It’s hard to believe a life without the use of tech these days. We’re constantly surrounded by modern conveniences on our phones and computers that make life a whole lot easier. But what I think none of us realize is just how much technology affects the businesses we interact with every day; the way it’s changed commerce as we know it. Either that or we’re just taking it for granted.
With the introduction of digitization, cloud computing, database systems, and algorithms designed to show people what they would potentially like to buy, retail businesses have evolved significantly. It’s now considered out of the ordinary if you find a shop that hasn’t been introduced to modern computing. There are a lot of areas where digitization has helped the average retailer, and this article will help detail some of them.
Before we start, a brief foreword – this article talks generally about the innovations made in repair shop management software and uses it as a case study for retail businesses in general. While the industry being discussed at large is specific, its advancements apply in full measure to the larger scope of things. My purpose here is to help retailers identify the areas that have seen the most benefit from digitization. In case you want to start your own retail or repair business, this article would really help you in seeing where you’re going to need a computer or special software for the job.
Table of Contents
Optimizing inventory management
The addition that I’d like to make to the article linked above is the perspective of a retail or service-based store. Businesses that deal in retail have a lot of areas where digitization is a must-have. For starters, inventory management is the key defining feature, since managing your stock and supply chain is a real headache without it, seemingly archaic in comparison. The professional term for this is warehouse digitization and the effect that it has on visibility and productivity is tremendous.
Warehouse management systems essentially make it easier to find out how your stock stands at any given time. It provides a real-time view of how much inventory you’re working with, which makes it essential if you want to work in a fast-paced environment or sell your wares online. The real benefit is to businesses that run multiple stores since they can easily see where their stock is running low and re-order or even transfer their inventory accordingly. That’s not even to mention the benefits to inbound and outbound shipments or forecasting sales, which become a lot easier to manage and keep track of with a computer on hand.
Repair shop software generally includes a robust inventory management system, since it mostly deals with stockpiling parts for repairs. Items like integrated circuits, microprocessors, speaker arrays, transistors, capacitors, logic boards, display units, heat sinks, and even thermal paste are used extensively in repair shops, and it all needs to be cataloged. This is where your repair shop software helps out since it provides a real-time view of your stock’s standing, and why digitizing your inventory management process helps immensely.
Improving the checkout process
The checkout experience of any retail store needs to be quick and easy – nobody likes waiting in line, after all. It’s why we see clothing stores and gift shops adopt electronic registers and barcode scanners. These modern ways of processing customers at checkout are all done with a revamped point of sale system which provides more than the average cash register machine does.
The checkout process is a lot more interlinked with a store’s operations than we might think at first glance. By introducing digitization to your checkout counter, you’ll be recording each transaction as it happens, updating your inventory in real-time, and can even track customer data. Every receipt that is generated by a repair shop software for their customer actually has pertinent information for the store itself – it holds details of the transaction processed by logging in an order ID, the type of service offered, the items that were used, labor charges, the date and time, the amount generated through sale, etc. And while that receipt is being created, the overarching software is updated to account for the stock moved, the invoice created, the hours an employee has worked, and more. It’s a great way to optimize your checkout process so that your cashier isn’t just a glorified calculator. Now, you could just put a regular till out front like they still have at certain antique stores and mom-and-pop shops, but if you want your business to scale, digitization is an eventuality.
Certainly beats handling one of those old cash registers. Credit: Pexels
Alternative modes of payment
What’s also eventual is you running into customers who don’t conduct business in cash. These days, people choose to go cashless because of the simple convenience of not counting their bills or fishing in their pockets for some spare change.
Where digitization comes into play is being able to seamlessly track and record digital payments to your system. This way, at the end of each day, you know exactly how much money you made without some serious number-crunching. Systems like RepairDesk have adopted this process and offered it to retailers who use their software, while others use third-party integrations to achieve more or less the same results. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean doing away with cash transactions altogether – just that in today’s world, cashless is very much a possibility that you, as a retailer, will encounter.
The digitization of repair stores allows many key areas to be optimized. We’ve touched base on how it affects inventory, checkout, and cashless payments here, but there are many more benefits to reap from introducing a digital component to your repair store operations. One area hinted at in this article was e-commerce, i.e. taking your store’s business online, and that’s definitely a place many retailers would want to be. Regardless, it’s benefits like these that modern retailers should leverage in order to take their business to the next level, or at the very least, save some time.