Your retail ERP software contains information vital to decision-making, from total sales per store to potential inventory shortages, to customer buying trends. Knowing what to look for can help you take advantage of the information available to you.
Drill down for detail, drill up for general trends
You should be able to access information to whatever level of detail you require. For example, you should be able to view total sales by store, and then look closer at sales for each department, and then look at sales for each product, in some case even to the size and color.
You should also be able to “drill up” as well, going from a specific line item on a receipt back through the sales transaction up to the customer. This allows you to identify buying behavior for that customer by comparing this sale to other sales made to the same person. You should also be able to view buying behaviors among all customers that share the same demographic – age, gender, income – to identify buying trends.
Leverage dashboards and export
Working with data within the ERP system itself can sometimes be cumbersome. It is useful to export the information to another program, like Excel, to work through the data. For instance, demographics and purchases can be easily dissected using pivot tables in Excel, allowing you to identify which products sell well among various demographic groups and from which store location.
If you already know certain pieces of information are vital, you can create a custom dashboard to extract and display that information directly without having to export it first to Excel.
View data in real-time
Where historical data is useful for establishing trends and developing long-term plans, real-time data is useful for identifying issues – good and bad – and being able to take immediate action once specific criteria are met.
Real-time data can help identify potential out-of-stock conditions, sudden movements of popular items, cashiers that show an unusual number of refunds, and many other situations that require management to act quickly in response.
Your ERP software contains valuable information about your customers and your business. Taking the time to see what information you require and configuring your ERP software to give you quick access to that information can save you time and help you make more informed decisions.