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Greg Kaupp, ArcherPoint LLC

ERP and BI: Getting Real Insight from Your Retail ERP System


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For retailers, the Point of Sale (POS) is where the retailer often has the last interaction with the customer. It is here that customer information can be gathered, incentives and loyalty programs can be promoted, and popular items can be identified. It is also a place where customer satisfaction and brand loyalty can be most affected – for better or worse.

The data available at each POS at each store can bring a wealth of information to the retailer: Who is our customer? What store or stores do they frequent? What items are our top sellers? Are our incentives working? What items are usually bought together? Who are our repeat customers and how much do they typically spend?

Accessing this information is one thing; making sense of it all is another.

The Data Problem

Typically, each POS terminal feeds customer and sales information to the company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which then integrates this sales data with other information, such as inventory management, payroll, invoices, etc. Income statements, balance sheets, and same store sales, along with the myriad other reports and financial statements generated by the ERP systems, are essential, but how can that wealth of information also be used as a competitive advantage for the company? One answer is by integrating a Business Intelligence (BI) component with your ERP software.

The BI Solution

BI software helps piece together seemingly unrelated bits of data and provides management with a complete picture of what is working, what isn’t, and what possible next steps should be considered. Running a coupon might generate more sales for that item, but with an integrated BI component, we can tell which offers resonate with specific customers and provide coupons specific to that client at the POS.

BI systems help companies make critical decisions, such as expanding into new markets, opening new stores, forecasting seasonal variation, and determining which marketing campaigns are working…and where.

Getting meaningful data from an ERP system, including visual aids such as charts and graphs along with the flexibility to dynamically change the parameters of the data (sales by demographics, regional sales by store/item, etc.), can be a challenge. Even though most ERP systems hold most of this data, extracting it in a timely manner in a form that management can use effectively can be a challenge. Many of the types of reports that management wants to access directly from the ERP system must be written by a developer or provided by the software vendor at additional costs.

BI systems integrate with ERP systems to provide real, actionable data quickly and in a format that can be used effectively. BI tools help users access the data they want without requiring technical assistance manual processes, and frequently accessed information can be displayed in dashboards that update in real-time.

About the author

Ryan Grant started working in software in 1996 providing support and implementations for Elypsis, based in Napa, California. The ERP system at Elypsis was Solomon Software, now Microsoft Dynamics SL. Ryan became the lead for the Retail team at Elypsis, focusing on implementations, development, and support of Microsoft Dynamics RMS and many ISV products developed by Elypsis. Ryan joined ArcherPoint in 2014 as a consultant and works with the Dynamics NAV and LS Retail teams to provide retail solutions for ArcherPoint clients.

About ArcherPoint

ArcherPoint is a leading Microsoft Dynamics NAV and LS Retail solutions partner, providing retail companies with fully integrated, end-to-end business solutions. Retailers are empowered with affordable omni-channel retail solutions, to make informed decisions based on real-time insight into their retail environment, increasing their business value. ArcherPoint’s retail management systems are tailored to the unique needs of businesses, and have the ability to adapt and grow as business grows. For more information on ArcherPoint’s retail solutions, contact ArcherPoint directly at 877-651-7801.

For more information on how an ERP solution can benefit your retail business, visit www.DynamicsRetailSoftware.com or email emartin@archerpoint.com.

by ArcherPoint,LLC

One Response to “ERP and BI: Getting Real Insight from Your Retail ERP System”

  1. SusanO says:

    Getting true business intelligence out of an ERP system does not have to be difficult. In addition to providing clear, concise data so users can make confident decisions, a good BI solution can also bring together information from other disparate systems (legacy, best-of-breed, spreadsheets, reporting packages, etc.) and present it in a personalized dashboard environment that will satisfy the needs of each user and provide data in a way that is meaningful to their role in the enterprise.

    At ElegantJ BI, we find that our clients are more sophisticated today and that their need for business intelligence is greater than ever. Integrating data from ERP, CRM and other enterprise systems allows the business to spot trends and identify issues and opporutinities, so the business can enjoy a competitive advantage.

    http://goarticles.com/article/How-Can-a-Business-Intelligence-Tool-Engender-Employee-Collaboration-It-S-Easier-Than-You-Think/8964691/