IHNSA-Integrated Retail operations and enhanced customer Service with iVend Retail

COMPANY : IHNSA

Country: Mexico
Industry : Capital goods and spares

Supplies and Tools of North (IHNSA) was founded in 1998 with its headquarters in Cuauhtemoc City, Chihuahua, North of Mexico. The company sells hand-held machine tools, industrial tools like welding machines, and is also invested significantly in the metal engineering industry. Another arm of the company has its focus on agricultural supplies and instruments. IHNSA also supplies input material to the automotive industries in northern Mexico.

IHNSA currently has a head office and four branches; three of them located in Chihuahua and one in Durango. The opening of the latest branch has been one of the most important achievements of the Company. Over time IHNSA has involved itself deeply in innovation and better offerings to their current
customers, thereby differentiating itself from the competition.

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Challenges

The company’s biggest problem was the lack of synchronization of reports & documents between branches and head office. The management reported that documents were not replicating in time, and there were errors in the derived information.

Lack of data synchronisation between outlets. If a customer bought an article at one store, it was not possible to return it at another store of the company. Also, the company’s software at that time was unable to deliver invoices to the customer because of synchronization delay and other related technological
roadblocks.

Solution

iVend Retail, iVend Loyalty and iVend Passes with SAP Business One

Benefits :

  • Integrated Data Management lead to reliable functionality and easy-to-use interface
  • On-time data and report availability
  • Overall Faster decision-making process
  • On-time data and report availability
  • Better understanding of customer buying preferences
  • Efficient accounting and finance

“IHNSA’s business evolves on the internal management of its business processes and the company has found in iVend Retail the ideal platform for growth and customer satisfaction”

David Peterson, CIO, IHNSA

Merchandise Hierarchy in the age of Cloud

Merchandise Hierarchy in the age of Cloud

Traditionally in retail, merchandising refers to the selection of products a retailer has available for sale and how those products are displayed in-store. And with retailers aspiring to cater to the modern customer, merchandise hierarchy is an essential element in any modern enterprise retail management software.

Every retail organisation, regardless of its size, has a merchandise hierarchy for all the goods. A merchandise hierarchy is a reporting structure under which sales and inventories of products are tracked and managed. Essentially, categorisation of products is the primary function of the enterprise retail solution’s merchandise hierarchy. As common misconceptions go, it is NOT intended to describe a product or classify organisational, production or design elements.

And with retailers eying Cloud applications for management solutions, merchandise hierarchy is one of the servicesMerchandise Hierarchy that can be powered to give even more freedom and agility for the store.

A retail merchandise hierarchy can have flexible or multiple levels, with the highest level providing an overall enterprise view. Then, subsequent hierarchies narrow down the family or class of the product. It provides a common language and consistent codes at each hierarchical level, and ensures that the retailer’s merchandise resides systematically in one place and is grouped based on similar form, format and purpose. And when that place is the Cloud, it lends agility and savings for the retailer.

With an effective, Cloud-based automated merchandise hierarchy in an Enterprise Class Retail management solution, users can:

  • Define multiple merchandise hierarchies in the system, and have it ‘trickle’ down to all the stores automatically
  • Attach more than one merchandise hierarchy to individual products
  • Top-down reporting at all merchandise hierarchy levels; thereby saving man-hours and leading to effective resource management
  • Hierarchical classification of products allows customisation of reports and evaluation, to address specific needs of retail businesses or the overall enterprise.

Advantage: Retailer

By incorporating automated merchandise hierarchy, a retailer benefits through better visibility and performance, understanding of customer demands, and more effective merchandise and sales planning. The main advantage of merchandise hierarchy is that it lend to well-calibrated sales forecasting. With careful planning and analytics, retailers can get to know which are fast-moving consumer goods, and avert ‘stock-outs’. Conversely, it also allows the retailer to know which are slow-moving goods, and reduce inventory to save time, space and money. With the top-down reporting, it becomes even easier for the retailer to get actionable insights.

Also, merchandise hierarchy, along with data insights, can reveal which item sells with what, so that the items can be ‘bundled’ to give greater value to the customers, while increasing the basket size for the retailer. In the end, it’s a win-win situation for both the customer and the retailer.

A retailer with well-structured merchandise classification has a complete view of products across multiple levels and is able to drill down and analyse data in a variety of ways suitable to their specific business requirements. And with Cloud agility, a retailer is not bound by any infrastructural hindrance of traditional IT set-ups as it lends a unified view of merchandise operations.

The benefits are also reflected in better integration with supply chain partners, and improved coordination between retail planning and production, which in turn leads to a reduction in production costs and inventory requirements.

