Tag: POS Solutions India

Retail ERP Software

Why organizational change projects fail and how to prevent implementation disaster

New IT installations often fail. At least that’s the widespread belief surrounding organizational change initiatives today.

One frequently cited study from the 1993 book Reengineering the Corporation goes as far as saying that as many as 70% of the organizations that undertake a reengineering effort do not achieve the dramatic results they intended. A more recent McKinsey survey of more than 1,500 executives who had undertaken a significant change effort in the past five years found that only 38% of respondents said “the transformation was ‘completely’ or ‘mostly’ successful at improving performance.

After two decades of hearing about high failure rates related to change, it’s unsurprising that business leaders are wary of organizational change projects. Organizational psychologist Nick Tasler explained that these negative biases can create a toxic self-fulfilling prophecy.

“When a change project falls a day behind schedule, if leaders and employees believe that successful change is an unlikely outcome, they will regard this momentary setback as the dead canary in the coalmine of their change initiative. (Never mind the fact that three other initiatives are still on time or ahead of schedule),” he wrote in an article for Harvard Business Review. “Suddenly, employees disengage en masse and then the change engine begins to sputter in both perception and reality.”

Yes, change is hard, and complex IT implementation projects, particularly ERP installations, can be particularly challenging. But it doesn’t mean they are doomed to failure.

So where do you start? How can you choose the right technology for your retail business, and ensure that the implementation project runs as smoothly as possible and you get the most from your investment?

Here are some of the main causes for failure in any organizational change initiative, and how can you prevent them from happening:

Mistake #1: Failure to plan

Issue: An outdated legacy system is impacting business performance, and it needs replacing quickly. In their rush to get the project going, business management jump straight into the implementation without taking the time to develop a well thought-out organizational change management plan.

Solution: Don’t be tempted to cut corners in your planning. Analyze your business, decide what should be prioritized, and understand all the different ways the project will impact your routines at every stage of the process. “Companies should start by analyzing their current and future requirements and processes,” says Gunnar Ingimundarson, Chief Consulting Officer at LS Retail. “How many software solutions are they currently using, and what are they used for? Map out the disparate solutions in the stack, alongside their dependencies and interconnections. The next step is to figure out where they can draw the biggest – or quickest – benefits. Is your POS system not generating the information you need on stock levels and product visibility? Or, are there integrations that repeatedly cause problems or break down? Do you experience missing data? Identify the area(s) where a new system would bring immediate value in terms of savings or returns. That’s where you should start, and that should determine your priorities.”

Once the priorities are set, break the project down into manageable chunks, from pilot phase to initial implementation to company-wide rollout. Consider when it’s most appropriate to start each phase of the installation so you won’t place unnecessary strain on your business during busy times.

Mistake #2: Key stakeholders aren’t onboard, or have unrealistic expectations

Issue: Management want the new technology in place quickly and only focus on the end goals. They get frustrated by how long the project is taking and threaten to pull the plug. Or they wonder why the new software isn’t being adopted widely and successfully when they failed to communicate the changes to everybody in the business and get company-wide buy in.

Solution: All stakeholders need to be committed to the project’s success right from the beginning, and to clearly understand the project’s scope and goals. “Internal resistance can kill even the best implementation project,” says Eric Miller, Regional Director for the Americas at LS Retail, building on his 13 years of experience in software implementations. “Get the buy-in from all stakeholders from the start, and make sure that the goals, objectives and expected end results of the project are clear and communicated from you to the stakeholders, and from the stakeholders to all the customer parties involved. It never pays off to sell a dream you can’t deliver on.”

Bring together personnel from different departments to understand their requirements and what outcomes they hope to achieve from the implementation. Similarly, they need to understand how much time should be devoted to a project like this and ensure project teams are given sufficient time to carry out the work. Set realistic timeframes from the start, and ensure everyone knows exactly what’s required of them.

Mistake #3: Unforeseen changes throw the project off track

Issue: Even the best prepared projects encounter hurdles along the way, but if unforeseen issues arise and major milestones are missed, it can be tempting to throw in the towel and deem the entire project a failure.

Solution: Know that when you’re dealing with a large-scale IT implementation, it’s hard to plan for every eventuality. Be willing to adapt and take a different approach if it ultimately means the project will be a success. “What was deemed to be the best approach initially may need to change – this might even happen after the pilot is completed. I have seen companies that went through multiple pilots before finding the right balance. It’s a learning process, and it’s never over,” says Miller.

It’s worth learning everything you can from the pilot implementation. Instead of rushing on to roll out store #2, take a moment to see how the system is working and to identify any issues that you couldn’t have planned for in your testing environment. Success comes to those who take a considered approach.

Mistake #4: Picking the wrong technology partner

Issue: It may be tempting to go for the cheapest technology provider, but cheapest upfront may not necessarily deliver the long-term business value you hoped for. You quickly realize they can’t help you achieve your outcomes, because they lack drive, or even expertise.

Solution: Before you enter a work relationship, ask yourself who your long-term partner should be and what knowledge they should have in order to support you throughout the project. Are they familiar with the retail industry, its requirements and workings? Do they fully understand your business needs? Can they come up with ideas and solutions when a challenge arises? Once the pilot and system roll out are complete, will they provide the ongoing support that you’ll need?

It’s important to choose an IT partner that has deep knowledge of the industries you operate within. Their technology has to relate directly to your business needs and they need to appreciate the unique intricacies of what you need to be able to do. Consider how they tackle problems as they arise, and if they can foresee challenges and risks that you may not have considered. Your technology provider should be a long-term partner, someone you are confident working with and that you trust to take the right decision for your success. Trident is one of Best ERP Implementation partner in India, UAE & South Africa, you can contact us for any type of ERP Implementation, Support, Training, Resource, etc.

Mistake #5: A focus on short term wins rather than the bigger picture

Issue: The upfront costs of the project are high and management struggle to see the overall business value. They’re concerned about how quickly they’ll achieve a return on investment. They begin to think that it may be cheaper and easier to simply fix their legacy system and keep it ticking over for a few more years.

Solution: While it’s important to focus on the immediate benefits the new solution will bring to your business, it’s just as critical to consider the longer-term impacts too. You may be looking for your solution to quickly boost productivity, deliver business efficiencies and achieve a fast return on investment, but consider other far-reaching benefits it can bring too. How will it positively change the way your employees work? That is, how many work hours will you save by automating tasks that are currently done by hand? How will it enable your business to scale and grow? What other functionality will you be able to add, which will impact the bottom line? “When calculating the software solution’s return on investment, it pays off to keep your perspective open,” Eric Miller suggests. “You can’t really put a price on a platform that will help you streamline the business, cut needless manual processes, and that can scale with your needs and adapt to changing consumer requirements.”

