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Expo Antad 2015La semana pasada estuvimos por tercer año consecutivo presentes en Expo ANTAD 2015 con un stand de Openbravo monstrando la nuestra Plataforma de Comercio.

Como siempre Expo ANTAD es todo un espectáculo, todo el que tiene algo que decir en el sector Retail en México, ya sean clientes en busca de oportunidades o proveedores ofreciendo todo tipo de productos, está presentes en dicha feria. En esta ocasión me acompañaron:

 

  • Jorge Castillo de nuestro Departamento de Marketing
  • Hector Andres Rodriguez: LATAM Pre Sales Consultant
  • Maarten Tromp: Director de Product Management de Openbravo.

La verdad es que la asistencia de empresas interesadas en nuestra solución fue muy buena y conseguimos un buen número de buenos contactos interesados en nuestras soluciones. Además pudimos convivir con algunos partners, los cuales también estaban presentes en dicha feria, como por ejemplo Alignpro y LajaTech (este último estuvo invitado por la organización para dar una charla sobre como la tecnología puede ayudar a mejorar los negocios en el ámbito del Retail)

El mercado Mexicano del Retail está en plena ebullición y esta feria es un muy buen barómetro para chequear la salud y el crecimiento de este importante sector en cualquier economía y en concreto en un mercado en el que la clase media está en pleno crecimiento, como en el caso de los países Centro Americanos y de la zona Andina o el mismo México.

Nuestro compañeros de Marketing tuvieron la genial idea de contratar a un cortador profesional de Jamón, y ofrecer este delicioso prodExpo ANTAD 2015 2ucto a todos aquellos que pasaban por delante de nuestro stand, esto hizo que algunos nos preguntasen por los tipos de Jamones que vendíamos en Openbravo (a los que tuvimos que explicar nuestro verdadero negocio), pero por otro lado, se nos comenzó a conocer en la zona de la tecnología de Expo ANTAD, como “los del jamón” lo que creó una cierta asociación de ideas, de forma que espero que en la cabeza de personas que este año no buscaban software, pero si probar un buen jamón, recuerden la palabra Openbravo para el futuro.

Además al finalizar cada día, sorteamos un lote de productos de “La Europea”, uno de nuestros principales clientes del sector Retail en México, lo cual también agradó mucho al personal que paró interesándose por nuestra plataforma commerce.

En definitiva, una experiencia muy positiva y enriquecedora para seguir afianzando nuestra presencia en México. Ahora sólo queda esperar hasta el próximo Expo ANTAD 2016.

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In today’s world of fast changing markets, complex supply chain relationships and multi-channel distribution, it is essential that the business keep pace with their ever-changing world and their ERP solutions should remain aligned. There are now modern alternatives to these legacy ERP solutions that are much better aligned with dynamic markets and agile businesses.

We suggest there are 5 important questions a company should consider before moving forward with its next enterprise application project. If a company has answered yes to most of these questions, then it has already been experiencing the limitations of legacy ERP and the impact to its business agility. These solutions typically take years to deploy, are late, over budget and often rejected by users. For companies that have seen this first hand, they will benefit greatly from a platform designed from the ground up to adapt to their current and future business needs.

We have put together an infographic to better illustrate this new reality of business and how a flexible ERP could be molded to it (and not the other way around).

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5 Ways Omni-channel Is Evolving in 2015There is no omni-channel as far as customers are concerned. They see a retail business as a single entity that they interact with using whatever channel is most convenient at the moment: online, phone or in-store. The omni-channel transformation is being driving by a number of key technological advances, such as greater adoption of the cloud throughout the system and deeper visibility into inventories with real time updates. The implications for omni-channel can be seen in five trends that are seeing much wider adoption this year.

1. Synchronized Customer Service

A great deal of information is lost when online customer service isn’t synchronized with offline interactions and POS (point of sale) data. RSR found that 84 percent of retailers identified consistent customer experience across channels as “very important.” Nearly one-fourth (22 percent) have already begun that process.

2. Previewing Items

Accenture reported that 71 percent of consumers plan on previewing, which is the opposite of showrooming. Previewing involves finding an item online and checking if it is in stock at a local store for immediate pick up. Fifty-seven percent said they would also buy other items when they go to the store to pick up the item they previewed.

3. Mobile Conversions

Mobile retail revenues in the U.S. alone will hit $22 billion this year, according to Forrester Research, and are projected to increase very rapidly. For omni-channel, this means improving M-commerce so that the mobile customer experience matches the quality of retail e-commerce sites and in-store promotions.

