Tag: retail software

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Issue: An outdated legacy system is impacting business performance, and it needs replacing quickly.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

Uncategorized

How to get ready for the rise of mobile payments in retail

The retail payment space is going through a sea change, and the Starbucks mobile payments app is a shining example of that. Despite being specific to one retailer, in 2018 the app held the title of top mobile payment app in the US. During that year, 23.4 million people aged 14 and above used the app to make a POS purchase at least once every six months, according to estimates from market research firm eMarketer. Even though in 2019 it was finally overtaken by Apple Pay, which racked up an estimated 30.3 million users compared to Starbucks’ 25.2 million, the widespread adoption of the Starbucks app shows that  retailers can get true value out of mobile payments.

Key to Starbucks’ success has been its ability to combine convenience, ease and reward in the payments experience. Its Mobile Order and Pay functionality lets users order ahead of time and skip queues. The app is also integrated with the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, allowing customers to automatically earn points (called Stars) and start earning free drinks and food. Customers can even add a tip to purchases. The value of using this app to pay is clear and simple: you can save time and money at the till, and access rewards and special offers at the same time.

Stores upgrade their payments options

Over the last few years cash has been losing its market share to electronic payments methods, which give consumers a faster, more secure and convenient experience when shopping both in store and online.

As consumer preferences move away from traditional payment methods towards mobile checkout technologies such as Apple and Android Pay, contactless card payments and direct bank transfers, retailers must be prepared to accept these new methods.

In the US, it’s estimated that around 70% of retail stores are now equipped to accept Apple Pay and similar mobile payments apps. As more credit card companies and banks shift to chip-based cards, retailers are forced to upgrade their checkout systems and. Those who think ahead are opting for readers that can also accept payments from smartphones using near-field communication (NFC) technology. Invest in contactless payment options

Millions of consumers now have contactless-enabled cards in their wallets and mobile payment apps on their phones. This tap-and-go technology is fast becoming the norm for customers – and therefore something they expect when making a purchase. Contactless transactions are particularly popular for smaller ticket purchases in convenience stores and supermarkets, and now frequently replace cash. This kind of technology also offers many benefits to retailers, including decreased checkout times, increased card use and an improved consumer payments experience.

Combine convenience and rewards

While contactless payments are an in-store essential, retailers must also consider a holistic payments strategy across all channels to ensure they’re meeting their customers’ expectations and delivering a seamless experience. That means embracing tools and technologies that harness consumer trends around cashless payments and connect both the digital and physical, enabling customers to order ahead and pay in advance, pick up reward program points regardless of the channel they shop via, and take advantage of new “buy now, pay later” options such as Klarna and Laybuy. Being able to offer a wide variety of payment options will be critical as retailers look to build their presence in an increasingly digital marketplace that is characterized by convenience and speed.

Explore digital wallet providers

While businesses like Starbucks decided to build their own mobile app, most retailers do not need to go down this route. That’s because digital wallet providers like Apple Pay and Google Pay are already designed to make setting up mobile payments fast and affordable.

Today, there are dozens of digital wallet payment providers for retailers – and consumers – to choose from. It’s worth talking with your existing payment provider to understand what options they have available as you develop your own mobile payments and digital wallets strategy.

Be open to payments innovation

As payment solutions are transforming from purely transactional to more customer oriented, the friction of payments will continue to fade with further innovations coming to market.

Invisible payments, for example, offer consumers ultimate convenience and completely automated payment options. Although they’re still in their infancy in the retail space, they’re being driven by businesses like ride-sharing app Uber, which automatically collects payment once a customer has reached their destination. Innovative retailers such as Amazon and Dutch supermarket brand Albert Heijn are already trialing invisible payments in stores with success. These shopping concepts allow customers to simply pick up or scan the products they want and leave without having to check out. Instead, payment is automatically deducted from their account.

“Connected cars, automatic replenishment via internet of things devices, and increasingly friction-free checkout experiences at the physical point of sale are just a few of the practical applications of invisible payments,” Worldpay’s Global Payment Trends report said.

As retailers plan for the future, then, it is in their best interests to be aware of the latest payments innovations and to consider how they will play out in their industry.

