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Futuristic View - Technology in Retail and CPG industry

Futuristic View - Technology in Retail and CPG industry

By leveraging SAP HANA, Colgate-Palmolive was able to improve processing times on key reports from 77 minutes to 13 seconds

Summary

An estimated two-thirds of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) comes from retail consumption. Retail industry is a good indicator of the well-being of the U.S. economy. According to the annual report from the U.S. Census Bureau (2009), the total amount of sales for the U.S. Retail Industry (including food service and automotive) was $4.13 trillion. Of the world’s 10 largest retail companies in the world, five of them are from the US and five are from Europe. The top ten global retailers had combined sales of $1.15 trillion in 2008, according to international consulting group, Deloitte. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 14.4 million people were employed in the U.S. Retail Industry as of April, 2010.

Introduction 

Retailing includes all the activities involved in selling goods and services directly to final consumer for their personal, non business use. Retail is all about selling, big selling and huge sales. It is about ensuring that the customer first of all comes to the store and then buys. This also means that one should connect to the customers and should be able to hold him in one place and give him all that he desires from one location.

Retail is one of the biggest employers in the world and a large portion of the world economy. The retail industry is a sector of the economy that is comprised of individuals and companies selling finished products to end user consumers. Retail chains in the U.S. are publicly traded on the stock exchange and privately owned. An estimated two-thirds of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) comes from retail consumption. Retail industry is a good indicator of the well-being of the U.S. economy.

According to the annual report from the U.S. Census Bureau (2009), the total amount of sales for the U.S. Retail Industry (including food service and automotive) was $4.13 trillion. Of the world’s 10 largest retail companies in the world, five of them are from the US and five are from Europe. The top ten global retailers had combined sales of $1.15 trillion in 2008, according to international consulting group, Deloitte.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 14.4 million people were employed in the U.S. Retail Industry as of April, 2010. Although retail employment was increasing every month at the beginning of 2010, due to the recent recession of the economy, the retail employment numbers were still the lowest they've been for the past decade. Due to the decline in retail jobs and the increase in overall unemployment, the retail job market in 2010 is extremely competitive at all levels.

One of the key factors in achieving an organized and efficient retail operation is the use of technology as an enabler. Information technology is the key enabler to improving customer satisfaction, operational efficiencies and by extension, profitability. Technology has been the great enabler of business and especially retail enterprises. We are now wireless and seamless and cashless and everything less and can get any information we want and need.

A typical pan national retail operation would have multiple regional warehouses, offices and retail outlets. In such an operation, how does the headquarters know the daily turnover at each of its outlets, how does it know which products are selling the most in which region at which outlet, how does one store know if a stock - out item in its own inventory is available at another store location for whom it is slow moving item? Most of these issues can be solved by the appropriate use of technology.

 

Need of information technology in retailing

Information technology

 

The definition of information technology as given by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer- based information systems, especially software applications and computer hardware." Encompassing the computer and information systems industries, information technology is the capability to electronically input, process, store, output, transmit, and receive data and information, including text, graphics, sound, and video, as well as the ability to control machines of all kinds, electronically.

Information Technology's Role today

On a daily basis, people use computers in new ways. Computers are increasingly affordable; they continue to be more powerful as information-processing tools as well as easier to use. Computers in Business One of the first and largest applications of computers is keeping and managing business and financial records. Most large companies keep the employment records of all their workers in large databases that are managed by computer programs. Similar programs and databases are used in such business functions as billing customers, tracking payments received and payments to be made, and tracking supplies needed and items produced, stored, shipped, and sold. In fact, practically all the information companies need to do business involves the use of computers and information technology.

The roles of information technology in retailing operations

 

•   For forecasting: Forecasting is the process of estimation in unknown situations. It's an essential and very important process in any business organization. Business leaders and economists are continually involved in the process of trying to forecast, or predict, the future of business in the economy. Business leaders engage in this process because much of what happens in businesses today depends on what is going to happen in the future.

•   Retail Demand Forecasting: Modern demand-forecasting systems provide new opportunities to improve retail performance. Although the art of the individual merchant may never be replaced, it can be augmented by an efficient, objective and scientific approach to forecasting demand.

•   Large-scale systems are now capable of handling the mass of retail transaction data - organizing it, mining it and projecting it into future customer behavior. This new approach to demand forecasting in retail will contribute to the accuracy of future plans, the satisfaction of future customers and the overall efficiency and profitability of retail operations. 