4. Embedded Analytics

Retailers are seeking more powerful embedded analytic applications that produce personalized reports. A dashboard with critical reports helps managers make more informed decisions based on customer intelligence. Visualizing the data in various formats and exporting it to their own software allows retail managers to easily share insights and information.

5. Unified Commerce Platform

In order to deliver the Omnichannel promise, retailers are increasingly interested in adopting a single commerce platform. A comprehensive platform can handle everything from customer relationships to web POS to supply chain management to reporting and analytics.

Competitive Excellence

At Openbravo, with our Commerce Platform we help retailers to steadily progress in their omni-channel estrategy by holding webinars about how to achieve this goal and helping our clients achieve competitive excellence in Omnichannel.

For a longer debate, we encourage you to take part of our Retail Group in LinkedIn.

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Bandera de MexicoCada año, los analistas de Gartner que se encargan de paises emergentes emiten una serie de predicciones de posibles problemas a los cuales dichos paises tendrán que hacer frente. De entre todos estos paises, queremos hacer un poco de zoom in en México, un mercado que continua expandiéndose económica y tecnológicamente, lo que hace que este país sea el 4º más grande en TIC de entre los paises emergentes. Estas predicciones son indicativo del dinamismo en el mercado mexicano y son un buen input estratégico para el que busque identificar y cuantificar nuevas oportunidades de negocio en el país.

Estando en esta 4ª posición, Mexico se ha embarcado en una serie de reformas estructurales que impactarán directamente en la economía, desde la energía hasta la banca o el desarrollo de la infraestructura. Estas reformas sin precedentes (las cuales harán que en 2018, el gasto en TIC crezca un 5% adicional) revelan la necesidad del país de tener una estrategia paralela en TI para apoyar proyectos de modernización de la infraestructura.

La industria minorista en México

La industria del retail en Mexico continua experimentando cambios fundamentales en la infraestructura de mercado en respuesta a una creciente clase media y a cambios en la interacción de los consumidores con las tiendas físicas. A medida que la población es más sofisticada y tienen un mayor poder adquisitivo, la gente busca alternativas a las tiendas familiares tradicionales (mom-and-pop). Esto, unido a la también creciente presencia de “retailers” internacionales (Walmart, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc) ejerce una tremenda presión en esas pequeñas tiendas. La naturaleza fragmentada de dichos “micro-minoristas”, que durante mucho tiempo ha prevalecido en México, está cediendo ante las cadenas de supermercados, minoristas de moda, hardware especializado, minoristas de la construcción y tiendas de conveniencia que ofrecen servicios al consumidor más allá de las capacidades de cualquier empresa familiar.

Por otro lado, desde una perspectiva tecnológica, la industria minorista en Mexico se mueve desde miles de tiendas pequeñas (más de medio millón) que invierten muy poco en tecnología, no mucho más allá de, por ejemplo, cajas registradoras, hasta las grandes cadenas minoristas que tienen que invertir en un back-office o CRMs para poder competir por una mejor cuota en su cartera de clientes.

La expansión de las tiendas de conveniencia

El crecimiento en el segmento de las tiendas de conveniencia en particular, refleja perfectamente los cambios mencionados. Este segmento, dominado por Oxxo (algo similar a los 7-Eleven norteamericanos, los cuales por cierto, también tienen bastante presencia en el país) ejemplifica el cambio de las “mom-and-pop” hacia las franquicias. A finales de 2013, FEMSA (compañía padre de Oxxo) reportó casi 12.000 de estas tiendas en México y algunas más en Colombia. La ubicuidad de estas tiendas, complementada con la variedad en la oferta de productos, está desplazando a los micro-minoristas tradicionales, los cuales tienen muy poco inventario y no requieren de ningún tipo de tecnología para gestionar su negocio.

Expo ANTAD

A medida que este tipo de minoristas crece, se van haciendo inversiones, tanto en aplicaciones de back-office como en front-office, así como en servicios para apoyar la expansión de localizaciones y el volumen de ventas. Según ANTAD (Asociación Nacional de Tiendas de Autoservicio y Departamentales), se harán inversiones para la expansión minorista en México por valor de 4.000 millones de dólares. Esta asociación de referencia en México, organiza anualmente una plataforma de negocios reconocida internacionalmente donde detallistas y proveedores intercambian puntos de vista para definir el futuro del sector comercio en la ciudad de Guadalajara, a la que por cierto, asistiremos para exponer nuestra Plataforma de Comercio.

La tecnología, sin duda, será una pieza importante en esta ecuación, especialmente con el e-commerce, ya que el uso de plataformas en internet crece junto con el número de tiendas minoristas.