Retail ERP Software, Retail POS Solution

7 tips to deliver better online grocery shopping

The boom of online grocery shopping has been a long time coming. In 2015, more than one third (37%) of shoppers in Asia-Pacific regularly shopped for food online, Nielsen reports. Although in the rest of the world online grocery shopping was less common, there was already a growing trend, which has only become more pronounced. According to projections by Deutsche Bank, online grocery shopping is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.2%, which is significant if compared with a 2.5% CAGR for total grocery sales.

Supermarkets have had time to prepare for the shift to online, but not all of them have stayed on top of trends. When, due to necessity, consumers worldwide moved massively towards online shopping, some supermarkets found themselves suddenly out of the race. Today, the businesses who didn’t believe and invest in omni-channel are facing the harsh consequences of their decisions.

Online shopping has been gaining ground quickly among all ages and geographies, and there is no reason to believe this popularity will fade in the upcoming months. This means there is no better time than today to invest in improving your e-commerce capabilities.

Here are seven tips to get you started.

1. Focus on speed and ease of use

Simplicity and usability of the platform should be your top goals:

  • Make it easy for people to registerfind the products they need, add items to the cart, review and edit the order and pay.
  • Enable filtering per sub-groups of items to speed up search. Your customers would rather not have scroll through a hundred-item long list of “bread and pastries” to find the apricot-filled croissants they are looking for.
  • Make sure you include all relevant product information. Feature high-quality pictures, and clearly label brand names, price, ingredients with nutritional value and allergens, and pack size.
  • Include expiry dates wherever possible. If a shopper knows that the Greek yogurt lasts three more weeks, they might buy three packs instead of one.
  • Support returning shoppers. Give customers the possibility to recreate previous orders quickly and activate shopping lists where people can add staples and family favorites. Allow registered customers to see their buying history and to share the basket with other family members.
  • Ensure short page load times. If your site is too slow to load, buyers may abandon their cart without completing the purchase.

2. State the important information up front

How annoyed will your online shopper be when he finds out that his postcode is not eligible for delivery, after he spent a full hour adding products to the cart? For retailers, it pays off to be clear and provide all needed information from the start. Buyers should be aware of shipping prices and timesdelivery restrictions, geographical areas included in the service and special conditions before they have added a single item to their cart.

When it’s time to check out, make sure that all the steps are clearly labelled, and that shoppers know what’s coming up in the process. Consider adding lines that clarify where the customer is at, such as “You can still modify your order in the next step” or “By clicking here, you confirm your order and accept to pay. You won’t be able to modify your order afterwards”. Consider adding a progress bar that shows the various steps (“Customer details” -> “Shipping” -> “Payment information” -> “Review order” -> “Complete and pay”).

Once the order has been placed, include an “order completed” page where all the key information is summarized: items purchased, delivery and payment information, time of order, and what the customer should expect (an email? A call? A link to track the shipment?).

3. Think of the different platforms

Today, more consumers access websites from mobiles than from computers. According to data from marketing site The Drum, last year 63% of traffic and 53% of sales on retailers’ eCommerce sites happened via mobile. As the preference for mobile shopping is only going to get more common, you should ensure that your website performs well on mobile devices. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • Is my e-commerce site responsive?
  • Are the buttons big and easy to tap? Are the text fields large and easy to type into?
  • Are pictures clear? Can people easily zoom in to see extra details? Is it easy to move through different images?
  • Is all information visible on small screens, or do some lines disappear or end up off screen?
  • Can customers easily move between items and categories?
  • Is the payment process simple and easy to follow?

Many consumers start a transaction on a device and continue it on another one. If when they resume the transaction they lose all the items they had already added to the cart, they may not be bothered to start over again – and you’ll lose that transaction. Enable saving the cart for logged in customers, so they can easily pick up transactions on different devices, at their pace and convenience.

4. Make it easy to navigate

On your e-commerce site you can easily display a larger product selection than in your physical locations. If you decide to go for the “endless aisles” style, make sure you organize the selection so that customers can easily find what they need.

