7 Obstacles Faced by Retail Industry and How to Remedy Them
Posted on June 20, 2019 by Team Boombirds
We are in the digital age. While we are yet to invent
time machines and rocket boots, cloud-based services are here. And they are
here to stay.
Yes, we are looking at the most talked about SaaS
(Software as a Service). 2017 was the year of SaaS companies. They have proved
to be a huge success in these few years.
According to a brave prediction made by Retail Business CISCO’s Global Cloud Index, SaaS will boom to a great extent from the year 2013 and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will drop down to 28 percent. Thus, many SaaS businesses have sprung up and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
So, are you a retail industry and is your enterprise being crushed by the sheer amount of structuration and planning that is required? While it is a herculean task to map out the numerous processes at hand, structuring the job in a way that deadlines are met, and responsibilities are shared equally. The pressure to eliminate inefficiencies and the need for speed increases with competition.
Regardless of the size of the industry and the capital
inflow, we need to acknowledge that all businesses require assistance to help
manage their work. A retail industry undergoes many challenges. Some complex,
some elementary; some related to sales, profit and losses. Some related to the
workflow of these applications. The latter is what we will be actively focusing
on in this article.
Some of the common issues are as follows:
problem of plenty:
This theory usually refers to the abundant
availability of resources that get increasingly difficult to derive utility out
of. But here we are referring to the abundance of responsibilities that need
attention. A typical SaaS business that deals with fleet services, the retail
market and audit firms are likely to be faced with many responsibilities.
Starting from ensuring the timely deliveries of orders to dealing with bulk
orders to ensuring the tasks are assigned to the right department, a SaaS
company is highly likely to capsize under the pressure of unregulated orders
and unmapped processes.
The more a business and its product get popular, the
more orders they receive. Thus, each payment is likely to increase the
accountant’s job. Thus, before they know it, these businesses are likely to be
knee deep in bills, recurring orders, balance sheet issues, calculation
mistakes and more. Having to manually calculate the bills or do inventory can
be extremely cumbersome, inefficient and time consuming. Calculating it through
automation seems like a dream come true.
Let us refer to small or medium businesses as nutshell
businesses in this article solely to indicate that such businesses, unlike
bigger enterprises, have limited resources to work with. They are more
vulnerable to risks. So, a nutshell business is likely to have limited
employees, capital and funds. Thus, to hire people to go into the nitty gritty
of the workflow- to map out tasks, get reminders of deadlines, assign tasks –
and to do all this manually can get incommodious, expensive and slow. Bringing
in a tool that can help automate all these tasks can help the business go a
In a SaaS business, it can often get confusing to know
who/which department is in charge of what task. This issue can look extremely
pronounced especially if the business in question is a small one. The admin may
or may not be aware of how the work is flowing. This, in turn, can give rise to
many other issues like lack of transparency or ethics. Apart from this, there
are issues that are not in the hands of the organisation. The delivery time
promises vary due to many unforeseen circumstances. Security breaches can occur
is the key:
Most organisations do not have a well- planned feature
of being able to get in touch with the people working in the organisation. But,
having an end-to-end conversation with the customer can do wonders for a
business. It keeps the office informed about possible delays in deliveries,
misplaced orders or any other issues a customer is likely to face. Such issues
can be addressed as and when they crop up and can be weeded out immediately.
This also helps acquire feedback and in turn, helps correct any possible
wrongs. But commonly, not many businesses have the option for customers to
contact the office directly. They are handled by call centers instead.
One crucial point to highlight is that SaaS businesses
constantly need to rely on third parties for their services. This can be as
small as the delivery personnel. This person is entrusted with the job of
collecting a product or picking up a person to ensuring that the product or
person is safely taken to the destination. The product or person in question is
completely vulnerable to the delivery executive for a certain period,
regardless of how brief it is. Similarly, a business also makes use of a third-party
software to perform accounts or manage workflow. The kind of threat that is
posed by these applications are likely to occur in the form of security
breaches and malware.
There are numerous applications that help manage the
workflow of a business. But not all of them are likely to be inexpensive, easy
to grasp or use. Employing the wrong software may cause a business its money,
credibility and more. One needs to test the waters that they are about to
enter. Though this might not appear as a pressing issue, it is quite important
for a business to ensure that it has invested in the right software. While the
company must ensure that the application meets all its needs, it should also be
aware that the business is allowing a third party into its domain.
The above complications can be remedied easily. All
one needs is a trustworthy tool that can not only help manage the workflow in
an organisation but also keep the managers notified as the tasks near
The terms “workflow management” or “Business Process
Management” are quite common in the world of SaaS businesses. Any entrepreneur
will be familiar with the fact that a business, if left unregulated or
unplanned, will fall apart at the seams.
Now what is workflow and why has it got everyone worked up?
Workflow, loosely defined, refers to the functioning of certain operation in a procedural, uninterrupted manner. Workflow management in the context of a retail industry, refers to the streamlining of one’s work in a smooth and seamless manner. There exist numerous applications that can aid in this process.
Managing the workflow helps cut the clutter. It helps
eliminate most middlemen or third parties and makes use of one single tool. As
mentioned before, this helps decrease the number of people in the payroll of a
Repetitive, manual work can get quite difficult to
work with. It also gets difficult to eliminate any possible human errors. But
managing the workflow through an automation can save time, increase efficiency
and help a business stay ahead of its competitors.
Workflow management tools are usually user friendly
and easy to grasp. Thus, it enables anybody, with minimal knowledge of all the
technicalities to operate the tool and produce desired results.
Many workflow management tools for retail industry also ensure that customers can have an end-to-end conversation with the people who are directly involved with their product or service. This aids in including the customer in the workflow and give a wholesome result.
Automation is also about consistency. Feeding data
into an application will help plan one’s tasks, assign it to the concerned
department, to spell out the tasks that need to be completed and the deadlines
that need to be met.
As the owner of a retail industry business, if you are looking to crack the code on how to make your workflow smooth and simultaneously deal with other potential obstacles, the golden age of SaaS is here. There are numerous SaaS applications for retail working hard to give you a smooth and easy work life.
Do want to know more tips to run a successful retail business. Then read about the 3 important tips to successfully manage your retail business.
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