The lightbulb moment on data in retail
By Chad Gates, Managing Director, Pronto Software Ltd
With the impact of lockdowns, unforeseeable demand, and ongoing supply chain challenges, every retailer has learnt more about the value of data in the decision-making process. With this, inventory control has become more critical than ever, according to Pronto Software managing director and CEO, Chad Gates.
“Significant interruptions to supply chains has highlighted how critical having the right goods in stock at the right time is to short-term survival. The expression ‘just in time’ might not be back in business anytime soon,” he says.
“With stock availability, shipping costs and FX rates more difficult to predict, holding more inventory is an important part of meeting customer expectations. But inventory ties up capital, so holding the right stock is paramount.”
Most businesses were already on a transformation journey that put data closer to the centre of decision making, but it has proven to be fundamental to success.
“For businesses that dealt with repeated lockdowns and limited opening windows, having detailed data on inventory and pricing made it easier to run smart promotions to move stock quickly at the right price. Slow moving inventory was often a larger problem than usual at these times, so price reductions to get them out of the way faster could also be a smart play. In all cases, data added certainty to the choices on how and when to make the ideal price adjustments,” Gates explains.
For the mid-market sector, Pronto Software has seen this become a lightbulb moment for real-time data solutions. Waiting for weekly reports can be too long between placing orders on overseas supplies when competing for the best price on the shortest turnaround times. These ideas are at the heart of the Pronto Xi 770 update.
“Those questions of watching stock more closely and how to time special pricing offers had to be easier to manage for retailers, so we’ve worked hard to upgrade our promotions and pricing engine. Features like Click & Collect are now essential to many retailers, so we knew we had to integrate this process into the Pronto POS app,” Gates says.
Convenience and interoperability matters
Sales and accounts teams aren’t at their desktop as often as they once were, so improved mobile responsiveness for CRM features meets these teams wherever they need them. There are also more options for dashboards, reports and KPIs to help meet the individual needs of every retailer.
“Business software providers like us have had to ensure we meet our customers where they need to be going next, which includes creating more space for third-party features through our Pronto Software Solution Partner program, allowing add-on integrations to deliver features to our users that seamlessly interoperate with our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, from expenses to e-invoicing and more,” Gates says.
Historically, Pronto Software was delivered as an on-premises solution, however over 95% of new customers are now opting for Pronto Cloud delivery.
“I’ve always loved watching what data enables for our customers. Seeing how essential it has become to every enterprise has strengthened my belief that our role as an ERP solution provider only grows in importance on the journey ahead. Global conditions show there’s still more uncertainty to come, but there’s great opportunity on the horizon for everyone who takes this chance to turn raw business data into real business insights,” Gates concludes.
Originally published on RetailBiz.
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