How can retail companies better
manage their processes?

Opinion article by Nuno Figueiredo, Board Member, Sales & Marketing at Abaco Consulting, for HiperSuper: [PT Only]

Currently, innovating and being able to do things differently are the watchwords for any company that wants to survive and develop in the current market, regardless of its sector of activity. In this sense, in the face of an increasingly competitive market, it is urgent for organizations to differentiate themselves from their competition, but without ever losing sight of the growth of their business and the provision of an excellent service to their Customers.

Consumer goods companies, like retailers, increasingly feel the need to reinvent their business in order to stay competitive and keep up with current market trends and requirements. This growing concern is mainly due to changes in society’s behavior towards consumption, excess production capacity, as well as pressure on margins and a greater focus on the customer and their respective interests.

Thus, it became essential to know not only the Customer, but also their consumption habits, in order to be able to direct the product and offers to the right target audience and, consequently, increase sales and margins. your business.

With the growing competitiveness and demand of the sector, taking advantage of data as a decision-making tool is essential to find solutions to more complex issues and, at the same time, increase the efficiency of the organization. And that is precisely what ERP offers. This assumes itself as an information aggregating tool that has evolved over the past few years. Currently, they are more modern, more versatile, multifaceted and allow collaboration and ease of use through the mobility of Social Media tools and even more traditional platforms. On the other hand, they increasingly provide intuitive reporting tools, given the advances in compression, storage and use of the amount of available memory, while the computational distribution allows for real-time processing as well as analysis deeper understanding of data sources, both internal and external.

On the other hand, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence mechanisms are also complementary to this technology to draw user profiles and make predictions of enormous accuracy on the behavior of their customers, using casual data resulting from web browsing, for example. Thus, the correct analysis and interpretation of data provides organizations with a set of valuable insights for the development of their business, with the capacity to reduce risks and define their strategy more rigorously. The deeper the understanding of an organization’s data, the greater and more accurate its impact on decisions, which benefits the relationship with the final consumer and internal processes.

As a consequence of the accelerated pace of the evolution of requirements and interactions with customers, there is a visible pressure for retailers to adapt new strategies to their business. This objective is only possible through the adoption of ERP tools, which allow analyzing large volumes of data, at a speed never before imagined, allowing organizations to obtain relevant data for timely management, improving and making processes more reliable decision-making.

This information is therefore essential to create personalized offers for customers, or even to foresee market trends and work on the value proposition to respond to those same needs. By being aware of the real needs of their customers, it is possible to create a personalized offer, creating a closer relationship with them. Predicting consumer trends in advance allows you to improve the entire supply chain of an organization, maximizing by itself all aspects of the business, such as reducing stock levels and eliminating unnecessary stock and analyzing and executing various scenarios of prices in millions or billions of products in various dimensions to support “markdowns”, promotions and regular pricing strategies.

On the other hand, internally, through a modern management system, which covers different situations, retail companies will be able to clearly optimize their operations, reduce costs and bet on differentiation and diversification, thus increasing service levels and reducing resources.

In this context, the winning companies in the retail battle will be those that better and faster anticipate these new habits, creating experiences and offers that invoke and reinforce them. Retailers who today have the ability to grow and innovate from customer data are most certainly those who, in the future, will be able to launch and test new concepts and ideas more quickly. They will be the ones who will be most able to satisfy the needs of customer X or deliver, in an efficient and irreproachable manner, the goods to customer Y. And, as such, they will be the most successful.


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