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Advanced End-to-End Retail Solutions – Retail 360

Written by LS Retail | 20 October 2014

Many books and articles have been written about ‘what is retail’. One thing that we can read is that retailers purchase and sell. This goes not only for the retail industry but for sure it is a fundamental part of it. We could say that the retail process of creating revenue starts with a purchase and ends with a sale. We could call it a start to end process. But actually we call it an end-to-end process. The reason is that it does not stop at the end. After the sale, the process goes back to the purchase, from there to the sale and so on. If we draw it as a picture, it is not a line with start and end but a circle, endless, end-to-end. Some retailers use separate solutions for purchase and sales. Even if the business process is end-to-end their solutions are not, so there is a gap. Sometimes it is closed with an interface. Some other retailers are using integrated solutions, purchase and sales in one solution. Here we can find a better match between the business process and the solution, it is already a simple end-to-end solution. So much about creating revenue, but the goal of most business is to create profit and, furthermore to increase the profit. Retailers have different options to increase the profit. On one side they can sell more or for a higher price. Here, advanced end-to-end solutions can help. They come with fully integrated omni-channel retail, member management, multimedia support, staff commission and much more. But to put 100% focus on this side of profit increase is risky. Here is an example why: In Germany we see new web-shops selling wine starting almost each week. Only the market is more or less saturated. There is no shift in social class so that more people can afford wine. Good wine up to the level of Barolo is available in all supermarkets and even at discount stores. Existing wine web-stores have more experience, an existing customer base and the vendor connections. Even the best web-store solution cannot help newcomers, so most of are destined to risk failure. The other side of increasing profit is to reduce costs. On this side we can see lots of possibilities. Advanced end-to-end retail solutions address cost reduction with modern replenishment methods, demand forecasting, vendor management, staff management, loss prevention and so on. With an advanced end-to-end retail solution a retailer gets a system that helps his business all around – 360° - to make him more successful. Written by Joerg Schmikale, Senior Consultant LS Retail