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5 ways CRM helps the small retailer

Small business owners understand the importance of serving their customers. Small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) should look to customer relationship (CRM) systems to aid in their business dealings and customer relations. According to RetailCustomerExperience.com, a CRM can help your business better understand the needs and concerns and be more precise and deliberate in nurturing those relationships. Take retail, for example. With a CRM system in place, retaining purchase histories, tailoring a marketing strategy to a customer’s interests and retaining valuable information about a client’s wants and needs can all be done under one program. There are powerful features that can give your SME the competitive advantage and continue to grow. Here are 5 ways to use CRM systems:

  1. Improve customer service – One way to improve customer service this is through a CRM helpdesk ticketing system, which allows internal teams to prioritize customers where managers can assign accounts to team members.
  2. Track team efficiency – Most CRM solutions have an integrated field service management feature, which enables you to know what customers your sales representatives have visited with real-time tracking and check-ins.
  3. Manage inventory – SMEs that have inventory needs but lack internal resources can utilize a CRM to manage purchase orders, customer product orders, and even monitor all inventory in multiple warehouses.
  4. Make better decisions – SMEs, just like any other business, have many factors that impact the overall company performance and a business dashboard developed in a CRM presents these factors in easily understood data visualizations.
  5. See the whole company picture – Few CRMs available today also include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software built into the solution. ERP is a powerful CRM addition that integrates all departments and functions across a business into a single system, while still serving each departments’ specific needs.

With proper implementation and guidance, CRMs can be the secret weapon your SME needs to stay competitive.

 

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The Top 10 Technology Trends In Retail: How Tech Will Transform Shopping In 2020

Technology is making its mark in just about every industry we know of. It helps create efficiencies, save money and provide better products and services. In retail for example, not only is technology making it easier for consumers to shop in store, online and on their mobile devices, but the softwares and processes are helping retail companies do business better. Strategic business & technology advisor Bernard Marr shared an article on Forbes predicting the top trends we might see in retail in 2020.

  1. Extended Reality – “Virtual and augmented reality offer retailers several ways to enhance the customer experience. From browsing products to virtually “trying them on,” extended reality is already in use by many retailers today such as Tilly’s, Ikea and Treasury Wines Estates. In the future, extended reality will eventually enable consumers to be able to share their virtual reality shopping experience with others.”
  2. Predictive Analytics (Big Data) – “Retail organizations have never had an issue collecting lots of data, but analyzing it and using the data to solve problems or create new solutions has been a struggle. Predictive analytics changes that. Now retailers can be proactive about the future by analyzing consumer behavior and trends from the past. Predictive analytics helps retailers be smarter, more efficient, and reduce costs.”
  3. Micro Moments – “Retailers who can meet customers “in the moment” have a powerful advantage. Thanks to direct digital access to consumers and powerful analytics capabilities, businesses can capture moments and help customers during their moment of need and even anticipate what a customer might need before they even know it.”
  4. Recommendation Engines – Another powerful tech tool for retailers is recommendation engines that help customers find things they never knew they needed and to help funnel options to a consumer at relevant times in their shopping journey. Retailers get to benefit from higher cart sales and improved customer satisfaction thanks to the ease of use. Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify are the recommendation engines you might be most familiar with, but many other retailers such as Best Buy use them too.
  5. Order Fulfilment Automation – “By the end of 2025, more than 580,000 autonomous mobile robots (AMR) will be deployed to help warehouses fulfill customer orders. Many retailers are scrambling to adjust to the “Amazon Effect” and are exploring order fulfillment automation to try to increase the speed and flexibility of operations in order to compete with Amazon. This automation can significantly reduce order processing times.”
  6. Face Recognition – “Many of the most successful retailers have online and offline presences. Facial recognition technology helps retailers proactively battle shoplifting and retail crime. In addition, it can bring the personalized online shopping experience to the brick-and-mortar location. When a customer is identified through facial recognition technology, the store staff can better respond to that customer’s unique needs.”
  7. Stock Management – “Automated warehouses help improve inventory control. Rather than wait for manual inventories, smart robotics and computer systems keep reliable stock data in real-time. This accurate data helps retailers manage stock flow, make solid predictions, smart decisions, and forecasting that help improve the store’s bottom line.”
  8. Robotic Store Assistants – “Another tech trend that’s changing shopping is robotic store assistants. Robots can help shoppers find the merchandise they are looking for and answer questions. They can even email special offers or coupons. Lowe’s has the LoweBot that helps with in-store customer service.”
  9. Customer Chat Bots – “There has been rapid adoption of messaging-based customer service bots across retail. Messaging has become the preferred customer service channel, so call volume will be reduced. Artificial intelligence bots will be able to improve the customer journey pre- and post-sales by lowering cart abandonment and help customers solve problems after the sale without human intervention.”
  10. Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Equipment – “The Internet of Things and smart equipment will transform the shopping experience. Thanks to the volumes of data we have available and the ability to process it, consumers can receive a personalized shopping experience that wasn’t possible before. Today’s consumers want experiences that include personalization and information to help them make decisions.”

