At the NRF BIG Retail Show 2013, a new relationship was announced between Kronos and Manhattan Associates to help retailers profitably integrate their physical stores into their digital selling strategy. The idea is to allow retailers to increase customer satisfaction and drive sales by freeing up trapped inventory in the store and elsewhere in the upstream supply chain, while managing labor costs.
NCR Corporation is global technology company helping the world connect, interact, and transact with business. NCR’s assisted- and self-service solutions and accompanying support services address the needs of retail, financial, travel, hospitality, gaming, public sector, telecom carriers, and equipment organizations in more than 100 countries. Recently, the company announced its intention to acquire Retalix.
On January 14, 2013, at the upcoming National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, NCR’s Chris Lybeer will be presenting findings and insights on omni-channel retail from both the shopper and retailer perspectives. The presentation is based on a nine-country survey of shoppers and retailers NCR conducted as well as from Lybeer’s own experiences in the retail world and other industry insights. Lybeer will also discuss how leading retailers today are using innovative technology to meet consumer demand for mobile-enhanced shopping, personalized offers, and integration across channels to deliver superior shopping experiences and earn a greater share of wallet.
In anticipation of the upcoming NRF 2013 event, Epicor has announced that specialty retailer A.C. Moore has selected and implemented Epicor Retail Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to strengthen customer relations and support future loyalty and reward initiatives. With 141 stores along the US East Coast, A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc., in addition to offering traditional craft products, is well-known for its selection of scrapbooking, jewelry, floral, yarn, art supplies, children’s craft kits and educational toys, and ready-made frames and custom framing.
My recent in-depth report from the KronosWorks 2011 conference entitled KronosWorks 2011: Beyond Time Clocks for Modern Workforce Management asserted that vertically-oriented tuck-in acquisitions were likely in store for Kronos in 2012. Lo and behold, in mid-January 2012, Kronos announced that it has acquired the assets of OptiLink from The Advisory Board Company in an undisclosed cash transaction.
As a result of the acquisition, Kronos has added one of the industry’s leading acuity-based staffing solutions to its health care workforce management (WFM) suite. Kronos now offers possibly the most advanced clinically-focused WFM suite designed to help healthcare organizations deliver high-quality patient care. More than 3,000 hospitals and 4,000 long-term care organizations use Kronos Workforce Central solutions every day. Other notable competitors in the space are API Healthcare, McKesson, and Lawson Software (part of Infor).
Part 1 of this blog series introduced Reflexis Systems, whose task execution solutions have helped over 110 retailers and their suppliers worldwide execute their strategies and increase profits. The article analyzed Reflexis’ genesis and evolution from a task management specialist to an integrated retail workforce management (WFM) platform provider.
Reflexis’ Retail Execution Management platform features labor budgeting/forecasting/scheduling, time and attendance (T&A), task management, and key performance indicator (KPI)/compliance solutions to enable retailers to align their store labor/activities to corporate goals and institutionalize best-practice responses to real-time metrics. As mentioned in Part 1, Reflexis’ customers, many of which are Top 250 global retailers, have reported improvements in store-level compliance with corporate strategies; higher productivity of merchandising, field, and store management; and increased sales and profitability. Read the rest of this entry »
My recent post (Software and Human) Help Wanted in Overwhelmed Retail Stores talked about how much attention (and IT investment) retailers pay to their merchandize planning and supply chain optimization processes as compared to their store-level task execution, even though this is where “the rubber meets the road.” I concluded my post with the fact that there are dozens of retail workforce management (WFM) vendors and solutions, but not many have the required store-level task management capabilities.
My recent series on Quantum Retail presented the many difficult merchandise range and assortment planning issues that retailers face, and the ensuing tough decisions that they have to continually make in that regard. But a lesser-known fact is that even though retailers spend multiple billions of dollars on planning activities and supporting tools to bring customers to their stores, they only execute at about 60 percent efficiency in their stores at best, thus leaving trillions of dollars in merchandise at risk. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed Manhattan Associates’ innovative Supply Chain Process Platform (SCPP)-based analytic applications, including Supply Chain Intelligence (SCI) and Total Cost to Serve (TCS). I discussed other Manhattan SCOPE suite modules as well as the company’s recent evolution from being a mere supply chain execution (SCE) provider.
In Part 2, I zoomed in on the Distributed Order Management (DOM) module, which is a critical “cerebral” SCOPE/SCPP application. I explained the DOM inner workings via a few scenarios of how the system could take customer orders and decides which location is best suited to fulfill them based on inventory on hand, inventory in transit, and complex delivery requirements and preferences.
Manhattan Associates’ platform pieces also enable the vendor to identify new ways to combine solutions to uniquely address industry-specific business problems. At the 2011 National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Conference, the vendor revealed the next generation of Zero Disappointment Retail (ZDR), a concrete deployment of its SCOPE, SCPP, and multi-channel order management concepts in the retail sector.