Las oportunidades para los proveedores de tecnología de este segmento han aumentado también con el auge del llamado “retail organizado”. El foco inicial de muchos minoristas regionales y grandes está en reemplazar “sistemas heredados” de contabilidad o recursos humanos. Este patrón es muy similar a lo que los grandes minoristas estadounidenses han estado haciendo los pasados 6 años. La próxima ola de adopción estará centrada en las soluciones para la cadena de suministro (Gestión de Almacenes y Sistemas de Transporte).

Finalmente, lo último en cuanto tecnología está en sistemas de front-office relacionados con el merchandising, CRMs o tecnologías en tienda como los sistemas de punto de venta (POS). Referente a estos últimos sistemas, dada la naturaleza competitiva de la dinámica economica de México, los líderes empresariales están expresando un fuerte interés en la compra de herramientas de análisis basadas en la nube sobre otras soluciones SaaS, lo que hace que un sistema de punto de venta móvil y web en que sea posible acceder más rápidamente a la información en tienda esté cada vez más valorado.

Foto: Wikipedia

Fuente: Gartner – Emerging Market Analysis Report – Mexico

Categories: Industry Trends, Other, Retail, Spanish | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

In today’s highly dynamic markets, business agility is becoming one of the most important of a company’s capabilities. But it is not the only one. To truly get all the juice from your ERP system you should start thinking about more requirements that may be critical for a organization.

At Openbravo, we have put together an infographic with the most important requirements you should take care of for an ERP system. Among all those, here are 7 which shouldn’t be avoid, especially when evaluating an ERP system:

7 requirements your ERP System Should Meet – Infographic from Openbravo

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Pop-up StoresPop-up retail shops allow companies to build buzz around their products and increase sales opportunities, making pop-up retailing one of the hottest trends in the industry. However, many pop-up stores are finding the unique challenges of pop-up retailing unmanageable without effective IT systems. That’s why it’s important to know how to implement IT support with a limited budget, how a commerce platform can increase your pop-up store’s ROI and how IT impacts everything from your supply chain to customer interaction. Here is a guide to how IT can transform your pop-up retail store and ultimately increase sales.

Pop-Up Retail Through a Commerce Platform

While pop-up retail shops can exist for a few weeks or more, companies often use pop-up shops to draw hundreds of customers for limited-edition products that can sell out in only hours, helping promote their brand. They then close up that retail space. Many different companies have opened up pop-up shops, all the way from luxury retailers like Chanel and Hermes to huge brand names like Reebok and Gap, underlining how big this trend is.

However, companies that participate in pop-up stores often have inventory mismanagement, disorganization and breakdowns in the supply chain, particularly if they don’t have an IT system to help manage the retail products they’re selling. The whole venture can quickly turn to chaos.

There’s a narrow window for effective implementation of a pop-up store concept, which means you want an effective commerce platform that can help provide product details, build product catalogs, manage pricing functions and introduce products to the market at lightening speed. That way, you can track which items are flying off the shelves and which items are duds, allowing you to shift your plan within days, possibly increasing your bottom line.

A commerce platform needs a clean and easy-to-use design, allowing employees in a store that might only exist for a few hours to gain complete command of the system without extensive training.

Managing Your Sales Traffic in Real Time

Pop-up stores need to sell and analyze merchandise trends fast. They don’t have years to build and promote their physical presence, so they need to sell what’s hot right this moment. That’s why your IT system should help you save time and maximize your ROI.

The right commerce platform helps automate mail and data integration, provides you with real-time updates automatically, and automates shipping when inventory becomes low. For your employees, you want an intuitive and easy-to-use POS (point of sale) system to help handle the high customer volume typically seen at pop-up store locations.

You also will want to monitor your customer traffic and retail sales in any location. An IT system that networks easily with your mobile phone, tablet computers and cloud-based system provides maximum adaptability to changing retail dynamics, no matter where you or your employees are.

IT Helps You Obtain and Process Important Retail Data

Often, pop-up shops test new products, try out new markets and gain new customers. Opening a pop-up retail shop without an effective IT system means you could lose accurate data from your venture. A commerce platform helps increase your long-term ROI by helping you identify weak points in your supply chain and what products were successful. It also helps you enter data from new customers to build mailing lists.

You can use the data you gathered for your next pop-up retail store venture or to improve your current retail product offerings, whether they’re featured online or in your standard retail lineup of stores. Even if you have a limited IT budget for your pop-up store, it’s important to implement a commerce platform anyway, as this IT system can help your business grow long after your pop-up shop is closed.

