Delivery times, availability, trend. Three buzzwords from the retail industry. But how do you keep track of outstanding payments, open offers, current orders or the development of turnover? In retail, these questions basically have to be answered before they are asked. With the right ERP system, this is possible.
For this purpose, an ERP in retail needs fewer functions than those in production, but the system must constantly automate the processes. Because the often thin staffing and narrow margins mean that the ERP in the retail sector has to implement large proportions.
In addition, the different retail sectors have different requirements for an ERP. The online trade wants an overview of connections, the web shop transfer or article data. The food trade about the traceability of the goods and the expiry date.
The ERP must therefore support the trade or the sale in its individual requirements. The best way to do this is with a central screen that shows the salesperson all the data that is important to him or her or allows him or her to access it quickly.
Although the market offers a high number of ERP software, there are important functions that are not properly implemented in every trade ERP. To get an idea of the possibilities of an ERP in the retail industry, here is an overview:
Simple data acquisition
To make the software easier to use, a good ERP for retail should have a predefined input mask. This enables the sales employee to operate the ERP directly with the keyboard and thus to enter offers and orders quickly. Especially if the most important fields are jumped to by themselves.
Price maintenance tool
A price maintenance function is a necessity for any retail ERP. A tool of this kind facilitates the adjustment of purchase and sales prices according to various characteristics.
Flexible article import
Flexible import interfaces for an ERP are also indispensable, as suppliers often create article lists in a wide variety of formats. This allows new articles to be created and existing ones to be updated. It should also be possible to view discontinued articles and changes to article numbers.
Incoming orders statistics
A good ERP system for the retail sector generates a separate data record that only collects the data of incoming orders. Often it is no longer possible to trace when an order was placed. However, good reporting must be able to evaluate such data at any time.
Sophisticated ERP systems have so-called cross-selling functions, such as Amazon: 'Customers who bought this item also bought?
Open goods management
An ERP system that is very specific to trade has the function that when new goods are received - in the case of an item delay - the item is shipped immediately instead of being stored first.
Reduction of ?bad? Articles
Items that are selling poorly can be identified with the corresponding function. On the other hand, they can be reduced or allowed to be sold.
Connection to the cash register
If you can buy directly from traders on site, it is always right to connect the cash register to the ERP system. This way, the booking processes can be completed immediately and the goods sold can be booked out of the warehouse.
Connection to the online shop
Become article online offered for sale, both systems must be linked from a certain sales volume. This also automates, for example, availability or price maintenance via the ERP.
A successful ERP system for trade not only simplifies and speeds up work. It also gives the retail business the opportunity to increase its sales.
The following steps are necessary to fully utilise an ERP system not only for internal processes but also externally.
Step 1: Make the service as customer-friendly as possible
First of all, an ERP system should refine the service so that it appears as customer-oriented as possible. For example, the ERP can manage prices by customer group, quantity or time period. Or it finds the right item for the customer, with additional cross-selling.
Step 2: Winning new customers
New customers are often acquired through small Services or quick information. Here, too, the right ERP can provide support.
Step 3: Build up existing customers
Existing customers are retained by sensibly processing the buying behaviour of new customers in order to obtain the information from them that will bind them permanently.
Step 4: Trend analysis
This results in the trend analysis, which can be used to identify trends in sales and manage the offer accordingly. A good ERP for retail creates exactly the data set needed for such an analysis.