Do you need expert help to make your next organizational change project a success? Get in touch: our team of  can help you get the most from your technology.

Blog Reference : LS Retail Blogs

Retail ERP Software

6 tips to help you win at omni-channel

Even if retailers have been talking about investing in omni-channel for over a decade, many still lack basic omni-channel capabilities. For example, only 5 percent of retailers can successfully give consumers the ability to start and finish a sale in their preferred channel, Luxury Daily reports. But consumers aren’t waiting for retailers to get their act together. In the past year, almost 9 out of 10 (88%) shoppers have researched and selected options online before heading out to a store, the Ecommerce Foundation reports. And when in-store, Google reports, 50% of them turned to the internet: to research products they’ll then discuss with the sales staff, to remind themselves of what to buy, to see product specs, and more.

Retailers have no time to waste. They need to be where their customers are, with answers to their questions, smooth and simple shopping journeys, and timely information and support.

In your journey on improving your omni-channel strategy, here are seven points on which you should concentrate your efforts:

1. Be consistent with your branding

There’s nothing worse for an omni-channel brand than to offer a disconnected experience across the different channels.

Successful brands are consistent in both brand image (think color scheme, corporate story, style, products, voice) and quality of service (customer support, return policies, personalization, product suggestions) in-store, on their website, on the loyalty app and on social media.

International coffee company Nespresso is a great example of cohesive visual branding. The graphic design and color palette are kept consistent throughout the channels, and they function as a common thread that guides every step of the customer journey, from e-commerce website, to mobile app, to the confirmation e-mail customers receive after placing an order — all the way to the package that arrives to the customer’s doors.

If your offline presence is hip, youthful and colorful, but your app is dull and offers few options to interact with products; if you emphasize customer service, but then don’t respond timely (or don’t reply at all!) to customer queries on Twitter; if customers receive different information depending on which representative they contact – you will confuse and lose customers.

2. Unify the sales channels

Customers want to be able to see on your website whether the latest smartphone model is available in gold in a specific store. They want to go on your e-commerce, and add to their cart that art deco lamp they saw in your shop while they were on holiday. They want to send back at their convenience the too-tight shoes they bought in one of your store locations.

These are all common requests – and yet, too many retailers can’t fulfil them. That’s because many of them are still using separate best-of-breed, badly-integrated solutions. “Many retailers have pieced together disparate systems and processes to try and create a holistic shopping environment, but it really doesn’t provide what the customer is looking for,” says Kathleen Fischer, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners, Boston. The result is

  • Inability to see what products are available in real time – or where they are located;
  • Inability to accept returns across channels;
  • Risk of selling items that are not in stock;
  • Inability to offer highly in-demand services like click & collect, ordering from store, or online inventory search.

The only way you can fulfil these demands is by implementing technology that gives you centralized visibility and control over your stock, locations and sales. A unified commerce platform like LS Central gives you the visibility you need to know how many items are still available and where they are located exactly, and lets you easily accept exchanges and returns across your whole retail network.

3. Be honest and clear

Research shows that seventy percent of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart before finalizing their purchase. The most common cause? Unclear or excessive shipping costs, which often become apparent too late in the buying process.

Successful retailers display their sales conditions in clear and visible format on their website. Take, for example, sportswear and outdoors retailer Transa. When you browse the product selection, the key sales conditions (delivery time, shipping costs, return conditions) are stated clearly next to each item. Buyers know the conditions of the sale before they have added an item to their cart, so they can make an informed decision early in the shopping journey.

To decrease the chance of shopping cart abandonment, create a relationship of trust with your customers, and be upfront about shipping prices and timesshipment restrictions and special conditions. You don’t want to tell a customer that their country is not eligible for delivery when they are ready to check out a full cart of products.

4. Let customers check product availability

According to Forrester research, 71 percent of customers expect to be able to see available inventory online. Leading retailers are taking note, and even taking it one step further: on its e-commerce website, IKEA lists where each item is available alongside the quantity left in stock in each store.

Even if you don’t want to go to such lengths, your product listing should at least:

  • Be complete and updated. Customers should be able to see in which location the product they want is available, in their preferred variant. If you use a unified commerce system, you can maintain information in one database, and then distribute it to the e-commerce, POS and back office. This way, both staff and customers can access the same real-time data, and if the inventory changes, for example if an item is sold, this is instantly reflected on all touchpoints.
  • Include detailed product information. When shopping for items online, customers don’t have the touch-and-feel element. Make up for it by including the item materials (or ingredients), any special care warnings, warranty information, and special return policies. If you stock similar products, you should ensure that you give enough information so consumers can make an informed choice. Better yet, include a comparison table.
  • Feature clear, high-quality pictures. According to research by Field Agent, 83% of consumers believe product images are very important when selecting and purchasing a product. If you can, consider including videos: according to a survey by Wyzowl, 80% of people say that product videos give them more confidence when purchasing a product online. From showing details of the item, to tutorials to how-tos, there are a few options you can choose. Go for the format that will better resonate with your audience and provide them with the information they need to close the sale.
  • Include product reviews. According to research by the National Retail Federation, 96% of shoppers read reviews on the retailers’ site, and a quarter of them say that reviews are the most influential factor in buying decisions, mattering more than price comparisons or advice from friends.

5. Put customer needs at the heart of your strategy

You can’t afford to wait for consumers to come to you. People spend most of their waking life with a computer in their hands: identify moments of opportunity in the customer journey, and make sure you are there at the right time.

Take, for example, American pharmacy and health care company CVS/Health. The company debuted a customer app that was designed to solve a common problem: manage complex medication schedules. On the app, customers can set up reminders to take medicines. The reminders can even be loaded onto an Apple watch. When they enter a CVS/Health pharmacy, a notification lets app users know if their medications are ready for pickup. This success of the app is due to it being designed to give consumers a useful service – not merely sell more.

Help consumers. Solve their problems. They will pay you back with their trust and business.

6. Use the data you collect

Every day, you collect an incredible wealth of data on you customers: what pages they visit on your e-commerce, what they add to the cart (and eventually buy, or leave behind), what items sell better where, which products are often returned, what’s most popular with your top customers, and more. Successful omni-channel retailers capture this data and turn it into action.

Take for example videogames chain GameStop International. GameStop runs a successful loyalty program with over 50 million members. By analyzing the customer data collected through the program, GameStop:

  • Discovered that rewards don’t influence customer engagement. Instead, what makes the program valuable for customers are personalized communications and offers.
  • Created hyper-targeted emails (which, for example, suggest to users what new games they could get by trading in their old ones, based on purchase history). This increased the open rate from 15% to 35%.
  • Diversified their offering to include collectibles, a business that has become very valuable for the brand.
  • As a result, expanded and diversified their customer base.