With Merchandise Hierarchy, a retailer gets:

  • Deep insights into historical merchandise performance
  • Forecasted projection of future merchandise performance
  • With flexible or multiple merchandise hierarchy, a retailer can take advantage of seasonal sales, trends, festivals and the like.

Merchandise Hierarchy enables retailers to boost sales, increase margins and reduce inventory costs by improving performance and efficiency of their allocation, store-replenishment planning, and buying functions. iVend Retail on Cloud helps its clients achieve success through its integrated suite for merchandising hierarchy, assortment, store planning, and replenishment applications.

iVend’s integrated merchandise management also provides retailers with accurate information from purchase to payment. iVend Retail on Cloud from CitiXsys Inc, accomplishes everything that a flexible merchandise hierarchy system requires it to do and, as a true multichannel-ready Cloud application suite, addresses all retail touch-points such as front-end POS operations, inventory, merchandise hierarchy, customer loyalty, data and analytics, eCommerce/ mCommerce, and reports, in one suite of applications.

Retail in 2015, and Beyond

Retail in 2015, and Beyond

As always, technology would be a major contributor in reducing the gap between manufacturers and consumers. But the major trend is around the retailers’ acceptance of what has been launched previously. That, will be the face of retail technology in 2015. Whether it is contact-less payment options, chip-card standardization, or virtual stores, the consumer will be engaging with the retailer like never before.

The usage of smartphones has opened the doors to newer ways to transact through embedded technology, NFC devices (Near Field Communications) etc., which can be used in contact-less payment systems like Google Wallet and now, Apple Pay. Also, online transactions, virtual payments hDownload iVend Cloud Whitepapaerave gained edge as popularity of non-cash payments has grown as people make the shift towards cashless digital transactions.

By 2020, customers will certainly be using their smartphones and mobile devices to pay for a wide range of goods and services in this way. When the consumer has embraced the mobile (and how!), it would be retrograde for the retailer not to do the same. From contact-less payment acceptance, to beacons to the mass-acceptance of the Mobile POS, it has become imperative for the retailer to reach out to the customer via the mobile.

In an extension of the retailer using mobile technology as a bridge to reach out to the customer, beacons will play an instrumental role. Simply put, this enables the retailer to literally ‘guide’ the customer around the store, down the aisles, right up to the product, all using a Cloud based retail management system. And ping him with a discount coupon on the way, along with an upsell item of interest (which would be gleaned from his historical purchase data!).

Secondly, this year will also see retail integrations in a big way. Gone are the days when retailers picked the best individual application for merchandise hierarchy, a separate one for inventory management, and yet another one for transactions at the point of sale . The flip side was, despite doing their jobs well, these units failed to serve the company as a single integrated unit as all the processes churned out data in siloes.

The need, therefore is of an application that integrates all retail processes into one , a single all-inclusive ‘suite’ of retail management applications, which would be on virtual servers (and therefore, reducing the IT spend of the retailer). And the answer to it all is the Cloud. This technology can reduce a retailer’s IT spend to a fraction, quadruples the dependability and provides fail-safe operations like nothing else. Plus, hybrid Cloud systems provide greater control over retail operations, while keeping costs low.

2015 will also be the year when customers will want loyalty to be an integral part of the retailer. He or she should be able to check his loyalty point balance on the move from his tablet or phone, and the retailer should have provided a loyalty portal to indulge the former.

Conversely, the POS operator should also be able to access a customer’s historical purchase data, loyalty points and make a smart upsell without hassles. A customer having a loyalty account with a retailer provides a very valuable mode of communication, where he or she allows the retailers to contact the person with early-bird offers and value-additions. Either way, having a loyalty system as a component of your Integrated Business Management multichannel retail setup will make this part of customer retention more efficient and less labor-intensive.

Over the years, we have seen more and more physical retail businesses opening e-stores. This means they need well-designed e-commerce systems, new methods of merchant credit card processing, and better visual marketing. Security is also a major concern for many businesses with an electronic footprint. A Cloud-based Retail management suite can seamlessly integrate with your Retail application, managing your retail chain as well as your vendor platform over the Internet.

With such uninhibited influx of technology and data from distinct sources, what a retailer needs is an Integrated Retail Management Solution with a robust back-end enterprise which can work in tandem. This would have the capability to can ease the challenges in retail processes, along with providing clear visibility through the entire supply chain. To maintain the customer service provided in the retail market, it is an imperative to adopt retail management solution that easily runs simultaneous operations.

