Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And How Does BPM Feature in the Retail World?

The retail landscape has seen significant changes since the inception of the internet. While retailing in the past essentially meant simply distributing the product in question, that is no longer the case. In order to succeed in today’s fast paced retail world, a business needs to focus on retaining customers just as much as attracting new ones. Aspects that need to be addressed in such scenarios include enabling better communication between the business and its customer base, improving the supply chain, as well as seeing how IT solutions can help simplify the overall workflow.

Various retailers have already delved into the BPM sphere. Amongst the various things that one can expect a good Business Process Management solution to provide include, lowered operational costs and reduced cyclic times. Besides, one can also expect a significant ROI in an investment such as this simply because the operations and the solution would work in tandem, and both would be equally responsible for the outcome of the implementation.

How Can BPM Help?

Retailers now accept that their field is becoming more and more complex, and this is mainly because of the surge in service channels coupled with problems in tracking sales. Moreover, brand loyalty isn’t what it used to be, anymore; and in order for customers to come back, one has to ensure not just the high quality of the product, but high service levels as well. With an effective BPM solution in place, you can provide your customers with various platforms to interact with you (these would include in-store communication, over the phone, emails, chat, etc). Of course, you don’t necessarily need a BPM solution in place to offer your customers these options but a BPM solution would ensure that the interactions that take place through the varied mediums are fused seamlessly, thereby giving the business in question better flexibility, better productivity, better processes, and thereby, better customer satisfaction.

BPM solutions for the retail industry also take into account that having a smooth and reliable supply chain can affect the way the business functions to a large extent. A good BPM solution, when it comes to addressing the supply chain, would be able to send out automatic notifications across the business’ various stores, departments, etc; and the same can also be done when it comes to routing work across different sections/levels. The automation would help minimize errors and would also hasten the entire process.

Also, since the workforce is quite an important aspect in this sector, businesses can also use BPM solutions to track the performances of their employees and the processes through an assortment of tools designed specifically for this purpose. This would allow a business to review, strategize, improve and execute their future plans in accordance.

On the whole, with an effective BPM solution in place retailers can expect to respond to change more quickly, give their customers a better experience, get real time control over the business’ processes, effectively manage the supply chain, as well as look forward to enhanced retail distribution, product portfolio, and campaign management.

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