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Retail-specific ERP or generic ERP, which is better?


Retail-specific ERP or generic ERP, which is better?
Retail-specific ERP or generic ERP, which is better?
June 21, 2019


An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution is an integral aspect for most of the businesses, regardless of the industry they operate in. It is used to centrally manage all business functions with a common database to monitor and share all the data among various departments of the organizations.

An ERP solution is used in a retail organization to ensure seamless functioning of the business. Retailers should be able to monitor the stock of products at all times, place purchase orders on time whenever necessary, manage all finances at a single platform, complete sale transactions, track customer and employee data, and much more.

Now the question that arises is whether a generic ERP solution should be implemented at a retail organization or a solution specific to the retail industry. To answer this, undoubtedly, a retail-specific ERP solution is better. In this article, we would discuss the factors that give retail ERP solutions an added advantage over generic ERP software.

1. Configuration

If a retailer decides to implement a generic ERP solution at their retail chain, it would need a lot of configuration and customization in order to fulfil all business needs and draw requisite results. Despite a generic ERP solution offering basic features to manage the business, it would not be able to handle the complexity of the business. For instance, a retailer that procures its products from various vendors would need a comprehensive vendor management system - vendor name and origin, products purchased, details about variants of each product, batch management, warranty details, taxation, and the like. A generic ERP system would have to be customized to capacitate all the data. That would not only delay the entire process, but also demand more time, money, and expertise required for the process. Moreover, in case new updates are released in third-party solutions, such as accounting or customer loyalty, the generic ERP solution would not be updated to support the new features.

On the other hand, a retail-specific ERP solution would offer all these features as they are designed and developed solely to be implemented in all retail formats. These products would not require much customization, except for the ones specific to the organization. Additionally, retail ERP solution providers would keep their software up-to-date, supporting new features released in the third-party software applications.

2. Cost

Generic ERP solutions require a lower upfront investment at the time of implementation. However, these products also require a lot of customization in order for them to be able to manage the business functions efficiently. Customizing a pre-built robust solution could be very expensive and retailers would have to hire employees with the expertise to work on the same, which is an added cost. On top of that, maintaining a customized solution would need additional investment.

On the flip side, retail-specific ERP solutions might involve a higher upfront investment. Despite that, they are a more economical option for any retail business as they would only require minimal maintenance charges on a long-term basis. Any customization requests could also be handled by the vendors, at a minimal added cost.

3. Rollout time

Retail organizations that invest in a generic ERP solution need to wait for a longer time before implementing it in the business. The reason behind this is that the solution would require a lot of customization to be relevant to the retail industry. Additionally, training employees on how to operate the customized solution would also add on to the time before the project is rolled out.

On the contrary, retail ERP solutions can be rolled out immediately after the employees are provided intense training sessions on the same. The faster the project is rolled out, the quicker the results start showing up.

Ginesys is one of the leading and most-trusted retail ERP solutions in Pan India. Retailers must invest in a solution like Ginesys, which supports any retail format, regardless of the size of the company.