A New Report for the Changing Economy. One Step Retail Solutions previously published a widely read report titled “The 5 Biggest Challenges Facing Independent Retailers” which presented the results of extensive research into retail industry trends, the major challenges impacting retailers and how retail Point of Sale (POS) technology could be used to overcome those challenges.
Over the last year, while updating our research into the current retail environment, it became evident that the constantly changing technology landscape, in and of itself, has now become an additional source of concern for retail owners and managers. We also determined that small to midsized chains, especially those who wish to continue their growth, face an even greater set of challenges than single stores or large retailers.
In most cases, they have grown beyond the ability of the owner or single trusted manager to keep a close eye on operations, with a need for more robust POS and inventory control system than would serve a typical single store. However, unlike the large chains it is not feasible for them to retain a set of computer staff focused exclusively on keeping the systems up to date.
One Step has a unique vantage point, in that it has helped many retail clients grow from one or a few stores to reach the 20 to 100+ store range. These retailers have survived and expanded over the years, even through several earlier downturns in retail spending! A small chain owner may think that those stores are in a different category, but in fact they had to deal with the same set of challenges that other small retailers face.
Then what did they do differently - why have they been able to grow their
businesses and maintain profitability at the same time? Most importantly, how can other small and midsized retailers take advantage of the work these bigger chains have done to get the same benefits at a fraction of the cost?
A critical part of the answer resides in how they made use of their retail technology as a tool to overcome their business challenges, leading to a more efficient and competitive business operation while at the same time better serving their customers’ needs.
In this paper we will cover the methods and best practices involved in selecting and using retail systems to obtain a strategic advantage for a retail organization, while at the same time minimizing the challenges posed by the management of the system itself.
We will begin with a review of some of the trends impacting the retail environment and a recap of the biggest challenges. We will also discuss one of the most critical elements for success – alignment of the organization’s systems with business strategy and customer needs.
As part of the best practices, we will cover the technology tools and capabilities that the majority of retailers are focusing on as the next best sources of growth, and how a smaller company can get a jump on those trends. Lastly, we will provide an outline of the best practices used in identifying, selecting and successfully implementing a retail system that achieves the desired organizational improvement.