Business growth is good news, but it brings new problems and opportunities that demand new solutions. Managing a growing business often leads to the addition of an application or system to meet immediate needs, but can set the stage for future operational inefficiencies, time and resource drain, or risk of error.
A better solution to consider is an integrated retail management system, one designed to manage all aspects of your business and scale alongside your growth.
Your first thought may be that it doesn’t exist. There’s no one solution that covers everything including point of sale, inventory management, CRM, accounting, supply chain management, and eCommerce. Taking advantage of application integration based on a platform, however, can provide a total solution that’s the perfect fit for your business.
Your solutions provider can help you select a retail management system that meets your current and future business needs and show you options for applications that have been designed to integrate with that platform. Taking a platform approach means all applications work together, data is easily shared between them, and you can manage it all from one system.
If you need an additional application or tool that isn’t available, software developers can access the platform’s APIs for integration with your business’ other systems and applications. Whether you are just feeling growing pains related to disparate retail management systems, or if you’ve been laboring with them for years, changing to a business management platform with integrated applications provide significant benefits and prevent future issues related to your current management architecture.
The top 10 benefits of an integrated retail management system are:
1. Real-time visibility into all facets of your business
2. Elimination of many IT maintenance and integration costs
3. Heightened productivity as duplication of effort and conflicting responsibilities are eliminated
4. The possibility to avoid new hires for data management roles
5. Better communication among departments and more harmonized operations
6. Easy deployment of new applications and expansion of systems to new physical locations or channels
7. Easier training for new employees or employees changing roles
8. Quicker, more efficient customer service and enhanced customer experience
9. Greater ability to upsell and cross-sell 10. More time for management to focus on other areas of the business
One Final Benefit: Data
Using an integrated retail management system to manage your retail business will also provide significant benefits when it comes to data analysis. With systems and applications that can communicate with each other, you gain an overall view of your business and the ability to correlate and compare data in new ways.
More benefits of Retail management software
Bringing a user-friendly interface.
By far the biggest challenge we hear from buyers is that their existing system is non-intuitive; they are looking for a new system and their primary requirement is ease-of-use. Then, a good solution must be designed so employees can learn POS procedures in minutes with built-in applications and an intuitive user interface.
Streamlining transaction processing.
With the right retail software, sales transactions become faster and easier. Retailers can:
• Immediately access prices, availability, and stock location through the customizable POS screen.
• Access customer profiles and handle multiple tenders and partial payments at checkout.
• Accelerate checkouts, offer up-sells and cross-sells through the suggestive selling of linked items, and implement automatic discounts for frequent shoppers.
Improving efficiency and minimizing data collection errors.
Retail management systems allow retailers to capture and store customer information, which can later be used for advertising, promotions, etc. In addition, the software will help retailers organize, simplify, and automate the otherwise tedious day-to-day business operations and transactions, and reduce the effort required for repetitive manual activities.
Providing KPIs for the analysis and decision-making process.
Efficient retail software enables executives to access, analyses, and share current, detailed data across the entire business which include built-in statistics and KPIs for users viewable directly.
Providing the ability to control promotion programmers.
Best-in-class retail management software will help retailers plan promotions, forecast their performance, and analyses the results. Thus, retailers can offer customers discounts at point of sale whilst being able to limit the impact of those activities on the product’s profitability.
Better inventory management.
Retail management software will provide details on current item stock and identify additional stock required to smoothly operate the business. Then retailers place proper purchase orders, thus avoiding surplus, and minimizing waste.
Integrating multiple channels.
Many retailers are moving to support multiple channels – retail stores, e-commerce websites, mail-order catalogs… As they roll out new channels they often implement separate, redundant software systems – one for each channel.
Looking for a best appropriate retail management system is a priority to most of the retailers now. With the right strategic approach, retailers can “harvest” many benefits from their customer management which becomes to be their competitive advantage later all.
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