 

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Tefron Deploys Infor ERP Across All Global Operations

Infor recently announced that Tefron, developer and manufacturer of lingerie and sportswear, has completed an enterprise resource planning (ERP) deployment of Infor M3. The ERP solution, which includes a friendly and convenient user interface, provides capabilities for managing the development and design of new collections, raw material procurement, regulatory compliance, full supply chain visibility, one-to-one production and financial management. Infor partner Intentia Israel assisted Tefron with their implementation. Infor M3 went live across all of the company’s locations with all new components of Infor M3 (version 13.4) embedded in the system. The system is live for more than 100 users across production and distribution centers in Israel, USA, Canada and China. Infor ION (Intelligent Open Network) was included, which enables fast and east integration of Infor solutions and other enterprise solutions.  Tefron will also embed the Infor OS central operating platform later, which enables the management of all solutions and tools under one synchronized, easy-to-use interface.

 

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Unlocking business potential with AI-integrated ERP software

There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay, and is revolutionizing the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) space. Mark Bowen at Intelligent CIO recently shared how the partnership of AI and ERP is going to affect the “very essence of the system-controlled business operations.” AI-integrate ERP systems can unlock the hidden potential of your business data.

Impact of AI on industries

  • AI in manufacturing – AI technology help ensure faster production in less time. From planned preventative maintenance to every other operation performed in any manufacturing plant, AI would make them more efficient and less prone to errors.
  • AI in retail –  Virtual reality functionalities in advertising, intelligent chatbot customer service and extensive customer behavior profiles are just a few areas where AI would thrive in the retail industry.

 

AI is transforming the way ERP functions

Integrating your ERP system with AI opens a world of opportunities and shed some light in your daily operations. With detecting customer behavior patterns and performing routine tasks, inclusion of AI in ERP systems can provide the following benefits:

  • Identify the problems even before they occur
  • Automates routine tasks with system intelligence
  • Improves user experience through interaction

AI is still in its early stages, believe it or not. Though it is no doubt that AI will be a part of ERP systems moving forward. So be ready for this change if you want your business to remain competitive in the years to come.

 

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LC Waikiki Leads the Fashion Pack with Infor

Infor recently announced that global fashion retailer LC Waikiki has selected Infor CloudSuite PLM for Fashion, to help with the company’s rapid growth. LC Waikiki selected Infor because of the application’s rich user experience, its ability to scale, dedicated capabilities for private brand fashion retailers, as well as the professionalism and knowledge of the team. Because the application is deployed via Infor’s SaaS, LC Waikiki can focus on growing its business and helping users drive greater speed and business value from the solution, saving on time and additional resources in supporting and maintaining it. “The $1.3 trillion fashion industry is enormously competitive and going through significant change,” says Jason Berry, VP Retail & Fashion, EMEA, Infor. Chief digital officer of LC Waikiki Serafettin Ozer stated the importance of winning market share by having a dedicated end-to-end platform designed to support specific dynamics of fashion product lifecycle management. Ozer comments, “The extensive capabilities and intuitive interface of Infor CloudSuite PLM for Fashion mean that we can continue our growth journey with the very best tools and absolute confidence in our performance.”

 

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APP Group, Mackage and SOIA & KYIO Select Infor for its Digital Supply Chain Transformation

Infor recently announced that APP Group, major luxury outerwear retail giant, has selected Infor Retail CloudSuite to support their exponential growth and global expansion. APP Group manages two global leading brands, Mackage and SOIA & KYO, and will implement Infor CloudSuite Fashion Suite, Infor Demand Planner, Infor Nexus, and Birst analytics to aid in accelerating its direct-to-consumer expansion. APP Group will modernize and consolidate their multiple ERPs with CloudSuite Fashion and leverage the modern, connected platform via Infor Nexus to support growth across their various direct to consumer channels, wholesale, store growth and eCommerce. Donna Lisk, Chief Financial Officer at APP Group, comments that as their business is rapidly expanding, their need for a modernized IT foundation will be invested in Infor’s ERP and supply chaing solutions. This partnership, Lisk hopes, will “help provide the transformation our organization needs to drive agility, improve our time to market for new products and expand globally.”