•   Inventory management: Inventory can be either raw materials, finished items already available for sale, or goods in the process of being manufactured. Inventory is recorded as an asset on a company's balance sheet.  

•   To optimize the deployment of inventory, retailers need to manage the uncertainties, constraints, and complexities across their global supply chain on continuous basis. This allows them to improve their inventory forecasting ability and accurately set inventory targets. An IT solution is a proven and market leading solution for determining optimal time-varying inventory targets for every item, at every location throughout supply chain. This allows retailers you to significantly reduce inventory without adversely affecting service levels.

•   Store management: Another example where Information technology can be beneficial is a store management. That alerts out-of-place or stock-out items. A store, commonly a shop or stall for the retail sale of commodities, but also a place where wholesale supplies are kept, exhibited, or sold. A place where something is deposited for safekeeping is called store. The in-store system use magnetic strips or barcodes or RFID to monitor actual versus intended product location on the floor or in the stockroom.  

The economy is still in the process of recovery from recent recession and tough economic conditions will continue to exist for retailers. Revenues and profits for most retailers are going to be dismal except for a few successful giants like Wal-Mart and Amazon who can offer low prices. The retail industry has evolved and continues to grow. The important issues now for retailers are to create brand recognition by tailoring to customer’s needs and preferences. One of the techniques utilized for doing this is digital signage rather than traditional paper signs which are static and boring. Digital signage is an electronic display that provides advertisement content in and electronic form which can be changeable and creative. Digital signage is preferable because it can provide more like animations and creations functions.

Retail enterprise solutions 

Some companies offer solutions that approach the problem at the enterprise stage. Their goals and objectives are to look for a broad-based solution that pertains to various parts of the value chain that impact business. Established firms dominate this portion of the market, likes Microsoft, IBM, SAP, HP, and ORACLE. Numerous of these players seek to reinforce their capabilities in areas like data warehousing, data mining, and advanced statistical analysis. The notion of a “one-stop shop” for enterprise software is attractive to large retailers seeking to simplify operations and move all facets of their business to a single platform—and vendors have been quick to realize this. Hewlett Packard, for example, provides an umbrella of services for the retail customer that includes collaboration with other players. Other vendors who specifically target retail and merchandising customers include Comshare and Retek.

Sap Services and Benefits - IS Retail

SAP® engineered services offer a rapid and predictable way to plan, deploy, and optimize SAP software. You’re given a detailed project scope and reliable budget forecast up front, so you know the estimated timelines and costs before you start. Proven ASAP methodology, along with the implementation experience and technical knowledge of the SAP Services organization, makes it possible to reduce implementation time and effort.

Optimize your retail performance with support from SAP software

•   Enhance and extend your existing solution landscape

•   Gain control of the scope and cost of your software implementation project

•   Maximize your ROI in SAP software

SAP provides you with Predefined services that enable the deployment of software to support key business processes, Proven implementation tools and methodology, Comprehensive documentation and workshops to support the rollout, Regional and global services hubs for localized support and Deployment by a team of experts from SAP Services.

The Benefits of partnering with SAP are as follows:

•   Greater support for innovation and agility

•   Better ability to meet customer needs and achieve competitive advantage

•   Improved cost containment through defined functional and technical scope

SAP retail Forum is a good spot to mingle with like minded people to explore new innovation and lessons learnt. In addition SAP Sapphire worldwide is a great event for leadership to attend and learn product and industry trend. Sapphire US, is being held on June3-7 2014. 

Retail’s complexity: the Information Technology Solution

Much of the retail operations functionality is driven by customized point solutions in areas such as merchandizing, supply chain management, in-store operations, seasonality and promotions planning. This means the underlying IT systems to drive operations are equally complex. IT systems are at the heart of retail operations and hence play a central role in alleviating pressure points in the retail sector. The converse also holds true-retailers who do not manage their IT landscape effectively will find that, in time, the IT systems become part of the problem rather than components of the solution. IT can reduce complexity in two critical ways and improve results:

Functional Retail areas

Merchandizing systems impact top-line revenues and need to be configured, customized and managed effectively for the retailer to improve its top line. To achieve this, retailers need to effectively mine large amounts of data and leverage this data to carry out effective forecasting, assortment planning, and collaboration with its suppliers so that promotions and other merchandizing activities are effective and efficient. Supply chain systems are key from a bottom line point of view as they play a key role in getting the right product to the right place at the right time-which in turn impacts the inventory levels and the rate of flow of products through the retailer's stores, both of which are significant components of the retailer's cost of doing business. Further companies like SAP have innovative solution called business planning and consolidation, SAP BPC, which can take away the pains of upper management and to take a step forward generate report for executives using SAP HANA on cloud from anywhere in seconds. Products like business objects and business warehouse further enhance the data to a level and look leadership wants. This has revolutionize the industry from getting reports in sends and not 3-4 days. 

