Key requirements of an ERP solution in the Retail Sector

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According to Martin Commins, Principal Consultant at Lumenia, any knowledgeable buyer looking to invest in an ERP solution for their retail business presents speed as the main characteristic they look for. Speed is indeed a key aspect to look for but other aspects such as functionality are very key. Martin Commins, therefore further says that at the end of the day, not all ERP systems will have the right functionality and, certainly, not all ERP systems will have the right functionality at the requisite speed

In his article “ERP in Retail: What are the Key Requirements?”, he highlights a couple of requirements for an ERP System in the Retail Sector.

  1. Speed & Flexibility at the till; Your typical supermarket, and indeed your corner shops, will want to scan each item quickly and allow various payment methods. That is expected as standard but some retail outlets (e.g., bookstores) will not have all items bar-coded and, thus, items have to be found quickly by description or item name.
  2.  Fast Efficient Set-up & Maintenance of Items; In an environment where there may be numerous suppliers and large quantities of items, the system will need enhanced data maintenance functionality.
  3. Accommodation of various Retail Pricing Arrangements
  4. Integration with the Back Office System; ERP systems were built for the back office and retail systems were built for the counter. If your requirements are such that you need a best of breed for the front and for the back office, you must give considerable thought to the interfaces between both systems.
  5. Fundamental Software Requirements; Any modern retail system must have the flexibility (as standard) to cater for credit notes where credit could be provided at the original purchase price or at the current price of the item;
  6. Loyalty cards are now common practice but not all retail systems can handle these; in particular, multi-channel loyalty schemes can be an issue;
  7. Systems should also be able to accrue for vouchers and manage full and partial redemption of vouchers.
  8. Fundamental Hardware Requirements; The most basic of till systems will have the capability for Floats, X and Z reads. Touch screens are now standard. However, modern systems (unfortunately) also require increased security where each operator transaction can be identified separately through various card, key or fob systems.

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