Report • 14.02.2009

Flexible Software: Everything from a single source

The whole IT infrastructure depends on intelligent software - supplied from major global providers or retail specialists. More and more hardware providers are turning into system houses which offer complete software and support solutions. ERP Software controls operating equipment, Business Intelligence provides analysis and strategy support, and CRM programs consolidate customer loyalty and provide the basis of customer cards or couponing. The inventory management system is an indispensable link in supply chain management - the interface between suppliers and the shelves. In order to prevent items from going out of stock, prognosis software is available, in addition to automatic ordering systems. Sales and proceeds can then be controlled through strategic price optimisation. In light of tight retail margins, personnel costs carry particular importance.
 

ERP – Complete Operating Equipment Control

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has long been a programmer’s domain. Through this, an ever-increasing number of self-developed retail systems are being replaced by standard software which is adapted to the specific requirements of each case. This is known as customizing. The advantage: More users meet the costs of ongoing revisions in light of new legal or economic requirements, whilst retail centres hope for a smaller IT department. Nevertheless, changeovers are a deep incision into the company's own structure. In addition to this, the standard programs developed for large companies are not always scaleable enough to ensure that they can be adapted to small and medium sized entities. Standard software offers a range of versions for the different sectors.
For the retail branch, Oracle, SAP and Aldata are the main suppliers. CSB, SoftM and the Move Retail cooperation offer software exclusively for the retail sector and consumer goods manufacturers.

Databases, programming languages, security architecture, operating systems – in all these areas, ERP software must be adapted to the company. Meanwhile, retail companies are constantly changing: mergers and take-overs, holdings and subsidiaries, ERP must be able to cover complete corporate structures. Edeka, for instance, decided to change the stock control system for its discounter Netto to the 'Gold' software by Aldata. After taking over branches formerly pertaining to the Plus chain, Netto must face a triple increase in sales figures.

Ulrich Müller, IT Manager at Euronics, emphasises just how important it is to have detailed specifications and an exact process analysis at the very beginning of software introduction procedures. Several hundred processes were described in great detail within the confederation before software and suppliers were selected. The resulting contract with the system houses chosen to implement the project was established at a fixed price, stated Müller at a meeting for the confederation's SAP user group in October.

More and more providers are developing web-based products which present the user interface in a browser window. This enables suppliers and customers to be directly included in business processes. In the store, this means that manufacturers of a wide range of products from muesli and make-up to music CDs are given access to the central warehouses and even to individual sales receipts. They assume responsibility for goods replenishment and in return, obtain valuable insights for their own market research.
 

Software in Stock Control

An endless series of data is accrued throughout the whole delivery chain. As far as possible, such data should be prepared automatically in order to ensure that those responsible can use the PC to quickly identify where bottlenecks occur within the logistics chain, where there is a threat of items becoming out of stock, and when replenishment supplies can be expected. The movement of goods is particularly high in the food retailing sector. Here, demand not only fluctuates depending on the season, but often also even daily, depending on the weather. And to top matters, many products can only be preserved for a short time. In relation to this, support is offered by Advance Planning and Simulation. APS supports planning and improves the transparency of transport networks, whilst also promoting a uniform data flow across the whole company. Reducing the amount of security stock in inventories is not only an aim of foodstuff manufacturers. The management of remaining stock and returns is part of the supply chain and thus, stock control. Business Intelligence can support stock control. It links current and historical data and offers a range of analytical tools.
 

Planning Staff Allocation with Intelligent Software

The retail sector has already done a lot to reduce its costs. Nevertheless, the area of staff management still presents considerable potential without making service quality suffer in the process. This is known as Workforce Management (WM). In comparison to other branches, such as the automotive industry or banks and insurances, the use of specialised WM software is yet to take hold in Germany's retail sector.

Given that personnel management has to accommodate so many variables, this is the perfect domain for intelligent software. Alongside legal regulations such as those established by the collective bargaining law and contractual stipulations, a range of other factors must be considered, including budget allowances, working-time accounts and the various wishes of staff members concerning when they want to work. If an employer listens and reacts to such wishes, employees will be happier with higher levels of motivation. If companies make allowances for nurseries, schools or car pools, they will consolidate their public reputation. Simply having a plan that adheres to regulations is not enough. It must also be balanced in order to meet the real requirements as much as possible. If personnel numbers are reduced too much, service quality, and subsequently, sales figures will sink. Whilst industry only organises shift operation, the retail sector offers long opening hours and branches with a range of different staff compositions. The retail sector cannot transfer its locations to cheaper places abroad.

With real time evaluation and online consolidation of branches, WM software providers promise the full transparency of all data. This includes the evaluation of sales figures, customer frequency and the number of sales receipts. Coupled with the use of effective prognosis software to calculate the influence of long weekends, holidays or the weather on sales and thus on personnel requirements, such measures would enable a retail company to react to changes much faster than its competition.