Essentially, what a retailer needs is a one-stop solution for his retail management needs, which is Cloud-capable and which can integrate all retail functions into a seamless whole. Available on terminal and mobile devices, iVend Cloud-based retail management suite’s multi-store, multi-user, e-commerce, loyalty-ready abilities empower retailers to engage with consumers on an entirely new level. With iVend Retail on Cloud, enterprise retailers can look beyond disparate software solutions and achieve optimum profitability.

Know more about iVend Cloud on http://www.citixsys.com/ivend-cloud/ or write to us on sales@citixsys.com

Elevating efficiency through technology

COMPANY : PT Mitra Buana Elok

Country: Jakarta, Indonesia
Industry : Beauty and Make-Up

Started in 2014, PT Mitra Buana Elok, the main distributor of Beyond Beauty products in Jakarta, is one of the newest entrants in beauty business in Jakarta, Indonesia. The company sells cosmetics with the Beyond brand name (originally from South Korea) and provides one of the largest ranges of makeup and skin care in Indonesia. PT Mitra Buana Elok, or also known as MBE, was established in February, 2014, and they are the biggest distributors of Beyond Beauty. Sheila Lesmana of PT Mitra Buana Elok, says that, “The founder Mr. Yanto also has other companies in other ventures (textile manufacturing, agriculture, etc).”

Currently, the retailer has seven stores in various areas (such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, etc); and next year, they plan to open another 10 branches.Pt mitra buana- citixsys

Challenges

The company spokesperson Sheila said that they needed an effective solution to their business needs. It was important that all stock and sales data across all stores was noted accurately to enable them to coordinate efficiently. Another issue that the company was facing was getting reports. The retail suite should have the capability to generate meaningful reports and offer analytics for the management.

Solution

iVend Retail, iVend Loyalty with SAP Business One

Benefits :

  • Reliable functionality and easy to use interface
  • Integrated Data Management
  • Faster decision making process
  • On-time data and report availability
  • Better understanding of customer buying preferences
  • Improved analysis and control
  • Efficient accounting & finance
  • Help stay connected with customers via iVend Passes
  • Integrated Loyalty for reward management

“Business is growing, and iVend Retail with SAP is a good decision for furthering expansion. iVend Retail seamlessly integrates with SAP Business One, hence is a natural choice for PT Mitra Buana Elok. Overall, we are satisfied with the efficiency of iVend Retail Application.”

Sheila Lesmana, PT Mitra Buana Elok

Retail Moving on Cloud

Retail Moving on Cloud

In the business of Technologically Transforming Retail Landscapes, CitiXsys Technologies has been involved in bringing valuable content to Blog-image-for-Citixsys_Bottom_300X300readers for some years now. This white paper is intended for all who have experienced, observed and appreciate the value of Modern Retail Technology, Integrated Store experience and are keenly looking forward to commit to the concept of Cloud in Retail.

Modern Day Retail stores must offer shopper’s seamless Retail experiences, something that can’t be experienced online, to become preferred destinations. On the other hand retailers need to re-examine their strategy to provide a seamless experience across the entire customer-buying journey by diminishing the boundaries between online and physical world.
Download our Whitepaper on Cloud to know how cloud can transform retail operations and bring plenty of benefits to a retail organization.

Retailers have long set out on the journey to innovate realizing the absolute necessity of being truly seamless – maximizing the power and promise of technology across all channels, and across the Retail enterprise. But where should a retailer focus and how can a he quickly move from what’s now to what’s next?

Primarily retailers’ focus on efforts to build a competitive edge for the future by going interoperable and seamless across all channels.

Progression towards this path will be truly seamless set of systems, the business and IT will support continual adaptation, the digital experience will be supported by analytics and scalable IT, and the in-store experience will be integrated with digital channels.

Cloud applications for retail, scalability delivered as-a-service, makes this distant dream possible. Retailers’ can now meet time-pressed, on-the go and digitally connected consumers during their entire retail cycle of stepping into the store to the checkout. Currently, cloud applications are effective tools for retailers to build capabilities fast enough to hold the attention of consumers. Read More…

PT Putra Gemilang streamlines their Retail operations for increased profitability by adopting iVend Retail and SAP Business One

COMPANY : PT Putra Gemilang Prima

Country: Indonesia

Industry : Building Material

Only a few modern retail stores in Indonesia selling building materials place their customer’s comfort and shopping convenience as top priority. Our customer Gemilang group were always focused on creating great buying experiences and hence engage with customers. Gemilang group were innovators to bring the concept of convenience retailing among hardware vendors, and industry known for rugged retailing.

