Why integrating POS and ERP will be the smartest move a retailer will ever make?

Every Retail Company today makes use of a POS (Point-Of-Sale)System for analysing their Sales Numbers.  However, when it comes to obtaining a larger picture in terms of Forecasting, Inventory, Supply and Channel Management, then a standalone POS Software might not fetch the desired results. It is naïve on the part of some retailers who see POS as a comprehensive system because it essentially manages only the front-end of a Retail Store. They should rather consider integrating POS with their Supply Chain, Financials and Human Capital using an ERP to have an overall visibility of their Inventory, Sales, Manpower and Profitability.

The POS and ERP integration stands for integrating the front end operations with the back end operations (Procurement, Warehouse, Accounting, Replenishment and Human Capital).  With such an Integrated Retail System in place, the sales staff will be able to serve their customers better by an improved and informed decision-making process. Moreover, such an integration will help in avoiding data entry duplication, thus ensuring data integrity.

Integrating POS with an ERP System can bring information pertaining to Stocks, Sales and Revenue on the same platform, which can help retailers to establish a seamless correlation among them. Such a correlation will negate the possibility of a potential inventory mismanagement and will augment the productivity of a business.

In any organization, Inventory Sales and Inventory Purchasing are two separate functions that are managed by POS and ERP/Financial System respectively. Integrating ERP and POS will lead to the integration of these two functions, thus forming a proactive system that will trace the inventory level of a specific item and will trigger a purchase indent/order automatically in case the inventory level goes below an accepted value.

For retailers who don’t keep up with the dynamic details pertaining to Inventory, the challenge is not only to track but also to set the right price for the non-moving or slow-moving goods that are simply consuming valuable floor space. Both these challenges can be easily met by integrating POS and ERP as retailers can not only obtain the real-time information about the non-moving inventory but can also correlate between price offerings, Sales Schemes and the resulting Sales. By obtaining such real-time information, they can make timely decisions like providing discounts on slow-moving goods and clear up inventories and space

It must be understood that for removing the anomalies within the Supply and Demand construct, ERP with POS integration is the way forward. As a good sign, many retailers have started implementing integrated POS Systems without any apprehension, a trend which will hopefully gather more steam sooner rather than later.

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