 

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Infor Releases New Solution Designed to Transform Price Management for Retailers

Infor’s newest cloud-native price management solution, Infor Price Management (IPM) has been officially released. The newest addition to the Infor Retail sector, Infor Price Management (IPM) is scalable, self-serviceable, and configurable, and serves as “one version of the truth” for price: evaluating prices, identifying conflicts and preventing leakage across applicable selling channels.  It enables retailers to focus on the creation of proprietary pricing models, identifying relevant sources of market intelligence, and differentiating their position in the market through value-based pricing. In addition, Infor Price Management permits retailers to bring together prices from disparate sources into a single execution platform for transparency across the organization – with the goal of eliminating conflicts and reducing price leakage.

 

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Destination XL Group Selects Infor to Optimize Customer Engagement

Infor’s newest partnership is with Destination XL Group (DXLG), the industry’s leader in men’s big and tall apparel. This partnership allows DXLG to increase their market share and top line sales, improve customer segmentation and drive state-of-the-art marketing activities. Infor Alliance partner Three Deep Marketing will work alongside DXLG to leverage Infor’s rich breadth of customer engagement solutions to deepen relationships with existing and new customers by better understanding preferences around promotions, pricing and assortment. DXLG will implement Infor CloudSuite CRM, Infor Marketing Resource Management (MRM), Infor Omni-channel Campaign Management (OCM), and Infor Loyalty powered by CrowdTwist to provide relevant communications across all channels. “With Infor’s end-to-end customer engagement solutions, we can understand our customers better, produce rich and deep customer profiles and drive incredibly smart segmentation to connect and engage with our customers in a more meaningful and targeted way,” said Jim Davey, CMO of Destination XL Group. Infor’s Retail division now supports more than 2,500 global fashion, retail, and grocery brands that work to modernize operations by taking advantage of the latest consumer and business technologies — mobile, social, science and cloud.

 

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Infor and Mashfrog Join Forces for Fashion & Industrial

Infor’s latest channel partner is with Mashfrog, an IT and digital services company based in Italy. The partnership is designed to help manufacturers in both the fashion and industrial industries in Italy to modernize through technology and pursue digital transformation programs. Mashfrog will have access to the Infor CloudSuite Fashion (based on Infor M3) and combined with the company’s service delivery credentials, it will help local businesses to capitalize on digitization, drive performance and expand market share. “Infor’s continued innovation and cloud first strategy is impressive and we are delighted to join forces with them to consolidate our proposition for the Italian market,” comments Federico Zuin, Mashfrog Group CEO. “Fashion and apparel companies face huge challenges and complexity, but through making the best decisions about where to invest in digital capabilities, they stand to win market share in what has become a global mega industry. Infor’s cloud first strategy combined with deep domain functionality and industry expertise, together with our credentials, industry knowledge and experience in service delivery, mean that we have an impressive proposition to take to the Italian market.”

 

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Infor Helps Forever New in Digital Transformation to Take the Lead

Infor recently partnered with Australian-based fashion and accessories brand Forever New to transform its supply chain and warehouse management operations in order to remain agile in a dynamic retail industry. Forever New will leverage Infor’s Supply Chain Execution (SCE) and Intelligence Open Network(ION) solutions across its warehouses and supply chain to help cater to demand across its channels including in-store, e-commerce and drop-ship for online marketplaces. SNS, a global supply chain alliance partner, will assist in implementing the solution and will help streamline Forever New’s warehouse management operations. This allows for dynamic order processing capability and enhanced stock optimization with voice-based operations, activity-based billing, labor management, better inventory visibility and accuracy. “Forever New’s desire to be an agile retail player is matched by Infor’s drive to deliver finely-tuned, industry-specific capabilities in the cloud. We are committed to helping this new-age dynamic retail leader carve out new markets by continued innovation, and supporting their growth and digital strategy,” said Helen Masters, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Infor Asia Pacific.

 

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