ERP for the retail industry is a crucial component for retail chains that are competing against e-commerce giants. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is basically a business management tool that is set up along with various customized applications. The ERP solutions facilitates a business to assimilate, retain, manage, and interpret data from transactions executed by different departments all at a single location. What this essentially achieves is a seamless integration of all the factors required to make the business run smooth.
Why Retail ERP Solutions are Essential
Retailers today have to deal with volatile price shifts on hundreds of products, periodic discounts for loyal customers, a high number of employees at different stores, and other challenges. ERP system is the key to making a multi-store retail enterprise leaner and meaner.
So, what do retail ERP solutions bring to the table?
Customer-Based Applications – “Customer is king” is still the mantra that retail shops have to drive through into the customer psyche. An ERP system brings in a customer management module that deals with customer related details. It assimilates data on the purchasing history of customers, enabling retailers to provide relevant discounts and benefits for their most valuable customers through loyalty programs.
Accurate Predictions – Availability of key, fast moving products and choice of products are two crucial factors that can determine success for a retail store enterprise. Failing to have adequate stock in crucial times can drive customers straight back to your competitor. The ERP system provides you with an accurate forecast of future demands by analyzing past trends. This ensures high volume sales, customer satisfaction and lower inventory maintenance costs.
Store/Warehouse/Vendor Management – Having an ERP system makes stock management across multiple stores a rather simple process. It takes care of inventory management, workforce management, merchandising, and other factors that are crucial to retail chains. The ERP system also handles the vendor management end of operations by putting out requisitions automatically, setting up purchase approvals across different levels, managing multiple purchase lists, and inviting quotations from suppliers. It even provides you with a comparison of quotations automatically.
Sales Reports/Analytics – Through ERP retail solutions, you get accurate details of sales and orders of every store in a retail chain. This gives you a comprehensive report of the performance of various products across stores, how discounts and loyalty offers have impacted sales and margins, and much more. This in effect helps the retailer make crucial decisions on what action needs to be taken further to ensure profit, and what kind of product portfolio should be maintained.
Workforce Management – The ERP system takes care of the management of personnel at retail outlets, keeping track of and implementing shift schedules, working hours, assigning of sales commissions, and much more. It essentially measures the value addition of each employee to the business, allowing the retailer to reward deserving employees.
As you can see, ERP for retail business is the driving force for a multi-store retail enterprise that is on road to expansion and becoming a marketing-dominating force.