Data Cleansing and architecture Improvement 

Data cleansing, and thereafter, effective mining (via large data warehouses) is fundamentally important in the retail space because so much decision-making is based on data. If the data is bad, the effectiveness and efficiency of carrying out retail operations is hampered. This becomes particularly crucial when the retailer is implementing new systems and a large data conversion effort is required-it becomes essential that the old data be effectively cleaned, re-architect and made ready in the new system, so that the business functions can make decisions effectively. SAP innovative in memory product SAP HANA provides Real-time information to business leaders. Oracle also has done extensive research around customer analysis. Oracle Exalyticsplay a more or less similar role than other softwares.  Great articles and research has gone into managing and logical use of data, with "Wisdom of Crowds." by Bill Thomas being worth reading.  

In challenges, place ever-greater demands on retailers. It systems are at the complexity of products, scale and processes, along with supply chain heart of retail operations and hence play a central role in alleviating pressure points in the retail sector.

New Technology Evolved in  Retailing. 

Radio frequency identification(RFID)

Radio Frequency Identification in the retail industry has solved major problems related to customer services. With the help of RFID it becomes easy for the sales staff to locate a particular item in the store and check its availability in less time.

It's a data collection technology that uses electronic tags for storing data. The tag, also known as an "electronic label," "transponder" or "code plate," is made up of an RFID chip attached to an antenna. Transmitting in the kilohertz, megahertz and gigahertz ranges, tags may be battery-powered or derive their power from the RF waves coming from the reader. Like bar codes, RFID tags identify items. However, unlike bar codes, which must be in close proximity and line of sight to the scanner for reading, RFID tags do not require line of sight and can be embedded within packages. Depending on the type of tag and application, they can be read at a varying range of distances. In addition, RFID-

tagged cartons rolling on a conveyer belt can be read many times faster than bar-coded boxes. Radio frequency identification in retail helps in the following ways:

•   Item level tracking

•   Increases customers loyalty

•   Better inventory management

•   Improves the level of customers services

The future of RFID is very bright in retail sector, as right from inventory management to product manufacturing, this system provides a more efficient and advanced retail experience to both the customer and the seller. In January 2005, Wal-Mart required its top 100 suppliers to apply RFID labels to all shipments. To meet this requirement, vendors use RFID printer/encoders to label cases and pallets that require EPC tags for Wal-Mart. These smart labels are produced by embedding RFID inlays inside the label material, and then printing barcode and other visible information on the surface of the label

Smart Operating System

Supply chains can look very different from industry to industry. But companies across industries share a common challenge -- finding ways to better manage growing uncertainty and complexity to improve supply chain performance.

To improve their supply chains, companies across industries have made sizable investments in a range of technology solutions, yet significant profitability improvements have remained elusive. Largely unaddressed has been the opportunity to use enterprise and supply chain data to support key inventory planning decisions that fuel execution systems and activities -- something beyond a mere spreadsheet or desktop solution. SmartOps customers are proactively managing supply chain uncertainty across all stages to improve their total chain inventory planning, so that their customer service levels can be stabilized and even increased while overall costs to the business are minimized. SmartOps enterprise software solutions support many initiatives and challenges associated with different manufacturing and distribution industries from Lean Manufacturing, Just-In-Time (JIT), and Six Sigma initiatives, to postponement strategies, to Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR), and Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) activities. SmartOps inventory optimization algorithms manage uncertainties in the data and offer visibility into the drivers of inventory at the item-location-time period level of detail. SmartOps is able to do that because it looks at the right granularity of data to adequately manage safety stock levels and understand where the biggest ongoing opportunities for improvement are within their supply chains.