To achieve these insights and act on them, retailers need the data – but although necessary, data is not sufficient. Many retailers are still using systems made up of separate, integrated software solutions. This results in information silos, and data that is fragmented and hard to access. As a result, most companies have a lot of data, but only able to analyze a small part of it – barely 12%, according to Forrester research. The solution is a unified commerce system, a single platform that captures all of your consumers’ shopping behaviors, interests and purchase history. When data from all your channels is collected in one place, it is much simpler to link it and create a complete, 360-degree view of your customers.

Forward-thinking retailers are aligning messages, objectives, information and design across platforms – and ensuring that everything works together. As a result, they are redesigning the shopping journey as a seamless, all-encompassing experience.

Would you like to get there too, but don’t know where to begin? Contact us. Our experts will be happy to introduce you to the possibilities that unified retail tech opens.

Blog Reference: LS Retail Blog Forum

Restaurant Management ERP

How the self-service trend is transforming restaurants

Modern consumer places a huge value on convenience. A recent report by the National Retail Federation found that 97% of consumers have backed out of a purchase just because it was inconvenient for them. And in quick service restaurants, figures show that lengthy queues can be off-putting: almost three out of four guests say they would leave if there were seven people in line. More than nine out of ten said they would go elsewhere if there were more than 10 people queuing before them.

Taking the example of supermarkets, which have successfully alleviated queues with self-service checkouts, fast food brands are now adopting touch-screen self-service kiosks. And as more report the positive impact of these kiosks, adoption is rapidly taking off.

The rise of self-service kiosks

McDonald’s now has self-service kiosks in all 14,000 of its US restaurants. When it began rolling them out in 2017, it said its intention was to enhance the customer experience by speeding up ordering time, reducing human error and allowing for easier order customizations.

Almost three years on, McDonald’s is living proof of the success of self-service kiosks. During its 2019 Q2 earnings call, CEO Steve Easterbrook said the chain is seeing impressive incremental sales rises from its use of kiosks.

“As we convert the restaurants, we’re getting an incremental sales lift from that, some of which will come through growing and increasing use of the self-order kiosks where we generate higher average checks,” he said.

Interestingly, not only are self-service kiosks delivering on consumer desire for ultimate convenience, they’re altering behavior too. As the use of the technology grows, self-ordering has been demonstrated to boost sales by increasing the average order size per customer, while at the same time lowering costs in the restaurant by improving efficiency.

There are some compelling statistics to illustrate the impact. When the Dodgers Stadium concession stands in the US tried out new self-service kiosks, the average order size increased by 20%. Similarly, Subway noted that kiosks encourage more consumers to purchase add-ons and generally spend more.

The traditional experience

Lee heads to his local Easy Burger for lunch. He isn’t a regular customer so he doesn’t know the menu well. It’s a busy Friday afternoon in the restaurant and as he joins the queue he starts scanning the menu board behind the counter to see what he would like. When he gets to the front, he still isn’t quite sure what he wants and spends a few more moments deciding. By this point he’s a bit flustered. He doesn’t want to hold up the queue, so he quickly orders the standard burger meal with no cheese and large fries. It’s noisy in the kitchen, and the server asks Lee to repeat his order. She presses the buttons on the cash register to input Lee’s choice, and politely waits for him to decide which drink he’d like before finalizing the order and taking his payment. This all takes place in the midst of noises coming from the kitchen, voices of customers waiting, and general pressure from people standing in line waiting for their turn. It’s clear to see that there are several opportunities for mistakes, delays and general frustration from both the customer and the cashier.

The self-service experience

What would the same scenario look like with a self-service kiosk? Again, Lee heads to Easy Burger to pick up his lunch. It’s busy, but Lee heads to a self-service kiosk, where he doesn’t have to queue to place his order.

Lee hasn’t actually used one of these kiosks before, but because it looks just like a large version of his mobile phone and all the menu items are clearly labelled, he has no qualms about trying out the technology. With nobody standing behind him putting pressure on him to quickly place his order, Lee feels he can take the time he needs to choose his lunch. He scrolls through the menu and takes in the appealing pictures of food, drinks, and add-on items. He ends up trying out a new meal deal and customizes his burger (no pickles, extra onions and mushrooms), adding the curly fries with cheese – they look too good not to try them. It’s a pleasant, stress free experience.

After selecting the items, Lee taps his credit card on the contactless card reader and heads to the counter to wait for his order. He can clearly see his order on the screen above him, so he know there are five orders before his – a bit of a wait, but not too much, before it’s ready. A few minutes later, his number is called out. He picks up his food and heads straight to a clean, empty table. That’s another added bonus. With fewer employees required at the counter, they can spend more time in the kitchen, speeding up food preparation, and on the floor, making sure the restaurant stays clean and tidy.

Embracing the trend with LS Central

Restaurants are embracing the trend in different ways. Some are buying self-service kiosks running systems and interfaces separate from what is used across the rest of restaurant. This decision entails a lot of extra work, as these systems will have to be integrated with the IT setup, and then updated and maintained individually over time.

Thankfully, there is another option. If you selected a unified restaurant management solution like LS Central, you enable customers to order and check out for themselves using the exact same POS system that cashiers use at the manned tills. This wouldn’t be possible with many other restaurant management systems because they are too complicated, and can’t be used effectively without previous training.

Not LS Central.

There are more benefits, too. You can easily amend and customize the looks of the kiosk to suit your needs. Just as you would customize the POS, you can change interface and menu options to suit your branding, and apply the changes across all your locations – no headache of setting up the brand look for each individual kiosks.

Simple menu customization also means you have the freedom to A/B test ways to present the menu to see what works best and yields the greatest results. When you get smart about how you showcase your menu, you can capitalize on more upsell and cross-sell opportunities and promote the higher margin menu items. Perhaps you choose to highlight your latest meal deals on the top level of the screen or maybe you collapse certain menu choices at different times of the day to speed up the ordering process.

Digitalized self-ordering also helps you to manage your inventory proactively. So, if you find that beef burgers are running low, but you have plenty of chicken burgers available, you can quickly change the menu on the machines to highlight mouth-watering chicken burgers on the first-level menu instead. Or perhaps your smoothie machine breaks down: instead of striking a line across the item, you can temporarily remove those items from the menu and highlight alternatives such as milkshakes and ice creams.

Making a difference in the kitchen

This streamlined, user friendly experience transfers into the kitchen too. Orders are automatically sent to the kitchen display system (KDS) and presented clearly to your kitchen staff. The system can further help improve efficiency by routing orders to the proper food preparation stations, organizing items so they are prepared in the right order and ready at the same time, and alerting staff when orders have been in the queue too long. At the same time, front-of-house staff (and customers) can see the exact status of each order and pick them up as soon as they are ready.

