WHAT IS A RETAIL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
A retail management system (RMS) is a platform that combines different forms of technology — from engineering to accounting, to customer relationship management, etc., to help in the daily operations of a retail store or a supply chain. These operations include; managing and purchasing inventory, tracking orders, scheduling and monitoring employee shift, managing finances, and many more.
Traditional retail strategies are no longer as effective. Retail businesses must embrace change and adopt new technologies like the RMS to keep their businesses alive and thriving. You need to adopt a retail management system if you own a retail store or supply chain.
However, understanding the technology-driven evolution of the retail industry can help you comprehend the value of an RMS better.
EVOLUTION OF THE RETAIL INDUSTRY
The retail industry has witnessed and survived three historical ages of evolution.
The first era is known as the Mercantile Era. Dating as far back as the 13th century, the retail industry witnessed technology in the form of tools, barter systems, crafts, and transportation. Retailers in this era served the upper class with original creations that were transported through various means, such as mules, caravans, and, finally, ships.
The Modern Era is the second age of evolution that started in the mid-18th century. The industrial revolution is the highlight of this era. Technological advancements upgraded craftsmanship with mass production tools. Retailers could now serve the middle-class and transport their goods faster with trains. This era also witnessed the rise of department stores.
The Digital Era is the third and perhaps last stage of evolution in the retail industry. E-commerce rose in this age, and despite the initial fluctuation of its progress, it eventually gained traction with the internet. We saw the rise of retail companies like Walmart and how they dominated the retail space with RMS innovations. Amazon also became a disruptor with its online speciality. This has given retailers more control over the flow of goods and services.
With how far the retail space has come, there is no doubt that technology will remain the driver of change across industries. The RMS holds great value for retailers.
WHAT CAN A RMS DO FOR YOU?
Traditional retail strategies do not hold as much value as digital strategies. How?
Typically, a retailer can only add value through:
- Giving consumers a wide variety of products and services to choose from
- Breaking the supply chain bulk
- Storing inventory
- Providing retail services
With technology like a retail management system, a retailer can do so much more!
When you leverage the RMS technology, it helps you;
- Streamline all the processes of running your retail store, from procurement to sales and back-end operations such as accounting and human resources management. The RMS is an integrated platform that provides a central storage centre for all retail data and improves collaboration between various departments.
Even better, the mobile versions of the RMS software can be used while working in different locations – allowing employers and staff remote access to important data anytime. While employees can use this software, it is of higher benefit to the managers and supervisors who need to plan and monitor operations.
- Combine features for e-commerce and the supply chain, thereby integrating your e-commerce platforms and supply chain management software for increased efficiency.
- Improve customer experience and sales through data analytics.
- Use insights to offer customers not only what they want but also competitive variants of their wants.
- Have the same power with larger retail stores if you run a small independent store.
In simpler words, this added value comes in the form of;
- Actionable data and insights
- Enhanced efficiency at the point of sale
- Improved human and inventory management
- Financial transparency and accountability
- Improved data security
Adopting the RMS technology is the right step for you to take as a retailer in the digital age, but how can you identify and select the right one?
HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT RETAIL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
There are different forms of RMS in the enterprise software market. Some of them have standalone functions, while others combine different functions. Depending on your business needs, you may require just one standalone RMS or one that integrates several standalone systems.
These systems include;
- Warehouse and inventory management software
- Customer relationship management software
- Intelligent procurement software
- Employee management
- Omni-channel software, and others.
The best RMS should be able to integrate this software and other relevant technology for improved retail management strategies and smooth operations.
Choosing the type of RMS you need also depends on factors such as;
- Your budget
- The size of your retail business
- The strength of your IT infrastructure
- The number of retail stores you operate and want to integrate
You should also know that the RMS software can be cloud-based or on-premise. What’s the difference?
Cloud-based RMS software is hosted on a cloud-service vendor’s servers and will be accessed on the web or via mobile applications. To get cloud-based software, you will subscribe monthly/annually, and you may have to pay additional fees for an increased number of users, updates, etc. Regardless, it is a more affordable and more popular option.
An on-premise RMS software, on the other hand, will be installed on your servers and hardware. It is a more expensive option and isn’t as secure in the case of a breach or external damage.
Ultimately, the choice you make depends on how you want to deploy your RMS solution and how you would like to access it. Above all, data security is an important factor to consider.
To identify a retail management system, check to see if the software does all of the following;
- Provide a central platform and data archive for most or all of your retail operations
- Has technology that integrates or allows integration with back-end software such as accounting
- Include point-of-sale (POS) functions which are integrated with the other functions of the software
- Intelligent management of supply chain operations such as purchasing and inventory management.
- Manage sales processes such as order delivery, returns, cancellations, exchanges, and refunds.
- Have real-time alerts that coordinate the flow of inventory from availability to delivery.
- Gives customers access to different payment methods such as cash, credit or debit card, etc.
- Provide real-time insights through real-time reporting features and intelligent dashboards.
Once an RMS software ticks all these boxes, then you are on the right track. To make the selection easier, it is best to consult with an IT expert to ensure that you make the right choice. It is recommended you select software that can easily adapt to new trends in the retail industry. Such trends include; wireless POS systems, an increasing collaboration of the retail industry with artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT).
To make better choices, here are some important questions to ask and have answers to;
- Why do you need an RMS solution?
- What are your growth plans?
- Do you need a specialised RMS solution?
- Can you see a demo of the solution?
- Can the solution integrate with your existing enterprise software?
- Does the solution provider offer customer support, and what are their policies on updates?
Life as we know it is rapidly evolving and will continue to do so. Consumers are on the lookout for more convenient ways of accessing the things they need, and only the businesses that are willing to embrace change will be able to optimise this new demand. As a retailer, the best way to achieve this is to combine your traditional strategies with the right technology. That technology is a retail management system solution from Hidden Brains.
The Hidden Brains RMS solution holds key benefits for retailers, such as;
- A ready-to-go omnichannel
- Custom store solutions
- High adoption flexibility
- Web and mobile versions
- Seamless integration with third-party applications
- Real-time reporting
- Smart-alert system
- A multi-store inventory look-up, and many more.
Our RMS solution no doubt ticks all the boxes, and we offer support from ideation to implantation and beyond. That’s not all.
We also offer excellent consulting services that will guide you on how to seamlessly adopt the solution without disrupting your existing business operations. Your success is our satisfaction.
Are you a retailer in need of a game-changing solution to enhance customer satisfaction and scale your business?
Send an inquiry to [email protected] to start the journey to efficiency, sustainability, and profitability.
You can also request to see a demo via the email above.
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