Point of Sale

Capturing data at the time and place of sale. Point of sale systems use computers or specialized terminals that are combined with cash registers, bar code readers, optical scanners and magnetic stripe readers for accurately and instantly capturing the transaction. Point of sale systems may be online to a central computer for credit checking and inventory updating, or they may be stand-alone machines that store the daily transactions until they can be delivered or transmitted to the main computer for processing. Point of sale (POS) systems is electronic systems that provide businesses with the capability to retain and analyze a wide variety of inventory and transaction data on a continuous basis. POS systems have been touted as valuable tools for a wide variety of business purposes, including refining target marketing strategies; tracking supplier purchases; determining customer purchasing patterns; analyzing sales (on a daily, monthly, or annual basis) of each inventory item, department, or supplier; and creating reports for use in making purchases, reorders, etc. Basic point of sale systems currently in use includes standalone electronic cash registers, also known as ECRs; ECR-based network systems; and controller-based systems. All function essentially as sales and cash management tools, but each has features that are unique. 

Retail industry and Oracle retail solutions

The retail industry had witnessed tremendous growth through the help of information technology platform like Oracle, provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of business applications, server, and storage solutions engineered to work together to optimize every aspect of their business. 20 of the top 20 retailers worldwide use Oracle Retail solutions to drive performance, deliver critical insights, and fuel growth across traditional, mobile, and commerce channels.  Oracle open world conference is being held September 28-October 2, 2014 in US. There was an article on oracle cloud computing growing at a very fast space with 10,000 customers, which is future of our global economy. 

Consumer packaged Goods (CPG)

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) are products that are sold quickly and at relatively low cost. Examples include non-durable goods such as soft drinks, toiletries, and grocery items. Though the profit margin made on FMCG products is relatively small, more so for retailers than the producers/suppliers, they are generally sold in large quantities. FMCG is probably the most classic case of low margin/high volume business. Many of the players on the retailer side such as Walmart, Carrefour,Choithram, Tawseel, Sheel, Walgreens or Metro Group and supplier side are among the largest and most recognized global companies. Fast-moving consumer electronics are a type of FMCG and are typically low priced generic or easily substitutable consumer electronics, including mobile phones, MP3 players, game players, and digital cameras which are of disposable nature. Global leader in the FMCG segment include Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Henkel, Kellogg's,S.C. Johnson, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Beiersdorf, Mars Inc., Heinz, Nestlé, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, Procter & Gambl, The Coca-Cola Company, General Mills Inc., PepsiCo, Mondelez and Kraft Foods. 

CPGs are also a type of good that is consumed every day by the average consumer. The goods that comprise this category are ones that need to be replaced frequently, compared to those that are usable for extended periods of time. While CPGs represent a market that will always have consumers, it is highly competitive due to high market saturation and low consumer switching costs.

The consumer packaged goods industry is one of the largest in North America, valued at approximately US$2 trillion. Although growth has slowed in this industry, companies that provide CPGs still benefit from large margins and strong balance sheets. Some basic examples of CPGs are food and beverages, clothing, tobacco and household products.

The Futuristic View of Retailing Industry 

By 2030, the consumer, you and I, will be permanently connected. We will be beyond the age of the small screen. Yes, smart phones, tablets and laptops will doubtless still have their place but we will firmly be in the age of wearable technology. Digitally connected glasses, watches, earpieces and contact lenses (why not?) will mean that we are all permanently connected. Consumers will be totally tuned out to spam and blunderbuss style marketing and live in a world where personalized recommendations are the principal influence of their buying decisions. Recommendations from trusted sources whether that is a brand, retailer, friend, anonymous consumer or expert.

Trust and Transparency

Trust and transparency will be key in this socially connected world. Those brands and retailers that haven’t understood this by 2030, and there are many today, will have withered away, as will those brands and retailers with poor products and customer service. If you review eCommerce giants amazon and eBay. Amazon has 100% transparency and customer confidence in buying, while eBay continues to struggle and follow lead. Paypal, an affiliate company of eBay, also named as financial arm of corporate world are performing much better than their parent company while still maintaining their culture, before they got acquired by eBay. Paypal executive escalations, Ms. Merily ensures that even eBay customers are 100% satisfied. I remember a comment she has made "Antonio we trust you as our customer and me and my management will 100% back you up, any business you start." On other hand office of President, at eBay are still struggling to understand their customers and just focussed on bottom line and not consumer satisfaction." Paypal is a SAP client. 

Frictionless Buying, Wherever and Whenever

Consumers will be able to choose, try on, chat to others, get recommendations wherever they are. Buying will be frictionless - one command (not a click) and you’re done. They will use a mix of virtual currency (think Bitcoin Mark 5) and frictionless payment systems - think highly evolved Visa.me or PayPal type services. But here’s the rub. They will still visit stores. The inherent need to touch and feel will never leave us. Shopping out and about has a strong social element for so many people.