  • Offer top-level categories that can be accessed from the top menu.
  • Enable customers to filter and sort items by price, brand, group, review scores, etc.
  • Make sure information is easy to skim through. Use bullet points and organize information consistently (first ingredients, then package size, then weight, then expiry date…) so users can find what they need at a glance.
  • Make sure the “buy” button is clearly visible. Add a checkmark or confirmation text to clarify when an item has been added to the basket.
  • Include a search function with predictive suggestions and auto corrects (“Did you mean…?”). Your customer may call “cilantro” what you call “coriander” on your site; you wouldn’t want her to leave without it just because the search gave no results.

5. Offer flexible delivery

Offer several delivery options and time slots, and be specific with your delivery times. The best practice is to offer precise delivery windows, and allow people pick the one that best fits their schedule. The more precise you are, the more likely you are customers will decide to shop with you. Nielsen’s “Global Connected Commerce Report” advises offering 30-minute interval windows – provided you can stick to your promises, and ensure delivery within the selected time frame.

How should you ship the products? Food retailers worldwide have been experimenting with different delivery methods. Which one(s) you should implement will depend on your customers’ demands, as well as on the local context and competitive landscape. Do your customers prefer to get their products delivered home? Would they rather use a third-party delivery station, such as a refrigerated locker? Do they want to order online and pick up in-store? Can you support picking up products at the curbside, or even via drive-thru? The more delivery options you can offer, the likelier you are to satisfy all demands. What if you don’t have the infrastructure to manage timely delivery and distribution of your goods? Then you should consider partnering up with distribution agents. This model, made popular by tech companies like Instacart, has already been successfully adopted by many supermarkets.

6. Guarantee high quality

Research by Nielsen shows that concerns over the quality of fresh items and worries about the risk of spoilage during delivery are two of the main barriers to online food shopping. To help consumers overcome these concerns,

  • Offer delivery options that preserve product quality. Refrigerated lockersone-hour delivery, and click and collect within a specific pick-up window are some of the options to ensure freshness while offering customers high flexibility.
  • Provide detailed information for fresh produce. This means including not only a description, but also freshness labels that say how many days the product will last after it is delivered.
  • Solicit feedback, and feature customer reviews under each product your website.
  • Allow customers to exchange the products, or get their money back, if the food does not meet their expectations at delivery.

7. Make it all work together seamlessly

When you are selling products online, you will be judged for more than just the quality of your products. If your website crashes, if the delivery service runs late, if a product description is incorrect, if the refrigerated locker where you deliver products breaks down, customers will hold you responsible. Convenience is a core element in consumers’ decision to shop for grocery online. A poor experience, a snag in the process, and you risk losing a customer forever.

It pays off to analyze and future-proof your whole chain, from production, to the technology you use, to accuracy of product information, to physical delivery, and ensure that every step of the process is smooth, efficient, and up to standards.

Online grocery shopping has moved beyond its tipping point. Although it’s hard to predict what will happen tomorrow, we can expect that grocery e-commerce will continue its upward trend. Retailers who want to shape the market and win over competitors must move quickly and fearlessly. If you need advice getting ready for the digital future of grocery shopping, do not hesitate to contact us.

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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/

 

 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Turn prospects into engaged customers with intelligent sales and marketing

The selling landscape is undergoing fundamental changes, many of them driven by the effects of B2B customers’ experience as everyday consumers. Many retailers have created personalized, nearly immersive, online experiences for each customer. Consumers shopping for goods and services continually experience fresh and delightful interactions, from highly customized offers and recommendations to frictionless channels to 24/7 interactions. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales organisations are improving  their profit margins.

The impact of B2C on B2B

Today’s B2B buyers have high expectations, and those expectations will not be met if B2B buyers are accustomed to sophisticated consumer interactions in their personal lives. Executive B2B buyers are not impressed by marketing driven by large, relatively impersonal data analysis that leads to inconsistent and conflicting interactions or sales outreach that doesn’t cater specifically to their needs at the right time.

The source of the problem may be largely invisible to the companies perpetuating this issue. Many organizations believe themselves to be customer-centric, while their buyers may not agree. That’s a significant disconnect. Clearly, B2B has much to learn from B2C companies.

