Windward Insider Blog
How ERP Software Helps Lighting Showrooms Serve Contractors and Retail Customers
Many lighting showrooms depend on two primary revenue streams in their daily operations: commercial and retail sales. Having systems in place to ensure you can serve them both is critical for success. ERP software is a great way to manage both sides of the business.
It would be easy to assume that any business management software platform would be able to handle both types of client. And for the most part, you’d be correct. Programs such as Windward System Five are fully integrated and have the flexibility to address the specific needs of any type of retail business. But Windward also features an industry-specific add-on that caters exclusively to the lighting market.
Who Are Your Commercial and Retail Clients?
How you market your lighting showroom will determine the makeup of your clientele. If you’re dealing mainly with commercial clients, you’ll likely be selling to the following types of people on a regular basis:
- General contractors
If you get a lot of walkup business from the general public, you’ll be dealing with:
- New homeowners
- DIY renovators
How Does ERP Software Facilitate Commercial Sales?
You’ll probably find that your regular commercial clients put their orders on an account and settle up at a later date. The good thing is they know exactly what they want (most of the time), so you spend less time selling. The downside is, because they buy in larger quantities, they usually expect a bit of a deal. In most cases, the repeat business is a fair tradeoff.
A business management system can easily handle such transactions in a number of ways:
Pricing control: Easily adjust prices to accommodate contractor discounts
Parts breakdown: Automatically assign the correct number of bulbs for a particular fixture. Provide complete printouts so installers have a detailed guide to work from.
Organization: Assign inventory to a specific job, right down the room it’s going to be installed in. This helps contractors, owners and designers stay on the same page.
Budget tracking: If homeowners wish to add to the lighting budget allotted by the builder, ERP software will allow the lighting company to reconcile the difference and collect the extra amount owed from the homeowner (rather than the contractor).
Streamlining the Retail Experience
These days, most retail customers shopping for lighting will require point-of-sales software with credit card functionality. A system that features barcode scanning will not only speed up your checkout line, it’ll also reduce potentially costly errors.
A reliable POS system will also allow your employees to:
- Make special orders
- Track expected delivery dates
- Set reminders to notify customers when inventory is in stock
- Log deposits on special order items
Offer Product Your Customers Want
Trends in lighting change faster than light bulbs. The reporting capabilities of ERP software will allow you to track products that are selling well, and which ones are falling out of style.
This’ll help you keep your product line fresh, which your customers will appreciate. It’ll also help you sales team in recommending which lighting setups are en vogue.
To learn more about how POS software can help manage stock levels, read: 3 Ways Inventory Control Software Will Streamline Your Business Operations.
Do you need a business management system that’ll help you serve your customers better? Windward System Five is a fully integrated ERP software system that will streamline your operations to provide your clients with the convenience they deserve.