Lessons from the Retail Industry

By: Avaap
Date: April 20, 2015

Avaap for FashionRetail industry executives gathered at the 7th annual Apparel West conference to preview technology solutions that transform and automate critical business operations. Avaap was on the show floor and a common theme heard from attendees is the challenge to maintain a balance between legacy systems to keep the business running and investing in solutions that create innovative customer experiences.

“Consistent change in inventories due to seasonality and new styles makes it challenging to rely on information provided by legacy systems,” said Avaap Vice President Amar Kulkarni. “Remaining competitive requires retailers to stay ahead of trends and deliver outstanding customer experiences. This demands access to accurate inventory information, customer purchase behavior, and the ability to connect the two. Avaap offers solutions to these challenges through our experience in implementing Infor Business Intelligence dashboards to provide real time, KPI-based information to monitor and plan inventory changes.”

While prioritizing customer customer-facing programs over investments in infrastructure may seem the fastest path to a competitive edge, it may be shortsighted, preventing organizations from reaching future goals. ERP plays an increasing role in delivering outstanding customer experiences and streamlining interactions with customers and suppliers. To improve the front of the house, IT leaders need to look at what’s happening in the back office.

Regardless of industry, businesses can take heed from the fashion and retail industries:

Tap into an out with the old, in with the new mindset. Just like fashions change, so does what happens in the IT department. Legacy ERP solutions cannot keep pace with modern requirements for social, mobile and big data. Retailers can go beyond competing on price to delivering value through personalized interactions and real-time access to information. Upgrading to the latest version delivers access to functionality improvements and enhancements that help organizations deeply collaborate with customers, advance the business and get more from their enterprise solutions.

How you accessorize can make a dramatic difference.  The fashionization of technology isn’t just for consumers. The right accessories can also make a dramatic difference for the enterprise.  A smooth upgrade requires the right resources and tools to minimize business disruption and shorten the time to value. Solutions that accelerate the upgrade schedule, whether through automating repetitive installation tasks or system test processes, can streamline the upgrade process and lower costs. Adding speed and agility to the upgrade also helps IT staff return to more value-added activities that impact bottom line performance.

The right partnerships matter. Brands rely on the collaborative partnerships to improve how products are made from working with innovative designers to improving material sourcing and manufacturing capabilities. As organizations grow, these partnerships become crucial. In the IT department, partnerships such as with managed services providers can reduce complexity, bring flexibility and help organizations ensure as much uptime as possible as they expand.

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