Setting your restaurant business up for long-term success

Despite the current success of kiosks, many restaurateurs wonder whether this is just the flavor of the month. Will kiosks still be popular with consumers another year or two down the line? While we can’t predict the future, we can see that the big brands have been cautious. A quick service restaurant expert and Forbes contributor wrote an article in 2010 called “Quick-service restaurant kiosks: What’s taking so long?” One reason why we’re seeing wider adoption now is because the technology is proving its success.

As kiosk usage rises, customers will increasingly expect to find self-ordering options in fast food outlets. Research shows that customers are more likely to visit restaurants with self-service kiosks and a growing number prefer this option to interacting with a cashier behind the counter.

As more diners seek ultimate convenience, faster ordering and more payment options, self-service kiosks are proving the best solution to meet their demand and enhance the transaction journey from start to finish.

 

blog Reference: https://www.lsretail.com/blog/how-the-self-service-trend-is-transforming-restaurants

Retail ERP Software

How AI and AR can help retailers stay in business in moments of crisis

Store closures and social distancing have caused a rise in demand for virtual tools and technologies that bring the shopping experience into consumers’ homes. Beauty brands, which were among the first to try out AI and AR to enhance the consumer experience, are increasingly using the technology to suggest products based on people’s preferences and unique characteristics, including skin tone and face shape, as well as to help customers virtually try on products before committing to a purchase. Even before the Covid-19 crisis, the technology had already proved its worth. Figures from Perfect Corp, which develops virtual makeup technology, show that virtual try-on technology generated 2.5 times higher e-commerce conversions for brands and decreased return rates by more than 8%. Trident is offering Cloud Based Retail ERP Software to manager retail operations effectively

As the technology develops and becomes more sophisticated, consumers are progressively trusting in AI to help them make purchase decisions.

“Consumers trust AI to curate a choice of products, services and experiences that reduce complexity and make life more fulfilling,” writes Andrew Cosgrove, Global Consumer Knowledge Leader & Lead Analyst at EY. “AI knows its “owner” so well that it suggests new and unexpected product ideas or experiences they love.”

Digital suddenly finds itself one of the main commerce channels for retailers. We expect AI and AR are here to stay, as more consumers become aware of their virtues when it comes to convenience, and as these technologies can help retailers to continue trading regardless of what happens in the real world.

Here are four ways to make AI and AR work for your business:

1. Bring the in-store shopping experience to your customers’ homes

AI and AR take online shopping to a whole new level by making it possible for consumers to choose from selected products picked out just for them, try out new experiences and test products in ways they wouldn’t have been able to previously – all from the comfort of their homes.

Early pioneers of AI- and AR-powered online shopping include opticians, who realized that consumers still want the option to try on glasses and see what styles suit them before committing to a purchase. Virtual fitting technology has made this possible, with some retailers further elevating the experience using AI to automatically suggest the perfect frame to suit your face.

Indeed, AI lends itself to verticals where consumers may find themselves bogged down in complex choices. Instead of having to scroll through hundreds and hundreds of beauty products, for example, new services such as My Beauty Matches use AI-powered algorithms, and using the consumer’s previous searches, purchases, and known preferences, they suggest items from large databases (in this case, there are over 400,000 products) that couldn’t be easily browsed by the consumer.

Advances in machine learning help brands to identify consumer styles and preferences to gain a granular level of customer understanding, so they can optimize each customer’s individual journey.

“In one of the worlds we modeled, consumers valued time much more than money,” Andrew Cosgrove, Global Consumer Knowledge Leader & Lead Analyst at EY, said. “Their personalized AI learned about their unique preferences and used those insights to buy most of the things they needed. This allowed them to spend their time shopping only with brands that reflected their values and purpose.”

2. Find the right items across infinite aisles of products

The most successful AI and AR experiences today tend to be delivered by retailers that have large item assortments and the ability for consumers to personalize their choices. Home goods and furniture retailers are a clear use case, with many using the technology to help customers choose products that will fit beautifully into their homes and match their existing décor.

Online furniture retailer Wayfair is known for using AI to target customers with personalized recommendations. The company’s search algorithm extracts the customer’s style preferences from their search history to present a selection of furniture that is likely to appeal. Another service allows customers to take a photo of a furniture piece they like and match it to a similar item in the Wayfair inventory, which holds millions of products.

AR then takes this a step further by giving consumers the ability to virtually see how products will look in situ before committing to a purchase. Returns on investment have been demonstrated with increased conversion and reduced returns.

AI is proving its worth in fashion too, helping customers choose clothing that will fit them best by analyzing previous purchases and suggesting sizing based on their profile. Iconic jeans brand Levi’s uses an AI-based chatbot to help customers find the perfect pair of jeans. It asks consumers their preferences when it comes to fit, rise, amount of stretch and wash, and asks what size they are in another brand to determine the best size in Levi’s and suggest the right pair.

And in beauty, brands are using the technology to offer services such as instant foundation shade matching and advanced skincare analysis, as well as matching consumers with products and looks that will suit their complexion, style and occasion.

3. Anticipate consumer demands

One of the major benefits that retailers can draw from AI and AR experiences is the amount of data they can collect about their consumers along the way. This data, if collected appropriately, can be used to improve the accuracy of stock and inventory requirements forecasts throughout the year.

“As consumers browse, test features and make purchases, they are providing retailers with an entirely new set of data points,” writes Hamaad Chippa on Retail TouchPoints.

Retailers can then use this information to rethink product assortments for a better shopping experience, or to develop highly targeted marketing campaigns that lead to greater conversion rates. For example, a customer who just bought a whole load of supplies from a pet store for their new kitten is likely to want to sign up for home deliveries of cat food.

AI can also help retailers target consumers with promotions that are more likely to lead to purchases based on past browsing and purchase history.  “Whether that is 10% off online, 15% in-store or free shipping, customers automatically receive the promotions that are most likely to make them convert,” writes Imtiaz Mohammady on Forbes.

4. Optimize inventory, both present and future

Retailers are increasingly using AI to gain a better picture of what stock they hold currently and what they will need in future. Although many are used to interrogating their data to anticipate demand and make accurate forecasts, AI is taking the game to new heights by helping them to better prepare for unexpected events and predict and prevent potential supply chain disruptions. Advanced forecasting and replenishment tools can help react to changes, recalculate new quantities to reorder for stores and warehouses, and adjust the supply systems to keep up with demand.

Supermarkets in particular are turning to AI models to help keep store shelves stocked. Companies such as Walmart have been trialing robots that scan aisles for missing products. And in its Walmart Neighborhood Market store in Levittown, New York, the company is exploring the possibilities of AI and using real-time information to help store associates know more precisely when to restock products, so that items are available on shelves when they’re needed.

