Electronic Trading Systems
Electronic Trading is not a brand new concept, but historically has only been affordable by the likes of the major supermarkets.
That has now changed and it is available to the independent retailer market.
The principles are refreshingly simple, but the benefits can be astonishing with regard to both cost savings and productivity gains.
In essence we electronically link the retailer to a number of main suppliers and automatically replenish stock, based on actual sales.
This has an immediate and substantial cost saving benefit in eliminating laborious stock checking and purchase order processing routines.
A purchase order will automatically go to a supplier, (error free) with absolutely no manual or human intervention, to replenish sold stock items up to a predetermined level, at a predetermined time.
If required, specials and promotions could be added and seasonal adjustments made. Powerful reporting on sales & purchase histories and trends can offer the retailer a useful and very relevant picture when studying performance or dealing with suppliers.
The most striking additional benefit of this aspect is that because the Purchase Orders are electronically received straight into the suppliers system, error free, the deliveries can be electronically booked-in by the retailer using a hand held laser terminal, in a mere fraction of the time once taken.
The labour time involved in identifying, counting, reconciling the delivery note to purchase order, updating stock etc is literally just a matter of moments, error free! Discrepancies are immediately highlighted.
Furthermore, because the whole process is performed in logical electronic steps, the accounts office also benefits from electronic reconciliation of the purchase invoice, saving huge amounts of administration. Credit notes for any discrepancies can also be requested electronically.
Productivity gains from having the right stock available, (no more out of stocks) and improvements to cash flow by optimising capital committed to stock, (cash-in non moving stock) are obvious and can be very significant in real money terms.
Because the electronic communication is a two way link, the retailer always has the most up to date information on their suppliers’ whole product catalogue.
This provides a number of clever advantages, not least the elimination of errors relating to part numbers, descriptions & prices through out the business.
So electronic trading can increase sales & productivity whilst at the same time reducing labour & capital costs, plus many other organisational benefits in areas such as pricing, display, shrinkage, accounts and general business-wide administration.
It offers a Win Win relationship between supplier and retailer.
The retailer gets all the product information he could wish for, which when used correctly, enhances his sales and customer service abilities through every channel, plus the opportunity to dramatically reduce capital, labour and administration costs whilst improving accuracy.The supplier gets a smoother, more consistent flow of orders from the ease with which the retailer can now trade with him, improved accuracy and efficiency, plus reduced labour and administration costs, whilst delivering a better service level to his retailers.