What is an ERP system, and why do you need one?

Giada Pezzini | 31 January 2017

What is an ERP system, and why do you need one?
Operating a retail business has grown increasingly more complex through the years. Today, consumers expect to shop in physical store locations, on their mobile devices, and on the web via your e-commerce site. These added outlets and increased demands add extra complications to your daily operations. The world is changing – but many businesses are not keeping up. Too many retailers still use multiple IT systems that don’t fully communicate for different aspects of their business, making their life even harder. If your inventory management system software isn’t talking to your POS system or your accounting software, chances are you’re wasting time and money getting data from one system and inputting it into another.

ERP systems defined

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a software that is implemented throughout the business to improve the flow of data and facilitate business processes throughout the organization. With the implementation of a quality ERP system, you will be able to streamline operations in your business, reduce costs, increase productivity and deliver an improved overall customer experience.


The Point of Sale (POS) is the new generation of cash registers. POS are computerized systems that can process sales handling various types of payment forms, record and track customer orders, support special promotions like buy-one-get-one offers, connect to other systems and manage and update inventory. On top of providing retailers with a more integrated way to manage their business, a modern POS offers a large number of tools to give customers better and quicker service. POS terminals can be stationary or mobile. Mobile POS (mPOS) enable retailers to bring powerful sales tools on the floor through a mobile device such as a smartphone. Staff can then search for product information and even complete transactions from anywhere in the store.

In-store, product and inventory management

Your ERP system will make back-office work a breeze by simplifying the processes related to adding, categorizing and grouping new items, implementing special offer campaigns, stock counting, replenishment of inventory and much more. Your system can be customized to meet the specific needs of your operation.

Staff management

With a comprehensive retail management software solution in place, you can easily manage your staff roster, oversee work schedules and manage your staffing costs. The ERP solution can automatically calculate sales commissions and can help to prevent loss by detecting suspicious activity in your POS transactions.

Customizing your customer service

An ERP system can collect customer data, enabling you to gain valuable insights about your customers buying habits. With this kind of data, you can create special offers tailored to their tastes and preferences. You can also offer a loyalty program that rewards regular customers.

The bottom line

Correctly implemented, the  ERP system offers unbeatable opportunities for efficiency, data reporting and analysis. You can measure and track how you are performing against your KPIs, uncover ways to improve profitability, all in real time. Integration between the ERP and POS system is very important. Make sure that your ERP and Point of Sale systems can communicate without disruptions and delays to avoid mistakes and time spent aligning the data. After you have implemented a retail enterprise planning solution, you’ll wonder how you ever were able to get things done without it.

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