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BPM can enable efficiency in retail

Ben Farrell
September 10, 2012

Business process management software offers organizations the ability to streamline operations through process automation and by integrating data and application flows between social, mobile and cloud channels. When these capabilities are applied to the operational requirements of the retail industry, a number of key benefits emerge.

BPM can contribute to better inventory management

Dealing with inventory management is among the most challenging parts of operations that retail clerks have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. As customers ask for different items and various models of items, it is not uncommon that clerks actually have to check their stock to identify if they have anything in the store. But an effective database system that lists all of the items in stock and uses BPM to automatically update based on web, mobile and in-store sales can streamline the entire process.

For example, when a customer tries on a shoe and asks a clerk if the store has it available in another size in the back, the associate can check the database at the register, or by using a smartphone or tablet, and give the customer an immediate answer. This not only improves service, it also avoids time wasted searching through shelves for a shoe model and size that may not be there.

BPM can enable customer-centric operations

When store associates are spending lots of time searching through databases for inventory or working to match products to special sales, they miss out on time they could be spending providing a better customer experience. BPM automates many of the background operational tasks and makes it much easier for clerks to get the information they need, when they need it. This allows them to quickly answer customer questions, find relevant information to go beyond just answering consumer questions and use social media to supplement the in-store experience.

In retail, BPM solutions can serve as a key enabler when it comes to everyday operations. The solution streamlines the tasks that store associates have to perform every day, automating the repeatable processes and eliminating the monotony that limits what clerks can do for customers. Through such efforts, businesses can better engage their staff by giving them more meaningful tasks to focus on, enabling them to do more for customers and delivering major revenue gains.