4 Enormous ERP Myths: Debunked
If you are a retailer that is in search of a better way to manage your operations while also providing the best buying experience possible for your customers, chances are that an ERP solution has come up on your horizon as a potential solution to these challenges. A platform, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, works by centralizing and streamlining all of your key retail operations within a single, cloud-based database and solution to help manage all the tasks necessary to be successful.
However, with all the information available surrounding these solutions, it’s no surprise that a number of myths have arisen in relation to them. In this post, we’re looking at 4 of the biggest myths associated with ERP platforms and why they aren’t accurate.
1. They are only for giant corporations
While this may have been the case at some point in time when the technology was expensive and highly complex, modern technological advances have made it so that this is far from true. There are a wide variety of solutions for different industries and needs that come with ‘out of the box’ functionality to suit the needs of many medium sized businesses - particularly retailers. The common, cloud-based SaaS model that many ERP platforms come in today also means that the budgetary requirements can be adjusted to meet the needs of smaller businesses.
2. They can only be utilized by highly technical staff members
One of the biggest benefits of an ERP solution is that they are ultimately designed with the ‘business user’ in mind - so they generally feature a user interface that is straightforward and intuitive. This is particularly true with an option like Dynamics 365, with features an interface that feels ‘familiar’ to the Microsoft suite of software and productivity tools. Subsequently, oftentimes the dashboards that your different employees will be working from will not seem so different from the industry-specific tools that they’ve used in the past, so they’ll be able to quickly and easily acclimate to the new solution. However, one part of an ERP that does remain complex is the implementation, and for this reason it is essential that the vendor that you choose to work with is experienced in your solution and industry - which brings us to our next point…
3. ERP implementations are long and costly processes that result in disruption and data loss
While they may not be the easiest platform to integrate into your business, it most certainly isn’t the most difficult process you’ll ever face. However, there are some things that retailers can do to make the process easier; like truly understanding your employees needs and challenges, and anticipating the longer-term outlook for your business in terms of where and how you’ll be selling. Disruption can be further minimized by keeping your partner involved from the beginning and ensuring that there is an open line of communication between them and your employees. This will help your vendor to better understand your needs and make any customizations that will be helpful, while also being a valuable source of support for your employees.
4. An ERP solution, customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management (SCM) are one in the same
While it may be tempting these different systems all into the same category, that’s not entirely the case. CRM and SCM target highly different processes within your business, and a better way to see it is that your ERP solution can work to bring these processes together. How far you go in your integration will depend on the specifics of your business, but many of the newer platforms, such as Dynamics 365 come with built-in functionality that enable businesses to meet the needs previously met by different solutions. In other words, consider whether you want an ERP that has a built in CRM, for example, or if you would prefer one that takes data from your existing, separate CRM platform and makes it available within the same database as the rest of your data.
Finding the best way to manage all of your retail operations can seem daunting, and the misinformation surrounding many common solutions can make it all seem overwhelming. However, by understanding that these 4 myths are exactly that, you’ll be able to better decide if an ERP platform, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, is the solution that your retail business has been in search of.
Interested in learning more about how ERP platforms can help retail businesses? Find our more in our ebook Dynamics of ROI: A Guide to Achieving Retail Performance Excellence today.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.