By Regina Balistreri, Director of Marketing at ADD Systems
The best back and home office software requires the least amount of attention. That can seem counter intuitive – software should help to propel a company forward, but how can that happen without constant attention and regular time investment? While systems take time to implement, once up and running the best will free users from manual tasks and complicated processes and, instead, offer up time for staff to focus on the real goal – creating an outstanding customer experience.
Maximize Efficiency with Automation
Adding software doesn’t mean that all the normal daily tasks disappear; but it can mean that they get done more efficiently, with as little intervention as possible. For example, a centralized pricebook, controlled from the home office, could retrieve updates automatically from suppliers and then push them down to the stores, again, automatically. This can free each one of the store managers from any pricebook update tasks.
Shift reporting can be handled in the same way. With totals automatically populated from the POS, a robust system can identify discrepancies, and push closed reports to the home office automatically. The store manager can spend time out on the floor instead of at a desk in the back room.
There is also reporting automation. It’s no question that effective c-store management needs complete visibility into the store activity. When automated and customized reporting of KPIs occurs, subscriptions can be set up to run those reports on a schedule and email them to the appropriate people. No need to devote hours to pulling data together into spreadsheets to then disseminate to management. In addition, with no need for manual spreadsheet creation, there is no longer the risk of data integrity issues due to manual errors.
KPI dashboards can make it easy to get a quick, meaningful snapshot of store activity. If something looks off, drilldown capability enables fast investigation.
Minimize Manual Processes with a Handheld Scanner
Nothing streamlines inventory counts like a handheld scanner. Taking inventory, including cycle counts, quickly and easily, means tighter inventory control with minimal time spent. Likewise, receiving items from suppliers is faster and more efficient. Just scan the invoice and the system automatically checks it against the expected receipt for any discrepancies. It is fast and mistakes are pointed out immediately.
A scanner can even be used for store-to-store transfers. No hand written notes, just a quick easy transfer. That same ease can be applied to write-offs as well. Just scan the product and log the inventory reduction, reducing shrink. Simple and fast.
Save Time with Management by Exception
Automated reporting saves time, but exception processing and reporting offer even more time savings. Imagine staying on top of store activity without spending hours going through every detail. By defining acceptable parameters for specific data, the software can share only what needs attention so that efficiency is maximized. No need to be bogged down with pages and pages of reports – just see the points that need attention.
Automated alerts, delivered in real time, can save hours of investigation. Similar to exception reporting, alerts can be configured to be sent whenever a data point is out of an acceptable range. Too many write-offs? Cash over/short too high? An alert is automatically sent to the appropriate management contact. Problem seen, shared and solved quickly.
The Importance of Support
Software design is paramount to enabling an efficient process in both the stores and the home office, but support and self-help are equally as important. Users are going to have questions, so having helpful documentation easily available in the software is a key to efficiency. In addition, having an easily accessible support team at the ready for more in-depth answers is equally as essential.
Time to Get Out on the Floor!
The goal is to spend less time distracted by accounting procedures and processes and more time out on the floor, engaging with your customers and creating a loyal customer base. Modern software makes that possible without losing the benefits that come from a tight, well-run accounting system. Processes are streamlined, reporting is pro-active and automatic, store activity is completely visible, software support is efficient, and staff has more time to focus on the customer. Efficiency at its best!
To find out more about how you can implement the most efficient back office and home office solution, contact ADD Systems at 800-922-0972 or addsys.com.
Sponsored content by ADD Systems