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How To Track The Success Of 'Made In The USA' Initiatives With A Retail ERP System

Charting business data on a tablet

With the help of a retail ERP system, retailers can more accurately determine the impact that promotions and campaigns have on overall sales.

Consider how a retail ERP system can help with a promotion recently launched by discount retailer Wal-Mart. The chain announced this past January “its initiative to sell an additional $50 billion in U.S.-manufactured products over the next 10 years,” according to an article on the National Retail Federation’s website.

The key for retailers looking to promote U.S.-manufactured products is to advertise goods labeled “Made in the USA,” and to track those items in their retail ERP system. That’s how to know whether the promotion is having an effect on store sales.

The article highlights how the retail industry can push for more “onshoring” in its manufacturing. Retail accounts for about 25 percent of jobs in the United States and produces $2.4 trillion in gross domestic product. Many retailers are already following suit with the “Made in America” push. Clothing retailer Brooks Brothers, for example, makes its ties in New York, 15 percent of its shirts in North Carolina and 70 percent of its suits at a Massachusetts plant.

Many consumers will choose American-made products provided that they’re competitively priced and offer features consistent with their foreign counterparts. But Wal-Mart has an advantage over smaller retailers because, as a mass retailer, it deals directly with many manufacturers. As a result, it’s in a better position to ask U.S. manufacturers for a price break since it’s investing so much money in promoting American-made products.

Smaller retailers frequently deal more with distributors than the manufacturers. Midsize and small retailers must be creative in finding a niche or promotions, and then use the retail ERP system to monitor those items. While the system won’t specify what products to stock, external information entered into the system can show a retailer what impact a promotion highlighting “Made in the USA” products is having on stores. Using this information to target sales can be a good marketing strategy for retailers and give them a competitive edge.

Source: NRF Stores, September 2013