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How Can An ERP System Help Retailers Make Strategic Decisions?

Strategy shown in a chess game

Financial data plays a big role in helping the C-suite make strategic business decisions, so it’s critical that chief financial officers provide real-time and accurate data. That’s where technology can help.

In particular, an ERP system offers “a genuine 360-degree view of the business” to help CFOs make decisions that optimize performance, predict trends and build upon opportunities, an article on Forbes.com explains.

Consider this typical workplace scenario: your team must create a plan to meet a revenue goal. People share their thoughts and suggestions, but it’s only after factoring in hard data like purchase trends and subjective data such as the economy or weather that they’re able to flesh out their ideas with a clearer picture of the end result. A lot of retailers today are making decisions based on gut feeling or limited information. If they had an integrated system that could aggregate store sales information into one source, retailers would have the basis of data necessary for more advanced analytics.

The ability to capture data enables retailers to make better decisions because they can examine trends and historical results. Let’s say you want to expand your chain so you compare sales between two different store locations. As the Forbes.com article points out, an ERP system can drill down into data at the store level, giving insight into how the leading store was able to convert sales, expand gross margin or decide on a profitable sales mix. The system can scrutinize store inventory at the SKU level, allowing retailers to discover which items sold better in different store locations. That’s how analytics can help executives make strategic decisions to grow the business.   

Here’s another benefit to consider: a point-of-sale system that consistently captures reliable data eliminates the need to reconcile numbers manually. Companies are able to strategically identify which products, promotions or even a product location in a store will help garner revenue when they have accurate POS, customer and gross margin data.

By ensuring quantitative accuracy, an ERP system helps retailers grow and evolve in a fast-paced business.

Source: Forbes.com, May 2013

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