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Touchless Feedback
16.03.2021   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

Touchless Feedback

The Wall Street Journal published an article about Instant Feedback ‘Smiley’ Buttons

The Wall Street Journal, after interviewing our co-founder and Executive VP of Strategic Alliances, Ville Levaniemi, published an article titled “Instant Feedback ‘Smiley’ Buttons Go Touchless in Pandemic”. The article ...

Thumbnail-Photo: FinTech IoT platform for self-service financial transactions...
25.02.2021   #cash management #cash handling systems

FinTech IoT platform for self-service financial transactions

PayComplete, the new cash handling brand from SUZOHAPP, announces global launch

PayComplete, the new brand and identity of the cash handling division of SUZOHAPP announced its launch today. This new brand will invest in what is an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for broader financial transactions, running both on ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Automated grocery PickUp kiosk for contactless grocery service...
11.01.2021   #coronavirus #food retail

Automated grocery PickUp kiosk for contactless grocery service

Albertsons Companies debuts kiosk at Jewel-Osco store in Chicago

Albertsons Companies announced that it is the first American grocer to pilot an automated and contactless grocery PickUp kiosk. The kiosk, located at one of its Jewel-Osco stores in Chicago, demonstrates continued expansion of the company’s ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Checkout-free hotel convenience store in Yokohama, Japan...
17.02.2021   #self-checkout systems #self service

Checkout-free hotel convenience store in Yokohama, Japan

Using biometric authentication technology

Zippin announced the launch of its latest retail format: a hotel convenience store. Zippin's partner, Fujitsu, the leading systems integrator in Japan, has worked with Koyo Group to implement the world's first checkout-free store within a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: BAUHAUS introduces new click and collect technology...
10.03.2021   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #price labelling

BAUHAUS introduces new click and collect technology

New solution helps store associates pick items for Click & Collect orders

With help from electronic shelf labels and handheld terminals, it has become much faster and easier for BAUHAUS to navigate through the store to find the right items. A new solution that also saves a lot of time on replenishment.With a product range ...

Thumbnail-Photo: More than 400 Danish Coop Stores Now with Electronic Shelf Labels...
29.01.2021   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #price labelling

More than 400 Danish Coop Stores Now with Electronic Shelf Labels

Back in 2010, the first Coop store implemented electronic shelf labels from the IT company, Delfi Technologies.

Store no. 400 became Irma at Islands Brygge in Copenhagen, which has undergone a major renovation project, where investments have been made into several initiatives to improve the shopping experience – this includes electronic shelf ...

Thumbnail-Photo: RISE Spotlight - Digital Signage: New Solutions for a New Era...
30.03.2021   #digital signage #event

RISE Spotlight - Digital Signage: New Solutions for a New Era

Digital event on 13 April 2021 from 15:00 to 17:00 CET (14:00 – 16:00 GMT)

RISE Spotlight is a monthly series of free-to-attend digital events, highlighting key ISE technology areas. Produced in partnership with TNW, they feature global subject experts, technology entrepreneurs and start-ups. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Klarna starts cooperation with Verifone
23.12.2020   #digitization #self-checkout systems

Klarna starts cooperation with Verifone

The idea: a shopping experience in stores that is unique worldwide

Klarna, the leading global payments and shopping service, announces a strategic partnership with Verifone, a global leader in payments and commerce solutions, that will make Klarna available as the first-ever buy now pay later solution to millions ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The Citizen CT-E651L :  two-in-one label and receipt printing...
04.03.2021   #printers #label printers

The Citizen CT-E651L : two-in-one label and receipt printing

Compact, dynamic and stylish design with outstanding connectivity

Say goodbye to manning separate printing solutions for label and POS as global specialist printer manufacturer, Citizen Systems, announces the all-new CT-E651L label and POS printer. Derived from the successful CT-E651 POS printer, the CT-E651L is a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Hobbii has knitted a huge business together
01.04.2021   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #electric displays

Hobbii has knitted a huge business together

The enormous growth has been possible because Hobbii has chosen technology that supports the processes in the warehouse and in the stores.

The yarn company Hobbii is Denmark's fastest-growing company. In a very short time, they have managed to create a huge business that is supported by modern technology and efficient work processes when handling the expected 1.5 million orders in ...

Supplier

Elo Touch Solutions (Belgium) NV
Elo Touch Solutions (Belgium) NV
Wingepark 5B / 301
3011 Rotselaar
HappyOrNot
HappyOrNot
Innere Kanalstraße 15
40476 Düsseldorf
GMO Registry, Inc.
GMO Registry, Inc.
Cerulean Tower, 26-1 / Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku,
150-8512 Tokyo
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn
Axis Communications GmbH
Axis Communications GmbH
Adalperostraße 86
85737 Ismaning
EuroShop
EuroShop
Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
40474 Düsseldorf
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Otto-Hirsch-Brücken 17
70329 Stuttgart
CCV GmbH
CCV GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen