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Lessons Learned From Busiest Shopping Season

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How did your business fair from the holiday shopping season?  Did you deliver all the goods or services as promised, turn a profit, and win over new customers?  Some businesses are scrambling to perform damage control after their products didn’t arrive in time for Christmas morning.  If your head is still spinning from the busy season, it may be time to implement a business management solution that can put you in a better position for the next busy season.              

The data is still being compiled but early reports indicate that this last holiday season wasn’t as successful as hoped.  Some retail businesses saw a lot of foot traffic but didn’t have the sales to match.  Online shopping may have been more successful but fell short on the follow-through with late deliveries.  According to “Supply Chain News:  The Factors Behind the UPS Failure to Deliver Christmas Goods,” posted on SCDigest.com, ecommerce sales were up 37% from the previous year and two days before Christmas there was a 63% spike with online orders.  This last minute high volume demand may have taken both retailers and shippers by surprise because some deliveries didn’t make it to customers by Christmas morning.  The financial impact of this significant supply chain disaster hasn’t been analyzed but this isn’t going to be cheap.  Some businesses refunded the extra shipping fees and provided gift cards to make up for the disappointing late deliveries, however, the repercussions from angry customers may be felt for months to come.

Gear up for the next busy shopping season by implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.  An ERP solution can provide greater control and insight into your business operations, including warehouse and distribution operations.  An integrated ERP solution connects finances, supply chain, inventory, manufacturing and distribution operations, and other core business functions.  By connecting your data, you can identify trends with product popularity and customer demands.  Powerful ERP solutions, such as those offered in the suite of Microsoft Dynamics® ERP suite, also offer forecasting functionality.  You can create possible scenarios based on historical sales, pending sales, and other trending data, then make decisions about inventory and delivery availability so that customers will receive their orders as scheduled.

Make sure your customers get what they ordered during the next busy holiday season, and throughout the year, by getting the technology that can support your plans.  Contact Socius for more information about using ERP to get control and insight over your business operations so that you keep your customers happy all year long.

By Socius, Ohio Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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