4 Ways Integrated Operations via Microsoft Dynamics 365 Improve Retail Financials
It’s no secret that being profitable in retail requires that companies have the maximum edge to help them succeed over competitors on the market. To do so, it is essential to find the best ways to improve efficiency and minimize waste in our internal processes; which will ultimately result in the best buying experience possible for your customers - encouraging them to keep coming back.
To be effective in these efforts, we must have a truly holistic view of our retail business and everything it entails in order to better understand how the actions and results in one department can directly or indirectly impact the results of another. In this post, we’re going to look at the 5 places that having integrated operations via a cloud-based ERP solution can help with improving your financial practices.
- Financial Management: Perhaps the most obvious answer, but if you can take the hassle out of tracking and communicating the performance of different departments to key stakeholders, you will be able gain a deeper control and understanding of your budgets and cashflow. Some benefits that can only arise when you have full visibility enabled by an ERP solution over the different parts of your business include:
- The ability to automatically reconcile payments and accounts across locations; both internal and external, leading to less time spent chasing down invoices and transactions
- Having a better understanding of your vendors and their patterns, meaning that you know when to pay in order to take advantage of discounts or to avoid penalties; freeing up more time, money, and resources throughout your business
- An improved capacity for developing, modifying, and controlling budgets
- Instantaneous access to all of the above owing to data living in the cloud
- Inventory Management: What’s a retail business without inventory? One that isn’t very profitable. If you want to reduce your inventory costs and ensure customer satisfaction, being able to better predict and understand your stock levels (in warehouses and on the floor) is key. This also leads to overarching benefits for your budgeting and analysis owed in part to the availability of data across departments. Understanding your inventory can also improve your purchasing processes, which can mean anything from managing invoices to staying in control of major expenses by implementing workflows and approvals that are clear and visible across departments to improving your reporting for easier annual reports and tax returns.
- Sales: Things can get complicated quickly if there’s a disconnect between what’s happening with your sales team (in store and online) and those who need the sales data to make decisions. In other words, if you’re still emailing spreadsheets between sales and accounting, you’re not only taking up valuable time in both departments, you’re also increasing the risk of error or inaccuracy in reporting caused by simple human error or oversight. Luckily, an ERP solution can eliminate many of these efforts by automating repetitive processes - and doing so automatically; which further saves your employees’ precious time. By integrating these two key operations, you’ll be able to gain valuable insights into patterns and activities that can help lead to better, data-driven decisions down the line.
- Reporting & Analytics: By centralizing your management data from accounting, sales, inventory, purchasing, and CRM, you’ll have the best foundation of information possible in order to make better decisions in real time, thanks to the cloud and a unified database for all operations. Some other benefits to your analytics include:
- A single version of truth that is automatically and immediately available across departments
- Accelerated planning cycles, leading to better and more effective budgets in less time
- Incorporation of transactions and financial analysis; meaning less time spent tracking down and transforming raw data into something usable
It’s clear that the financial benefits in each of these functions make the effort associated with integrated operations make it well worth the effort. There are a number of ways to begin with this process, but one of the most effective is with the use of an ERP solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 that can enable all of the above and more. Though making such a change may seem daunting at first, choosing a third party consultancy can help you to spot any problems that may currently exist and help you to implement practices that alleviate them.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits that can arise for your financials from integrating your key operations, make sure to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
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.