Software Implementations Bring Expected—and Unexpected—Benefits

From streamlined shift reporting to managing with data insight, modern software solutions bring opportunity for retailers.

March 19, 2024

ADD-Systems_112x112.jpgThis article is brought to you by ADD Systems.

By Regina Balisteri, ADD Systems

When convenience store retailers decide to implement new back office and home office software, they are usually focused on some common goals. Typically, those are to streamline end-of-shift processes, gain better control of pricing, improve inventory management and add reporting. Chris Kiernan, director of operations – retail/wholesale, ADD Systems, says that with modern convenience store management software, the benefits go well beyond these fundamentals.

“We always see our clients discover unexpected benefits of new software,” said Kiernan. “The expected benefits are there, of course, but the unexpected benefits have a huge impact on the business as well. A couple are the level of control and new visibility they have, but there are others, too.”

Empower Managers with Streamlined Reconciliation

The most basic goal of a software implementation is often to streamline their daily paperwork reconciliation. Modern software does this well by automating as much as possible. It pulls in POS data and sends reports electronically. “Shift reporting is fast and accurate, which is what customers expect,” Kiernan said, “but what’s often unexpected is the sense of ownership and control store managers gain. With the new tools, they understand the importance of accuracy and daily reconciliation, and they feel informed and able to be successful.”

These managers receive a compounding benefit. In addition to being more engaged, they have a better understanding of the business and more visibility of the sales and inventory movement. This allows them to spend more time out on the floor improving the customer experience.

Inventory Management with Real Control

"For some retailers, inventory control is still a challenge,” Kiernan said.

Modern software streamlines this process, Kiernan explained. Scanning deliveries into the store provides accurate invoicing and inventory updates. There is no time-consuming, error-prone hand-keying of invoices, and, equally important, no unwanted items or substitutes slide into the store. Software for inventory management helps to keep your suppliers in check. Transfers can be scanned out to track what was pulled from one store and sent to another store. Scanning and tracking waste is equally important, aiding the store manager in managing the shrink and having better control of inventory.

“In short,” said Kiernan, “modern software leads to more control and success for the stores and an easier, quicker process for the entire company.”

Pricebook Efficiency to Empower the Home Office

Before implementing new software, retailers often spend a great deal of time organizing and maintaining the pricebook at their stores. One of the most important benefits of modern software is a centralized pricebook, one that is managed in the home office and automatically updated at the stores.

A centralized pricebook is more than just a process change, it is true control for the home office, with increased efficiency, accuracy, and protected margins. Even with the pricebook being maintained in one place, retailers retain the ability to have unique pricing or unique items at various locations.

“Simplicity and home office control are the expected benefits,” Kiernan said. “The unexpected benefit that we’ve seen is how retailers use a central pricebook to customize each store to be nimble and create profitable promotions specific to the store.”

Data Insight to Enable Management

“Streamlined processes using modern software bring control and efficiency, but the analytics that come with modern software are a huge benefit that is often not fully understood by management teams upfront. After a switch, they have even more visibility into the entire operation than they expected,” Kiernan said.

“Modern software collects, analyzes, and turns all the data into actionable information,” Kiernan said. With better data insights into item sales and customer trends, management can make better informed operational decisions and successfully negotiate with vendors to get the store products they need. That same data analytics power gives insight into product movement, leading to minimized spoilage and shrink.

“The system can automatically send notifications to alert management of any unusual activity, such as an invoice variance, so that management can take immediate action. Efficient management activity is the goal, making management by exception an invaluable tool. The system will alert you of activity that needs attention, and those alerts can be scheduled in advance and delivered right to people’s inboxes,” Kiernan said.

Software Implementation—More Benefits Than You Expect

“Retailers implement new software with the expectation of improved efficiency and functionality, but the latest software goes above and beyond this,” Kiernan said.

Keep an eye out for our follow-up article where a retailer will share her software implementation experience and the specific benefits her chain gained.

Learn more about ADD Systems.