As you likely know, the digital movement is revolutionizing the way we all do business. Long gone are the days of searching for hard to locate stacks of papers shoved into filing drawers. Today, we use computers (and other devices) along with advanced software to get the job done in an efficient manner. That means not only time saved, but also money saved.
Most often when people speak to the digital revolution, they focus on the web presence and search engine optimization (SEO) to get their businesses noticed. However, they fail to address two of the most important factors: resource planning through an opensource ERP (also known as an enterprise resource planning system) and facilitating sales through a web POS (also known as a point of sale).
These are what keep modern businesses organized and able to complete sales with ease. Utilizing them can be the difference between a company succeeding and failing. One of our favorite systems, does this the right way and enables businesses to get the job done without a hassle.
An enterprise resource planning system is a one stop shop for all of businesses needs relating to product planning. It is a centralized tool to manage all that comes along with products, such as inventory, pricing, sales data, and more. The centralizing becomes increasingly important as you expand into multiple locations. Using an ERP allows you to instantly apply inventory additions, activate promotions and sales, create membership discounts, and even bundle together products (like a make-up starter kit, for example). This not only allows everyone to be on the same page but also allows you to “turn the sail” of your boat to catch the wind.
In my teens, I worked for a retail shop that sold media: movies, video games, and accessories. Often times, a customer would call on the phone to check if we had a certain item in stock. This was to save their time (and gas) of having to drive all the way to our store, only to find out that we did not have the item in stock. I can’t even count how many times the computer would say that we had a product in stock, that would be relayed to a customer, and they would show up fuming when they found out that in fact, we did not have it in stock.
Have you visited an Apple store in the last few years? If you have recently purchased a product in store, you will have noticed that they don’t use dedicated cashiers. How can this be? They were one of the first companies to utilize the power of a web point of sale system. Rather than wasting both store space and money on employees who were just cashiers, they made every employee a cashier. Each employee is empowered and carries a device (and since it’s an Apple store, they all carry iPhones) that is enabled to accept credit cards for purchases. Besides being a promotion tool for their own devices, it is a powerful addition to their business. It frees up extra employees to assist customers by guiding them towards sales. In addition, it eases the heavy congestion of customers who are constantly trafficking in and out of the store.
This is exactly what a web POS system enables your business to do: use any device (Android, Apple, Windows, etc) as long as it is internet connected and can open a browser. You simply load your company’s terminal through a browser on your device and you are instantly connected to the centralized ERP. That means, any sale made through the device will automatically be accounted for in the inventory system. In addition, this enables the previously mentioned centralized sales, kits, membership discounts, and other promotions to be activated.
Not only does this enable ease of the sales process and help you to manage resources, but it also gives you the data you need to make smarter decisions. You will know what is selling, how much of it, when, and to whom. It also enables you, through membership discount programs, to track exactly who is buying what, allowing you to remarket to them with more accuracy. It is widely known that in the business world it is much easier to sell to a current customer than to find a new one.
It’s A New Era
As you can see, an open source ERP, combined with a web POS, is a combination of tools that you cannot do without in today’s retail environment. Together, they save time, money, and headaches, as well as providing you with the data you need to succeed.