“Customers can be confident about products being there, about the freshness of produce and meat,” Mike Hanrahan, CEO of Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab, said in a press release. “Those are the types of things that AI can really help with.”

Technology to overcome challenges

Retailers need to be able to offer rich and convenient customer experiences, and both AI and AR are very quickly opening up new possibilities that could transform retail, making it more adaptable to diverse situations.

In the not too distant future, AI and AR could help to make retail experiences even more personalized, unique, collaborative and social. Without moving from their sofa, customers may be automatically sent a selection of outfits and beauty products curated just for them in anticipation of an upcoming family party. They will simply scroll through the selection, try everything on virtually, mark down what they want to purchase, and wait for everything to arrive well in time for the big event – no hassle, ultimate convenience.   Contact us for Retail ERP Software demo or write us at info@tridentinfo.com

Uncategorized

When do you know that your business needs a CRM software?

Customer Relationship Management is a process of managing or organizing prospects throughout the sales life cycle. The more the advancement in serving the clients, the more will be the payment stream for the Company. Trident’s CRM software solutions happen to be one of the most effective and efficient CRM software that could easily cut overhead costs and give highlights which demonstrate helpful to different business firms.

Many CRM software programs available have several features that can be used or restricted – so in effect a business can modify to make their own CRM software. However, utilizing CRM software gives various advantages to both organizations and customers and that is the reason each genuine business has implemented some of the other CRM applications.

So who can opt for Trident’s CRM software?

A simple response to that question would be “Any business with customers would utilize CRM“. However, in the real world, it is not just as simple as that. Choosing an appropriate CRM software solely depends upon the business process along with a range of profitable features. Below are the type of Businesses that could gain benefit from using Trident’s CRM software solutions.

1- The business that uses any form of Marketing: 

For any business that uses marketing campaigns to promote, sell or advertise their products or services in the market through various communication mediums such as phone, email, etc. Reaching to customers in bulk within a short period as well as recording the response on the go makes it more effective to manage the marketing process.

2- A business that deals with B2B and B2C Sales:

For any business that tends to cope up with the Customers to sell or cross-sell the products. Maintain relevant sales data such as documents, communication records, etc. Identify the process flow starting from Lead up to the deal gets closed.

3- A business that creates Quotations & Invoices: 

Built-in invoicing module to track the quotations and invoices generated against an opportunity. Efficiency to merge the billing details into the document which can further be mailed to the customer right from the CRM software without any need to switch between the applications.

4 – A business that deals in Customer Service: 

For any business that believes in increasing customer satisfaction by helping them in tracking as well as resolving the issues completely. Managing the cases within CRM as well as auto – escalations triggered on a timely basis not only guarantees better customer satisfaction but at the same helps the Management to track resource performance.

5- A business that wants to increase efficiency: 

Well-organized business results in better output which can be ultimately tracked with the help of various Reports, Dashboards, etc. Well-improved or say the advance level of features incorporating in CRM with the latest release of versions has enhanced the CRM which has ultimately proved beneficial for Business growth.

Thus using CRM software gives you numerous benefits to enrich both Business and Customer Relations by serving your customers better with stronger service and support. To know more about how can CRM software help you, you can check out our CRM software solution on https://www.tridentinfo.com/microsoft-dynamics-crm-software-solution/ and contact to our experts on https://www.tridentinfo.com/contact/.

Retail ERP Software

7 Reasons to have a Retail-oriented Solution to Unite E-commerce and ERP

Solely brick-and-mortar retail is gradually have become the exception rather than the norm. Increasing numbers of consumers have welcomed the convenience of online retailers, allowing them to evaluate items in less time and make purchasing decisions rather than visiting various physical stores. In everyday market research, 81 percent of consumers use phones and tablets. In reply to these developments, businesses try to boost revenues by embracing ecommerce and spreading to other platforms.

Yet each new site introduced by marketers raises the difficulty of their distribution chain. To integrate all channels information to make good enterprise-wide choices, they need new digital resources. To establish a consolidated database of all purchases, clients, and goods, several retail businesses prefer to incorporate their ERP implementation services with each of their distribution channels. There are however some clear benefits of using an integrated solution designed specifically for the retail sector over integration solutions for common use applications.

Below are some features of built-in retail integration solutions that show the requirement of customization for a common integration framework:

1- Flexibility Over Retail Vhannels

All businesses move toward cohesive user experiences. Retail-specific integration solutions enable different systems, like your point-of-sale (POS) and ecommerce system, to import and then use product descriptions into your Retail ERP Software. It means you have the same range of products throughout all the product lines, while constantly pricing and discounting those items.

2- Omni Channel Experience

Retail integration solutions offer services for Omni channel purchase-online pickup-in-store (BOPIS) fulfilment which enables customers to buy an item from one channel and deliver it from another platform. They might buy a product at a retail outlet, for instance, and have it shipped to their house, or they might order it online and pick it up at a local retail outlet. The retail-specific integrated system manages ZIP-code searches for shop inventory, and shares shop pickup information between systems.

3 – Inventory Clarity

Retail connectivity solutions provide an accurate representation of product availability by synchronization of inventory data throughout networks and systems on a routine basis. Entities can even merge individual warehouses and shops into satisfactory groups to enhance the control of the distribution chain.

4- Client Information Integration

Your Retail ERP system will exchange customer data with your online store and other channels, using a retail-specific implementation solution. Customer data must stay consistent over digital and physical platforms and will avoid redundant information. Such knowledge could be used to generate and monitor purchase requests, and to improve loyalty program management.

5- Unified Loyalty Program

A retail integration solution makes it much easier to operate a single loyalty program with consumer, pricing, and discount information integrated into your Retail ERP system. You will receive and redeem coupons, gift cards, and loyalty points across all platforms, creating better customer satisfaction and higher participation levels than a channel-specific rewards program.

6 – Single Integration Solution for Payment

A retail-specific integration approach increases time to value by offering preloaded integration with major payment service vendors. The use of one integrated system for processing payments, order processing, customer data, and product inventory offers greater efficiency and lower production costs than multi-integrator dependence.

7 – Managing Multiple Languages and Currencies

Retail integration technologies are planned for retail operations around the world. They have help for managing multiple languages and currencies, so you can quickly set up physical or online stores in new geographical regions.

Conclusion

Integration solutions intended for the retail sector provide many out of the box that would involve many months of costly customization to accomplish using platforms for general purpose integration. Trident Information Pvt Ltd provides a flexible and versatile integration solution which many international retailers use. For more information on the power of retail-specific integration, contact Microsoft ERP Partner Trident Information Pvt Ltd on https:/www.tridentinfo.com/contact/

 

 

Food Manufacturing ERP

What Considerations Should be taken into Account when Implementing the New ERP for Food Manufacturing?

