Retailers: How much of your system stock is available to Customers?

Inventory precision is a crucial performance matrix for every retail enterprise in the world. Inventory stock-outs is an opportunity lost to sell to a prospective customer, be it an existing customer or acquisition of a new customer.  Retailers experience around 30% stock-outs to customer needs. Unless a customer need is instantly satisfied as demanded, retaining the loyalty of a customer becomes an uphill task. In today’s digital world, it takes minutes for a customer to switch allegiance and become habituated to another new experience, forgetting earlier brand experience. Retailers need to ensure stocks are available in the right quantities, smartly moving inventory at the right time.

Various decision support systems surrounding inventory movements across stores and warehouses can determine optimum stock movements between warehouses and stores, to ensure stock-outs are minimum or almost negligible.

Retailers need to get real-time visibility of their inventory as shoppers do transactions across multi-channels and replenish stocks depending on movements.  Most retailers have thousands of stock-keeping units (SKU), and hence continuous monitoring becomes a daunting task. Merchandising module in retail ERP software precisely does this function of allocating inventory transfer depending on the movement of stock at stores and based on classification of fast, normal, slow, or non-moving. That’s precisely the reason that our Retail ERP has got an advanced merchandising module that auto-suggests or triggers stock transfers between warehouses and stores or between stores in a proactive manner. Since most retailers operate on batch-integrated point of sales (POS) system, they do not get minute-to-minute inventory status, which then pushes stock transfers to the next day, after end-of-day (EOD) processing is complete. Our Retail ViVA ERP POS is online and updates stocks in real-time across all channels so that one can see stocks online and take quick actions towards replenishment. A matured merchandising module is key to avoiding stock-outs of out-of-stock (OOS) situations

Written by
(Ragu)nathan Kannan

Preparedness for moving from traditional to Omnichannel Retail

Many of our legacy retailers are exploring change to being digital and omnichannel with objective of providing unique experiences to their customers.  Any transformation of this nature can’t be accomplished unless the enterprise has got its basics in place.  The core enterprise resource planning modules must be in full stabilised shape with an integrated commerce solution as starting point. 

Blending of traditional business process with new age digital experience process requires careful planning and orchestration.  The change management needs to be handled in a positive and proactive manner.  The concept of intelligently joining the business as usual with newly sought-after channels with matching experiences needs to be supported by an agile ERP technology that can transform traditional business process quickly and on the fly.  Most legacy retailers suffer due to their current ERP being incapable of matching other channel’s modern experience base.

When customer becomes the centre point, all legacy processes must stand to change to meet customer expectations.  Today’s customer loves to engage and transact with multiple devices, sometime physical, sometimes digital and sometimes in combination.  The young, affluent and digitally savvy customers are inquisitive about using the right channel that suits them at that moment.  They switch their choices according to their convenience and the difficult promise to provide the same experience to customers merits detailed attention

Most retail ERP products do not cover all business functions, forcing retailers to choose multiple software and spend time and energy on integration to have omnichannel setup. This also enlarges the time a traditional retailer’s desire to project themselves beyond their store to the customer.  With agile ERP, the technology layer can be quite easier to adapt to creating newer experience in traditional channel as well.  That’s why we built most modules of our retail ERP, Retail ViVA, in no-code platform, providing that agility to enterprises to change their traditional business model quickly to match to modern channels design.

After all, Retail is no more about customer satisfaction, it is about consistent customer experiences and omnichannel is no more a top floor offering, it is just a shop floor offering.

Written by
(Ragu)nathan Kannan

Intelligent Stock-take – Every retailer’s dream

Stock-take is a process where the physical count of items in any shop or warehouse is matched with its system stock quantity. There is quite often differences between them due to reasons attributable to a) wrong barcoding; b) pilferage; c) breakage etc.,

Most retailers are unable to perform stock-take during operating hours due to the use of an off-line POS system, which updates stock of inward and outward once in the night. Hence, at the time of stock-take, the system quantity is not live and real and hence can’t be matched instantly. Further, due to time lag between count and system stock updating, a lengthy reconciliation process is attempted before a stock-take result is finally closed and count variances are posted to inventory and financial general ledger. Given this lethargic process, often stock take is delayed or neglected, leading to poor inventory control and management

Statistics indicate a 30% difference between physical and system stock in a retail environment, leading to poor customer satisfaction. Further, every stock-take count takes about two weeks to close after prolonged backward reconciliation process

Intelligent stock take is a process where you use barcode equipped mobile phones to scan items and instantly match with system stock. Intelligent stock take can be performed at any point in time, including during operating hours of a store.

Stock-take variances are reconciled instantly, and variances analyzed at the close of every stock-take count and disposed of with count adjustments or otherwise. Since it is online and real-time, intelligent stock take helps to identify actual stock items where there are variances, thereby reducing variance analysis time substantially. There is no need to do backward reconciliations and waste precious man-hours

Of our experience with clients using our Retail ViVA ERP, Intelligent stock take improves efficiency over 300% while reducing cycle time by about 90%, compared to traditional stock-take methods

Intelligent stock-take also helps to do risk analysis of items that are perpetually indifference and thus provides inputs for system and control improvisation

Written by
(Ragu)nathan Kannan

A successful 21st Century Enterprise (21CE) must be “Responsive” enterprise

Responsiveness is an organization’s ability to recognize and be ready to adapt to changes almost instantly as industry and customer preferences change. If the company can’t be responsive, it will never be able to meet constantly changing customer expectations

The centricity of success has changed from machines and logistics in 20th century to software and enterprise systems in the 21st Century, which means that enterprise systems are directly and continuously and instantly shaped by what the market wants. An enterprise that can make its enterprise systems change flexibly almost co-terminus to market change is a successful 21st-century enterprise (21CE).

Unless 21CE’s reinvent their process and business models constantly, their survival becomes difficult. It is just new normal that 21CE constantly reconfigure their resources and capabilities. Since 21CE are highly digital and offers complete digital experiences to customers, any reconfigurations invariably lead to their enterprise systems change. That’s the flexibility 21CE is looking for, to have flexible enterprise systems. However intelligent a 21CE enterprise is, if it is not responsive, its intelligence can’t be exploited.  Every 21CE will be digitized and effectively become a software company or majorly driven by software algorithms, data, and analytics.

Enterprise systems to be considered flexible must allow for new functionality to be introduced easily and quickly. The biggest challenge of enterprise systems today is their scalability for new changes in a quick and self-service manner. The dependence on multi-party service providers makes companies wait for change and thus lose critical timeframes. Prolonged interactions with service providers frustrate internal stakeholders without being able to see the change instantly.  Internal stakeholders in any enterprise expect systems that respond to their information capture and analytic needs in a manner that is the most natural or self-service manner to them.

Companies who develop this responsiveness will successfully navigate change and maintain their customer relationships and provide that unified customer experience to delight.

Then what kind of enterprise systems do 21CE adopt? They must be flexible which means it is self-configurable and fully on self-service basis. And to respond to change quickly and to re-configure business models, it must be driven by change at their end rather than waiting for an external service provider to make the change slowly. A low-code/no-code is the best choice any responsive enterprise must make which then gives them the agility to be dynamic and adapt to change instantly.

That’s precisely the reason that Sathguru built sixteen of its twenty-six modules bundled retail ERP, Retail ViVA through its own no-code platform, to provide that flexibility to customers for making change on their own.

21CE are responsive enterprises that demand self-service creations and what more than no-code be the answer to it!

Written by
(Ragu)nathan Kannan