VICTORIA, BC and MANCHESTER, NH--(Marketwired - Apr 25, 2013) - Stronger than expected gains in retail sales in February and March point to a spring outlook where consumers shop more and spend more in the U.S. For an industry on the frontline of a changing economy, this is welcoming news. But responding to a new level of consumer demand across increasingly diverse retail channels -- brick, click, social, mobile, catalog and more -- requires retailers to have more than a good front-end operational, consumer-facing IT system, according to UNIT4 Business Software, the North American subsidiary of UNIT4, the global enterprise software provider for Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC)™. It also requires solid back-end retail accounting software that allows retailers to track profits and costs at a very granular level, across all channels, in real time, on-premise, and in the cloud.
New trends in technology, such as cloud computing, can help retailers cost-effectively manage their back-end systems and integrate them with their currently installed operational systems. They also can enable retailers to make smarter choices that lead to better service and products for their customers. UNIT4 Business Software offers the following tips to help retailers determine how back-office and cloud technologies can be put to use in their organizations.
- Learn how cloud computing can modernize the back office -- For retailers who have deferred updating their back-end systems in favor of the latest in customer-facing systems, the cloud can help them modernize their IT solutions rapidly. Software as a Service (SaaS) can provide immediate access to retail financial systems in a hosted deployment model, giving retailers a full, web-browser based and web-service enabled solution. UNIT4 Coda Financials, for example, has traditionally been selected by retailers such as IKEA and Jordan's Furniture for its best-of-class functionality and interoperability with installed operational systems. Coda Financials Cloud Deployment provides retailers with a flexible approach to on-premise, cloud or hybrid deployment, so that they can choose the best combination to meet their needs while having the latest technology options at their fingertips. Additionally it offers unrivaled security, reliability and portability, so retailers can confidently access their systems anytime, anywhere.
- Examine how well the back office system reports on costs and profitability -- Two of the most pressing issues retailers face are allocating costs correctly across all channels and determining the profitability of each channel at any given point in time. Does the retailer know which brick and mortar sales were made possible by having an online presence? To compete in a dynamic pricing market, multichannel retailers need sophisticated finance systems that can track SKUs and costs down to the penny.
- Evaluate how the back office system can free resources for more customer-centric activities -- If retailers find staff diverted regularly to do manual processes such as cleansing data, preparing reports, meeting compliance requirements, etc., it may be time to replace the finance system. Whether standalone or part of a larger ERP system, a modern retail finance system automates common manual processes and integrates retail intellectual property that resides elsewhere in the organization. Staffers are then free to focus on more business-oriented priorities, such as analyzing data more deeply and applying it for better decision-making across the entire operation.
For more information on financial software solutions for the retail industry, please download a free copy of UNIT4 Business Software's retail finance technology white paper.
About UNIT4 Business Software
UNIT4 Business Software is the North American subsidiary of UNIT4, a $624 million global business software and services company that creates, provides and supports software for Businesses Living IN Change -- delivered via the cloud or on-premise. It offers solutions that help these fast-changing public, private, non-profit and higher education 'BLINC' organizations embrace business change -- simply, quickly and cost-effectively. UNIT4 Agresso, the company's flagship Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite and UNIT4 Coda Financials, its best-of-class financial management software, are used by 6000+ organizations in more than 100 countries. For more information visit our website or follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn and our company blog.