Managing Your Supply Chain

One of the biggest difficulties pop-up retail stores have is effective management of their supply chain. Because pop-up stores exist for a limited time, it’s important that your store’s operations run as smoothly as possible today—not tomorrow. An IT system can provide alerts about products that are about to sell out, real-time updates on shipments, automatic invoicing, updates on factory production schedules and quick quotes on the products you want to stock.

If you want an IT system that delivers comprehensive inventory support, complete supply chain integration, top-notch analytics and comprehensive customer support, then The Openbravo Commerce Platform has you covered. Try our industry leading commerce platform today, and ensure your pop-up store gets the IT system it deserves.

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Half-way to becoming a commodityIt depends what we understand by ERP. The R and P are crystal clear: The software plans resources. But for who? Traditionally, the E related to enterprises is situated in the industrial environment where manufacturing and the supply chain are the main activities. Prior to that, the -still young- IT industry served the market with accounting software. We could consider that as the first ´big bang´ of commercial software.

It might be good to shed light on the term ‘commodity’ in this context. The market describes a commodity as a class of goods or services that is supplied without qualitative differentiation with regards to who produced or delivered the product. An ERP-as-commodity would thus be a software system that does not really offer any distinctive functionalities or advantages compared to the other ERP offerings available. Arguably the current ERP system offering can be considered a commodity. For some enterprises it is, but for those that require specific functionality or flexibility is isn´t. The fact is that the gaps are closing and time is expected to erase or minimize the differences.

One of the few independent ERP Consultancy firms, Panorama Consulting, describes the ERP offer and implementation result in their 2014 ERP Report. This result is based on feedback that they received from their surveys. A remarkable finding in this report is that only 3% of the companies, or Enterprises, had no “true-system” and were “paper-based” prior to the implementation. That leaves 97% that repeat… And only 9% report to have obtained the business benefits that they expected. With regards to the ERP offer, relating to their shortlist of 16 ERP Vendors, most implementations have selected their final supplier after extensive research and comparison. The phrase “…after extensive research…” actually means that it was not easy to spot the 10 differences.

So, if traditional ERP systems are becoming a commodity, what is the next -or third- ´big bang´ in commercial IT systems? To get a closer view, let’s take a look at the key ERP trends. Other sources confirm the same of what is nicely put together in this infographic: Gartner calls this the nexus of forces and it is known by their acronym SMAC.Are ERP - SMAC

Each of these forces affect a number or range of industries, and these industries are bound to adapt strategies that allow them to ride the wave of change. There is however one industry, or sector, that is –heavily- affected by all four and that is retail. Luckily, for those enterprises that are in retail, there is a new and rising breed of company-wide software systems that are not the typical ERP: These are the commerce platforms. The main difference compared to traditional ERP systems is that these commerce platforms are customer centric and offer a complete, intuitive and compelling front-end that runs on any web browser and that either is connected to a legacy back-end ERP or feeds into their own complementary back-end. What should be specifically scrutinized during the selection of the commerce platform is the ability to adapt. SMAC has only recently been identified and who knows what is still to come. Retailers should therefore value native web architecture, cloud deployment, agile aAre ERP - Quote Jeff Bezos what is NOT going to changend extendible solutions combined with robust on and offline operations. The quickly changing world and Omni-powerful customer wants this and the retailer needs this.

Concluding, if you are in a business that is facing the Omni powerful Customer in retail, and where SMAC still has several surprises up its sleeve, then the offering is not that big. Retailers thus, cannot implement the old school of ERP systems and need agility in their deployment more than anything else. They need an assemble-to-fit software tool that is capable of facing current and future challenges. And there is really only one. For retailers ERP is not a commodity.

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First ERP adapting to your business needsLast week we had the opportunity to host a Webinar along with Openbravo about how a flexible ERP can perfectly be adapted to business needs. In the past, measurements of quality, cost efficiency and speed were sufficient to improve profitability and maintain a competitive edge. And it is no surprise that this is precisely the mindset that underlies every large ERP platform that was designed decades ago for a different time and place.

Accounting reports and the numbers were all that really mattered. As a result, the systems put in place performed well in accounting, but did very little to facilitate and improve operations where they were most needed. Perhaps even worse, these systems complicated operational efficiency throughout the organization to the benefit of these “bean counting” functions. In today’s world of fast changing markets, complex supply chain relationships and multi-channel distribution, firms are no longer able to operate under these constraints.

