Editor´s note: This is a guest post by Matthew Murray, the Managing Director of Notable.
ERP systems have their roots in servicing manufacturing but these days the major ERP vendors are beginning to focus on specific retail modules. And canny retailers are cottoning on to the fact that such solutions can provide a holistic system that supports and provides visibility of all aspects of their operations. Now, with the advent of the Cloud and SaaS Retail ERP solutions, even small and medium-sized businesses can access the benefits of ERP.
ERP software typically offers a set of integrated modules that support specific business processes. When combined, these integrated modules provide a software solution which supports every aspect of business operations. By connecting all aspects of their business, management can ‘see’ the whole business in a glance. And better insights lead to better decisions.
Typically, ERP modules include:
- Sales and order management
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Stock and inventory management
- Warehouse management
- Supply chain management
- Asset management
- Project management
- HR/ human capital management
Given this selection of functionalities, it is clear that many ERP modules have a natural fit with retail operations.
For physical retailers and online businesses, the main advantage to adopt an ERP solution is improved inventory management.
A 2012 survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that poor stock management could account for lost revenue of £147 million for UK retailers over Christmas that year as a result of lost sales opportunities.
While it may be tempting for retailers to invest in other capabilities, these statistics make it clear that underinvestment in stock management systems can have damaging impacts on profitability.
If any retailer is to maximise sales opportunities and revenue, having an efficient and real-time inventory management system, such as that an ERP solution can provide, is vital.
Enhancing the Customer Experience
For businesses that sell from physical premises and online, an ERP solution can offer significant advantages in terms of gaining a holistic view of operations and integrating your different sales channels. The same system that is offering a front end for your payments processing is also dealing with your stock management. And, of course, if you are manufacturing the products that you sell, ERP offers an opportunity to integrate all manufacturing, retail and online operations.
However, in today’s omni-channel retail environment, perhaps the greatest advantage a Retail ERP solution offers is the opportunity to integrate the customer data from your retail operations with the social media marketing and customer analytics that have traditionally been the preserve of specific e-commerce solutions.
Integrating e-commerce and retail operations is important to gain a good overview of finance and ensure effective stock management. But, perhaps most importantly, it is also key if you are going to deliver on the customer experience and provide a seamless experience across multiple channels for your customers.
Retail ERP in the Cloud
Cloud ERP solutions are changing the market and putting ERP within reach of small and medium sized businesses.
Implementation of solutions from the traditional leaders in the ERP space can typically be lengthy and expensive and well out of reach of most small retailers.
By offering a ‘Software as a Service’ approach, cloud ERP vendors are changing this – making it possible to implement multiple ERP modules quickly and without prohibitive up-front investment in the solution and associated in-house technology expertise.
Integrating Retail ERP with your Payments Processing Solution
To benefit fully from a Retail ERP solution, it is vital for it to integrate tightly with your payments processing solution.
Paymill offers a full set of developer-friendly APIs – so you can integrate our solutions tightly with your chosen Retail ERP solution, as well as making it easy for you to have all relevant payment methods set up from the get-go.
Our solutions make it easy to accept subscription, mobile and web payments from credit cards, debit cards, PayPal and SEPA. Our secure interfaces and unparalleled support allow you to integrate your EPOS and card machines with our solution – supporting your physical retail operations as well as your online retail operations.
Or as Paymill customer Arne Loermann of Bragi puts it: “the great thing about PAYMILL is the personal consultancy and the ongoing contact. A payment provider who really cares about a successful implementation. Thanks to the documentation, the technical set up was easy in one’s stride and superfast.”
Read more about Paymill integration: https://www.paymill.com/en/integration
Talk to our team about specific integration or API enquiries:
Author´s Bio: Matthew Murray is the Managing Director of Notable, a business solutions firm based in Singapore. Notable helps companies start up in Singapore and matches them with clients looking for their services.