STORES Magazine - May 2009 - (Page 76)

CONSIDER THIS / ARTS UPDATE Look for the Silver Lining BY RICHARD MADER The economy continues to sputter. Most of the retail-related news is bad, but thankfully there are a few bright spots as some companies (Buckle, Wal-Mart, BJ’s, AutoZone) continue to buck the trend and produce sales increases. SOA based on guidance provided by the It’s easy to become gloomy and further reARTS Blueprint and Best Practices, which treat into a no-spend mode in our business also provides tips for low-cost start-up. Not and personal lives. Reading the news, I alquite sure how to proceed? Consider contractmost succumbed to depression: After a brief ing for ARTS education on SOA, XML and our talk with myself, however, I decided to adopt Data Model; education is much less expensive the philosophy of the old Jerome Kern song, than hiring new skill sets. “Look for the Silver Lining.” Sure enough, I The delay in purchasing new software and discovered that there are, indeed, some posihardware forced by this downturn can be a tives that can come out of this dreadful regreat opportunity to begin updating your infracession. structure and staff, while enabling rapid inteLike many of you, ARTS members are gration for the time when “new” can be costdealing with travel restrictions; we have tranjustified. sitioned several of our committee meetings When times are tough, all expenses are to web conferencing. This change, forced by challenged. When things are running smoothly economic conditions, has been a blessing in Richard Mader is executive we focus on the execution of existing processdisguise. Attendance doubled in our first director of ARTS. es, not finding new or better ones. In this time week of virtual meetings, including folks from of reflection, we encourage you to think about seven countries. the better times ahead and revise processes to utilize techIncreased attendance will result in better standards benologies like mobile phones, digital signage and video anacause it gives us the opportunity to incorporate a wider lytics for payment, loyalty, promotions and other transacrange of views. Because travel time is eliminated, virtual tions. meetings allow for an expanded agenda; I suspect they will also help us recruit and retain members, because participation augments the value proposition. Create a little sunshine The moribund economy is causing consumers and comAs I wrote in the March column, mobile payments will panies to determine whether existing assets can be enoffer new options that can lower interchange charges. hanced to extend their functional life, thereby conserving When the economy improves, thoughts of survival will turn capital. This change is reflected in the sales increase in the once again to competition. These technologies can provide auto parts industry, as folks an edge; this is why ARTS is repair and service existing working now to develop stanautomobiles. dards and instructional information to enable their rapid When the economy improves, implementation. Upgrade instead of thoughts of survival will turn Look for the silver lining, buy new once again to competition When e’er a cloud appears The same thinking is being in the blue applied to POS terminal and Remember somewhere the computer applications, and sun is shining, ARTS can help. UnifiedPOS And so the right thing to do is make it shine for you. allows retailers to offer new functions at point of sale by ARTS is trying to help you to create a little sunshine; our adding or upgrading peripherals like printers, signature standards can reduce your expenses today and help jumpcapture and mag stripe readers for PCI without purchasing start your brighter future. I hope you will consider our dues new terminals. to be money well spent so we can continue to offer support Instead of replacing a working application to make it fit in good times and bad. into a new IT platform, consider retooling the application to 76 STORES / MAY 2009 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - May 2009

STORES Magazine - May 2009
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Facts to Chew On
What Shoppers Think
Deals "R" Us
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story: Brand X Power
Home Improvement
Credit Where Credit's Due
Locate, Locate, Locate
New Playbook
Staying in the Fast Lane
Clean and Green
Driven to Please
Farm System
Rx for Shrink
Zeroing Out Zombies
Rogues Gallery
Ounce of Prevention
Loeb Retail Letter
Chain Action
Optimism Rocks
ARTS Update
Point of View
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - May 2009