ERP Insights for the 2022 Retailer

According to the Insider Intelligence Retail Forecast for 2022, global retail sales are predicted to grow 5% in 2022 to exceed $27.33 trillion. With the rebound of brick-and-mortars, ecommerce spending growth is expected to slow, however it will still account for more than 20% of total global retail. The recovery of in-store retail this past year speaks to its resiliency and indicates that ecommerce’s rise to dominance will take longer than anticipated.

As a result of this growth, the retail industry continues to weather some big challenges. The race to find warehouses to store the influx of wanted goods and resources has become a concern for some retailers - with companies such as Amazon and Walmart purchasing large warehouses to house online orders and shipments - and other organizations falling behind. The ongoing Great Resignation has decreased the number of available warehouse workers and managers, resulting in visibility and communication inefficiencies throughout the supply chain process. At the same time, nationwide truck driver shortages and rising consumer demand are other supply chain challenges that will continue to impact retail operations this year and possibly beyond.

Because of these challenges however, many retailers have come to rely upon automation as the solution to legacy supply chain infrastructures that are no longer viable. Legacy technology is costing companies major revenue losses due to its inability to scale with functionality that serves the growing demand for meeting supply chain needs with modern automation, including cloud computing, IoT insights, and software that measures data such as predictive analytics. The combined challenges of the warehouse and labor shortage together with the rebound of brick and mortar alongside ecommerce, has made it clear that now is the time for retailers to up their game with the technology that supports their growth needs - or be left behind.

Organizations can do more with less, by leveraging technology such as a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, that allows retailers to gain stronger visibility into warehouse production and distribution lines. By adopting a cloud-based ERP solution for example, retailers can lower total costs and transition from a fixed cost structure to a variable one, while freeing up critical IT resources for strategic initiatives and innovation.

Because a complex software platform can increase costs and cause disruption for a company that was functioning sufficiently without it, retailers should look for software that is specifically designed for retail businesses. If you are a retailer, a retail-focused solution should include point-of-sale to sync seamlessly with the back-office. Applications such as rental and service & repair track serialized equipment, offer multi-location transfers and tracking, and add integrated accounting, warehouse management, and inventory control. Add an ecommerce solution that uses the latest responsive design techniques and optimizing your website for any device, making it easy for your customers to do business with your company from their desktop or mobile device. The goal is to deploy a solution with the insights you need to run your business.

The key to success for retailers across the board has always been a combination of both online and in-person offerings, allowing customers to have seamless omnichannel experiences regardless of how or where they shop. While recent supply chain disruptions have led some retailers to move to e-commerce spinoffs to better accommodate for financial losses, in the long run this will only become more difficult for brands to maintain one streamlined channel of distribution and management. To combat ongoing inflation and supply chain troubles, retailers should instead reduce their reliance on one form of shopping over the other and modernize their supply-chain networks to better advance their business operations with the help of ERP technologies, predictive analytics, and IoT insights. By investing in the advancement of their supply chain operations instead of splitting up their e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores, retailers can establish stronger consumer relationships and better streamline operations across all touchpoints.

Pete Zimmerman

North American Software Sales Manager