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What Yoga Taught Me About ERP

What Yoga Taught Me About ERP

by Anil Patel

Recently my wife got me into yoga. Initially it was difficult for me to see why everybody was so crazy about these simple stretching exercises. But then an instructor explained that there are two ways to approach yoga. We can practice yoga for the fun of stretching or we can take time to think more deeply, using yoga as a way to synchronize and guide the circulatory movement of  our “prana” (breath or life force).

Mind over matter

With mindful yoga, the goal is to reach “nirvana” (a state of optimal balance, flow and unity). It’s interesting that the deeper integration of something as simple as mindful stretching can help us on our journey to nirvana.

It occurred to me that there are many similarities between the way that mindful yoga helps all of the body systems work in harmony, and the way that purposeful Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) helps all the components of an e-commerce operation work together efficiently.

Deploying a digital commerce platform with simple storefront functionality is like practicing yoga just for the fun of stretching. But companies that are working toward e-commerce nirvana – a commerce operation that is unified, integrated and flows smoothly – go deeper and deploy ERP systems as well. Much as mindful yoga synchronizes the breath and circulatory system, purposeful ERP brings about excellent operational flow and a superior customer experience.

Go with the flow

Yoga is all about flow and integration. The challenge is to maintain a controlled flow of breath within while the external body configuration is in flux. In order for this to occur, yoga practitioners must find ways to open internal space to accommodate better flow of breath within the body.

Many first-generation web commerce systems were shoehorned into an existing infrastructure. In such cases, flow and integration are often compromised as the system struggles to accommodate a more intense “flow” of products and transactions.

This creates a series of obstacles for the technology team responsible for integrating legacy applications such as fulfillment and purchase order systems. It also blocks the flow of information to decision support systems, leaving executives to wrestle with static spreadsheets and obsolete data.

The right ERP system can help create more internal “space” for necessary operational processes so that the information can flow throughout the entire “body” of the system, just as breath can flow freely throughout the body of a yogi.

Good ERP has great flow, like a river

Elbow room

The HotWax Commerce platform has a core designed for modern companies with complex business processes. It runs on a cloud technology stack, making it an excellent and “spacious” solution for businesses of all sizes.

The service-oriented architecture running on JEE application servers enables it to scale operations up during high-volume seasons. Robust API allows it to deliver web, mobile, POS and B2B sales channels and to integrate with suppliers or big-box retailers via EDI. This is another example of how mindful ERP creates superior flow.

A strong foundation must precede action

In yoga, care is taken to master basic foundational poses before moving on to more complex maneuvers. The same care should be taken in regard to ERP functionality. You cannot build something strong and useful on a weak platform; you need a good foundation and solid support underneath. HotWax Commerce offers an excellent data model and a rich collection of services to support even the most complex operations.  Before you take on a big project start with an excellent base such as HotWax Commerce.

Be in the moment

In order to make good business decisions, leaders must have access to high-quality, real-time, dynamic reporting functionality. Systems must be integrated and working as one – with a good rhythm – in order for the data to be on time and useful.

Old data is useless data, and in today’s lightning-fast e-commerce environment, even current information is not enough. A good business intelligence system lets users run simulations to evaluate possible scenarios.

The HotWax Commerce ERP system contains all the most important components for BI and decision-making, and delivers everything needed for excellent ERP, including a built-in business intelligence model.

Achieve e-commerce nirvana

E-commerce nirvana is when the entire system operates with superior flow and unity. The ERP component of your system is the most important factor in operational efficiency. Choosing an e-commerce platform that is unified and offers end-to-end functionality, including robust ERP, is the best way to achieve e-commerce nirvana.

 

About HotWax Systems

HotWax Systems offers both the HotWax Commerce platform and world-class Apache OFBiz custom consulting. For more information or a demo, contact us today.

About Anil Patel

Anil Patel is COO at HotWax Systems as well as an OFBiz project committer, PMC member, and active community contributor. He studies yoga at Yoga Center Amherst.

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