Established in 1975 in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Gemilang’s outlets always stand out among competition with their customers speaking positive about them. Gemilang’s objective has been to make shopping convenient for customers. Each of their outlet is conceptualized with availability and access to an ATM center, minimarket, coffee shop and food stall and a kids play ground, so that children could engage in play activities while their parent’s shop.Gemilang

Challenges

Mr. Arya Iwanputra, owner of Putra Gemilang Prima, considers IT as the most crucial department in his enterprise. Gemilang group had aggressive expansion plans and wanted adequate inventory planning and resource optimization. To support their plans company needed a reliable and scalable IT system with automated business processes. Management at Gemilang wanted deeper strategic insights from their retail system for optimally managing inventory and purchase at their retail stores. However, Gemilang’s existing system was unable to deliver expected results to match with the company’s growth.

Solution

iVend Retail, iVend Loyalty with SAP Business One

Benefits :

  • Reliable functionality and easy to use interface
  • Integrated Data Management
  • Faster decision making process
  • On-time data and report availability
  • Better understanding of customer buying preferences
  • Efficient accounting & finance
  • Improved analysis and control

“Our system was primitive and could not accommodate our growth, a simple process such as report generation would consume enormous manual effort and had to be reprocessed again and again to derive metrics”

Arya Iwanputra, Owner of Putra Gemilang Prima

Go Online with an Integrated eCommerce Solution

Go Online with an Integrated eCommerce Solution

eCommerce portals are now a mainstream channel of sales for retail interactions offering new opportunities to augment revenue and get closer to customers. They act as important retail touch point to connect with business associates and customers’ to build a steady stream of revenue. In this issue of Retail insights we discuss the features that an Integrated eCommerce solution must have to suffice the demands of modern retail.Magazine

Traditional portal platforms come with a generic and loosely coupled integration with the retail ecosystem. A consulting engagement or a large development project is required to complete the integration. These and such projects often end up as a heap of functionality that is difficult to deploy and use.

On the other hand iVend eCommerce, an integral part of iVend Retail Management Suite reduces the need for a lengthy consulting engagement, allowing a retail enterprise to deliver results faster.

iVend eCommerce therefore significantly reduces the time to Market.

Download the Magazine to learn more about iVend eCommerce

Redbell – Great Online Shopping Experience with a Single Seamless Solution

COMPANY : Redbell Retail Pvt. Ltd.

Country: New Delhi, India

Industry : Multibrand Toy Store

Redbell is a multi-brand online toy store, helping parents find the best fit toys and gifts for kids. Housing more than 10,000 premium and best quality toys of over 200+ international brands, from the seasonal, most recommended, shopped, latest, hot deals and hard to find specialty toys, Redbell store has it all for children in the Age group of 0 to 14 years.

Be it Birthday, holiday, any special occasion, entertainment, learning and much more, Redbell has categorized their products well in order to help customers shopping effectively while saving their time to find the perfect toy. The client’s business model required a fully functional online toy store with integrated payment processors and shipping.

ChallengesDownload Case Study

Redbell was looking for an Online Store solution to develop an integrated, high volume e-commerce portal which could seamlessly integrate their product and transaction data with SAP Business One.

Their existing website could help them to only showcase their products and pricing, for further transactions and sales completion the company had to depend on tele – order. Disintegrated web portal and sales process often led to lost sales.

Solution

iVend eCommerce with SAP Business One

Benefits :

  • Easy to Use interface that works as expected and very comfortable to use with great site management features
  • Deliver a Great Mobile Buying Experience
  • Managing Products and Catalogs is easy by using the standard provided fields as an online retailer we can conveniently create product catalogs with various products
  • Application of Promotions, discounts and adding images, videos and sale prices to products is easy
  • Customers can quickly find products and create wish lists by selecting products in Categories / Brands or by using the shop-by filter
  • Search Engine Friendly for easy discovery
  • Enable seamless fulfillment and supply chain planning
  • Conduct integrated sales as a result of seamless integration with iVend Retail and SAP Business One
  • Ease of reporting and analysis of customer and order information to comprehend and optimize marketing, online sales, billing and customer support, returns management, shipping and product distribution logistics

“At Redbell we always wanted to impart our customers a great visually engaging shopping experience. With iVend ecommerce we have successfully combined a stimulating shopping experience with an advanced back-office management making online buying simple & convenient for our customers while more profitable for us.”

Naresh Tomar, Head of Operations, Redbell Retail Pvt. Ltd.

Inventory Management through handheld devices

Revised citixsys banner blog

iVend handheld enables the retail workforce to manage store inventory using a handheld device running Windows Mobile OS version 6.0 or 6.5. iVend handheld helps in efficient stock take and goods management . iVend Handheld has been designed to be intuitive and extremely efficient. The use of the iVend Handheld results in improved data accuracy, increased mobility, and convenience, thereby streamlining movement, counts and queries while reducing human errors.