Customer experience – the rewards for getting it right

Many B2C organizations have strategically embraced modern technologies like customer data platforms (CDP) and artificial intelligence (AI) to gain a 360-degree view of their customers and follow through on those insights to optimize customer engagement.

The rewards for getting this engagement right are substantial. Many buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. In terms of the potential benefits a great experience can have on sales success, a McKinsey study reported that organizations can expect:

  • 10-15 percent lower customer churn
  • 20-40 percent increase in the win rate of offers
  • Up to 50 percent lower service costs

Take a new approach

B2B companies must move away from their legacy approaches based on large, relatively impersonal data analysis and move to solutions that unify relationship data across the full customer lifecycle. That way, they can gain insights that help build credibility and trust with buyers. They can run multi-channel campaigns to increase sales-ready leads, create personal experiences, and use guided process and AI to anticipate and respond faster to customer needs. They can build the ongoing, high-quality relationships that are necessary for long-term success.

Four principal goals

Turning prospects into engaged customers is a process. In order to achieve these goals, organizations must focus on 4 key priorities:

  • Nurture more demand
  • Personalize buyer experiences
  • Build relationships at scale
  • Make insight-driven decisions

Each of these drives results by using deep reservoirs of data in making technology feel more human.

Nurture more demand

Relying only on conventional, basic email marketing as the primary source of leads is simply not effective enough. In fact, the more focused and demanding the customer universe is, the more essential it is to gain deep insights into what those customers expect. Northrop & Johnson,  a leading global yacht brokerage, competes for multi-million dollar customers using technology its industry has been slow to adopt. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing has created a decided competitive advantage: Vital insights into their customer base have helped to drive a 70 percent increase in charter sales.

In any industry, companies need to generate leads across multiple channels, nurture large numbers of leads while prioritizing each one, and use data-driven insights to deliver leads that are sales-ready. Nurturing more demand is critical to growth.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing helps generate, nurture and prioritize sales-ready leads.

Personalize buyer experiences

It’s time to end friction, inconsistencies, and the “do you know who I am?” part of the customer experience. Companies can acquire a holistic view of buyers, predict buyer intent, and orchestrate a connected, personalized journey for customers.

In an era where guests have more choices than ever for leisure and entertainment, Tivoli delights its guests by using Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to stay one step ahead of expectations and transform the guest experience. With its deeper understanding of guests, it can add new chapters to its long tradition of imagination and innovation.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing enables you to personalize buyer experiences and predict buyer intent.

Build relationships at scale

Mutually beneficial relationships don’t simply happen with more data. Companies need to build credibility to establish and grow relationships with customers.

Together, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn enable the company to have increased information about, and impact on the sales relationships that are added to its sales pipeline, even as that pipeline experiences exponential growth month over month.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing helps you build relationships at scale.

Make insight-driven decisions

Here’s where sales and marketing can truly align: utilizing data to uncover insights that lead to better-informed decisions throughout the sales process. This can improve performance, empower employees, and enable the company to gain increasingly effective strategic insights.

With more than 1,500 pubs serving guests throughout the UK, Marston’s launched a business transition by bringing together guest data that was scattered across multiple systems into Dynamics 365. With their locations’ guest data now unified, Marston’s will gain a complete view of guests, which can be harnessed to generate customer satisfaction and strategic insights. This approach helps drive improved performance throughout the company, including the opportunity to empower employees – an often-overlooked aspect of a company’s success.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing enables you to make insight-driven decisions to improve performance, empower employees and gain strategic insights.

