You know the story – you paint one room of the house and suddenly the rest looks drab. You change your hairstyle and realise you need a wardrobe update. You get a new laptop and realise how out of date your printer is.
Once we upgrade to the latest and greatest in one area, we become hyper-aware of the shortcomings of other areas, and feel the need to bring them into line as well.
Which I think is the underlying principle behind a story I hear a lot from retailers too – they have upgraded their ERP system and are reaping the benefits of all that current technology offers in this field. It’s a big move, with big benefits. But, alongside all these advantages, they start to see their POS system in a new light and realise just how many advances have taken place since they implemented it. They want to embrace omnichannel, integrated loyalty, personalisation – all the functionality they know their shoppers are demanding.Time for a new POS.
This is music to the ERP vendor’s ears. They’ve done a great job with the ERP, built a sound relationship and assume that the retailer will simply take the ‘easy’ path and choose their retail POS system. “After all,”, they say, “what could make more sense than to choose the POS that comes from us, when you are so happy with our ERP?”
They ask this as a rhetorical question, assuming that there is only one answer. In the conversations that I have, I point out that there is another option.
“What makes more sense”, I suggest, “is to choose a retail POS system on its merits, rather than simply accepting what your ERP vendor offers”. If that retail POS system is vendor-agnostic, with open APIs, it can be fully integrated with your ERP. If you’ve decided that you need a new P designed for ERP integration, retail POS system, it is because you need the functionality and retail support that today’s best systems offer. So there is no point in ignoring the truly specialist retail POS vendors, who understand retail and the specifics of what you need, simply to go with what is offered by your ERP vendor.
The retailers I meet see the sense in the logic that ERP and retail POS systems, whilst certainly needing to be integrated and having synergy, are actually two very different beasts. Just because a vendor offers a great ERP, it doesn’t necessarily follow that their POS will be the best fit for the retailer. ERP vendors are great at ERP, POS companies know POS.
That’s why at CitiXsys, we don’t offer an ERP. We’re a retail POS systems specialist and we stick to what we’re really good at.
A good retail POS system is so much more than transactions in a store – it is a complete, omnichannel ecosystem, incorporating instore and online shopping, loyalty, promotions, inventory, personalisation and so much more.
A great POS vendor researches industry trends to ensure that their system is always able to offer functionality based on what shoppers really want. They lead the way with new and innovative approaches. They live, breath and truly understand retail and retailers.
So I suggest to retailers some criteria they might use to select their new designed for ERP integration, retail POS system, such as
- Does their chosen retail POS system support their strategy for omnichannel retailing?
- Does their chosen retail POS system help them to run the business more efficiently?
- Does their chosen retail POS system drive revenue and profitability?
- Is their chosen retail POS system ERP-agnostic and able to integrate with their ERP?
As long as this last point is met, then retailers can choose a retail POS system that meets the previous three points. They can make a decision for a POS that meets their business goals and supports their longer-term retail aims.
So if they select a retail POS system like iVend, which offers full omnichannel capability, and open APIs, they are getting a fully integrate-able system that is truly designed to support and grow their retail business.
Which is what having a new, state-of-the art retail POS system is all about.