5 Ways ERP Automation Drives Growth for Retailers
When it comes to operations and processes, the idea is to simplify the lives of your employees - resulting in productive people, simpler processer and superior results. One of the key ways to do this is to eliminate repetitive tasks take up valuable time. One common way to increase efficiency is to automate these processes. However, what’s the best way to go about this task? And how can we do it in a way that still gets us all the information we need about organization wide activities? We can do so with an ERP solution. In this post, we’re looking at 5 places where an ERP can give your retail business a boost.
Since ERP’s use the same database throughout all of their functions, they have the ability to ‘learn’ patterns and make predictions about what will need to happen down the line to make sure all necessary operations continue as they should. The other side of this coin is that this ‘learning’ should mean that many processes become automatic - meaning employees can focus on strategic work, instead of manual entries or repetitive tasks. Additionally, by utilizing an ERP that is based in the cloud, this database is available immediately and across locations for your key decision makers.
- Accuracy: When it comes to collecting and organizing data, who do you really want doing it? A machine that won’t get confused, distracted, or make a typo, or your human employees who are also balancing a million other tasks at the same time? As much as we love our employees, we are all only human, so when it comes to data, better to leave it to the computers - where there won’t be any mistakes.
- Productivity: We’ve said it before, but it is important enough that it’s worth saying again - if you can get rid of redundant and time consuming tasks, your employees (regardless of whether their focus is on customers or operations) can spend more time and be more focused on the items that really need human interaction - instead of the ones that just take time. Additionally, disparate processes that are brought together and managed by an ERP are way less prone to error or duplication; which has a ripple effect throughout your business.
- Reporting and Data availability: Owing to the shared database across operations, all the information that your employees get will be in real time and on a single dashboard. Though the sophistication of these reports may vary (most ERPs include some level of business intelligence - or the capacity for additional add-ons), you can be sure that being able to click a few buttons on a single dashboard is substantially quicker than digging through a heap of spreadsheets on your hard drive. An additional bonus from choosing an on-cloud ERP solution for your employees to access data from any place, any time and any device.
- Indirect cost savings: If you’re more productive and more accurate, you’ll minimize your indirect costs not only in terms of daily actions but also in any reworking that could arise from errors or miscalculations. Also, as your ERP gets ‘smarter’ it will be able to catch on to trends and act accordingly to ensure optimal cost saving measures when it comes to your supply chain decisions.
- In environmental concerns: Going green is becoming increasingly intertwined in our activities these days and if you can remove inefficiencies, you remove waste. And with less waste, there’s less need for cleanup and storage. In the retail industry in particular that is especially true given the nature of supply and demand and warehousing. On a smaller note, having everything go digital means less paper for printed reports and documents, which may seem minor, but it does add up in the end.
From these 5 major reasons, it’s clear that automating your processes with an ERP can lead to a number of direct and indirect savings across all the major operations of your business. Some of these major savings can be realized in efficiency, accuracy, and in data availability, leading to easier days and happier end customers - all while reducing your environmental impact. Choose an ERP that is in the cloud and these benefits are multiplied because of the increased agility such an environment instills.
If getting an ERP for your retail business is becoming increasingly necessary, but you’re not entirely sure where to begin, we can help. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your complimentary consultation and a glimpse into cloud-based ERP.
Want more information about data, retail, and how they can all come together for your business? Check out our ebook Unified Operations for Retail Growth for a comprehensive look at the essentials you must know in time for 2018.
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.