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Retail ERP:

Enterprise Resource Planning systems or the ERP systems refer to the software packages that integrate all the data and the related processes of an organization into a unified Information System (IS).

An ERP system uses a central database that holds all the data relating to the various system modules.

In order to achieve a seamless integration, an ERP system uses multiple hardware and software components.

ERP packages are heavily used by larger retail chains.

Designed to facilitate the administration and optimization of internal business processes across an enterprise, ERP packages have become the competitive tool for most large retail organizations.

An ERP software uses a single database that allows the different departments to communicate with each other through information sharing.

ERP systems comprise function-specific components that are designed to interact with the other modules such as the Order Entry, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Purchasing, Distribution etc.

ERP systems comprise of different modules such as order entry, purchase, sales, finances, inventory management, DRP (Distribution Resource Planning) and human resources.

The components are designed to work effortlessly with the rest of the system and provide a consistent user interface throughout the system.

ERP software packages have an enterprise wide reach that offers cross-functional capabilities to the organization.

The different functional departments involved in the operations or inventory processes are integrated into a single system.

An ERP package takes care of the various business processes such as order entry, logistics and warehousing.

It also caters to the different business functions such as accounting, marketing, strategic management and the human resource management.

Advantages of Using a Retail ERP Suite

Primary advantages:

Retail specific components – Unlike a general ERP package, retail ERP suite offers retail centric components that are customized to meet the specific requirements of a retail organization in an effective and efficient manner. This makes a retail ERP suite much more suitable to meet the specific requirements of a retail organization.

Segment specific expandability option – Within the retail sector, there is a wide variety of different segments that vary in their nature and scope of operations. A retail ERP package has provisions to meet the varying needs of the different segments within the retail sector.

Support for the store system– Retail ERP suite offers support for the store systems that form the pivot of a retail business. The critical functions include keeping track of the inventory, ordering and replenishment, loss prevention and task management. This makes retail ERP system suited to the specific needs of a retail organization.

Secondary advantages:

Configuration and scalability – A good retail ERP system allows a high degree of customization and is easily scalable to attune itself to the size of the organization and its level and scope of operations. Such configuration and scalability prove to be a boon in managing the retail operations across an enterprise. This allows a retail ERP system to grow with the organization.

Phased implementation support – Modern retail ERP systems provide support for phased implementation. This feature allows the software package to be implemented in a step-by-step incremental manner rather than in one go. This makes the transition to an ERP package a lot easier. This feature allows the users to acclimatize themselves to an ERP package that may initially seem complicated to use.

Support for advanced functionality – Modern retail ERP systems provide support for advanced functionalities that is helpful in the decision making process such as formulating pricing strategies, merchandise planning, inventory optimization and store execution. The advanced functionalities help the users formulate business strategies to introduce efficiencies in the critical business processes. The top management uses this feature to set the benchmarks and achieve the desired results.

Workflow automation and enterprise process management – Modern day retail ERP packages offer workflow automation and enterprise process management to make the workflow smooth and seamless across the entire enterprise. This allows the management to monitor and keep track of the workflow while also undertaking the enterprise process management leading to the identification and removal of any inconsistencies in the business process.

Technology and application integration – A good retail ERP system allows technology and application integration to allow a platform independent, seamless transfer of processes across different modules running on different technologies in an enterprise wide environment that may include interaction with legacy systems and external entities such as the suppliers and the customers. Such integration provides the critical enterprise-wide view to the management.

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Retail Enterprise Resource Planning