It’s not rare that even a store with more than 30 years of operation has trouble managing their business because shop floor stock and online stock are treated separately. This lack of coordination acts as hinder to successful business growth, and thus retailers are actively looking for ways to get rid of it. The answer to this problem is a comprehensive retail management system.
Want to learn more about our retail management system features and how they can help your retail business boost productivity and margins? Our consultants would love to share their insight!
So what exactly is a retail management system? A retail management system, or RMS, is an integrated set of digital applications used by business owners and retailers to operate their business.
There are numerous options when it comes to POS software and they are conveniently advertised as retail management systems. However, not all companies package their POS the same, and it’s hard to agree exactly what features can be comprised to make a comprehensive POS system. We thought it might be helpful to elaborate what our definition of an RMS and why it’s so important for your business.
At the very least, most retailers use simple cash register-like systems to transact sales in the store. These systems actually evolved from cash registers and function mainly as accounting packages. Many have limited or non-existent CRM and offer limited sets of reports. Some are entirely without purchasing, ordering, transfer, inventory count, or flexible reporting and dashboard functionality. They are useful as a means to accept payments in the store and for simple reporting and accounting, but not for much else. Simple business operation with very limited SKUs might find this to be enough. However, they need more for business growth.
One of the primary benefits of using a POS with true RMS capabilities is that all retail operations occur in the same technology footprint, which allows the retailer to run the business as a whole, using only one single system. Information is readily available in real time so the retailer has visibility on how the business is doing across all functions. Even better, with a web based application the retailer is able to access this critical data in real time from any device, including smart phones, tablets, or laptops.
For example, with an integrated RMS you can track and report on the entire lifecycle of an item in one system. From its start as part of an initial purchase order, to its receipt in the store or warehouse, as it is transferred between locations, when it is counted and re-counted – and eventually as part of a sale from the POS. Using CRM functionality the retailer then can see who purchased the item and what they purchased along with it – and many other important data points. Many of the simple cash register-like systems out there just take payments. They don’t handle the lifecycle of the product or the customer.
Some retailers choose to operate an RMS by assembling the various pieces from different software vendors: a POS system from Vendor A, an inventory management system from Vendor B, purchasing management from Vendor C, a business intelligence tool from Vendor D, an ecommerce system from Vendor E and so on. The costs of implementing multiple disparate systems and getting them to work together in harmony are prohibitive for all but the largest retail businesses. Each link in the chain has its own integration that needs to be built and managed, which is costly upfront and over the long term. An integrated retail management system will help you avoid the pain of integrating a variety of separate applications.
So why should you choose to use an integrated retail management system?
- It has less technical overhead than separate applications.
- You have a better understanding of your business because as a whole: you have better observe of the entire business flow, both online and offline.
- You will gain amplified productivity for your entire workforce. All information is easily access and thus save unnecessarily wasted time.
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