Day-to-day operational decision-making in Retail: Automate or Systemize or Simplify?

Day-to-day operational decision-making in Retail_ Automate or Systemize or Simplify

3 min read

Decision-making is a process of our brain, helping us to choose one of the several alternate options available to us while considering an action. In our decision-making process, we may realize soon that we made a wrong decision and our brain then understands and self-learns not to make that decision again due to prior bad experience. We as humans, have self-learning capabilities, thus.

In busy business enterprises like Retail, where customers come in and go, and transactions happen every second and minutes, there are interactions between customers and operating employees. Some of these interactions may involve some decision-making for the disposal of customer requests. There could also be decisions concerning supply chain, employee matters, governance matters or be it any functional matters that affect a Retail enterprise. Most employees, be it junior or senior management, are involved in day-to-day decision making to discharge their duties. Some of them could be critical that we just can’t go wrong even once

If you digitize your operations, we can lessen the human decision-making process to a greater extent. We can attempt automation in three different ways:

1. Complete Automation: The whole business process is automated, and any involved decision-making is codified for the automation to make it as per logical business rules. This means there are fixed combinations that are codified, and so long situation falls into one of those codified ones, the decision is automatically made and transactions processed

2. Systemize processes: This involves systemizing the procedures to operate consistently that every time it happens, it happens in the same manner. Also, whenever it happens, wherever it occurs and whoever handles it, it occurs in the same way. We hear examples of the systems and standards being uniform across McDonald’s and customer experience being the same all across the world. The decision making here is codified by way of motions and methods and thrust is given to training resources in a manner until they get to operate in a set manner

3. Simplification of processes: Another method that can be considered is the simplification of operations in such a way that decision making is simple and there are no myriads of combinations that may merit consideration, limiting considerations to fix few. Simplification is complexity as much as one needs to understand and reduce unwanted options and prioritize just the most important ones

In digital transformation, Retailers need to ask which method to adopt for different processes. Some may be suitable for complete automation without human intervention, some may be systemized for consistency and experience and some may have to be simplified to realize time and efficiency. If digital transformation is attempted as a simple automation of processes as it is, it is pouring old wine in a new bottle

While designing Retail ViVA, we have cherry-picked each of the business processes to map where it would best fit keeping experience, control and efficiency in mind and have either automated it or systemized it or simplified it.

A good Retail Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) product is one that blends all the above decision-making varieties and more so, gives the flexibility to change as times change. Responsiveness is so vital that Retailers must be agile and need not be left with something that was designed rigidly. Every Retail enterprise, to survive the new generation of business models, must be sharp, agile, and responsive to new “normal.” Their ERP products also must be responsive and self-configurable to change as demand arises and operate with efficiency.

Written by
(Ragu)nathan Kannan


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