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed Manhattan Associates’ innovative Supply Chain Process Platform (SCPP)-based applications, such as Supply Chain Intelligence (SCI) and Total Cost to Serve (TCS). The Manhattan SCOPE suite’s modules were also discussed as well as the company’s recent evolution from a mere supply chain execution (SCE) provider.
The article concluded that Distributed Order Management (DOM) is a critical “cerebral” application of the entire suite. A smart order management system takes customer orders and decides which warehouse (or any other viable inventory location) is best suited to fulfill them based on inventory on hand, inventory in transit, and delivery requirements.
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed typical issues that retailers face in their cutthroat competitive environment and concluded that traditionally available packaged retail enterprise applications are sub-optimal, provide only stovepipe views, and demand constant manual intervention by a highly sophisticated user. This is especially true in the case of handling ever-more difficult products and assortments (e.g., big ticket slow-moving items, sized merchandise, etc.).
The article then introduced Quantum Retail Technology, an up-and-coming company with a budding install base, who has an intriguing mission and value proposition for retailers that have to deal with a slew of tricky retail items. What follows now is my discussion with Chris Allan, Quantum’s chief strategy officer.
My recent article on Manhattan Associates (NASDAQ: MANH) and RedPrairie Corporation stated that these two vendors continue to duke it out at almost every large-scale selection deal for a warehouse management system (WMS), distribution labor management system (LMS), and/or transportation management system (TMS) solution. But over the last few years they have also pursued somewhat different expansion routes from their traditional supply chain execution (SCE) realms, where they will likely face different competitors.
To that end, RedPrairie has been rounding out its solutions set for retail stores while trying to attract the lower-end of the WMS and TMS markets via on-demand applications. For its part, Manhattan has been rounding out a portfolio of supply chain management (SCM) software solutions dubbed Manhattan SCOPE, which stands for “Supply Chain Optimization, Planning through Execution.” Built on a common Supply Chain Process Platform (SCPP), the SCOPE suite combines the following sub-suites to enable overall supply chain optimization: Planning and Forecasting, Inventory Optimization, Order Lifecycle Management, Transportation Lifecycle Management, and Distribution Management.
The article then went a bit deeper into the guts of the SCPP technical underpinning. But SCPP is not a mere “geekware” toolset, since it also comes with its own applications and solutions. These solutions offer the broad supply chain insight and analytics that are critical to an executive’s ability to proactively manage the holistic supply chain.
Every year-ending holiday season reminds us of the importance of consumer spending and the retail sector for the United States (US) and global economies. Many economists and pundits are then awaiting with trepidation the Black Friday sales outcome and reported consumer sentiment or Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) as bellwethers of the economy in the New Year.
While this past holiday season seems to have gone quite well for most retailers (especially in terms of their online business growth) according to a recent National Retail Federation (NRF) announcement, hardly any retailer can now relax and breathe a sigh of relief. Retailers are in a tough business and are constantly seeking tools to enable them to delicately balance their sales, inventory, and profit figures.
Given our shared presence in the Boston metro area, I’ve had numerous contacts and interactions with Kronos Incorporated in the past, but this fall was my very first attendance of the vendor’s annual user conference: KronosWorks 2010. That attendance was a worthwhile use of my time and a great learning experience about the company and its customers. As some background, here is Ventana Research’s report from the previous conference, KronosWorks 2009.
Kronos is the global leader in workforce management (WFM) solutions that enable organizations to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Tens of thousands of organizations in 60 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000 — use some or all of the following modules of the Kronos Workforce Central suite: time and attendance (T&A), scheduling, absence management, human resources (HR) and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics.
The conference’s official program started with an intriguing animated video with some startling statistics about what our working days and weeks have begun to look like. For example, 15 percent of people admit that they are addicted to e-mail – some confessed to checking their e-mail at the beach, weddings, and even at funerals.
My recent blog series entitled “Integrated Workforce Management (WFM) Platforms: Fact or Fiction?” established that WFM systems have evolved from point solutions (i.e., time and attendance [T&A], workforce scheduling, absence management, human resources [HR], payroll, etc.) into unified solutions with a common user interface (UI), integrated WFM modules, and centralized management. For virtually for every kind of business, the benefits of WFM platforms should come from a holistic view of labor demand, optimized schedules based on specific labor policies and constraints, and the fact that accuracy often matters more than efficiency.
The next evolutionary step in the enterprise applications realm (WFM systems included) is to leverage Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Application (RIA) tools as well as ubiquitous mobile devices and information to bring informed decision-making to the business user. Persona-based UI development is repeatedly cited as a concept and undertaking of late. The aim is to present data that is specifically relevant to the logged-in user, with presentation methods that are rapidly understood. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series introduced the conundrum that retailers (especially those in the areas of fashion and apparel) encounter in the realms of design, sourcing, ordering, and delivery of private label and branded goods. The article also introduced TradeStone Software and its merchandise lifecycle management (MLM) solutions that enable a number of the world’s most successful retailers to bring innovative and profitable private-label products to market at ever higher speeds.