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Retailers enhance business strategy with ERP tech
As the retail industry continues to grapple with the impact of a global economic recession, rising interest rates, inflation, and a high cost of living, retailers are looking for smarter and more sustainable ways to weather the storm. Deloitte’s 2023 retail industry outlook states that retailers must find resilience and invest in solutions that go beyond traditional cost-cutting measures.
One solution that has gained traction in recent years is the use of technology to enhance existing systems and approaches while ensuring sustainability. Stephen Howe, director at Times 3 Technologies, a Sage platinum partner, highlighted the importance of investing in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms as a key way for retailers to adapt to changing market conditions, remain competitive and save on costs.
Howe stated that ERP platforms have evolved from being weighty and overly complex solutions that inhibit business processes to modular and intelligent toolkits that deliver immense value.
By integrating various ERP functions such as finance, inventory management, sales, human resources, and supply chain, retailers can gain invaluable visibility into their business operations.
This, in turn, empowers organisations to identify trends, revise strategies, and engage with customers effectively.
Additionally, ERP platforms can streamline processes, improve operational capabilities, and save on costs, offering retailers a significant return on investment (ROI). However, retailers must ensure that their ERP delivers on their anticipated ROI, Howe said.
“Your ERP system touches so many different parts of your business which means that measuring benefits is made so much easier,” Howe emphasised. “Your first step is to unpack precisely why you have your ERP system in place, or why you are choosing to invest in an ERP system, as this will provide you with clarity around ROI and measurement metrics as you move down the road.”
To achieve maximum ROI, retailers need to take three key steps. The first is to ensure that employees are adequately trained to use the system, as the system won’t be used to its full potential if employees don’t understand it.
The second is to ensure that everyone in the organisation understands the importance of the ERP investment. Finally, the third is to create a cycle of constant evaluation and assessment, to ensure that the system is optimised and delivering maximum value.
Howe emphasised that ERP systems can transform how retailers do business by introducing efficiencies, saving costs, and using data to refine processes and operations. “Your ERP is an incredibly intelligent behemoth capable of radically transforming how you do business, but only if you are realistic in implementation, have solid change management strategies in place, and constantly refine it to ensure you get the most from its functionalities.”
As retailers look to navigate the challenging retail landscape, cloud-based ERP systems like Sage X3 can offer a cost-effective and customisable solution for managing everything from sales to inventory, CRM, and purchasing. By integrating with T3T’s add-ons, retailers can refine the platform to ensure their organisation performs at optimal levels while delivering on ROI.
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