What Features Do You Need from Retail ERP Software?
There are numerous retail ERP software solutions on the market, each with its own features and specialties – but some features should simply be considered must-haves at this point. If your current retail ERP software doesn’t include any of the following features, it’s definitely time to upgrade to a solution that will do a better job supporting your operation.
Five Must-Have Features In Modern ERP Software Solutions
1 – Workflow automation
Do your staff have to learn multiple systems with manual work to manage and maintain complex workflows, attempting to keep the systems running side by side, rather than using a single unified solution? Not only does this significantly increase work load for your staff, but it can also lead to errors over time or it may not even be possible to have your channels running with the same single view of stock, sales and product data.
If so, you need better workflow automation in your ERP software. Today’s systems can unify all your channels and points of sale with a single platform and interface. This improves order processing and fulfilment, as well as providing a consistent experience to delight your customers.
Do your customers have a significantly different experience when ordering online, rather than shopping in person? Customers don’t think in ‘channels’ rather they expect to be able to interact with your brand in the manner most convenient for them at any given time. For example, this may mean researching product information and promotions online, while coming in store to check a product out and placing an order for home delivery. Later they may want to use online help to get assistance with their order, and all the time, they value and most likely even expect a joined up experience. These micro-moments of interaction with your brand happen spontaneously with high expectation for quality responses from your customers, so you really need a powerful system supporting you to enable you to facilitate this.
90% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels and these omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel, so it is worthwhile investing in a software vendor that can facilitate this all important experience.
2 – Realtime universal inventory management
For best results from your ERP software, it should give you complete oversight of your inventory with true real-time updates across all channels and your brick and mortar POS estate to provide a central repository for global stock availability. Stock totals can be updated instantly whenever a purchase is made, regardless of where or how the transaction occurred, and stock movements can be tracked precisely from fulfilment centers to stores.
This ‘single view’ of stock gives you superior oversight and control of your stock. With the correct software to mine your sales and inventory data for valuable business insights, you can merchandise and move your stock to minimise stockouts and meet demand, resulting in an optimised stock position and minimising waste and reducing costs.
However, this should also go further:
3 – Universal warehouse management
Inventory needs to be tracked accurately within the warehouse, not just counted as an abstract number. A great retail ERP solution makes this happen. Barcodes or QR codes can be utilized to track each individual piece of stock, while monitoring it through various locations as well as states such as in transit or quality control, as well as integrating automatic handling of situations such as returns or re-stocks.
This gives you complete oversight and control of every aspect of your inventory operations.
4 – Demand forecasting
The best way to deal with over-and under-stocking issues is to not have them in the first place! Modern ERP retail software can do deep analytical reporting on sales trends over time, giving you detailed forecasts of expected demand in seasons to come. Plus, the longer you use the software, the more accurate these forecasts can become.
5 – Detailed tracking of important product attributes
Retailers need to record many product attributes, so that they can analyse sales effectively. This could include supplier details, price strategies, seasons and delivery dates just as examples. Clothing stores need to pay close attention to sizes, colors and perhaps even fit – particularly if they’re going to successfully predict coming trends. Your retail ERP software should be able to track the attributes most important to your business.
Retail ERP Software & Solutions
Eurostop is trusted by major retailers around the world – and our scalable solutions can support your operation as well. Click here to request a free demonstration.