Selecting the Right Retail Software Solution

By: Candy Ross

Maybe you've heard some retailers say that at one time--way back when--they used a pencil and paper as a method of tracking inventory? Times have changed, yes, but just how far have retailers gone to make the advancements they need to keep up?

Systems administrator Ken Sweeney has been around retail for over ten years and witnessed the antiquated methods of tracking inventory. He is responsible for the technology of one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world, AEG Merchandising. Before the installation of a modern day retail point of sale system in 1997, the only methods for tracking inventory and keeping income and products organized were kept with pencil and paper.

It took considerable research to find a technology solution suitable for the needs of AEG. After using retail service provider One Step Data, Sweeney was able to make the right choice for his company.

But do retailers really know what they need without help of a service provider?

Today's retail point-of-sale technology needs to have certain key features that allow flexibility, as well as total functionality for the retailer.

* A system that is scalable. It needs to scale smoothly from a single store to a chain of stores. It needs to be deployed with a stable and scalable database.

* A system that is easy to learn. It needs to have an architecture that is familiar to employees and easy to use.

* A system that is integrates with other applications. It needs to operate on a platform that allows users to move easily from one application to another, and ties information together without manually re-entering it.

* A system with dynamic inventory control. It needs to have superior inventory data structures that preserve inventory history.

* A system that provides easy analysis and reporting. It needs to provide unlimited custom reporting capability and allow users to get the reports they want, how they want it.

* A system that is easy to customize. It needs to support unique retail methods, adaptable to fit changing needs.

The future of retail technology needs to exist in today's technology. There have been many advancements however many software solutions require constant upgrades to stay current with changing needs.

The most cutting-edge retail technology breakthrough is the recently released Retail Teamworkâ„?. It's the first all-in-one retail solution built on the Microsoft Dynamics platform and delivers real-time reporting.

According to a news article in Women s Wear Daily, The real-time sales reporting capability of Retail Teamwork brought one sports store in Mesa, Arizona a 25 percent increase in sales over the holiday season. The new integrated retail system boosted sales at this $14 million company. "It gave us an edge we were never able to have," said Just Sports owner Kevin Palmer.

Another software solution One Ste Data offers is Retail Pro®. This software has long established itself as the standard in store management software for retailers and has been the leading inventory control /POS system for small to medium sized retailers.

Kenco Retail Shops (DBA Famous Brands) had switched from using a cash register to the modern day point of sale system Retail Pro when owner Ken Sanchez could not keep up with managing inventory. Kenco opened its first store in 1992 is now a 12 store women's, men's and children's apparel chain located in the New York metropolitan area.

In the beginning, owner Sanchez managed his stores the "old way" by using cash registers and eye-balling the inventory. Our business had grown to a level where we could no longer keep up. We needed a system that would give us the ability to quickly and accurately replenish our inventory," explained Sanchez.

When you think of a retail management system, think "total control." That means you need a system that puts you in control of your inventory and prices, helps you manage trends, and provides you with tools to build customer loyalty.

It's the only way to stay ahead of the game.

For more information, visit www.onestepdata.com.

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