As an Integrated module in the newly released iVend POS 6.2, it helps in streamlining retail inventory operations and stock take minimizing the human error percentage.

Automation of inventory stock take has helped retailers worldwide by reducing their man-hours spent in managing inventory and resolving errors. The seamless integration between iVend POS with handheld helps improve data integrity with up-to- the- minute tracking.

Other major benefits observed using a handheld device include:

Improve Inventory Accuracy to Reduce Data Entry Errors with Barcode scanning
Using barcode scanning rather than manual data entry to record transaction data improves data accuracy and reduces data entry time. Handheld devices increase productivity through reduced data entry and streamlined user time motion activities. They enable process automation, which increases throughput and decreases material cycle times.

Improve Transaction Accuracy with Real –Time Data Validationsmall image for ivend

Inventory accuracy improves two-fold through the reduction of data entry errors as well as the capability to identify inventory inaccuracies faster. Inventory accuracy techniques such as cycle counting are more efficient when performed with real -time barcode scanning capabilities.

The benefits of improved inventory accuracy include having the right material on hand when needed, optimizing replenishment and fulfillment plans, and decreasing the carrying costs of excess materials.

Reduce Latency Using Handheld Devices

Handheld devices enable users to enter transactions and perform inventory requests pertaining to goods and stocks in real time at the point of use. Transaction validation takes place online, identifying valid data immediately. Real -time inventory information improves the quality of supply chain collaboration, enables accurate requests for replenishment orders, and optimizes warehouse and supply site scheduling activities and resources.

Improve Worker Productivity

Accelerate Data Entry Using Handheld Devices

In combination with barcode scanning, data entry using applications on handheld devices enable a more efficient use of man-hours, improved time-motion activities, and an ability to perform validation and corrections online and in real time. Users also have access to more information, such as inventory availability, process receipts, and issues without having to change stations or work locations. Users may complete inventory transactions from anywhere inside or outside the facility. Handheld devices may be assigned to users, significantly reducing dependencies on adequate space and allowing users to access the system wherever they are.

Deploy Diverse Hardware

iVend handheld Module runs on any handheld device that can run a standard WinMobile 6.5 client. The architecture also supports most standard barcode encoding formats.

Improved inventory visibility and product performance with iVend Retail

COMPANY : Laksala – Sri Lanka state gift & Souvenir Boutique

Country: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Industry : Specialty Retail

Partner : Pristine Solutions

Laksala is the only State owned Gift & Souvenir Boutique in Sri Lanka and was established under the National Crafts Council And Allied Institutions Act, No. 35 of 1982.

Since then Laksala has witnessed numerous changes with an ever growing list of products on sale. Today Laksala operates through 13 branches located island wide and offer the widest variety of all Sri Lankan products at a competitive price. Most importantly, Laksala enables the numerous industries that supply goods to it to stay both profitable and in business.

Challenges

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  • Non-integrated data management
  • Invoicing and extraction of financial data was time consuming
  • Needed a reliable retail management system with streamlined inventory view
  • Scalability of system was an issue

Laksala’s sole objective is to be a commercially viable and socially responsible marketing organization which creates opportunities for rural products to enter mega – markets. Their vision is to transform Laksala to a profit making organization within the Government sector. For this, Laksala needed an appropriate, standard and certified solution which covered the unique aspects of their organization. To effectively manage their retail, warehousing processes and accounting functions, they wanted a seamlessly integrated application.
Laksala were using a software, which included the POS system. They realized that their system had reached a threshold and had grown obsolete. The application could not integrate finance data with the operational data and could generate only elementary reports.

Solution

iVend Retail with SAP Business One

Benefits :

  • Enhanced employee efficiency with integrated back office processes
  • Complete inventory control and real-time inventory visibility
  • Synchronized data transfers between Stores & enterprise ensured accuracy across Retail operation
  • Achieved faster order processing & flexible promotion management
  • Streamlined and accurate billing process

Benefits of the newly implemented system were evident, a transparent view of the entire work data and ability to generate management information quickly were most remarkable. Management noticed some immediate benefits which are as follows –

  • Additional benefits of the system:Increase inventory turns and reduce inventory levels
  • Faster order processing led to increased customer satisfaction
  • Provide cross-channel information for efficient operational actions
  • Enable better planning and forecasting capability
  • Offer competitive retail price and promotion management

“Generally iVend is covering our POS system quite satisfactorily. Laksala expected iVend to support our sales outlets by having a fast & accurate billing system since iVend can have independent databases to each store.
Once iVend was implemented, Laksala’s customer service improved and customers were satisfied with the quick service.”