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3 Tips To Make The Most Out Of Your Retail ERP Implementation

Illustration of many gears working together

Going through a retail ERP implementation may feel like building a plane as it flies, but with the right approach, an ERP system can help steer retailers toward a clearer path to profitability.

A retail ERP implementation or upgrade is a great time to stop and re-examine your business processes. Continuously streamlining business operations with retail ERP upgrades will help retailers to remain competitive in an evolving landscape.

To make the most out of your retail ERP implementation, consider these three tips.

  1. Thoroughly understand the retail ERP system’s capabilities: When beginning an ERP implementation, it’s possible for new users to clutter their business processes rather than streamline them. That “junk in, junk out” approach occurs when users are not confident in using the retail ERP system.

    That’s why retail ERP user training greatly influences how well a business is able to streamline its internal processes. When end users feel comfortable using the system, they’re more likely to make adjustments according to industry trends and changing customer demands.

    In addition, user training can empower employees to serve as “super users,” or those with a higher-level understanding of the system. Such users are able to make more advanced system changes internally rather than relying on the ERP vendor. Ideally, retailers should only turn to their retail ERP vendors for customization needs.

  2. Understand the “why” behind existing business processes: The adage “old habits die hard” is often true when examining internal processes. To identify the root issue — rather than the symptom — of a static business process, it’s important to ask “why” as many as five times. Responses along the lines of “we’ve always done it that way” should serve as a red flag.

    Implementing a new retail ERP system only to stick with your old business processes doesn’t make much sense. That’s a sign of relying on what was familiar rather than critically reviewing internal processes. Avoid process mapping your old software to the new software.

  3. Critically examine customization needs: Retail ERP vendors have the ability to customize, modify or personalize retail ERP software for the end user. Retailers sometimes require tailor-made retail ERP solutions, especially if they have unique business processes that provide competitive advantage.

    But over the last decade, many retailers have moved away from ERP system customization and now lean toward out-of-the-box usability. Modern retail ERP systems offer more developed functions that focus on managing essential data and processes.

    That’s why retailers should examine the necessity of their business processes before customizing a retail ERP system. For example, perhaps you used your previous ERP system to create a monthly report for two specific employees. Instead of requesting a customization to produce a report only for two employees, the new system may already include a feature that displays that data via an internal dashboard. Or after critical examination, you may determine that report isn’t truly necessary, and that other metrics or data would be more helpful in business process improvement and profitability.

These three tips help to lay the foundation of continuous improvement in a dynamic retail marketplace. It’s likely that your business has changed since your last ERP implementation, so your business processes should evolve as well.

Author: Thomas Nielsen, Consultant at ArcherPoint

Thomas Nielsen is a presales consultant with ArcherPoint. For nearly 20 years, Thomas has held leadership roles in private industry and within Microsoft Dynamics NAV Partners including Tectura and AVF Consulting, working exclusively with retail organizations and specializing in Dynamics NAV and LS Retail installation across Europe, Asia, and Australasia. Thomas holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Administration and a Master’s in Information Technology. He is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and a Certified LS Retail Consultant.

To learn more about a retail ERP implementation, schedule a demo of ArcherPoint's Retail Management Solutions.