Operational efficiency starts with consolidating existing retail systems
Many retailers are investing heavily in new technology, from product information management to order management systems to logistics software. The end goal is to streamline and automate time-consuming retail operations in order to bolster productivity and operational efficiency.
However, operational efficiency generally isn’t achieved by simply buying and attaching new software systems to current systems. Although there are a broad number of best-of-breed systems designed to accomplish specific tasks, they must all be implemented in a way that allows them to work together. It doesn’t matter if companies have both an order management system and an inventory management system, if they don’t work together so that an item is removed from inventory when it is reserved for an order, retailers are going to have a nightmare trying to reconcile orders and satisfy customers.
This is a real problem, especially for the merchants that have been around since many of these technologies were first released. Old technology is constantly updating while new technology is always on the horizon. If retailers purchased a retail system a decade ago, they did so by selecting a product that met their requirements for their retail operations at the time. Over the years, retailers have continued to bolt on new solutions while customizing existing ones to fulfill their evolving needs. This issue has only gotten worse over the years as retailers have had to incorporate new shopping avenues such as mobile and Web-based sales channels into their existing retail operations.
At some point, this will lead to bloated retail processes and workflow, as well as wasted resources as merchants try to work around multiple solutions. Once merchants begin working for their systems, instead of the other way around, they’ll need to consider other options to increase operational efficiency.
Consolidating retail systems to improve behind-the-scene operations
If bloat is a problem at your business, it’s time to consider consolidating systems. Reducing the number of retail systems in play from three, five, or even eight down to one, two or three can be a significant boon for retail operations. Although change can be a challenge, especially considering legacy solutions that have been in play for years, reducing the amount of retail systems used may help retailers improve their operational efficiency and minimize IT expenses and costs.
S&S Sports is a SalesWarp client that had this problem. S&S has been selling sports gear and shoes for more than 35 years. At the turn of the century, S&S began having trouble managing all of its wholesale and retail operations – the rise of the Internet only exacerbating the problem. It came to the point where the retailer eventually had seven different retail systems, each one handling a separate responsibility and some of these retail systems were upward of 15 years old.
Consolidation was the answer to this problem, with S&S turning to SalesWarp as their omni channel management system for easily managing multiple online stores, retail locations and wholesale business in real-time. By replacing six of the seven different pieces of software, the retail brand was able to reduce annual software costs by more than 90 percent. More importantly, however, was the fact that SalesWarp enabled S&S to increase eCommerce sales by 300 percent within the first year of implementation.
There are dozens of different systems and software packages available to modern retailers, each serving a unique function and providing a great deal of value. However, rampant implementation can lead to bloating, which may hinder operations and create additional costs in the long run. The key is consolidating retail systems so merchants can improve operational efficiency.
You can read more about how S&S Sports leveraged SalesWarp to consolidate and reduce the number of solutions in play here.