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Author's profile photo Michelle Affleck

Anticipating Customers’ Every Need with Retail Planning Solutions

/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/273712_l_srgb_s_gl_301459.jpgMy two-year old son is starting to throw little temper tantrums when he doesn’t get exactly what he wants, exactly when he wants it. The problem is – I don’t always know what he’s looking for. So, when I’m frantically trying to calm him down, I’ll offer him anything in sight that I know he likes. His Elmo book – no, that’s not it. His toy truck – not it either. How about the iPad? Bingo!

If I have trouble figuring out what one tiny little boy wants from me, I can’t imagine how a retailer with thousands of customers – and countless potential customers – can determine what we want.

Managing customers’ great expectations

We expect a lot from retailers these days. We often know exactly what we want before setting foot in a store or opening a retailer’s Web site. And, if we can’t find what we want from one retailer, we just move on to the next one, and the next, until we do. To keep up with our demands better than the competition, retailers need to make fast, informed decisions based on accurate and timely data. Unfortunately, a landscape of disparate systems, inefficient manual processes, and poor visibility makes this data hard to manage and use.

Turning data into a competitive edge

With retail planning software that supports end-to-end retail planning and merchandising processes, retailers can provide visibility into performance metrics and improve analysis and planning processes for all channels, stores, and SKU combinations, according to an information sheet from SAP. Better transparency and data analysis can help retailers gain market insights, anticipate buying trends, and meet customer demands.

According to SAP, retail planning software enables retailers to improve transparency and analysis by:

  • Integrating merchandise and financial management processes
  • Performing what-if, demand-driven forecasts in real time
  • Measuring performance by week, location, product, and customer
  • Creating a centralized repository for all planning processes

Realizing business results quickly and affordably

With rapid-deployment retail planning solutions that offer preconfigured software and implementation services for a fixed price and timeline, retailers can lower costs and achieve a fast ROI. And they can reduce risks by working with experienced consultants who have completed similar implementations for numerous other companies.

Ready to improve your company’s retail planning processes?

For more insights into the benefits of a comprehensive retail planning solution and implementation services, like those from SAP Consulting, read “Enable Retail Merchandise Processes and Get Business Value Fast.”

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