We suggest there are 5 important questions a company should consider before moving forward with its next enterprise application project:

  1. Would the executives and employees benefit from a 360-degree view of the entire business, in real time, to make better decisions?
  2. Are there important aspects of the business, which are not adequately addressed by the software vendor’s recommendations for “best practices”?
  3. Is the company facing a backlog of desired improvements to its enterprise application that are blocked due to limitations of the current solution(s)?
  4. Does the company feel the pressure of limited time to provide tangible benefits to the business (perhaps measured in months rather than years)?
  5. Does the opinion exist that implementing a new solution might be easier than changing an entire company to use the new solution?

If a company has answered yes to most of these questions, then it has already been experiencing the limitations of legacy ERP and the impact to its business agility. A flexible ERP platform provides benefits to address each of the questions above.

Dimensions of ERP flexibility

Although the perception of ERP flexibility can vary from different users and business situations, it seems possible to identify a set of dimensions that are commonly highlighted as contributors to the flexibility of the ERP solution. They can be ultimately identified as different ways ERP Flexibility enables truly sustainable business agility:

  1. Connectivity
  2. Accessibility
  3. Extendibility
  4. Scalability
  5. Usability
  6. Deployability
  7. Business intelligence
  8. Openness

To learn more about ERP flexibility and these 8 dimensions, check out the recorded session of the Webinar on the Openbravo Brighttalk Channel.

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If you ask consumers if they want retailers to be omnichannel ready, they will probably not recognize the word. But if you ask them how much pain they experience from a lack of omnichannel capabilites, every customer will recognize the value of a seamless channel integration. One of the most common ways retailers fail, is when a customer shows up at a store to return or exchange an online purchase. Refusing that transaction is way of saying you are not a customer.

It is clear then that retailers no longer need evidence that omnichannel capabilities are decisive factors for success in retailing today. Nor do they need to be convinced
that omnichannel functions will play an even larger role in the future. And this is why today’s leading retailers are putting the consumer at the center of how they Buy, Market, Sell, and Service. A commitment to customer centricity that is at the very heart of a seamless shopping experience.

Industry studies find that most, if not all retailers, have a long way to go to become true omnichannel champions. We have created an infographic to help you figure out how to succeed in Omnichannel, step by step.

Feel free to share the infographic if you liked it :)

Roadmap to Omnichannel Championship

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Logistics retailJust a few days ago I read this article with the intriguing title “Why retail success is all about logistics”. In his article, Amaury Gariel perfectly recognizes the changing panorama in retail and the challenges that these businesses face with the new Omni-powerful and demanding customer. See here a nice info-graphic that visualizes this. Rather than challenging this article, I would like to state that the title does not really cover the content of it.

You’ll not see in the infographic more than a few words about inventory and logistics, but it surely starts with it. Why would that be? Surely, a well-oiled logistics operation is a must today and no-one would deny that. But instead of being a success factor, I see it more as a pitfall for failure: Retail will not be able to satisfy customers by having good logistics, but for sure it will lose customers if they don´t deliver on promises. In other words, in the eye of the customer ‘logistics’ is an expected commodity rather than a differentiator. As Eliyahu Goldratt said, it’s Necessary, but not sufficient.

Copernican RevolutionThe Omni-channel capability and organizational agility are however differentiators. A complete customer-focused and technology-infused environment is also. The fact is that the Omni-powerful customer has provoked a Copernican Revolution in management, inverting the sidereal relations between customer and firm, and retail is being challenged to adapt quickly. Moreover, retail is being challenged to be agile and respond quickly to continuously changing expectations.

Product life cycles get shorter every day, creating a huge challenge for logistics and the supply chain -obviously- but also for preserving the consistent and updated product information that the customer demands. The Fast-Fashion phenomenon, an excellent example of this, aims to produce a new collection every week… And despite the higher production and supply chain related costs, this has proven to be a more profitable business than traditional fashion retail.

The Omni-powerful customer seeks convenience. Mobile technology, which is key and gaining presence, facilitates showrooming. Physical shops that embrace technology to enhance the customer experience have an edge since not all product variants will be in stock but are replaced by Click-and-Collect or Order-and-Deliver possibilities. On top of these changes in consumer habits, demographic tendencies are expected to accelerate this.

It seems like the offline/online battle has a clear winner. However, the advanced physical shops could soon get unexpected neighbors if and when the big online retailers add offline presence. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in 2015. For now it looks as if both are converging towards a mixed model, and with that  the need for Omni-channel capabilities and agile retailers is confirmed.

So, can a retailer survive without proper logistics? Obviously not! Inventory management, supply chain and logistics can break the retail business if not executed well. But it cannot be considered a success factor! The future success of retail is in its capability to rapidly adapt to continuously changing expectations. It requires an open organization that is equipped with tools that are agile and Omni-channel ready.

Categories: English, Industry Trends, Retail | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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