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Skyrocketing inflation: here's how retailers can deal with it quickly and effectively

This article is written in cooperation with Advanced Programs

How can you approach price increases effectively? While raising prices may seem like the obvious solution, it may not always be viable for all retail propositions. Where can you change things around, and what are the consequences for the rest of your business? This is where the limitations of your IT systems can become painfully apparent, as it may not have the capability to perform necessary price calculations. Together with Advanced Programs we closely follow what is happening in the market, at various retail companies and within their IT departments to provide expert guidance on handling this situation.

The first step to success

Adapting to the ever-changing market landscape requires a shift in perspective when it comes to IT. It is not uncommon for companies to view IT solely as a cost center, an expensive component on the CFO's ledger. Additionally, the IT manager is not consistently involved in strategic decision-making processes, despite the critical role that IT plays in today’s world. It is essential that IT is represented on the board of directors and is involved whenever strategic decisions are made. IT is essential for your business success and should be considered as the core of the business operations.

Many companies run their business on outdated systems that have become a complicated spaghetti of applications and interfaces. Maintaining these systems is increasingly difficult and innovation is almost impossible. Acknowledging that legacy systems are holding back growth paves the way for innovative solutions. Business critical software applications, such as ERP or WMS systems, have to be recognized as important strategic components of your company. Companies will only have their ’house in order’ and be able to innovate when they have thoroughly upgraded their IT systems.

Facing market and IT challenges

Retailers today face more competition than ever before. The necessity to be distinctive puts pressure on the existing business. Do you still want to have the right to exist ten years from now? Then you are expected to continually revise your strategies. Off-the-shelf software solutions can quickly become a hindrance because they do not provide any possibilities to be distinctive.

The current market demands flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to changes. Until recently, there was no need to change your prices and margins almost daily. And certainly not with such large steps as is now the case. Gasoline prices require efficient loading of trucks and containers to achieve the most economic transport costs. Additionally, there is a growing emphasis on sustainability, with companies seeking to minimize transportation and reduce their environmental impact. Does your IT support or hinder all these factors? Can you participate in the world of ‘green IT’?

Quickly and efficiently anticipate changing customer demands

At one Advanced Programs customer the existing legacy-applications were a major hindrance to be able to meet the changing demands of their customers. The ideal scenario is to be able to predict customer needs based on data from all systems, ensuring that products are always in stock and readily available. However, achieving this requires an adaptable application landscape and a consistent data environment.

The solution? The customer found a sound basis for its innovation requirements in the Thinkwise enterprise low code platform. The platform enabled the company to modernize its complex application landscape and integrate it into one environment within a very short timeframe. In addition, all the information about products such as prices, stock details and possible certifications, is now connected in one central system. The company can now obtain more value from their data and have more flexibility in modifying and expanding their applications.

Investing to get your house in order

Purchasing new software for core applications is not something you do lightly. Implementing a sustainable (core) system using Thinkwise is more than just an investment in your IT systems. It is part of a new strategy and the involvement of IT in your strategic decisions. Modernizing legacy applications is necessary, but can be daunting. However, it doesn't have to be a major project. By starting with small modules, such as a pricing tool, you can quickly address pressing issues. This can be followed by automating stock administration, reducing costs in that area and progressively transitioning to a sustainable core system that is designed for the future.

Why Thinkwise together with Advanced Programs?

A sustainable IT solution such as Thinkwise provides a wide range of possibilities and is a vital instrument in achieving long-term goals. Understanding how IT aligns with strategic challenges is an area where Advanced Programs can provide invaluable assistance. Along with the implementation and adoption of the Thinkwise system throughout your entire company, Advanced Programs can offer guidance on the larger strategic picture. With 20 years of experience they can advise on the entire change process, the associated roadmap and the successful involvement of your employees. From the first modifications of your IT system to the overall organizational alignment that is necessary for the success of the entire project.

Do you want to know more about Thinkwise and Advanced Programs?

Discover how Xenos in cooperation with Advanced Programs and Thinkwise has modernized its business applications. Or read more about the partnership.