Usually, the decision-making process for ERP for Food Manufacturing is long and complex. From deciding which functionality is most vital to your business, to choosing a system that will make rapid and meaningful changes, it may seem daunting to decide on the appropriate ERP solution for your organization.

But don’t worry, Microsoft gold partner Trident got you covered. As we have 20+ years’ experience and  implemented ERP food manufacturing various satisfied customers like Haldirams, Nik Bakers, etc. Through sharing tips on how to pick and incorporate the right food production ERP solution for your food company, we will make the decision-making process of implementing an appropriate ERP for food manufacturing a bit easier for your organization.

1) – Food Specific Approaches

Tons of ERPs and business solutions are available to choose from. But as a food manufacturer or supplier, you should understand that it is complex to manage a food business effectively and comes with its own set of unique complexities.
Many of the integrated software systems in the marketplace for small to medium-sized enterprises provide the functionality you would expect for sales, acquisitions, operations, accounting and inventory management only. But what about the extra features distinctive to food manufacturing? Once you settle on a standardized ERP solution, ask yourselves how much modification and flexibility a food-specific system will have to go into implementing the following characteristics:

  1. Food safety and compliance
  2. Manufacturing and quality
  3. Recipe development and management
  4. Food recall and trace-ability

2) – Functionality

Recalling that not all food businesses run in the same manner is also relevant. A supermarket bakery operates much differently than a manufacturing frozen food, and a meat processor will have a completely different set of software specifications than a broad line dealer.

So where are you going to start? Try to address the features and functions that your existing system currently lacks. Create a “wish list” of elements that would make operations run better if you had them in the spot. From there, you can filter a lot of ERP providers and can concentrate on only those solutions that are suitable for your organization.

3) –  Easy to Use

Suppose: at your job you’re a warehouse worker or a machine technician. Now your management team has decided to introduce a new software platform throughout the organization, and you are responsible for learning it as soon as possible (and as precisely as possible). Too much load, right?

Moving from manually managing stuff or from a legacy system to a fully integrated ERP solution can be terrifying for everyone in the company. The accounting department now needs to learn how to use a new system to enter figures and run calculations. The QA department now has a new way to set up quality controls and audits. If a new process is too complex, your staff might feel frustrated, disheartened, and underappreciated.

Look for an ERP running on a system that is probably already familiar with most of your workforce (such as, for example, Microsoft Dynamics)

4) – Customer Support

Working with a vendor of an ERP solution is so much more than just buying and using the product to run your business. The ERP solution is implemented, which usually takes five to nine months, and then continued support and facilities will proceed across your software’s life cycle.

It is therefore essential to ensure that the ERP you choose is assisted by a team of people who are committed to ensuring that you are successful. This means for the food industry you need experts who are not only professionals in software but also food specialists. You wouldn’t recruit somebody to work in your warehouse that wasn’t a good choice, correct? Think the same way about the people who are working for your ERP provider. Because they are also responsible for your business ‘ success.

It is easy to get confused as there are too many ERP for food manufacturing service providers, so remember to remain vigilant and consistent with what you want to get out of your solution. Selecting the right ERP means choosing software to help you enhance food security, simplify efficiency or productivity and handle the progress of the enterprise.

If you still have any doubts left in your mind then you can contact to Trident’s ERP for food manufacturing providers on https://www.tridentinfo.com/contact/

Restaurant Management ERP

Slash costs in your restaurant with the right software system

How do you manage costs in your restaurant business? Are you operating as efficiently as you could be?

We know how difficult it can be to maintain optimal efficiency and make money in a time of razor-thin margins and intense competition. By their very nature, restaurants are characterized by predictable, seasonal factors as well as by unpredictable ones, including changing customer preferences and fluctuating running costs. But there are ways to get a better handle of your business, helping you to plan ahead more effectively, become leaner and reduce costs in the process.

For many restaurant owners, the answer lies in choosing a modern unified technology platform that provides a complete overview of your business operations from Point of Sale (POS) to back office. Indeed, research by the National Restaurant Association in the US found that over 80% of restaurants are turning to technology like online ordering and reservations and restaurant analytics to help them run their business successfully and efficiently.

The same report found that four in five restaurant operators agreed that:

  • Technology helps increase sales
  • Technology makes their restaurant more productive
  • Technology provides a competitive advantage.

If you’re in two minds as to whether a restaurant management system could help your business grow, rather than simply cost you money, here are some specific areas in your business where the right technology can make a real difference:

Optimize staff management

If your staff schedules are currently handled manually, in spreadsheets or even on paper forms, you could be missing out on a trick. Staff management software has the capabilities you need to ensure rosters correspond with table bookings and helps you plan for the right amount of labor you need. The result is optimized schedules, which means you don’t have too many employees at work during quiet periods, and yet you have enough on hand to see you through the busy times.

If you select a unified system for your restaurant, the staff management functionality can be part of the same platform used to manage the rest of your business. This allows you to make truly informed decisions using historic sales data and drilling down by location, day of the week and time to see patterns emerging and better determine when you will be busy or quiet.

Another factor to consider is how you can use the software to keep track of your budgets and make sure you’re not paying out more than you should be. We know how difficult it can be to check and confirm the hours worked by each of your employees, especially when you are likely dealing with so many. But a staff management system can automate this for you, confirming actual hours worked are the same as those planned and highlighting any discrepancies for you to follow up on, minimizing errors and costs. With the functionality to analyze how much you are spending by employee, work code, shift and role, you can compare actual costs and performance against your business plan, and minimize unnecessary extra expenses, such as overtime.

Simplify staff training

In this industry, we know that workers tend to be transient – maybe you have lots of students or temporary workers on your payroll. High staff turnover can be a real pain point and loss maker for your business, especially as recruiting and training staff is both time consuming and costly. But there are ways technology can help you control this better, and reduce the costs and pain of getting new staff on board.

If the systems you use are intuitive and easy for all employees to understand, you won’t have to spend as long training them on how to use them in the first place. Some retail management systems allow you to set up your POS so it mirrors your menu, making it far simpler for staff to find their way around while also helping to reduce mistakes. To simplify training even further, it could pay off to choose a system that uses a logic your staff is already familiar with. The LS Retail restaurant solutions, LS First and LS Central, are built on well-known Microsoft technology. This means new employees can be up and running quickly, as any experience with Microsoft software such as Office or Windows means they already know where to find menus and information in the system.

