How retailers can make the ERP integration process pain free and suitable for the modern omnichannel commerce environment.
The flexibility and integration capability of your ERP system is arguably the most important factor to consider in modern retail – things are changing so quickly and you need your core technology to move with the times.
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But you’ve probably had enough scare stories about your industry over recent years to last a lifetime, so I’ve composed a four-point guide to how you can improve the integration process – whether it’s for an SAP for retail or Sage 300 ERP integration, or an alternative core system.
Although addressing this key issue may at first sound like an insurmountable task, technology is evolving at such a rapid and progressive rate, it can now give you the agility you require to comfortably meet your customers’ changing needs. Here’s how:
Agnosticism Gives You Options
Start riding the no-one-size-fits-all IT infrastructure wave, which is currently carrying many of the most successful companies operating in your industry to new heights.
Core ERP software suppliers such as SAP for retail are there to run your business, but they have evolved to be agile enough that other new solutions can easily be integrated to give you the new functionality you require – with minimum disruption to your enterprise.
Seek out these companies and don’t be scared to pick and mix the retail solutions that hit the sweet spot for your specific customers.
Collaboration Is Key
In a retail world where everyone thinks they have the answer to your problems – and I acknowledge through this very blog post I’m now on the list of people offering you advice – you want to work with companies that offer partnership not dictatorship.
Make sure the solution providers you choose as part of your ERP integration are willing to listen and are flexible enough to tailor their technology to your targets.
It’s Perpetual Motion
Perhaps in the past, retailers felt that implementing an ERP system was a four or five-year process – and then they could say ‘job done’.
There’s an argument to say that was never the way to look at things, but it certainly isn’t the way to approach such an important operational process today. ERP integration will be an ongoing job – fuelled by new customer behaviours and the natural evolution of technology – and the sooner you get comfortable in this mindset, the more manageable the task becomes.
Know Your Customer
You’ll know your customers better than any of us, but it’s crucial you don’t stop talking to them to find out how they want to interact with your brand.
By keeping constant communication channels open – whether that’s in-store, via loyalty schemes or other solutions that feed into your SAP for retail, Sage or other choice of ERP system – you’ll have a better handle on new demands on the horizon.
None of us really know what the next big customer trend in retail is going to be. Who would ever have thought we’d be talking about the possibility of delivery by drone? It is for this reason that the technology you adopt needs to be as flexible as possible.
So, when it comes to selecting solutions for Sage 300 ERP integration or any other central technology stack you happen to use, think agnostically, make sure you choose tech partners with a collaborative, open approach – and never lose sight of what your shopper is after.