Since we primarily focus on Retail and Sales Analysis and Demand Planning, the primary EDI data we work with is the 852 Point of Sale document. We sometimes require store lists, inventory and ASN documents as well. These are then run through our software to cleanse, amend, adapt and add to our database.
Then this data is available for reporting and insight into retail sales and inventory activity.
Until recently there were two intersections with ERP systems:
- Extracting cross-reference information so our clients would see what a particular UPC was, e.g.: UPC 12345 is a size small, blue polo shirt.
- Extracting wholesale inventory information for our sales and wholesale inventory modules. We offer selling reports that pinpoint runaway success at retail. That same report shows wholesale inventory so our clients can see right away if they can approach the retailer for a reorder. Goods on the shelf and in the works are also important to apply to future sales predictions with formulas we use to determine what wholesale inventory buys to make.
An interesting development started when we introduced our ad hoc sales reporting tool. Our clients, hungry for meaningful business insight, started to use it as a Business Intelligence Tool. This should not be surprising. According to Gartner, Business Intelligence software is being enjoys 28% usage and 72% is still open. This is going to be a $10 billion market; growing to $30 billion.
Since our software can directly connect to other data sources such as ERP, PLM and accounting software, our clients started to add seats to create reports that included all those data points. And because the seat cost was very reasonable, they started to make that the software of choice for people who needed to see but not manipulate data from those other systems. Why purchase an expensive ERP seat when all one needed was to see reports? In fact, because reports could be scheduled for automatic email sends, why get a seat at all? It was better to just auto-email the report on a schedule.
How do you execute Retail Sales Analysis and Demand Planning? Do you have any integration into your ERP Systems? If so, how?