Having one enterprise-wide platform, rather than multiple software solutions strung together, also means you only need to train your staff up once. This not only saves time and cost but gives you greater flexibility too. If you need to move staff from the bar to the restaurant floor, you can do so with ease. No extra training required to use a separate system; no time wasted.

Increase table turnover and order value

Is your restaurant floor running as smoothly as it could? There are some steps you can put in place to subtly speed up the process, allowing you to serve more customers without making your diners feel rushed. Mobile POS devices are a great way of doing this. As they connect your servers directly to the kitchen, kitchen staff can act on orders as soon as they are taken at the table, speeding up food preparation. Your waiters can get an alert on their POS devices when orders are ready, and they can also take payments on the device as soon as diners are ready to leave – no waiting for card readers or an available cash register.

If you select the right mobile POS, your staff can also handle conversational ordering, where they take orders in the same way that customers reel them off – extra cheese on their burger and no mayo, with large chips, for example. Everything can be quickly inputted into the POS, speeding up service time and reducing errors. At the same time, because staff have all menu information right in front of them, they can improve their upselling potential by suggesting upsell items and upgrades as they take orders.

Streamline kitchen operations

A unified platform complete with a kitchen management system could help your restaurant serve up food more quickly and efficiently than ever.

In the kitchen, having Kitchen Display System (KDS) screens connected to the system can guide staff through the entire food preparation process. The system can automatically route orders to the correct preparation stations, organizing dishes according to urgency and preparation time. The system can also flag meals that are late, and point out if there are any extra requests, cooking preferences, or allergies to pay attention to. And if you choose a system like LS Central where the KDS are connected in real time to the Point of Sale, your front of house staff can always keep track of the status of each order without having to disrupt work in the kitchen.

The result is a streamlined operation where staff turn out high quality meals quicker, and have less chance of making mistakes and causing customers to complain.

Cut down on waste

Are you making the most of the stock you have? A unified restaurant management platform gives you the functionality you need to monitor perishables and track stock levels by recipes and portions, helping you to keep a close eye on your inventory and reduce the amount of waste you’re putting in the garbage can every day.

Some managers look through their daily waste to determine consumption patterns and check if produce is being used to its fullest, but a restaurant management platform can do all that for you, quicker and more precisely than you could. It doesn’t end there. The best ones on the market can track food production and monitor what is thrown away to identify waste patterns. If the trash is full of fries, it’s likely that your kitchen staff have been making up too many. Or maybe it’s full of half-used vegetables: is there any way you can optimize the waste of fresh produce? From use of food to menu design, there are many ways you can make your restaurant more efficient. A good restaurant management system can help you pinpoint the areas of improvement, so you can plan ahead more effectively and make smart buying decisions.

Reduce IT costs with a unified platform

If your business is struggling along with outdated technology that hinders you, rather than helping you succeed, then now is the time to rethink what you’re doing. Today, modern restaurant management systems integrate all parts of the business, from kitchen to POS to head office and more, into a single platform. This way you get a complete picture of your business, understand your strengths and weakness, and can more easily streamline your processes.

We know that the idea of ripping out and replacing your old systems can daunting. Many restaurateurs worry about escalating time frames and costs. But if you choose the right partner, they can guide you through the process and help you realize a fast return on investment.

 

Blog Source : Ls Retail – https://www.lsretail.com/blog/slash-costs-in-your-restaurant-with-the-right-software-system

Restaurant Management ERP

How can Trident’s cloud platform manage your restaurant effortlessly?

Mortality in restaurants is a fact with several young firms shut down. What if the software could transform how restaurants are running by offering profound insights for more profit? Trident’s cloud-based restaurant management solution makes it possible by concentrating on advancing the bottom line and back-of-house productivity.

Trident takes into consideration all facets of restaurant management, including Inventory Management, costing of food and beverage, purchase orders, Table Management, Billing System, Point Of Sale, Vendor Planning, Price Monitoring, Costing of Food, Menu Management, and Reporting/Analytics.

Still uncertain of restaurant management technology premised on the cloud? Like the idea, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve covered you up. Below we will discuss how Cloud-based restaurant management software transforms the industry for seven reasons:

1) – Access information anywhere 

The mobile in your pocket or a laptop with a web browser and internet access are all you need to get started. Simply download the web site’s mobile app or account. To use the app you don’t need to be in the office, live with the hassle of VPNs or private networks.

2) – No more hefty long contracts

Why tie-up with a long, costly technology vendor contract and have technology that may soon be out of date? On-site technology requires long-term investments, contract service, and a much higher Total Ownership Cost.

The food industry is highly unpredictable, with frequent restaurants open and close. If you’re just beginning, you probably won’t be able to commit to fall tens or even hundreds of thousands of rupees on new technology.

Restaurant management technology focused on the cloud removes the need for a big upfront investment and the lower monthly cost helps you to show the ROI from day one.

3) – Flexible Payments 

When cash flow is a problem for your corporation (which is a concern for most businesses), then flexible terms of payment is a big thing.

You charge for your software-as-a-service (SaaS) with cloud-based restaurant management technology. For example, both month-to-month and yearly contracts are provided by some vendors. When part of the contract you are charging for, the latest technology, new functionalities and updates, infrastructure improvements, etc. are all included.

4) – Scale

The advantage of SaaS is that depending on your requirements, you can simply and quickly scale up or down. Open a new site, insert your current contract and get up and running before the end of the day.

You can add users, integrations, locations, new features, etc. with just a few clicks. No technician’s visits. No long cycles of implementation. No significant investment to store servers in hardware or storage.

5) – Integration with POS System

The ability to easily integrate with other applications is one of the strongest strengths of cloud-based restaurant management systems. Through APIs and other methods of integration, the cloud-based restaurant management technology can communicate with each other, share the data, and provide smarter, quicker, and simpler than ever before insights through stores and systems.

6) – Security 

Cloud computing is much safer than data stored on your computer or an internal database.

It has advanced security checks such as two-factor authentication for logging in, deterrent controls to alert potential hackers about protections, preventive controls which make accessing the cloud information more difficult for unauthorized users, and detective controls to react to intrusion events.

If anything ever occurred to your restaurant’s servers – like a flood, a fire, or a theft, you may not see that data again. Restaurant software based on the cloud often comes with built-in backup and redundancy.

7) No need of It professionals

If you are on-premise managing legacy systems, you need to understand what you’re doing. From routing, safety, restoration, debugging, and so on, nobody can go into a database office and start ripping cables.

You don’t need to employ an IT professional with cloud-based restaurant management technology. All you need is access to the provider of internet and software that is committed to supporting and guaranteeing your excellence.

Microsoft Gold partner Trident Information Pvt Ltd grants all of the above-mentioned advantages. For getting all the advantages you can contact our experts on https://www.tridentinfo.com/contact/ and add a query on our website.

