Stores Magazine - January 2007 - (Page 126)

Warning : session_start : The session id contains invalid characters, valid characters are only a-z, A-Z and 0-9 in /mnt/data/www.nxtbook.com/fx/config_1.3/global.php on line 9 Warning : session_start : Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent output started at /mnt/data/www.nxtbook.com/fx/config_1.3/global.php:9 in /mnt/data/www.nxtbook.com/fx/config_1.3/global.php on line 9 Warning : Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by output started at /mnt/data/www.nxtbook.com/fx/config_1.3/global.php:9 in /mnt/data/www.nxtbook.com/fx/config_1.3/global.php on line 10 Return to Customer Intimacy POINT OF VIEW B BY RICK CHAVIE ack in the days of main street merchants, retailing reflected a friendlier, simpler era. It wasn’t so long ago that storekeepers lived above the shop, counted their customers as neighbors and had an intuitive, first-hand knowledge of community preferences, customer demand preferences, stock levels and employee productivity. Fast forward to today, where customers have little time to shop and retailers contend with information overload on a minute-by-minute basis. What’s selling, in what location, in what SKU, in what quantities, in what channels and at what price point? Do your selling personnel have the right information at point of service – including customer identification and product knowledge – that is critical to each transaction? Ultimately, do you have the right retail solutions that can distill the insights from mass i v e data stores to gather, track, analyze, communicate and integrate your business across functions, across channels – even across continents? If you have the right retail solutions and retail solutions partner, you can deliver product innovations and customer intimacy. But what defines the right solutions and the right partner? Shared vision Yo u r solutions provider m u s t know retail. It must learn from the past, but have a strong point of view on the future of both retailing and technology trends. It is the joining of those two aspects that determines if you will have an enduring solution for your business and technology needs. Since making such choices can be fundamental to surviving – and thriving – in this highly competitive retail envir o n m e n t , your solutions provider must be a technolog y expert, and its vision should include your focus: growing your retail business by delighting your customers over and over and over again. All the technology in the world is meaningless if it doesn’t lead to superior customer satisfaction. Depth, breadth, immediacy Has your solutions provider been in the retail trenches? You should look for years of Rick Chavie is senior vice president, retail and wholesale industries, for SAP. R&D and application experience across a wide variety of retail markets. Has it developed packaged solutions that you can apply now to quickly boost productivity and profitability? In a short period of time, you should be able to have a solution supporting multiple store locations and sales channels, built upon a single integrated merchandising platform. Of course, it should be scalable, functional, open and globally-proven. Information must be accessible in real-time t o make on-the-spot decisions. And it should deliver the most important information of all: customer insight. The latest in retail solutions promises the “de-massification” of the retail experience, restoring the responsiveness of delivering neighborhood assortments to achieve the customer intimacy associated w i t h the main street merchants of old – and with a backbone infrastructure that supports operational excellence. To achieve that, your solutions partner needs to understand your business and the demands of your vendors and customers. It should take the complexities out of your business and simplify your approach to solving challenges – those you are encountering now and those you will face in the next decade. Market evolutions It’s crucial for you to anticipate market evolutions so you may consistently adapt your business model and product ranges to inspire customers at every encounter. With advanced retail solutions, the “new” corner store has the potential to far outperform both traditional neighborhood and conventional chain retailers. Applying demand visibility to the art and science of retailing also changes the way retailers make decisions. It increases customer connection. It better matches product mix w i t h customer demand. It provides retail expertise plus end-to-end solutions to deliver the right shopping experie n c e . It helps you achieve competitive differentiation – and the growth and profits that derive from that. Wi t h competition as the only constant in retail, success hinges on the ability to deliver customer intimacy and a differentiated shopping experience. The kind of 20/20 vision into customer behavior that was once taken for granted is lifted to the ultimate level by the right retail solution. Knowledge is power, and unprecedented knowledge of your customer powers performance and profits. A great opportunity exists right now f o r retailers who put customers first. W W W. S TO R E S . O R G 126 S TO R E S / JANUARY 2 0 0 7 Warning : Unknown : The session id contains invalid characters, valid characters are only a-z, A-Z and 0-9 in Unknown on line 0 Warning : Unknown : Failed to write session data files . Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct /var/lib/php/session in Unknown on line 0 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Stores Magazine - January 2007

Contents
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
UPfRONT
NRF News
Retail People
Concept2Watch
Store Construction
Cover Story: Pay by Numbers
Workforce Management
Human Resources
LPInformation
Credit
Human Resources
Logistics
Warehouse Management
Software
IT Infrastructure
POS
Online Customer Service
Online Retail
ERP
Merchandise Planning
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
Advertising Index
Company Index
Retail Figures
Retail Industry Calendar

Stores Magazine - January 2007

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