Exciting world of Retail – Most dynamic : SAP IS Retail Solution
Retail industry is one of the largest and most dynamic industry. Mode of buying goods and services has witnessed sea change with barter system to small kirana shops beside house to big malls to single-brand outlets to buying online. Multiple factors have contributed in this vast change of retail – transportation, internet access on mobile, media coverage, advertisement options.
Manufacturers of scale have major challenge in reaching out to customers as number of competitors have increased. Customers will be loyal to brand, but are ready to try other brand when competitive comparative advertisements are on display. For example, in hatch back car segment comparison of number of features vis-à-vis is on advertisement.
With such a large scale change in all areas of retail; to be in competition with high growth plans, one needs to be on edge by using high end technologies for forecasting, planning, attracting new customers, retaining new customers etc…
Manufacturer has to reach outlets(who sell products of manufacturer) through distributors and to end customers to gain or to sustain leadership position. Interesting part in this whole chain is manufacturer does not have full control over operations of outlets, distributors unless and until manufacturer himself have setup/owns those outlets and distributors. This is not feasible and not core area of manufacturer.
So it becomes critical to keep attention of distributors and outlets to ensure these parties work in the interest of manufacturer i.e. promote manufacturer goods/products. How to achieve this is most critical part for manufacturer. It indirectly means, manufacturer should not limit himself in making superior product but also understand the nitty-gritties of retailing. This is where SAP Industry Solution SAP IS Retail comes handy and helps manufacturer to link retail activities in his business and ensure competitiveness.
IS Retail helps to monitor, understand and analyze behavior of customer, outlets and distributors. This acts as tool for manufacturer to plan sourcing of raw materials, improving product quality, promote products, come up with competitive pricing, incentives to outlets and distributors for them to promote products and many more.
With globalized operations of big manufacturers, localized(specific to country), seasonal demand variance of the products; it becomes critical to be having tool like SAP IS Retail which can be integrated into other IT tools easily.
Thanks Ganga for the article. You nicely built up the situation to suggest the relevance and use of IS Retail. I would love to see the last paragraph expanded to delve deeper into how IS Retail fits into the SAP landscape of a manufacturer, who already works on SAP for all the processes and how a manufacturer can leverage some specific features with examples.