Retail IT services teams are increasingly being measured on the value they add to the business. One of the ways that IT can add measurable value to a retail organization is by ensuring that buyers, planners and managers have access to the suitable systems and data they need to plan smarter, faster, and grow revenue. The solution is a centralized, enterprise-level retail management system specifically for the retail industry.
If your IT team is focused on these three priorities, you’re ready for a retail management system.
When your most important and strategic data — customer profiles, inventory, product trends, buy plans — is inaccessible, locked on individual machines or in disparate systems and the business is wasting time searching for and compiling it, IT takes the blame.
Leverage centralized applications that impact the business. There are a number of benefits of centralized applications, including data security, availability and scalability. IT teams love the agility that centralized applications offer, whether it’s the fast access to data, the bandwidth for greater demands on the system or the ability to read and write across the organization. It gives a competitive edge and provides cost savings, while saving IT teams from having to do rigorous daily application maintenance.
Minimizing wasted time and resources
When IT teams are wasting time digging through old hard drives to save data or keeping massive spreadsheets from crashing the network, they’re not providing true value to your organization. IT efforts are better spent implementing solutions that reduce business friction and improve team productivity to enhance customer experience and grow the business.
Enabling the internal business teams
Customer experience is everything. IT leaders are now addressing this business reality by enabling planners and buyers to do their jobs more effectively with access to accurate data from a single trusted source (rather than error-prone spreadsheets with suspect data sources). With access to accurate data to make decisions on, the business is able to create a better customer experience and drive more revenue.
What IT department shouldn’t be doing
Although modern IT teams contribute to multiple core business functions, businesses run into problems when IT is asked to do too much or is taken too far away from their core responsibilities.
Here are some areas you don’t want to see your IT team to bogged down with.
Managing inaccessible data and running ad-hoc reports
When your systems are too rigid or complex, and no one else in the company can find the goldmine of valuable data, it places a lot of demands on the IT department. It’s especially difficult if the data is on individual user desktops.
Having a centralized system that is always up to date will improve processes and productivity, saving a great deal of time. IT can then focus on connecting systems, to provide a single source of information that is always up-to-date and accurate so that the business can remain agile and make decisions at lightning speed. More importantly, managers have the confidence to know the data is from a trusted source: their IT department.
Losing sleep over secure data stored on individual laptops
Digging through individual laptops and hard drives to retrieve lost files is a painstaking process. Having important information trapped on different machines and worrying if the data is actually safe is what keeps IT professionals up at night. Data that’s neatly tucked away behind multiple layers of security, while being accessible to everyone that needs it, gives your IT peace of mind (and helps every team make better, faster and smarter decisions).
Spending time on unnecessary tasks
More often than not, the IT team gets called in to put out fires, from troubleshooting basic computer functions (“my screen turned blue!”) to acting as developers for hacked-together in-house systems and spreadsheets. This takes them away from critical issues like uptime and security, and from providing true value to the business. Having the right software in place can greatly save time from IT teams doing unnecessary tasks so they can focus on contributing to business performance.
How a retail management system helps
Implementing a retail management system is one way that IT can add value to the business. With an enterprise-level centralized system like daVinci in place, planners and buyers are empowered to make decisions based on accurate, secure, timely data – no more error-prone spreadsheets stored on local hard drives. Companies that invest in retail management systems will be better positioned to gain a competitive edge in the increasingly competitive retail market.