Category Archives: Operations

As a retailer, are you prepared for the challenge? Assess how competitive your company is

As a retailer, are you prepared for the challenge?
Go through this quick quiz and discover how competitive your company is!
  1. How difficult is it for your business to launch new products and campaigns?
  2. Would you say that your business is sufficiently agile when it comes to opening new stores, rolling out new store technologies, training personnel?
  3. Rate how well you currently offer a seamless shopping experience to your clients across all sales channels.
    • A-Yes, these processes are profitable.
    • B-No, these processes are not profitable.
    • C – The business currently does not support these processes.
      Looking at your omnichannel capabilities, would you say your click & collect and click & return processes are profitable?*
  4. Can you identify your clients at the point of sale and know their level of customer satisfaction?
  5. Do your store associates have the necessary tools to offer a good assisted sale?
  6. Would you say that you spend too much time on routine operations such as opening and closing checkouts, changing shifts, managing cash, etc?
  7. Would you say that your in-store replenishment processes are sufficiently well optimized?*Consider factors such as the speed of goods reception, your ability to optimize stock levels, correct errors, and so on.
  8. Do you have mechanisms to prevent internal fraud in your stores?These could include the ability to rapidly detect discrepancies in cash in the tills, additional checks on sensitive operations such as refunds, etc.
  9. Can you easily analyze key performance indicators such as product turnover, the profitability of the sales channels, or the Lifetime Value (LTV) of your customers by segment?*
  10. Considering all the information that you have supplied above, how well prepared would you say your business is to compete in the marketplace in comparison to your competitors?*

Prepare your ERP implementation

ERP solutions have been created to strengthen your business by gathering all your processes in one unique information system. However, statistics show that an important number of ERP implementation project fail or face difficulties. Whether it is due to a resistance from the end users or simply because of a bad organisation of the project, these problems can be anticipated to avoid the nightmare that can be ERP implementation if it is not properly managed. Preparation is the most important part in order to reduce risks, expenses and business disruption, and above all to ensure ERP project success. This article will help you to prepare the big change that implies implementing an ERP.

Define your business process and reports

Before to consider a management solution for your business, you need to have a clear vision about the company’s processes. Start by identifying and describing all your processes within your company and with your shareholders, and also, the flows that data are following. This step will help you to visualize your entire business, and will allow you to realise what is not efficient or what could be modified in order to make your organisation more operational.
Then, consider all reports you are currently getting with your legacy system or your different softwares implemented in your company, and build a list of those you really need and which data would be beneficial to get an optimised management.

Set your ERP expectations

Choosing to implement an ERP in a company has to be thought cleverly. You need to define objectives you want to reach with this new management system. Ask yourself simple questions such as: “Why it will help the organization?” or “What do I expect of a new ERP solution?”. The objectives of your business need to be clear in your mind to be sure the ERP system you will get will help you to reach them.

Then, set a lists of requirements, regarding the functions you will need to manage your business efficiently. This list is not exhaustive, you will maybe add some requirement by talking with the ERP integrator you chose about your objectives and your business processes. But, this draft will help you to proceed to your first searches to determine which ERP solution will suit your need.

Once you get a concrete idea about which ERP solution would be the most beneficial for your business you will need to find an integrator. Do not hesitate to ask the software editor to recommend to you one of their partner. You need to be sure that the ERP integrator you will choose understand the problematics of your business and your industry. Request a demo of the platform, and set a meeting to talk with the ERP integrator about your requirements and their expertise.

Check your data

Before to start the integration project, all the data available in your organization need to be cleaned and checked. Have a look which data are needed, and look for errors or duplicates. It will then be easier to integrate them into the new system, and to be sure that errors will not be made in the future.

Build the ERP project team

When building your team, make sure you involve organizational leaders. These leaders will support the project and help end users to understand the change, and why it is important for the company. The best team you get, the more chance you have you will not face resistance from the end users, and so, that the project will be a success.

To complete your ERP integration, you will need to choose at least one Key user. Their role is essential for the succeed of the project. Choose carefully who will be responsible and proficient enough to manage this aspect.

Budgeting and Planning your ERP project

Integrating an ERP solution will generate a high investment for your company. You need to properly budget the project to ensure it will not have to be aborted due to a lack of liquidity. It is also important for you to fully understand the cost of the integration and what is included in the price, so, what you are paying for (Find out more: Understanding ERP implementation costs). The total cost of the project will not be spend in once, and it is important to know resources that will be required all along the project. Do not forget to plan a sufficient budget for the trainings, knowing that the ability of the end users to use the ERP will determine the success of the implementation.

With your team, organize a kick start meeting to plan all elements of the ERP integration process. Have a look on our article about the ERP integration process to help you to schedule all steps your ERP project should follow.

Integrate ERP users into the project

End users need to be convince of the necessity of implementing a new ERP solution. Before starting the project, it is essential to communicate about it, and it would be good to ask end users what they are thinking about the legacy system, what can be improve, and what would help them with their work. Doing this small survey will give you an insight about how the company is working, and can highlight important failures that need to be solved with the new system. It is essential to take into account comments end users are making, especially during the ERP testing, it shows what can still be improve, and avoid some problems once the system goes live.

Communicate is a must to succeed an ERP project

To conduct a project efficiently, having a good communication is essential. You need to explain to the different stakeholders of the project why the old system is not efficient anymore, and what they will get from the new system. The main idea behind communication is to avoid the creation of a group of resistants to the project, by reducing the risk this new management solution represents for them. Two main risks perceived by end users need to be erased: first the risk the ERP will do the work done by the end user. You need to be clear that the ERP is not integrated to do the job of employees but to help them to be more productive by simplifying the processes. Secondly, some employees can be afraid to not have the abilities to work on this new system because of their limited computer literacy. Explain them that trainings will be done to help them to understand the new system.

Communication must be done all along the project, to be sure people will be familiarized with the solution, and will support its integration.