What is Business Process Automation in Retail?
Business process automation in retail reduces repetitive, manual bi-directional data entry tasks from employee workloads through the use of BPA software. Regardless of operating within retail premises or online through eCommerce platforms, there are several manual employee tasks that eat into company time and money before a product hits the shelves.
Relying on employees to process product information, run sales and stock level reports, or manually process product returns on the company business system can bring added pains and increased costs through time constraints and data entry errors.
Business process automation software removes the reliance on employees manually processing information by automating essential business processes and helping organisations identify potential issues before they become a problem. In return, automation in retail reduces operational costs, eradicates human error and helps you to process more sales and related retail information without employee intervention.
What is BPA Software?
BPA software provides you with the tools you need to automate manual business processes. BPA software streamlines the way your business runs and improves efficiency by reducing repetitive, error-prone manual processes and operating costs.
Business process automation solutions for retail allow you to leverage your existing business systems to quickly and easily build automated processes that are unique to the way your business operates. Regardless of industry specialism, no business operates the same and will have different systems and processes. BPA Platform reduces the complexity out of business process automation by providing intuitive drag and drop interface, helping you to achieve a 100% fit to the way you work every time. This allows you to concentrate on staying cost competitive to drive the company forward.
BPA Platform provides you with the ability to facilitate two-way data integrations and extend the existing capabilities of your existing business systems, helping you to protect your future upgrade path. BPA Platform can deliver the following capabilities:
- System Integration: e.g. eCommerce integration, ERP (SAP, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics etc.), payment gateways, customer returns portal, warranty management portals, supplier portals, courier services, EPoS integration etc.
- Report and document automation: e.g. pick lists, sales reports, stock reports, inventory loss reports etc.
- Automated monitoring and alerting tools (email / SMS): e.g. Seasonal stock warnings, short shelf life alerts, low level stock alert, refrigeration service schedule notifications, goods shipped notifications
- Workflow Approvals: Supplier discount approval, sales discount approval, purchase order approval etc.
Image: BPA Platform dashboard to create automated business tasks
33 Retail Automation Solutions to Transform your Business
BPA Platform has been used extensively worldwide by retail and eCommerce organisations to automate their business processes. Here are some of the roles that BPA Platform has performed over the years to reduce operational costs and improve company performance.
- Automated reports including: Store sales, stock levels, productivity, inventory losses / shrinkage
- Marketing automation, including tasks associated with loyalty schemes
- Dynamic identification of regular customers who have changed their buying pattern
- Development of product information management (PIM) solutions to maintain product catalogue consistency across eCommerce platforms, marketplaces and 3PL
- Automatic reminders sent to customers who buy consumables, e.g. ‘Don’t run out’
- Automated reminders sent to staff who have not submitted timesheets via email / SMS
- Stock level warnings, e.g. Too high /low sent via email / SMS
- Automatic short shelf life alerts for perishable stock items via email / SMS
- Automatically distribute critical information to stores, e.g. price changes, remove from sale notices, end of line information, delivery schedules
- Dynamically chase suppliers for confirmation that goods will be delivered on time
- Seasonal stock level warnings
- Dynamically identify unusual sales trends
- Automatically update eCommerce stores with products, including descriptions, stock levels and pricing
- EDI integration to automatically receive and send electronic orders, invoices, advance shipping notes etc.
- Payment gateway integration (WorldPay, Stripe integration, PayPal etc.) to automate reconciliation processes
- Automate eCommerce order management processes, e.g. sales order, transaction IDs, customer information etc.
- Enable customers and sales staff to check stock levels of a product simply by sending and SMS text message or email to BPA Platform
- Automatic emails and SMS text messages to customers, e.g. ‘Your goods have been shipped’
- Allow customers to subscribe to company news, such as product updates or promotions
- Automatic creation and distribution of out of hours notifications to directors of store takings via SMS
- Automatically raise purchase orders when stock reaches agreed levels and generate a request for approval before sending to supplier
- Automated delivery of stock adjustment reports to managers to keep them informed of what stock adjustments staff are making
- Dynamic monitoring of equipment, such as chilled storage and freezers with alerts via SMS text message
- Automated reports showing products being sold in a company’s bricks-and-mortar stores that are not being sold on their eCommerce store or on display in their trade showroom or portfolio samples
- Automate reports listing discontinued or out of stock items that must be removed from sale / display in showrooms or portfolio samples
- Development of customer, supplier, returns and/or warranty management portals to company branding
- Email marketing automation and application integration to automatically distribute email campaigns for slow moving stock
- Monitoring of competitor pricing to stay cost competitive
- Automatically updating EPoS systems with price changes
- Automation of sales order fulfilment processes, including pick list creation and printing shipping labels
- Courier service integration, e.g. DPD, Parcelforce, FedEx, Royal Mail, Hermes etc.
- ERP integration, e.g. SAP, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, Access, SYSPRO, Epicor etc.
- Integration with eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, Amazon, eBay etc.
This is just a small selection of the ways that BPA Platform users utilise our business process automation solutions to improve back-office retail operations. Download the brochure below to discover over 200 ways that business process automation can help your business.
10 Benefits of Business Process Automation in Retail
Including business process automation in retail processes can help you to increase the visibility of critical data, such as sales, products, or financial information. It can protect you against human error, help with forecasting, aid strategic planning for seasonal peaks and reduce operational costs.
Common process automation benefits that can be achieved through the implementation of retail automation solutions include:
- Ability to become more responsive to changes in the business
- Removal of costly administration processes
- Improved customer relationship management
- Removal of manual report creation
- Increased visibility of critical business information
- Reduced operational costs
- Improved decision making
- Reduced need to recruit additional resource during peak periods
- Removal of human error
- Added ability to drive company revenue
For more information on how to plan your retail automation strategy to improve company performance, download the brochure below or call us on +44 (0)330 99 88 700.