Sales force automation (SFA) is the primary goal of implementing retail execution (RE) software.
The primary goal of implementing Retail Execution is to achieve the Perfect Store.
Retail Execution processes drive the actions a sales force executes each day in the field from call-planning to in-store activities and shelf optimization. When RE software was first deployed, field sales primarily operated using paper based systems. Thus automating the sales force from a call and activity perspective was an important and valuable first step.
Where many sales organization can gain greater benefit from SFA—and optimize retail processes—is in their ability to capture data that can be analyzed to help them wrestle with noncompliance, product availability and inventory issues—which when solved lead to the creation of the Perfect Store. This activity is called retail activity optimization (RAO) which combines measurements and KPIs to determine the overall success a retail strategy and its related execution is generating within a store or segment.
Retail Activity Optimization (RAO) is a natural progression of our Retail Execution software designed to drive increased value from data we already access in managing retail today. Using the data from promotional offers and activities, you can filter the information using KPI’s to identify issues and then generate automated alerts which trigger corrective actions through the SFA based mobile workforce. Additional value is generated by extending Retail Execution mobility with digital merchandising, which according to a Gartner study can now generate results within five minutes and with 95%+ accuracy.
When paired with third-party data sources and/or your ERP data, Retail Execution can identify ways to increase KPI focus, generate actionable insights and institute automated decision-making. Benefits include:
- Spending time with customers that offer the highest potential
- Identifying areas where share of shelf can be increased
- Developing appropriate “defend, maintain or gain” strategies
- Defining category assortments that map to the surrounding population’s buying habits
RAO has been improperly positioned by many analysts as an approach that only the largest companies could take given their ability to invest in big data and predictive analytics. It is in fact an approach that any size company can use to create the Perfect Store by leveraging the data they access today.