Happy New Year, retailers! Is your ERP system ready for 2014?
Welcome to 2014 and a new year of looking for ways to be more competitive in an increasingly competitive market. If you’re a retailer, now might be the time to look at your ERP system (or whatever software you’re using to run your operations) to see if it’s got the right stuff to help you increase efficiency and profit. If it doesn’t, then it might be time to upgrade it or replace it with a new system.
It’s all about data.
As a retailer, you’re running blind if you can’t get to customer data, analyze it, and figure out what to do based on it. Your ERP system should let you easily do this.
Your ERP system should give you full visibility into your business so you can make strategic business decisions rather than reactionary ones. The more detailed information you can extract—and quickly—the more agile you can be when making decisions about stocking inventory, putting items on special, and so forth. With an effective ERP, you’re not guessing: You know what you sold last Saturday afternoon.
Your ERP system should also help you stay on top of trends. By setting up customer loyalty programs, you can capture and analyze data from your ERP system that can help you assess those trends, along with important information such as customer buying habits and demographics, and capitalize on them. Can your ERP system do that? If not, you’re missing out on money making opportunities.
Finally, an effective ERP system needs to be able to track and analyze data in two ways: data in real time and data over time. Sometimes, a snapshot of data is important, but looking at historical data is the only way to see the big picture. If your ERP system cannot give you efficient access to both, you are not getting a complete picture of your business.
Ultimately, for retailers, data is king. Your ERP system should be a goldmine of data, with full visibility and easy access. Start 2014 off right: Assess your system to ensure it’s giving you what you need to be successful.
By ArcherPoint LLC