What to keep in mind when choosing an ERP for retail business?
The role of retail ERP
In a business where forecasting and planning are much more complex than in many other industries, ERP software is crucial for retail in order to maximize profits. The ERP for retail has a key role in matching stock to demand and minimizing stock moves, merchandise placement, optimal employee scheduling, vendor management, POS data, etc.
The retail ERP can help you forecast future sales as accurately as possible and can place purchase orders to manage inventory and cash flow. It gives you all the data you need, so you can always react fast when required.
Requirements gathering for retail ERP
Collecting requirements for implementing ERP software is a major and critical task for both business users and business analysts in order to ensure the implementation’s success. It is one of the most important steps because the quality requirements lead to clear results and simple test cases. Together with the essential ERP characteristics that add value to a business of any size and industry, it is important for business analysts or ERP consultants to dig deep into the business-specific processes to ensure that all retail ERP requirements are collected.
When gathering ERP requirements for retail, there are some particularly important features to look for:
• Multi-channel – In an era in which online sales gain more and more ground, retail traders have to offer more ways to buy their products to remain competitive. When using the full ERP form in retail, a business can work on several different channels, such as online marketplace, branded e-commerce site, and via call center – all in a single system. Convenient return policies that allow consumers to return products on channels are another way to maintain competitiveness. Each channel must be integrated back into a single source system to fully benefit from it.
• Offline capabilities – In any retail business, if a customer wants to buy something, you must be able to sell it! If your POS system goes offline for any reason, your operations must continue, and the retail ERP software should be able to support this.
• Financial reporting by store – A big advantage of ERP for retail stores is that transactional data from your stores or any other selling channel is fully integrated with your back-office retail accounting software. This integration makes financial reporting by store simple, as ERP software typically provides out-of-box quarterly reports. You must ensure to provide requirements of all specific reporting needs at the channel level, store level, or regional level.
Three improvements to expect after retail ERP implementation
Once you have implemented and started using your new retail ERP system, you will meet many benefits to look forward. Here are some improvements in the process to expect after you have passed the implementation stage:
Better merchandise management – All retail businesses depend on merchandise to make sales. If you do not have enough, a sale can be lost easily. If you have too much, you block cash, and that merchandise can lose value in the near future. The retail ERP tracks your stock from the moment you place a purchase order until the good is sold. You will know exactly how much money is tied up and on what product. Thus, you can quickly take measures to sell the slower-moving products, and take advantage of faster-moving ones and order more.
More efficient fulfillment control – In a retail store, fulfillment translates to displaying the merchandise in the optimal location. Retail ERP follows each sale made together with the details necessary for your business. The analysis of this data can help you find relationships that could be missed. Only as an example, you can find out that a product is often sold together with another one, so you can decide to place these products close to each other to be easy to buy together. Retail ERP will help you support the best possible choices every day.
More accurate customer databases – Retail ERP systems include customer management modules that will help use your customer data to produce future sales and increase profitability. If the customer data is easily used by retail personnel or customer service teams, it can help tailor your customer’s experience.
If you want to learn more about the ERP solution for retail, don’t hesitate to contact us.