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Computerization: Embracing Technology at Work

Almost all industries have recognized the advantages of computerization and going electronic for certain facets of their business. The retail industry is no exception. Investing time and money to purchase new technology or software and appropriately train staff may be costly, but the payback accrued may be well worth the investment.

A sampling of the operational areas to consider for incorporating or upgrading existing technology include:

Purchasing. Talk to your vendors about moving to a paperless online ordering system.

Inventory and trends tracking. Point of sale (POS) hardware and software systems include items like bar-code printers, scanner technology, scales, cash drawers, customer data collection, and back-end reporting systems. A POS system can track who your customers are and what they are buying, work to reduce theft and shrinkage, make sure inventory pricing is accurate, and help you forecast inventory needs and trends more accurately.

Personnel and Management. If you run multiple stores, consider setting up an Internet-based communications network that links stores, employees, and headquarters. Such a network can provide online operations manuals, information on suppliers, and a means of transmitting daily communications and reports.

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