Three key features to look for in a retail ERP

The difference between traditional ERP, typically understood as a manufacturing or production platform; versus ‘retail ERP’, encompasses not only back but front-office processes, creates a host of complex challenges. This is particularly true when users find themselves faced with a product selection round.

Consequently, we thought we’d offer a couple of features to help potential users find the right retail ERP for them.

1. Cloud-based

Modular retail ERP systems typically include the following components: point of sale, inventory management, customer management, advertising/marketing, accounting (usually integrated with GL), purchase order, and payroll processing, in addition to various inventory/warehouse modules.

Recommended reading: find retail ERP systems to suit your organization with our completely up-to-date ERP vendor directory.

In today’s retail environment, however, these components are usually enhanced by intrinsic utilities associated with mobility and extended web mechanisms supported by active and passive social network capabilities. These are complemented by the introduction of various hardware systems including digital cash registers, NFC, mobile-adept smart terminals, and other affiliated systems.

Consequently, this deep matrix of operational and managerial processes calls for a large volume of standardized mechanisms that create, manipulate, and store end-to-end sales products. While on-premise or hybrid systems do offer operational value, in order to leverage maximum business power, cloud-based systems offer the greatest opportunity.

This is largely due to the ability to integrate multiple modules within a singular network fabric. For example the introduction of a retail ERP platform within the Amazon Web Services (AWS) network, offers a host of intrinsic utilities that enhance the overall system infrastructure including; auto scripting, automated updating, active monitoring, and extended user reporting, along with powerful processing and deep security. Together the network framework and the operating system, collaborate technically in order to create a more powerful performance value than before.

2. Ability to scale up with demand

Some ERP systems do not lend themselves to easy scaling in terms of number of users or an ability to change the number of integrated hardware elements. In other cases, the total number of these types of elements is strictly limited. Ensure that the retail system you pick allows maximum flexibility so that it can grow with you whenever a business change is on the horizon.

3. Native mobile functionality

This last element really goes to one of the most important values in today’s technological constellation. Some retail systems leverage mobility by integrating third-party mobile systems; however these applications are sometimes less than hoped for in terms of recurrent utility and overall ease of use, since these integration processes typically require a significant degree of end-to-end operational compliance to create optimal results.

On the other hand, if a competitive system is specifically designed and built from the bottom up for use on third party mobile systems,, this reduces compliance issues and increases the efficiency of the software.

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Rick Carlton

About the author…

Rick Carlton dba PRRACEwire, has worked as a tech journalist, writer, researcher, editor and publisher for many years. In addition to his editorial work, Rick has also served as a C-Level executive/consultant for a wide-range of private and public sector U.S. and International companies.

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Rick Carlton

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