Retail ERP Software

Don’t let your retail system destroy your holiday season – LS Retail

Holiday season trading is big business for retailers. As retailers up their efforts to draw in more shoppers and take full advantage of “the most wonderful time of the year,” it pays off to be prepared. NRF expects retailers to hire between 530,000 and 590,000 temporary workers during the holiday season, and to spend millions of dollars on window displays and marketing. But many forget one critical aspect that can make the difference between a profit-making and a loss-making season: the status of their technology.

From slow e-commerce sites to out-of-stock scenarios, here are some disastrous but all-too-common seasonal-related problems that retailers face, what causes them, and what can be done to prevent them.

Issue #1: Your technology can’t sustain the high volume of transactions/increased workload

The cause: Tech outages can be extremely costly – but for many retailers, they are a familiar nightmare. A study by LogicMonitor found that 96% of organizations have experienced IT-related disruptions, and 10% of organizations have had 10 or more outages in a three-year period. Common causes of down systems include network failure, usage spikes, human error, software malfunction, hardware failure and third-party outages. An increasingly common cause of outages are disconnected legacy software systems.

“One of the issues for some retailers is the fact that systems are, in fact, a patchwork of different technologies and functions added over time,” Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, said to RetailWire. “As the demand put on them increases, they occasionally fall over. For others, it can be about capacity – which is why a lot of retailers have failures at peak times such as Black Friday.”

The solution: Retailers should look to replace their technology siloes, which are complex to maintain and costly to support, with a single retail system. A unified system can provide them with a complete overview of their business and all its data. On top of that, the technology is delivered by a single provider, which means full support, and simpler and quicker upgrades.

“The solution is unified commerce, one version of software servicing all channels,” retail industry thought leader Ken Morris said in the RetailWire roundtable. “Until retailers wake up and embrace this vision, we will continue to see these types of outages as it is almost impossible to keep this multi-tiered Frankenstein’s Monster running without more people or less complexity.”

Issue #2: Part of your system goes down, and you can’t promptly pinpoint which part, or you don’t have the resources to fix it quickly

The cause: Again, the cause are ageing, disconnected systems unable to communicate with each other, with unsupported hardware and software. Outdated tech will complicate the day-to-day running of your organization and put a strain on your resources. On top of that, if a part fails, it can be extremely hard to identify where your system is down. Without knowing what to fix or when the disconnection happened, how can you get your system back up and running, and minimize disruption to your business?

One of our clients, discount fashion retailer Gallo Clothing, faced this exact scenario one Christmas eve – its busiest sales day of the year. The store was full of shoppers when suddenly the cash registers stopped working. Gallo’s systems had stopped communicating with each other, but where had the glitch happened? The company couldn’t identify and fix the problem straight away, so managers instructed staff to process all transactions manually. With cashiers forced to write every item and price and calculate the total for every single shopper down, each sales transaction became painfully slow, and the queues grew longer and longer. Customers began to complain, and others left the store to shop elsewhere. Some never returned, unwilling to give the business another chance.

The solution: Retailers no longer need to put up with unreliable, siloed software systems that threaten the smooth running of the business. But they must be willing to invest in their future, rather than patching up old systems and hoping they won’t fail when they need them most.

“Retailers have spent years not spending enough on technology and building a robust future-proof architecture,” roundtable panelist Oliver Guy said to RetailWire.

The good news is that modern, unified commerce technology platforms aren’t as expensive as retailers may think, and they can also deliver a fast return on investment. Gallo Clothing now uses LS Retail technology as the foundation for its businesses. Not only has it not experienced any issues since the implementation of the solution, but it has also achieved record profits. The company says it’s because the system is so fast and efficient. Gallo’s president told us: “In the years since implementing the LS Retail software, we’ve seen more customers, sold more products and had much shorter lines.”

Issue #3: You can’t react fast enough to customer demand, and end up disappointing customers with out-of-stock items

The cause: Out of stock items are one of consumers’ biggest gripes. They’re also hugely damaging to a retailer’s bottom line. The “Out of stock, out of luck” study by global research and advisory firm IHL Group found that retailers are missing out on nearly US$1 trillion in sales because of out-of-stock items. And almost a third of shoppers ended up turning to Amazon when the product they wanted wasn’t in stock at their local store

Many retailers admit that the reason they experience out-of-stock scenarios is because they don’t have a complete view of their inventory, their data is unreliable, and they lack the tools to analyze their data and make accurate forecasts.

The solution: You can no longer get by with running weekly or even daily reports to keep track of their business. Today, you need a real-time view –  especially during busy trading periods.

Luxury fashion retailer Club 21|Armani Exchange gained this visibility when they upgraded their financial, admin, warehouse management, buying & merchandising, CRM and POS systems to a single software environment.

Clare Vella, retail director, told us about the first Black Friday after implementing their new LS Retail software. “It was 10pm on Friday evening. We were watching the sales hourly, and one store was seeing an enhanced level of trade coming through,” she said. “We were able to respond to this by calling the warehouse and getting an emergency delivery to that store, which was critical at that point. We increased our sales by well over three times the amount we could have done within that store that weekend by being able to respond in real time.”

Issue #4: You can’t easily accept returns across channels, or see where the item a customer bought/wants has ended up

The cause: While many retailers claim to have a true omnichannel strategy, meaning all their channels are seamlessly integrated, the reality for most is that they operate their physical stores and e-commerce as separate entities. But this siloed approach throws up a number of challenges, including a disconnected customer experience, lack of visibility across the organization, and an inaccurate view of inventory.

When a customer buys something online and then wants to exchange or refund it in store, your systems may be holding you back even if you’d like to facilitate the transaction. Perhaps the customer has paid online using PayPal, and your in-store staff can’t see the transaction, or don’t know how to issue a refund. Or maybe a shopper comes in specifically to swap an item, only to find that it is out of stock. All of these issues are caused by a disconnect between retailers’ online and in-store systems.

“The underlying issue is making sure that systems can talk to each other in near real time, which is needed to ensure that transactions and inventory can be fully reconciled, and that the business and its customers have reliable information on their accounts,” the ECR Community said in its report “Buy online, return in store”.

The solution: When you manage all channels using a single system and database, each customer account can be kept updated in near real time. And because inventory, logistics, sales and returns systems are linked through individual product identification and customer accounts, each item can be traced and located at any point in time. The result is that you’re able to work at speed, minimize product losses and ensure all transactions are reconciled.

Importantly, regardless of the channel they use to browse and shop, customers won’t be disappointed by out-of-stock scenarios as your online store draws from the general ledger to pull up real-time stock information.

Blog Source : https://www.lsretail.com/blog/dont-let-your-retail-system-destroy-your-holiday-season

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