How Does Retail Management Software Fit into the ERP Landscape?
Here are some of the similarities between RMS and ERP:
It Integrates with Multiple Solutions
Some of the major ERP vendors incorporate vertical-specific functions into their systems, and retail management is sometimes one of them. Microsoft Dynamics is one such system, and this approach allows for much greater integration between the retail management system and software systems controlling other areas of the enterprise.
Integration between the retail management software and an ERP system brings about efficiency and even increased sales on several fronts. The low-hanging fruit of eliminating duplicated data entry is only the beginning, and this can be a big time-saver that helps deliver a quick ROI on the system purchase price.
Other areas of integration can come from connecting with other stores, with back-end accounting and inventory systems, and having the ability to import data to common productivity applications. To repeat an example, Microsoft Dynamics works with the Microsoft Office system, which makes it easy to analyze data in familiar applications like Excel and Word.
It Allows You to Scale Multi-Store Operations
For retail stores operating multiple locations, an enterprise approach is an absolute necessity, and again, retail management software comes to the rescue with scalable features that can be deployed chain-wide. In addition to giving managers at each store greater visibility and more effective tools on an individual store basis, a retail management system can also integrate data from each channel into a common database. Data from all stores can then be integrated with other back-office systems that are part of the ERP landscape, from warehousing or inventory systems to merchandising modules.
It Automates Inventory, Warehousing, & Purchasing
The retail management system feeds information into other enterprise units, including inventory, warehousing, and purchasing. This convergence is a natural benefit, and gives you the ability to track and manage inventory, track movement of items, generate purchase orders and manage the purchasing process.
Much of the ERP functionality starts at the point-of-sale (POS), and that is the strong suit of the retail management system. The RMS speeds up the transaction, which ultimately cuts labor costs. Additionally, it offers direct integration with other systems. For example, a sale logged at the POS system can be immediately recognized and marked against inventory, and the inventory system can send an automatic trigger to the purchasing department when stocks are low.
Furthermore, integration at point-of-sale provides more opportunities to present customers with cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and helps gather information that can be used by the marketing department.