Top 20 fortune 500 retailers

The fortune 500 retailers list for the current rating. At the top spot is the Wal-Mart store with revenue amounting to $469.2b and profit of $16,999mm. follow by Exxon Mobil with $449.9b as revenue and $44,880mm in profit, Chevron with $233.9b in revenue and $26,179mm in profit, Philips 66 has $169.6b revenue and a profit of $4,124mm, Berkshire Hathaway stole the fifth position with $162.5b revenue and $14,824mm, Apple has $156.5b and $41,733mm in revenue and profit, General Motors $152.3b revenue and $6,188mm in profit, General Electric $146.9b revenue and profit of $13,641mm, Valero Energy $138.3b in revenue and $2,083mm in profit and the tenth position goes to Ford Motor with $134.3b in revenue and $5,665mm in profit, AT&T follow with $127.4b in revenue and profit of $7,264mm, Fannie Mae stood at the 12th position with $127.2b in revenue and profit of $17,220mm, CVS Caremark has $123.1b in revenue and profit of $3,876.9mm, follow by McKesson with a revenue of $122.7b and profit of $1,403mm, Hewlett-Packard has revenue of $120.4b and profit of -$12,650mm, Verizon Communications with $115.8b in revenue and $875mm in profit, United Health Group has $110.6b revenue and $5,526mm, J.P.Morgan Chase & Co. with $108.2b revenue and $21,284mm in profit stood at 18th position, Cardinal Health has $107.6b in revenue and profit of $1,069mm, and at the 20th position is International Business Machines with $104.5b in revenue and $16,604mm .

 All these companies had contributed to the retail industry over the period of time.

The top ten CPG globally according to HGI 2012, at the top spot is the Procter and gamble located in Cincinnati, OH, with sales of $82.6b, follow by Pfizer situated in New York with $67.4b in sales, Unilever from United Kingdom with $64.7b, L’Oreal which has it headquarters in Clichy, France with $25.8b, Kimberly-Clark Corp follow with $20.8b situated in Dallas, TX, at the sixth position is Reckitt Benckiser from Berkshire, United Kingdom with $15b in sales, Johnson & Johnson located in New Brunswick, NJ with a sales figure of $14.9b, Avon Products, Inc in New York with $11.3b, at the 9th position is the Henkel located in Dusseldorf, Germany with $10b in revenue, and follow at the tenth position is Alcon Laboratories, Inc located in Huneberg, Switzerland with the sales figure of $9.9b.

Solutions to Grow Margin in CPG

Cisco and others solutions providers like SAP, Oracle etc support CPG industry trends including product innovation, expansion into global markets, realignment of business assets, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and sustainability.

SAP HANA SOLUTION IN CPG

One company that is already delivering unheard of “speed of thought” insight is Nongfu Spring, the largest bottled water company in China. Nongfu used to take two days to collect and produce reports on a very large volume of POS data from all of its retailers. These reports were then used by executives to make their key business decisions. Unfortunately two days is a lifetime in this very competitive market, and Nongfu was looking for a way to provide reports on their business at the speed of their business – essentially up-to-date analytics on every transaction as it is happening. By working with SAP and leveraging new innovations like SAP HANA, Nongfu was able to dramatically reduce the lag time in producing insight on the retail data they collected. Preparing and loading the data that used to take a day is now happening in real time. Reports and queries run 200 to 300 times faster. For example, one business process that took 24 hours to complete is now are available in 37 seconds.

Nongfu’s executives and sales force now have the immediate insight to make smarter decisions in response to the dynamics of the market. This has allowed them to do a much better job of serving their retailers with the right inventory, and their consumers can be assured of finding their favorite products on the shelf.

Colgate-Palmolive has also been navigating the fast-paced CPG market, in its case for more than 200 years and now operating in more than 200 countries. And like Nongfu, Colgate-Palmolive has seen an opportunity to partner with SAP to redefine the speed and accuracy by which it can provide its business users better analytics based on very large volumes of data. A good example where these solutions could improve results and customer satisfaction is helping Colgate-Palmolive collaborate with its retailers to do more effective promotion planning. Recently, by leveraging SAP HANA, Colgate-Palmolive was able to improve processing times on key reports from 77 minutes to 13 seconds, putting sales and profitability information into the hands of sales executives far faster than before. Now, when salespeople go into meetings with retailers, they have up-to-the-minute information on how Colgate-Palmolive products are faring in those stores, and they can adjust pricing and promotions to respond to the demands of their retailers and customers while also ensuring they are tracking to their internal business goals and financial metrics.

