06.02.2014

Running your Real Time Business

Today in the face of increasing competition companies are looking for new sources of revenue and ways to build customer loyalty. Serving customers through multiple channels has become necessity for many businesses, but it seems that some companies are more successful in it than others. Based on my experience I share following three advices how to approach the area of commerce.

Provide Seamless Omni Channel Customer Experience. Whether you are running your sales through EDI, complex distributor networks, traditional store chains, field sales or online storefronts, it is important to support the customer journey consistently as it moves across these touch-points. Long gone are the days when a standalone e-commerce site with nice decoration and basic order entry functionalities was enough for customers. Real time business information is key: customer specific pricing, accurate availability information, rich product data, and detailed delivery tracking are just few required backbones of successful commerce solution. Add on top targeted campaigns and searchandizing for a personalized value proposition. To do this in an omni channel way, you need to integrate tightly and in real time with the underlying business processes and systems.

Optimize your supply chain. When implementing Commerce programs, you should consider changes that are required across the supply chain. Online sales has many advantages to traditional stores. For example you can provide larger and continuously changing product assortments with rich product information. While the amount of products and rich master data increases and product lifecycles shorten it is important to set up efficient Product Information Management tools and involve suppliers in the process to reduce maintenance unit cost. As the number of stock keeping units increases but sales per SKU probably decreases, you must analyze potential changes to physical delivery chain i.e. locations and stock levels of Warehouses. Also with less transactions happening in traditional stores they might need to adopt new roles as showrooms, distribution and training centers, returns process and after sales support centers.

Act on Big Data to Automate Processes and Decisions. How do you make smart or even automated decisions on new product offerings, pricing and campaigns? There is plenty of real time information available in your business systems, make use of it! Your Commerce platform constantly gathers information on customer behavior Social Media integrated applications can gather important feedback on new products, services and ideas. Traditional transactional systems are packed with data from the entire value chain. Implementing Decision support and process automation tools based on predictive analytics of real-time big data opens up new possibilties for efficient, smart management of commerce channels. Making this all happen might not be easy, but the required innovations exist already. Bilot is the market leader in SAP integrated Commerce and CRM area, thought leader in HANA and Analytics. We know how to leverage the latest innovations to drive business results. Come and see Bilot and our Commerce Driven solutions running with hybris, HANA, Cloud for Customer and Fiori in Innovation Forum 5.3.2014, where Bilot is one of the main partners. Enroll here: http://event.clicideal.com/sap/nordics/edms/partners/SAP-Innovation-Forum-2014_FI_BILOT.html

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Vesa Niininen

Director, Digital Business Solutions