In this article, we share the reasons how a cloud ERP solution can help support retailers with their business resilience at a time of rising economic and other business challenges.
The past year has been particularly turbulent, with major disruptions in supply chains, skilled labour shortages, Brexit and other new trade barriers, plus the price and scarcity of fuel and other raw materials driving up the costs of doing business whilst demand in many sectors fall.
These problems, coupled with challenging legacies from the covid years, require vigilant and rigorous management responsiveness to seek and drive efficiencies and effectiveness.
At this time, one of the most important things that retailers can do is to accelerate digital transformation (Harvard Business Review, June 2022).
Whilst digital transformation cannot solve all the problems faced, it can help mitigate a number.
Modern cloud ERP systems particularly offer great benefits to the retail industry, helping companies to optimise finance and operations, warehousing and distribution, and providing live information on sales, inventory, pricing and customers at any point in time in order to best capture sales, win loyalty and stay competitive.
Here we outline the 5 major benefits of a cloud ERP solution for retailers and how such a platform can help manage the challenges for 2022/2023.
5 Key Benefits of a cloud-based ERP solution for Retailers
1. Resilient Supply Chain Management
According to a survey by the Institute for Supply Chain Management in April 2021, 75% of decision-makers reported that “supply chain disruption” was the main reason why plans from recent years were not realised.
A cloud-based ERP solution can help build a resilient and intelligent supply chain that can be monitored and managed from anywhere, obtaining information about inventory in real-time, 24/7. This gives frontline workers access to critical information to optimise production and avoid delays, and manage the intelligence they need to respond to both opportunities and challenges.
2. Inventory Management Efficiency
For retailers, inventory is a business asset and it is key to have a reliable, cloud-based inventory management system to maintain an optimal delivery level, track goods during transit, receive new items, and manage warehouse processes – in real-time. It ensures you can deliver whatever product, in whatever colour and size the customer wants, to that customer on time and track it every step of the way.
To optimise inventory management, it needs to be integrated with accounting and ideally a warehouse management system (WMS) to get real-time metrics of performance at every step of the process. IMS is usually part of a larger ERP system that can unify inventory, accounting, point-of-sale, and supply chain management on one cohesive and efficient platform. A GREAT ERP system will be part of an even larger solution that also unifies sales, marketing, and customer information, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.
3. Seamless Shopping Experience
Meeting customer expectations when shopping means more sales. To meet or exceed these fast-changing expectations, companies need to connect physical and digital channels to gain a comprehensive view of the customer and then provide a relevant and personalised experience.
A modern ERP system can help deliver an optimal experience. It can be integrated with Commerce solutions to provide a single view of content, assets, promotions, inventory, and pricing to simplify and streamline management across channels. Knowing every purchase at every point of sale, how it impacts stock, and who the customer is in real-time is not a holy grail, but something very achievable these days. For example, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce integrates seamlessly with Dynamics 365 and enables all these facets of intelligent retail management.
4. Minimise manual labour
According to research conducted in 2021 by Manufacturing Expo in the UK, 92% of employees waste an average of 8 hours a week trying to find the right data, and 24% lose up to a full day of productivity every week trying to locate information to serve their customers.
These days people require real-time reporting with automated data collection and analysis at the push of a button, which modern cloud-ERP solutions can offer. They can transform reporting and analysis, providing crucial intelligence as you need it, and in the way you need, without wasting time and money collecting and manipulating data.
Additionally, an ERP solution can also automate sales order creation and management, inventory management, and financial reporting.
5. Connected Commerce
According to a study published by Stephanie Chevalier (Research expert covering internet and eCommerce) on July 7, 2021, the UK has the biggest and most advanced eCommerce market in Europe and direct-to-customer sales are projected to grow by 50% by 2023 for consumer goods, furniture and homeware, and sporting goods. Sales for the foods and drink industry are projected to grow by 27.5%.
A cloud ERP system can integrate eCommerce sales channels with key business processes. By unifying data systems, retailers can get a relevant and optimised eCommerce experience, enhanced shopper-level personalisation and expanded sales opportunities. This results in lower overheads, faster processing, and better visibility into financial and order data.
Dynamics 365 for the retail industry
To build business resilience and maintain competitive advantage, retailers must adopt modern business technologies to optimise their business and please customers.
Cloud-based ERP systems, such as Dynamics 365, can help organisations build stronger businesses.
If you are in the retail sector looking for all the benefits that a good ERP system can deliver, contact us to speak to an ERP expert on how we can help you and your business.
Microsoft Partner for the UK
Dynamo Global is a trusted Microsoft Partner delivering valuable ERP solutions to Clients in the UK and around the world. We are experts at implementing, integrating, servicing, and designing ERP solutions that can help you optimise your business. We have the expertise and experience to know the solutions that can be applied to best suit the retail sector to make a positive difference to your business.
For more information about us, do visit our website.