Enterprise Networking

Cisco networking supports a cloud-computing infrastructure that helps enable virtualization and integration of existing business networks and systems. Manage and control goods, people, and products throughout the supply chain with Cisco solutions such as:

•   Cisco Cloud Connected Solution

•   Distributed R&D with Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC)

•   Converged Plantwide Ethernet with Rockwell Automation

•   Data Center and Virtualization

•   Cisco Digital Media Suite

•   Business Video

•   Cisco Secure Wireless Plant Solution

Collaboration

Cisco collaboration and conferencing solutions support interactions between distributed R&D teams, speeding time to market while making companies more responsive to consumer demands. Engineers can collaborate and troubleshoot from the office or the factory floor using highly secure business video and global information-sharing solutions, such as:

•   Manufacturer Talks About Cisco Cloud Collaboration

•   Manufacturing Unified Communications and Collaboration

•   Cisco Unified Contact Center Express

•   Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal

•   Manufacturing Active Collaborative Space (MACS)

•   Remote Expert

•   Cisco WebEx Social

•   Manufacturing Mobile Video Collaboration

•   Voice over Wireless LAN (VoWLAN) for Manufacturing

Warehouse Management

With its leading partners, Cisco offers industry-specific solutions that help your CPG organization accurately track materials, products, crates, and equipment throughout the production process. These solutions include:

•   Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Context-Aware Solutions with AeroScout

•   Unified Communications Warehouse Voice Picking with Datria

•   Out-of-Stock Analytics with SCOPIX

PHYSICAL SECURITY

Cisco physical security and physical access control solutions help to secure company facilities and reduce loss from theft or disaster. Cisco networks support IP cameras, interoperability for land-mobile radio systems, video analytics, and other capabilities. Solutions include:

Industrial Wireless Video Surveillance

Cisco Physical Security

INTERACTION WITH CONSUMERS

Today's "social-local-mobile"("SoLoMo") solutions support technologies that help users purchase products, search the web, and interact with applications using mobile devices. Cisco unites touchscreens, cameras, speakers, microphones, or credit card scanners with a publicly located kiosk or tablet with solutions such as:

Cisco Interactive Services

Energy Management

Cisco promotes sustainability by helping enable the network as a tool for monitoring and managing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Plant managers can access information from network-attached devices for data centers, carpeted spaces, lighting, HVAC, and distribution networks with Cisco partner solutions such as:

Industrial Energy Management Solutions

Conclusion

This result demonstrates the significant role of information technology in today's business world and in both CPG and retail management. It indicates that a sound Information Technology system is imperative to success in large format retail. IT system can be leveraged to increase efficiencies in supply chain and vendor management as well as centralize their control. And IT system is also beneficial for various retailing related operations. Retailers need to understand that technology is not a sunk cost but rather an investment to reduce heavy long-term costs. It is an investment to maintain competitive advantage for long-term growth.

Land-based and on-line retailers need to exploit the advantages of an information intensive business environment in order to deliver superior solutions to their customers, and at the same time simplify their businesses. Information technology solutions can reduce costs, increase supply chain flexibility and response, integrate suppliers and partners, and ultimately provide a more effective shopping experience for the customer. By utilizing and sharing technology with key players in the supply chain, retailers can develop collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment programs. In this way, they can reduce stock-outs, increase inventory turns and margins, and ultimately deliver a convenient, fast, cost-effective, and enhanced shopping experience to consumers.

The retail industry has transformed from what it used to be single shops, to what is now a much complex chain stores with worldwide customer base. Globalization has expanded the market in which retailers operate so this transformation has led to advanced information technology necessity to connect all the shops to one central hub system to manage. As a result of advancement in technology and informed and price sensitive customers, information has developed to be the most vital asset of the successful retailers today. Information as an asset and information system technology is the most important tools available to retailers. Technology has had a huge impact on the retail industry transformation.

QUOTES

"In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish."

-Donald Trump

"Do your duty and a little more and the future will take care of itself."

-Andrew Carnegie

What Made these Global Top 25 Companies a Success

What Made these Global Top 25 Companies a Success

Role of Information technology in growth of economy

Role of Information technology in growth of economy