Advanced Business Solutions understands that the retail sector is an incredibly fast-moving environment with management team time and IT expenditure focused squarely on front-office business issues and processes, such as Chip & PIN, data security standards, internet, EPoS and self-service.
This front-office expenditure is not surprising, as consumers' shopping habits become increasingly more sophisticated. Demand for a consistent and seamless shopping experience across all channels is increasing, fierce competition to get customers through the door is becoming ever more challenging and payment technology advances continue apace. Added to this are high staff turnover, increasing staff costs and compliance with employment law changes.
While the front office moves forward, the back office must also develop to support the business. At Advanced Business Solutions, we understand that our retail clients' operational imperatives are headed by cost reduction strategies, transparency and reconciliation of data and specific compliance issues. We believe that the retail back office provides opportunities to increase profitability through cost saving initiatives, improved planning, uniting front and back-office data giving managers the right information at the right time, and workforce management both centrally and at store level.
Today many retailers are looking for more than top line growth; they are beginning to focus their efforts and IT budgets in key back office areas such as finance, planning and Human Capital Management - integrating these applications to front office systems such as EPoS, staff scheduling and payment systems, and leveraging data from across the business to deliver invaluable insight and competitive advantage.
Retail management teams are also under increasing pressure to present effective business cases for supply chain improvements and streamlined administrative processes. New innovations are emerging across this sector to address these acute pressures. Experience tells us that many retail groups are consolidating data sources, and uniting local and divisional finance and HR operations into central shared services hubs, with back office processes automated and consolidated.