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One platform – realistic?
19th December 2017

Today, it seems as though every business has its own platform that it wants you to use. And that you need to install, learn, and continue to maintain. And sometimes, when you’re working in a really specialized avenue, this can be an effective way to make sure that it is right.

However, at what point does having a million different software, each with its own unique set of rules, programming, and processes, become more cumbersome than having a single solution? Luckily, we weren’t the only ones to ask ourselves this question, and subsequently, ERPs were born.

As you know, an ERP takes all the major different parts of your operation and brings them together into a single platform that can be accessed centrally. In this post, we’re looking at 7 reasons why having a single platform is preferable to multiple solutions and how it can help with the specific problems of retailers.

  • Centralized control – By having all of your processes in one place and easily accessible from a single location, your employees across departments will save tons of time and money by not having to constantly switch between different tools to get the job done.
  • Data visibility – When all of your operations are in a single place and every single moment of them is being tracked, you get lots of information and data and it’s all together. Better data means better reporting which means better decision making. And who doesn’t like that?
  • A single version of truth – Arising largely from points 1 and 2, having all of this information organized and centralized very much minimizes the risk of having multiple “truths” and duplicates in your data.
  • Business intelligence – As mentioned, reporting leads to better decisions. An additional bonus is that having a smart computer to make decisions based on this data can mean for automated improvements and cost saving measures. This leads to reduced long-term costs owing from better decisions.
  • Employee ease – No employee ever wants to spend time learning and working in 5 different tools when there could be one to do it all. Though using an ERP can be initially challenging, particularly if your employees are accustomed to a system of multiple solutions, providing thorough and ongoing training during the transition and early days can set the stage for a long and effective employee happiness and effectiveness level.
  • Maintenance and IT costs – A single solution equals a simple payment and maintenance for your internal tech team or external consultant. If you have multiple software that always must be working together, it only takes one of them getting out of date to throw the entire system off. And that has a ripple effect across your operations.
  • Easy upgrades – Retailers in specific face a number of unique challenges that are not present in other industries.

Some problems that an ERP can help retail businesses solve are:

  • Daily store operations, including employee management
  • Merchandising
  • Omnichannel and ecommerce selling
  • CRM, customer management, and loyalty/engagement

Having a single platform for all of your operations can appear daunting at first glance, but it’s clear that the end results make it well worth the effort and investment. By being able to make better decisions and having more effective operations, a positive feedback loop can be created, whereby your business only stands to improve itself.
Interested in learning more about ERPs like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and how it can help boost your retail business? Make sure to write to us at marketing@levtechconsulting.com

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