the supplier side. The obvious advantage with this from a supplier side is that customers are locked in to their products, which means less likelihood of them switching to alternatives. What remains really is to provide competitively priced quality products that continue to satisfy the customer
Once a business has secured this position with a customer, it pretty much must work hard to loose itself. The hard work is to get customers to invest resources on their side to develop the system integration. This however should not be difficult if a good relationship is already established and the customer is happy with the product offered.
E-business and customer portals
If business to business application development is still something that customers are unable to commit to, perhaps because they do not have ERP softwarethat can handle the functionality, then the next best alternative is to provide a customer portal.
Customer portals come out of the box with ERPNext and require zero configuration. They are easily set up in a single click. Customer portals allow customers themselves to place orders directly on the ERP software without intervention from back office. Whilst portals are not new, many SMEs in South Africa will attest to the fact that they still do not offer this convenience to their customers.
Self-placing of orders is not all that is available on the ERPNext customer portal. Customers can check the status of shipments and have complete transaction history of all orders placed, related shipments and invoices. They can further raise issues, if any, directly from the portal.
Customer portals offer undisputed convenience and being available for FREE, are something small businesses should leverage to delight customers.
For more details regarding Business to Business Application Integration, please contact our support desk on 021 554 1021 or alternatively experience ERPNext's customer portal right now on our demo database via the link here