As a growing retailer, do I need an ERP system?

An ERP can be a critical solution for a company that manufacturers their own products or has products with a limited shelf-life (e.g. Food and Beverage).

An ERP system has components that provide: product management, purchasing, manufacturing,  warehouse management, distribution to stores, customer relationship management (CRM), reporting, point of sale processing, online sales, financials/accounting integration and payroll management.

For a retailer with a focus on wholesale and retail, an ERP may not be required when using Lightspeed Retail Point of Sale. In fact, if you do not manufacture your own products or deal in products with a limited lifespan (e.g. food), the solution outlined below may be an improvement over any ERP system and provide a substantial cost savings.

Let's start by breaking down each component of an ERP system:

Product Management

Lightspeed Retail has an excellent product management system built into its Point of Sale. It can automatically create products from vendor catalogs and vendor imports.

If you need more advanced functionality, Hyperspace Product Information Management provides 1 place to create all product data and sync product data to all of your different systems (POS, CRM, eCommerce, Marketplace).

In fact, there are numerous PIM solutions that ERP users typically use outside of the ERP due to limitations of the ERP. This is because the ERP does not offer the fields or customizability to handle every data field required. For example, does your ERP have a field to select the eBay Shipping Template should you decide to sell on eBay?

Purchasing, Store Transfers, Vendor Returns, Warehouse Management

All of these functions are included in Lightspeed Retail with the exception of Warehouse Management. As a complementary add-on you can use the Hyperspace Purchasing/Warehouse Management Application if the existing purchasing and distribution requirements in Lightspeed Retail do not perfectly match your requirements, this application is perfect for retailers that sell fashion and distribute goods to several stores.  It supports centralized and decentralized distribution.

Customer Relationship Management

Salesforce offers seamless CRM integration to Lightspeed Retail. Customer and sales data sync both ways in close to real time.

Salesforce enables you to control the information available to employees and tailor the interface to suit your business. A CRM like Salesforce never limits your ability to make improvements at an affordable cost. Often times, CRM solutions inside an ERP can be very inflexible and adding an ERP seat license for every employee can be very expensive.

Salesforce has the ability for unlimited growth potential and offers numerous extensions and plugins to improve marketing. The features available in Salesforce are going to exceed any CRM that is available prepackaged in an ERP system.

Reporting

Lightspeed Analytics is a powerful POS reporting tool that gathers extensive data collected by your Retail Point of Sale and eCommerce site (e.g. Shopify).

If that doesn’t meet your needs as a retailer, Hyperspace offers integration to Amazon RedShift which enables you to use any of these reporting solutions. These reporting solutions, especially Sisense, excel at in-depth retail reporting. All data in Lightspeed Retail can be pushed to any of these platforms for in-depth reporting.

Domo, Looker, Tableau, Sisense and more.

Sales Order Processing

Lightspeed offers a Point of Sale platform that is much more powerful than most Point of Sale solutions provided by ERP platforms out of the box.  That is why most companies integrate Lightspeed to their ERP versus using the Point of Sale provided by the ERP system. 

Online Sales

Lightspeed Retail integrates to most of the major eCommerce platforms on the market (Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento...). It also has its own eCom platform too. These eCommerce platforms always excel in features compared to the eCommerce offering provided by the ERP platform. That is why most ERP users use a 3rd party solution like Shopify or Magento. Lightspeed Retail offers the most advanced Shopify integration available for Shopify and Shopify Plus.  It includes advanced distribution and even supports franchise distribution.

Financials and Accounting Integration

Lightspeed Accounting has superior Accounting integration with an advanced user interface. It is designed for retailers that have multiple stores. 

Payroll Management

Lightspeed Retail includes seamless integration into Homebase. Homebase is the easiest way to track hours and schedule your team. Homebase is used by the thousands of businesses to eliminate the paperwork of managing your team. Manage labor costs in real time with sales versus labor reporting powered by the Lightspeed Retail integration.

Summary

By combining the entire suite of Lightspeed offerings together with 'best-in-class' solutions, you end up with a solution that far exceeds the capabilities of any one ERP platform. It is a solution that can be customized and tailored much more affordably to suit your business as you grow. 

Instead of using an ERP solution that does an average job all-around, you are able to create a complete omni-solution that combines the best of everything.  

Your support and service is still primarily through 1 company (Lightspeed Retail). Hyperspace has been a partner of Lightspeed Retail for over a decade and works in conjunction with Lightspeed engineers to ensure that your support and service experience always appears seamless. There is never any 'finger-pointing' when it comes to support. Lightspeed and Hyperspace work together to ensure a seamless single-source customer service experience for all clients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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