CitiXsys, the largest software solution partner to the SAP Business One community, has joined this year’s Retail Asia Expo in Hong Kong from 12-14 June, to showcase its retail management software solutions to Asian retailers. The company, with thousands of customers in over 45 countries, focuses on customer agility and growth by delivering quality software solutions. Lionel Low, Channels Sales Manager for CitiXsys Australia Pty. Ltd told Retail in Asia what common challenges are faced by Asian retailers. He also introduced the company’s iVend applications to RIA.
RIA: You have a R&D centre in New Delhi, and offices in Singapore and Australia. According to your experience, can you explain what kind of retail systems Asian retailers need?
Lionel Low (LL): Asian Retail market took off about a decade ago and is still expanding, the trends here have been unique due to prevalent traditional brick & Mortar stores which go deep down till to the grass root level. Modernisation of traditional retail here is undergoing a transition now with people getting inclined towards non-traditional ways of shopping include websites, kiosks, catalogue shopping.
Asian retailers and manufactures now look at integrating their inventory flows, merchandise planning and in-store management to achieve higher sales and at the same time engage their loyal customers with a loyalty reward management program. In a nutshell they are clearly focusing towards solutions that offer them end to end Retail management with business intelligence tools in place to give those actionable metrics and data as and when required.
RIA: iVend, the retail application series, covers all parts of retail operations such as store & POS, loyalty management, e-commerce, mobile solutions, and analytics. What is the competitive edge of these applications? What are some special features that are unique and different from other retail applications in the market?
LL: Let us first understand what iVend Retail is- iVend Retail Management Suite is an SAP Certified, end to end Retail Management Solution. This comprehensive suite of applications provides retailers a real time view of their operations with centralised control enabling them in effective and faster decision-making. It helps retailers succeed in their business by providing integrated functionalities including Business Intelligence & Retail Analytics, Customer Loyalty Management, Integrated e-Commerce, Promotions, Inventory Management & Planning and in-store management.
In this competitive environment you shall find no other solution that features all these applications under one umbrella. iVend Retail Management suite addresses to all the concerns that retailers face on a day to day basis at the same time is scalable to future cross channel retail needs, making it an apt choice for progressive Retailers globally.
RIA: Nowadays, most retailers are tapping into multi-channel retailing. What are the common challenges faced by the retailers who want to optimise their retail system for multi-channel retailing?
LL: Retailing surely has evolved from single channel model to multi-channel. Multi-channel meant retailers sold directly to the customer via more than one channel but they were isolated channel-centric experiences. So the foremost challenge that a Retailer faces is
Channel Integration – The primary aim of channel integration is to provide customers with a consistent experience that boosts their loyalty and has a positive impact on the bottom line. However, in order to achieve effective Multi Channel Integration, it is important to firstly gain a single 360-degree view of the customer in terms of understanding what they are doing. Secondly, the need exists to establish a single source of data for pricing and product information.
Optimising stock – Stock is a major investment for all retailers and optimising stock ensures that stock levels are kept as low as possible, whilst ensuring that customer demand can be met. At the same time, optimising stock avoids having stock "stuck" in the ecommerce system when one of the stores is out of stock.
Click & collect – Click and Collect customers want the advantage of researching online, but don’t want to wait for delivery. Offering a Click & Collect capability gives customers both the benefits of ordering online and the opportunity to collect straight away, which is a win-win situation. However although Click and Collect is a very desirable service to offer, the systems implications can be complex and retailers considering this move need to be cautious.
Maximising sales and reducing costs.
Implementing new channels to market.
RIA: CitiXsys specialises in Retail and Distribution domain with software solutions. Can you share with us some of the solutions that retailers can consider?
LL: Each solution of CitiXsys technology has been crafted innovatively to ease the functions of a modern day retail chain whether it is big or small. Our Solutions include-
iVend Retail from CitiXsys Technologies is an SAP certified complete Retail Management solution for Retail Store Chain companies integrating all aspects of Retail Business ranging from Head Office functions to Back Office and In store operations. iVend Retail is the core building block of iVend Retail Management Suite and delivers a solution that is configurable, flexible, and easy to implement. High levels of scalability are brought by its certified integration to SAP Business One, SAP Business All-In-One and SAP ECC 6.0. iVend Retail APIs enable it to be integrated to any standard Business Management Application.
iVend eCommerce is a logical extension to iVend Retail allowing retailers to offer their products on the web. iVend eCommerce is configured as an iVend Retail store and offers to extend the bricks & mortar store as an eCommerce portal on the Internet. With its seamless integration with iVend Retail, shoppers can conduct their business on the web in the same way as is done at the physical store – imparting customers a unified experience – where he has access to all products, images, virtual studios, promotions, & schemes.
Usage of this application is not limited to retail and can be extensively used by non-consumer-based industries like manufacturers for listing their products and services. iVend eCommerce offers competitive advantage to a business by extending the reach through the Internet and is a must have for the new age, ever-expanding business.
iVend Loyalty is a points & rewards management application designed to significantly improve customer retention by bringing them continuously back and improve customer satisfaction levels. iVend Loyalty is seamlessly integrated with iVend Retail and can integrate with any Business Management or Retail application using its APIs. Flexible Loyalty Plans with multiple redemption features make iVend Loyalty an imperative solution not only for the Retail Industry, but also for non-consumer industries like manufacturing and not-for-profit organisations.
iVend Mobile is an application running on a touch-based hardware platform which functions like a mobile POS & acts as a queue buster avoiding an interminable wait at the cashier. This handheld "register" is connected to iVend Retail Server which interfaces with the backend enterprise data. Through this integrated solution, retailers have access to all core point of sale functionalities from a Mobile Device, encouraging shoppers to buy more.
iVend mobile supports the Point of Service functionality appropriate for the sales floor, providing product lookups & related information to the Retail staff . The real time benefit it offers is of concentrating staff availability at all available customer touch points with integrated promotions, gift cards, discounts, loyalty programs and so on.
iVend Analytics is a set of pre-packaged, shrink-wrapped Business Intelligence dashboards for the Retail Industry. iVend Analytics seamlessly integrates into iVend Retail and leverages transactional data of the retail environment to generate context-specific detailed insight which is functional & actionable. Retail specific intuitive dashboards provide strategic and tactical insights for faster and effective decision-making. iVend Analytics run on any browser, iPhone/iPad or any Android device.
Feedbacks from our clients who are using the iVend solutions are positive. You can find out more about how the solutions have addressed to retailers need from our customer case studies.
To read case studies on the iVend solution, click on the PDF attachments.
CitiXsys is a leading provider of products for SAP Business One in the Retail and Wholesale Distribution Supply Chain. The largest SAP Business One Solutions Partner globally, CitiXsys also provides implementation, integration and customisation services to SAP partners and customers worldwide. The company helps clients across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific regions and Africa realise high business impact and value from improved retail, wholesale and distribution solutions in the Business One landscape.
Lionel Low is Channels Sales Manager for CitiXsys Australia Pty. Ltd. The company is now exhibiting at booth J24, Retail Asia Expo 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. To learn more about this company, visit CitiXsys.