By Ulf Tillander,Global Industri Director, Retail IFS
For retailers, being able to deliver, and keep delivering – is at the heart of omni-channel success. But delivering has never been more complex. Getting the right products, to the right person at the right time means planning and integrating complex, multiple, often global functions and channels – all in real time.
All omni-channel experiences make use of multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omni-channel. If your Retail channels don’t work together it’s not omni-channel. Most retailers today invest in a multi-channel experience and only think creative front-end technology and devices when they think Omni-Channel. If your back-end systems don’t support your front-end technology, your front-end omni-channel efforts might be wasted.
So how do retailers deliver a truly seamless, end-to-end, wall-to-wall experience for their customers? No popular article about omni-channel success would be complete without zooming in on the latest range of shopping apps and front-end, POS experiences. But as any retailer with a global operation and complex ecosystem of suppliers will tell you, no matter how innovative or appealing a front-end app may be, unless a retailer’s back-end operations can support it, it may deliver exposure—but not much else.
Savvy retailers know that whilst extravagant promises can be made on glittering screens—it is being able to deliver on those promises through the entirety of a retail operation that drives retail growth and revenues. An omni-channel transaction may be triggered on a smart screen, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Truly delivering omni-channel’s potential depends on end-to-end goods visibility, and planning and forecasting supply, demand and inventory—all in real time. Retailers are becoming increasingly aware of this.
Winning retailers realize that omni-channel success means every part of a retail business pulling together, back end to front. It means all functions being able to access the same data and plan and work around it—together. IFS for Retail enables retailers to do just that, letting omni-channel become a powerful whole-operation planning tool. IFS solutions turn omni-channel from a tactical challenge they must react to, into a strategic opportunity they can proactively build.
IFS for Retail is a comprehensive package of strategic tools. When implemented across a whole retail operation our solutions help retailers deliver more of what customers want in the here and now. But they also enable powerful time and cost savings—as retailers harness the power of accurate, relevant data to pinpoint exactly where and how to make their operations faster, more streamlined and coordinated. Omni-channel provides the opportunities and intelligence to optimize sourcing, manufacturing, planning, inventory and supply—as well as in-store functions.