Before understanding what a Retail ERP software means, it is essential to understand what an ERP software is. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, is a business management tool with a set of integrated applications that allow a business to collect, store, manage and interpret data from their different business activities and departments at one single place, thus enabling business’ overall smooth functioning. A retail ERP, thus, is an ERP software that caters to the needs of the retail industry and comes loaded with specific functionalities related to the industry.
Today, most of the traditional retailers operate on tight margins and face increased competition from new retail formats such as e-commerce and web stores. They have to deal with constantly moving stock, the high number of employees at multiple retail outlets, different pricing, discount and loyalty rules applied to hundreds of products, etc. Hence, managing a multi-store retail business has become a tough job. In order to stay ahead of the pack, the retailers need to improve and streamline their processes constantly. But all this cannot be done through manual methods. This is where a retail ERP software steps in.
A perfect retail ERP software makes the store processes more organized, improves overall productivity and increases customer satisfaction. Read on to know why a retail ERP software is so important for your business’ smooth functioning:
1. Customer management: In retail – more than any other business – the customer is the king. Hence, it makes sense to have a dedicated customer management module in a retail ERP software. It helps retailers overcome customer-related challenges, and achieve a truly integrated view of their customers. The module collects data on your customers’ purchase histories, allowing you to identify your most valuable shoppers and offer them with rewards and loyalty management programs. A powerful retail ERP software allows the retailers to have and tailor the member programs that allow promotional and marketing schemes, including points and discounts. Besides, it ensures timely responsiveness, which means returns and customer grievances are dealt with smoothly and quickly.
2. Demand forecasting: Retail stores witness heavy customer footfall. The customers are quite demanding these days and at the same time, fickle too. If their demands aren’t fulfilled, they don’t mind switching to your competitor. Hence, it is important to match the demand with supply as well as great service, so that they don’t return disappointed. This makes demand forecasting extremely important. Tracking past trends and forecasting future demands is easier and higher on accuracy with a retail ERP software. It helps you maintain customer satisfaction, maximizing sales and reduced inventory carrying costs through effective demand forecasting.
3. Inventory management: An ERP software helps retailers effectively manage the inventory levels, ensuring the constant flow of units into and out of an existing inventory. It ensures that you have the requisite stock levels required to complete the transactions. A retail ERP software also helps in tracking expiry or shelf life, by sending alerts whenever the inventory is approaching it. This can help Retailers take promotional steps to clear that inventory at priority.
4. Store and warehouse operations: ERP for retail helps streamline operations related to the store and warehouse management function. It supports the creation of any number of stores and warehouses with a link to each other and enables dividing warehouses into zones for handling the materials management. The store operations are central to retail chains since market analysis, merchandising, inventory management, workforce management and much more comes under it. A retail ERP software handles all of it efficiently.
5. Purchase and vendor management: With the help of a good retail ERP software, you can define rules for procurement, supplier setups for same products on the basis of regions, and either auto-generates a requisition or manually generate it. A retail ERP also allows you to create purchase approvals across different levels and manage multiple purchase price lists. You can invite suppliers for quotations, and once you receive the quotations, the system provides an automatic quotation comparison tool.
6. Employee management: Every retail outlet is being run and managed by several employees, hence employee management becomes an important component of a well-run retail business. A retail ERP software enables managing them efficiently by keeping track of shift scheduling, time clocks, the number of hours employees are working etc. Besides, the software also assigns sales commissions to employees, allows monitoring who’s working, how long they’re working, how much money they’ve brought in and how many hours they’ve worked in the current pay period.
7. Sales reporting and analytics: A retail ERP software provides you with the actionable dashboard of your stores’ sales, orders, and other data such as how much revenue you’re making on each product. This allows you to identify and focus on your top money-making items and drive their sales. It also helps you with the identification of slow-moving inventory. Based on this information, you can actually take the decision on what to do with it: whether to offload it through offers and discounts or keep it in hand. A retail ERP helps you make the right choices for your business and support your decisions on product portfolio, pricing and much more. Therefore, a retail ERP software with reporting, dashboards, and analytics in real time is a must for retailers.
8. Point of sale (POS) system: Last but certainly not the least, a POS system – integration of POS machines and POS software – is the most important part of the retail ERP software. POS hardware, a critical part of the system, acts as a tool to execute all the transactions and is usually placed at the front counter where all the transactions happen. It primarily consists of tools such as register screens, barcode scanners, credit card reader, receipt printer and cash drawer. It also supports a number of other activities apart from sales, such as inventory, vendor & customer management.
9. Integration of e-commerce with ERP: E-commerce represents the changing as well as the modern face of the retail industry. To have an online store is the need of every retailer today. However, maintaining it could prove to be a difficult task if it is not integrated with the retail ERP software. Your web store’s integration with your ERP Software enables you to function more effectively as a business by reducing data redundancy and eliminating scope of error, reducing operational and inventory costs, increasing productivity, increasing customer satisfaction, generating financial reports; thus giving you an overall better control of your business.
Conclusion: A retail ERP software is not a luxury for the retailers anymore, but an absolute necessity. It helps the retailers meet all their business needs – right from conducting sales transactions, to handling a number of other activities, from inventory management, employee management, purchase and vendor management, store and warehouse management, demand forecasting, returns and exchanges to tracking customer behavior. To know more about it, contact us. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.