How long should I wait Mr. RETAILer? -Part I
Knowingly or unknowingly we spend a lot of our time in buying groceries. The other day, I visited a newly built retail mart near my home for purchasing groceries. The retailer claimed to have a very sophisticated ERP system to respond to customer demands and was capable of achieving more than just controlling flow of products & reporting sales figures to management. I believed it would save me time because of the classy system at the mart and I'll get everything under one roof. It turned out to be a prolonged search for products and then getting them billed.
What would have made me (a customer) happy?
I would have been pleased if the products that I required were accessible:-
- At the right price.
- At the right place.
- At the right time.
What I found missing at the Retail Mart?
- Products were out of stock and were mislaid in the shelves which were marked to carry them.
- The discounted price on a product on the shelf was different from the bar code price scanned at the billing counter.
- Amount of time taken at the billing counters was exceptionally high.
What is the possible fragility in the Retailer System?
- Processes that forecast customer demand while taking into account information about capacity in the supply chain & automatic products planning are not mapped correctly in the system. This is a reason for out-of-stock (OOS) event that leads to inventory being exhausted.
- The system is unable to respond flexibly to change in demand pattern. The delays in demand are not efficiently recorded into the demand management component of the system.
- The markdown price or price reductions of the product in the system are not being captured on the barcode price of the product.
- The cashier desk is unable to ensure rapid flow of checkout queues because of high service time and inadequacy in the point of sales component of the system.
In my next post, I'll discuss how the Retailer should strengthen their ERP system allowing customers to enjoy a more soothing retail experience.