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    Empowering retail with IT

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    Dynamic Vertical Solutions (DVS), a certified Microsoft Business solution partner, provides end-to-end retail software solutions built on Microsoft Dynamics. The company, it appears, is all set to help evolve the functioning of modern SMEs and big-box retailers. In an exclusive interaction with IndiaRetailing, Rakhee Nagpal, MD and chairperson of DVS, shares how technology can play a predominant role in managing the complexities of modern day retail.

    How can technology benefit big retailers as well as SMEs?

    IT acquires a critical position in the retail business model by providing a differentiating factor at all stages of operations. Technology has provided a more resilient, flexible and reliable framework to retail operations. Assortment and replenishment planning, demand forecasting, inventory and markdown optimisation, store development, back office integration and supply chain tracking are some of the key functions that technology performs for the retail sector.

    With obvious advantages for big retail organisations – in bringing operational synergy and being a critical information source – IT has significant role to play for SMEs as well.

    As retail continues to transform into a modern sector, small retailers will have to devise ways to bring back customers by offering them right assortment and services. IT has the potential to provide key strategic inputs that can help a retailer devise consumer strategies – both short and long term.

    Technology alone has the capacity to streamline the everyday operations of a retailer, while providing them with strategic insights for a long-term business strategy.

    What major challenges do retailers face in terms of technology adoption?

    A major challenge that retailers face is ‘change management’. Companies are extremely apprehensive in going for a change that will interfere with their basic work structure. Another common mindset that holds people back from adopting technology is failing to understand that technology is a business investment which offers huge returns. Retailers tend to focus on instant results, rather than creating a framework that can support their future growth plans while lending efficiency to the current operational set-up. IT is still considered an overhead expense in most parts of the country and there is a strong need to spread awareness, especially in the tier I and II cities.

    What steps does DVS take to increase awareness about technology adoption?

    In its endeavour to continue being at the forefront of creating a positive change in the corporate environment, DVS has launched a Retail Centre of Excellence for businesses across India and beyond. The Centre is an initiative to transform the structural as well as operational business models by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions rendered by functional and cross domain experts from the retail, real estate and hospitality industries worldwide. The initiative is aimed at bringing about a radical change in people’s perception about technology and best business practices. DVS strongly believes that technology should be considered a strategic investment with a measurable ROI and a potential to gain complete management control over diverse business operations.

    We believe in the potential of technology to drive the robust growth of India Inc and are determined to bring this revolution to India.

    What will be the aim of the Retail Centre of Excellence?

    The Retail Centre of Excellence will bring leaders from the retail, real estate and hospitality industries on a common platform where they can get a live demonstration of vertical-specific scenarios and case studies from the world over. The ultimate aim of the Centre is to bring a radical change in business processes in the remotest areas of the country by making world-class technology and sophisticated techniques an intrinsic part of the business operational models in the Indian subcontinent.
    It aims at elevating India to a platform where it can experience and be a part of the rapid changes happening in the business scenario across the globe.

    The Centre will also host bi-monthly sessions panelled by pioneers in the industry who are supporting this educative initiative.

    Please tell us about your LS Retail Suite of solutions. How can it help retailers?

    LS Retail is an end-to-end retail solution powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV. This fully integrated solution delivers the breadth and depth of functionality demanded by large and small retailers, without the need to build, manage or maintain multiple applications and costly interfaces. Its unique use of a single application to cover stores to headquarters, the point-of-sale (POS) terminals, store systems, inventory, merchandising and the back office functions required at head office sets LS Retail apart from other solutions available in the market. LS Retails allows retailers to use any data asset, transform it into actionable information and deliver it in Microsoft standard tools such as Office and Outlook. It also helps retail managers to efficiently manage end-to-end operations from the headquarters to the store. The solution also helps data common across stores, including item, customer and vendor management as well as special orders and loyalty programmes.

    LS Hospitality, on the other hand, is a flexible solution for the food and beverage industry, which directly connects to the account or stock module, all within a single solution. Based on Microsoft technology and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, it provides an end-to-end solution from POS to head office.

    LS Hospitality provides the management and the employees with necessary tools to keep the customer satisfied, thereby ensuring repeat business. With increased flexibility, speed of service and improved access to vital information, the solution streamlines operations and reduces cost.