RetailTech: ERP Software—the Nervous System of Modern Enterprises
From its origins in manufacturing, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has evolved to become critical to almost every aspect of running a business – and offers key functions for retail.
- ERP software is the central nervous system of an enterprise, interconnecting supply chain, commerce, inventory, warehousing, fulfillment, analytics and finance.
- Initially focused on manufacturing, ERP has added additional functions to address nearly every aspect of business, including human resource management and customer-relationship management (CRM).
- Sector leaders are global enterprise companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, though there are several niche ERP software providers. Salesforce is the leading provider of CRM software.
- The US ERP market is estimated at $16.4 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during 2016-2021, according to Statista. The US CRM market is slightly larger and growing faster.
- ERP is an essential tool for retailers to become more efficient, flexible and innovative to combat the steady encroachment of e-commerce and a volatile consumer landscape characterized by a dramatic increase in the number of available distribution channels and rapidly changing consumer preferences.
- The ERP sector is experiencing renewed activity, as ERP software providers and enterprises move IT functions to the cloud, which offers lower cost, the ability to innovate, to develop new functions and launch new offerings rapidly.