The complete guide to connect your ERP solution to Akeneo PIM

#Who is your connector for?

#Personas

Below, you will find the user archetypes we use to help you guide your decisions about product features, interactions, and even the visual design of your connector. Designing for the archetype — whose goals and behavior patterns are well understood — allows you to satisfy the broader group of people represented by that archetype.

Personas

#Product workflow overview

The organization of Julia's work on products can be done in 2 different ways when using an ERP and Akeneo PIM.

#The product is initially created in the ERP

With this organization, the product is initially created by ERP teams, so it contains mainly technical information.

As an image is worth a thousand words, here's an example of a product workflow with the ERP, Akeneo PIM and an eCommerce solution: Products initially created in the ERP

Julia's needs will be to:

  1. Retrieve product information from the ERP
  2. Organize, enrich, translate product information in her PIM
  3. Export these PIM data to different channels such as an e-commerce website, a print solution, a mobile application...

#The product is initially created in the PIM

In this organization variation, the product workflow is slightly different: this time, the product is initially created by Julia (and no longer by the ERP teams): Products initially in the PIM

Julia's needs will be to:

  1. Create the product in her PIM with a SKU and some basic marketing information (such as the product name, short description)
  2. Export this product information from her PIM to the ERP solution to allow the ERP teams to add technical product information (such as price, stock information, automatic categorization...)
  3. Import again part of the ERP product information (ERP data that need to be enriched or used by Julia)
  4. Finalize the product marketing information in her PIM
  5. Export these PIM data to different channels such as an e-commerce website, a print solution, a mobile application...

The initial PIM action to create new products in the PIM requires Julia to have a process to automatically generate products SKU and then assign this into the PIM.

In the PIM, product information that comes from the ERP is usually stored in dedicated read-only attributes and in a specific attribute group. This allows Julia to have the information at her fingertips without the risk of mixing it with her own PIM product information.

#Personas' needs

Below, you will find the main needs, associated with each user profile, in terms of processes, documentation, actions related to your future ERP connector.

#Julia's needs

If the product is initially created in the ERP:

Julia needs an easy way import product information from the ERP solution to her PIM.

So she needs:

  • A smooth process to import automatically ERP product data into her PIM.

  • An easy to follow strategy to define the periodicity of this automatic import process.

  • Perhaps also a friendly Connector UI to trigger and to log manually all processes (import/export) if needed (full or partial imports). She also needs a notification system to be alerted when something goes wrong.

If the product is initially created in the PIM

Julia needs an easy way to create the product in her PIM, and exchange product information with the ERP solution.

So she needs:

  • An easy process to create dynamically a SKU for the product

  • An easy way to tag her new product so that your ERP connector can automatically export the corresponding product data from her PIM to the ERP solution

  • A smooth process to retrieve ERP product information she needs in return

  • A strategy to define the periodicity of these automatic import/export processes

  • Perhaps also a friendly Connector UI to trigger and to log manually all processes (import/export) if needed (full or partial imports). She also needs a notification system to be alerted when something goes wrong.

#Peter and/or Filips' needs

Peter and/or Filips need an easy way to install, configure and maintain your connector.

So they need:

  • An easy to follow download/installation process: depending on your business needs. It depends on your business model. If you expect your client to install the connector themself, make sure you provide appropriate documentation.

  • A full documentation about the limits of the connector in terms of scalability and performance.

  • A smooth configuration process to set up the connection between the ERP Solution and Akeneo PIM as well as parameters to configure the connector. It requires documentation to explain the methodology on how to configure your connector compared to your business needs.

  • Sometimes, a friendly import process to perform the first import of product data: due to the volume of data usually imported, this may require special support from your end.

  • A connector UI or a configuration file to set up the connector (PIM/ERP connection, mapping settings, filtering capabilities, …)

  • An access to the connector logs to centralize all detailed technical information to investigate errors.