In the changing business environment, successful IT implementation plays a crucial role in the success and growth of a retail business. Right implementation of a retail business management software is the most important pre-requisite to enjoy the benefits of computerization. This white paper explains the current industry practice and the challenges in implementation and go on to propose a simple and effective implementation methodology.
The purpose of this white paper is to share our views on what a retailer must consider before deciding on the simple and effective implementation methodology for his retail business. We hope this white paper helps retailers in deciding on the same. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome and please send the same to email@example.com
There are multiple implementation scenario depending on whether the business is a new one or an existing one, whether the business is computerizing for the first time or changing the software, whether there is a change in nature of business or not etc. It is important that these are considered while planning the implementation
Comments / Remarks
|Is it a new business or a existing business
|New business can start with entering all data related to the business. Existing business require business continuity and does not require all data in the computer from the day of starting operations
|In case of existing business, is it getting computerized the first time or is there a change in the business management tool
|First time computerization is always easier then changing the software in a already computerized business. One of the significant consideration when business changes the business management tool is the (re)training cost and the impact of new tool on business
|Are there changes in business processes (or) nature of business planned as part of computerization ?
|When a business implements computerization and also plans changes in business processes/nature of business [like a departmental store becoming supermarket], the implementation complexity may be more
Current Industry Practice - Implementing Software first time in existing business
We will look at how the retail business management software is implemented in an existing business where the business is computerized for the first time. Almost every retailer goes for opening stock entry method of implementation. A brief overview of the method is explained below with the help of figure 1
In the opening stock entry method of implementation, the retail business starts with entering the stock details for the stock available at the time of computerization. While the business owner and staff focus on business, they hire additional man power to enter the stock details for the stock available in the business. To carry out the implementation successfully, the following considerations / practices are a must
As we can see from the above process steps, it is very tedious and error-prone to implement. This process of implementation increases the work-load of the retail business operator by 4-5 times and poses serious threat to Customer service. Incorrect implementation of software using above method can cause irreparable damage to the business
Retailers who start with opening stock entry method of implementation reach the conclusion that their business is unique and inventory cannot be managed with computer. This results in very poor utilization of their investment on computerization and they start using the computer as a billing machine
Bill and Reconcile Method of Implementation
The new approach recommended by GoFrugal is the bill and reconcile method of implementation. This implementation method allows the retail business to continue its focus on its core business while introducing and integrating the business management tool as part of its life. In fact, the tool improves quality of Customer service at the time of implementation itself resulting in positive effect on Customer satisfaction and long term business prospects.
The bill and reconcile method of implementation is explained with the help of figure 2 below
As you can see from the above, the bill and reconcile implementation process is hassle free and much easier way of implementation. Above all, the implementation can be done as you do your business and there is no need to rush with the same. Also, you can start managing the fast moving products using the business management tool very quickly and the slow moving / non-moving products can be brought in at your own pace...
Quick Glance - Bill & Reconcile Vs Opening Stock Entry Method
|Instant Gratification : Start using computer to manage your business right from the moment software is installed and configured
|Focus on business improvement instead of managing the induction of business management tool
|Get manageability based on the products role in my business i.e. ability to manage fast moving products first and slow moving products later [80% benefits quickly]
|Easy learning of business management tool as the tool usage is in line with your priorities i.e. focus on sales and reorder / replenishment of fast moving products
|Ease of implementation without introducing too much operational planning & finesse of execution
|Gives a new insight / perspective into your business. As you start working with the identification of non-transacted product, the number and value of stock of these products hits you on the face
|Easy to synchronize physical inventory with computer inventory. This lets you use reorder / replenishment and other stock details based reports and intelligence available in the business management tool
|Confidence that irrespective of nature of your business and volume of transactions done, you can still manage inventory with the computer and can benefit from business management and business intelligence tools. This is very important for the implementation of trade collaboration, web commerce and mobile commerce tools implementation