Aligning sales and marketing: The intelligent way to succeed

It’s possible to create exceptional experiences, drive more qualified leads, and increase revenue if an organization has the vision, process, and technology to harness all the data available. This requires high-level technology with well-defined business goals and sales and marketing applications fueled by keen intelligence. We have a compelling offering to accomplish just that with Microsoft Dynamics 365. Get in touch with our representative to request a demo for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales & Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Blog Reference : https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2019/09/19/turn-prospects-into-engaged-customers-with-intelligent-sales-and-marketing/

Retail ERP Software

Redefining shopping excellence with an unified E-commerce solution

Over the last decade, the retail sector has experienced enormous change and transition. Many have suggested that conventional brick and mortar retail is dying and that for the everyday needs, consumers switch entirely to online platforms. However, this is not the case. As per a survey from the National Retail Federation, since 2010 retail storefronts in the US have continued to expand at approximately 4 percent annually along with the consistent double-digit growth of online shopping. Almost all of the top 50 online retailers have brick and mortar stores, as well. Although progress in e-commerce tends to outpace physical stores, the rate of progress in physical retail outlets is still much higher. E-commerce is also not a stand-alone medium in most cases but used in combination with conventional and new platforms to meet consumer needs such as buying online pick up in-store or Click and Collect. Physical outlets are still a big part of consumer spending patterns, but with this, we also have seen that consumer priorities have changed around shopping. Trident is offering Retail ERP Software for an outstanding commerce experience that helps in gaining maximum profits.

Gone are the days when store employees are the only experts in information about goods. Consumers already have greater access to product details, price clarity, and accessibility. This means that retailers have to look at customer engagement across all platforms to make sure that their enterprise is capable of delivering on these recent high requirements. E-commerce will no longer be a major differentiator for retailers in the next few years, but will instead allow integrated retail trade to compete in the ever more challenging customer needs worldwide.

So Trident ( dynamics 365 partner) & solution dynamics 365 for marketing not confined to e-commerce, but aims to streamline the process of unifying consumer shopping experiences through an end-to-end business framework that puts together e-commerce, in-store, back office, and call centre. Let’s discuss furthermore how Dynamics 365 for marketing solution helps retailers meet those dominant business requirements.

1)- Grant Excellent and Customized Consumer Experience

Consumer experience is not only one of the top growth factors in the retail sector, but according to the recent survey by Microsoft and Forbes, 33 percent of retail managers are also considered a great business priority. The main task is to identify what constitutes outstanding customer experience for each individual business, as expectations of customers differ by micro-vertical retail, product category, and consumers themselves. It is up to the retailers to better define how their marketing commitment aligns with the experience. When customer experience is established, retailers need to be able to deliver on this commitment by providing technology that allows customer engagement in the next generation and does not limit their ability to evolve and build differentiating consumer experience.

As per the report by Microsoft and Forbes, providing customized shopping has become increasingly popular and over 49 percent of customers aged between 18 and 24 stating they are more likely to purchase from retailers offering custom shopping experiences. The aim of personalization is to form a bond between both the retailer and the consumer by delivering goods and/or services across all retail channels based on past interactions. It enhances the relationship to an encounter more similar to an interaction with a trustworthy friend or partner than a simple transaction.

There is a significant technological dependence to reach this next stage of customization. Networked and real-time visibility into consumers and activities are needed by retailers. Dynamics 365 put together all facets of customer interaction through e-commerce, call centre and in-store as well as simple incorporation into new channels to enable retailers to gain a holistic customer perspective. Couple this with out-of-the-box integration with Dynamics 365 Consumer insights and retailers can not only deliver AI-driven suggestions based on customer shopping history, likes, and patterns but also provide store agents with tools for presenting the customer’s 360-degree view and facilitating rich interaction throughout the selling journey.

 2) Omni Channel Experience   

Nowadays Customers expect to be able to purchase anywhere they want, and by whatever platform. Retailers also acknowledge the importance of Omni channel as one of their top three priorities, with 47 percent of Microsoft and Forbes survey executives rating this.

Most retailers are still struggling in having an Omni channel experience because of the complexity of internal infrastructure and disconnected or fragmented systems. Trident’s Dynamics 365 NAV makes it much easier to offer a native Omni channel solution for retailers, as it was built in the cloud.

3) Flexibility

An integrated solution is important not just for customers to engage and shop in retail, but also for how a unified solution can allow first-line employees to take part better and make sure ideal operational efficiencies across your supply chain. Dynamics 365 for marketing offers retailers the ability to streamline their operations with enriched knowledge that characterizes their business. Employees at the store can gain greater information and insight into stock availability, cross-application support for task management, as well as trade analytics that enable managers to monitor performance and insights to help them make informed decisions.

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

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