The Future is here, Megatrends — and why they matter to ERP Customers
1 Aug, 2016
We may not be able to predict the future with 100% certainty, but there are a number of existing and emerging industry trends that will affect potential ERP buyers and implementers in the next year. Consumers today want ease and convenience, rather than product varieties they demanded years ago. In the US alone eCommerce is expected to surpass $373 billion in 2016 and reach $500 billion by 2020. This shifting of shopping habits from store purchases to the internet is a prime indicator of how consumers are changing their perspectives.
There is no shortage of short term trend identifiers today as companies have all the technologies in place to monitor daily commodity price, cash flow, etc. but the real challenge lies elsewhere today. Businesses and especially retailers need to plan for long term trends and to forecast these there has to be a good perspective of the consumer in your core operational approach. This is where megatrends come into play. Megatrends are basically ground breaking paradigm shifts in your businesses target audience.
A few of them are listed below but there are many more.
- Retailers have realized that customer expectations that have reached almost limitless levels, need to be met diligently by investing in technology that provides both flexibility and Omni channel integration. The best way for retailers to move forward is to offer customers with the right tools to make the perfect buying decisions. This decision would be a fully informed one which was aggregated from the flawlessly integrated selling channels of the retailers brand.
- Pay heed to Consumer Ratings, Reviews and Feedback over your web assets especially social media. This is one area where your customer speaks to you directly about your offerings. Smarter dashboards, intelligent social media analytic tools and other learning technology helps you to make smarter business decisions to improve customer satisfaction.
- The rise in adoption of ERP systems by mid and small sized organizations is now posing a risk to large organizations as these competitors are improving their operational efficiency and customer experience by leaps and bounds. Saas Based ERP and mobile solutions have enabled small and medium organizations to close the technology gap with their Fortune 500 competitors.
- Internet of Things (IoT) enabled real time analytics would take center stage in all stages of operations including on the manufacturing floor and the supply chain Companies have already begun to receive real-time analytics from the Internet of Things (IoT) on the manufacturing floor and throughout the supply chain. ERP—specifically, cloud-based ERP solutions—can play a critical role in helping decision-makers leverage this real-time data at every stage in the manufacturing and sales cycle.
There are several other factors which quantify as Megatrends today but I see the above ones as the ones retailers and ERP service providers need to have a close watch. Megatrends often occur on the basis of the following factors:
- Demographic shifts
- International or regional trade policies
- Economic supremacy of nations
- Resource Availability
The bottom line:
What does Megatrends mean for retailers and ERP ?
Retailers can bet on these megatrends to be real game changers to win customer hearts in the near future. They need to implement solutions that integrate social, mobile and big data into one unique platform to reach out more effectively to customers. As Yogi Berra once said “ The future ain’t what it used to be”; you need to rise above your biggest aspirations if you really want to set the tone for future greatness.