March 01, 2019
If you’re a retailer interested in enhancing both operations and customer experience, chances are that ERP systems have come up as a potential solution to these challenges. A platform like Microsoft Dynamics 365 centralizes and streamlines all your key retail operations within a single cloud-based solution to help manage all your business tasks.
However, the massive amount of information available on these solutions has given rise to a number of myths. In this post, we’re tearing down four of the biggest myths associated with ERP platforms.
1. They’re only for giant corporations
While this may have been the case decades ago when the technology was expensive and highly complex, more recent advances have brought ERP platforms within the reach of most businesses. There is a wide range of solutions available for different industries that include out-of-the-box functionality designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Most ERP platforms use a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model that matches the budgetary requirements of SMEs.
2. They require highly trained staff
One of the biggest benefits of an ERP solution is that they’re designed with the “business user” in mind and features an intuitive user interface. This is particularly true with Microsoft Dynamics 365, which has an interface that should be familiar to Microsoft Office users. ERP dashboards are also similar to industry-specific tools that your employees accustomed to. They’ll be able to quickly and easily acclimatize to the new solution.
However, one part of ERP systems is complex: the implementation. It’s essential that the ERP implementation partner you choose to work with is experienced in that specific ERP platform as well as your industry. This brings us to our next point…
3. ERP implementations are time-consuming, costly, and disruptive
While an ERP system might not be the easiest kind of platform to integrate into your business, it isn’t the most difficult process you’ll ever face, either. However, there are some things that retailers can do to make the process easier, like truly understanding your employees’ needs and challenges, and anticipating the longer-term outlook for your business in terms of where and how you’ll be selling.
Disruption can be minimized further by keeping your implementation partner involved from the beginning and ensuring that there is an open line of communication between them and your internal steering team. This will help your vendor understand your needs make useful customizations, and act as a valuable source of support for your employees.
4. ERP, CRM, and SCM are all the same
Customer resource management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) solutions are distinct from ERP systems, and they target completely different processes within your business. However, it is possible and highly beneficial to integrate them with your ERP solution. How far you go with your integration will depend on the specifics of your business, but many of the newer ERP platforms like Dynamics 365 come with built-in functionality that enables businesses to meet the needs previously met by separate CRM and SCM solutions. In other words, consider whether you want an ERP that has built-in CRM capabilities, for example, or if you would prefer one that takes data from your existing, separate CRM platform and makes it available within your ERP system.
Finding the best way to manage end-to-end retail operations can seem daunting, and the misinformation surrounding many common solutions can be overwhelming. However, by separating these myths from the truth, you’ll be able to better decide if an ERP platform like Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the solution that your retail business has been looking for. Systems is deeply experienced in implementing ERP solutions for the region’s leading businesses. Get in touch with Systems to seamlessly implement an ERP solution across your business.