Simple Strategic planning in the pandemic situation for Retailers, Wholesalers & Distributors

India as we all know is one of the densely populated countries in the world. Covid-19 has been spreading like fire rapidly and becoming worse as the days pass by. Many countries have identified the only way to contain the situation by introducing intense periods of Lockdown, however, due to the lockdown economy is taking the toll and is badly hit. Some businesses are closing permanently, some of them are laying off their employees, some of them are shedding their locations, etc. etc. A tough lockdown may have been successful in breaking the COVID chain, however it has hit hard the economy. Some business experts mentioned that it will take 1-2 years in order to come back to normal.

1. So How do you think the Business can survive in this tough situation?

2. Are the start-ups, small businesses are almost saying goodbye, how they can survive in the world market/with leading tycoons?

3. Will a small change in the Sales strategies can change their falling sales curves?

Here are our views on the survival of the difficult situation in retail, wholesale & distributors industries.

These Industries are pursuing their business in a more traditional way which might have been alright in the previous normal but not relevant in the current situation & they should start adopting for technological changes such as –

•    Introducing online advertisement campaigns,

•    Creating web stores,

•    SEO on web pages, local market, or partnering with leading market places.

These little changes can catch the buyer’s attention but this does not mean that they will buy the products soon they notice the ads. For making the customers clicking on the checkout button, you will need to spend some time on the rendering of proper information i.e. in the detail product description on the website page, Pros of your product, Pricing on the product.

Not only the above-mentioned points, but one can also try retargeting campaigns and follow the same set of customers who were the website visitors by introducing more intriguing offers by following their social and online trails.

These may not take you heavy investments. Think about it! You just need time to rearrange the way you operate.

For the second question, there were rumors spreading that start-ups are shutting down but looking deeper and researching we found that’s not true. They are adapting and coming up with new innovative ideas. They are the ones who can change the insights on the market. For example, people were not aware of the online money transfers before demonetization however, looks now almost everyone is using the UPI’s from maid salaries to grocery shops.

What this pandemic has done to the world is that it changed the perspectives. The business world changed the traditional way of sales and marketing!

For the Third question, Absolutely Yes. Business strategic planners should start thinking about going online & tying up with delivery partners, payment gateway. Social distancing is a must in this pandemic situation. Use the applications which are built on the latest technologies that help you in connecting with omnichannel (Multi-channel sales operations), logistic companies, payment gateways in one single platform & these outbound business strategies will help you to increase the sales and reduce credits accounts in the balance sheet.

Gear up now unless it’s too late. Your competitors are already on board for this. All every business needs to do is take the actions now.

Cloud based ERP for SME’s

The acronym ERP stands for Enterprise resource planning – which indeed acts as support for the day to day business operations. It includes Procurement, Warehouse management, SCM, Manufacturing, Accounting in the basket of ERP. ERP systems tie together and define business processes and enable the flow of data between them. By collecting an organization’s shared transnational data from multiple departments, which helps the management to take up the decisions based on the real time accurate data.

ERP systems eliminate data duplication and provide data integrity with a “single source of truth”

Cloud based ERP for SME , need to have stronger technology-based ERP. Because, SME’s face many problems related with Marketing, Communication within organization, Opportunity Cost etc. that may lead to inefficiency at additional cost

Advantages of having ERP in SMEs:

1.      Efficiency – will be increased when company adopts the ERP in the organization, it reduces or eliminates the human interactions to the least possible point, Errors will be reduced and speed will be increased in the operations. Indeed, the efficiency of the workers will also increase as the burden is reduced from the manual worker.

2.      Lack of communication within organization – which intern leads lots of redundant of data entry, miscommunication of reports, customer dissatisfaction etc. ERP gives them a open and integrated communication which results in duplication and increase of accuracy of data.

3.      Collaboration – different departments in a company will act as one. ERP collaborates with each departments and gives the real time reports to management to know the business position at any point of time.

4.      Operating Cost – ERP software reduces administrative and operations costs. It allows organizations to proactively manage operations, prevents disruptions and delays, breaks up information logjams and helps users make decisions more quickly. If chosen the right solution for the business, and the right vendor who meets the needs, bound to see a powerful ROI

5.      Process flow across the organization – which streamlines the operations of the business process flow in the company. This give the management team to actively involve in all the process of the organization before shipped or purchase by approving the transactions. This Improves accounting control and shorter sales to cash cycle.

6. Mobility of work – is done by anywhere in the world at any point of time

Problems while opting the ERP in SME’s:

1.      Technology – insufficient knowledge on ERP technologies can also end up electing wrong ERP for the organization. Which intern lead to change of ERP in shorter time phases.

2.      Trust factor – ERP implementation partner should be trusted person and should have the consulting skills with industry specific experience to analysis the pain points of the company.

3.      Return on investment – most of the SME will think of cost of licenses & implementing of ERP in the company but, the real deal is in the ROI of after implementation. ROI calculations needs consultation and time to arrive at the expected result. 

Conclusion:

Although Cloud based ERP for SME provides many advantages, its implementation is a strategic decision, involving significant resources (both financial and human), proper evaluation and business process re-engineering. There must be a commitment from all levels of the organization. SME’s should not think of investment for immediate ROI, but they need to make a clear concept and vision of the organization. ERP which is designed for SME’s will support to increase the functional speed of the organization. 

Does Dead Stock or Slow-moving stocks affect the Business?

Dead stock or Slow-Moving Stocks are referred as stocks which are not moved or laid for long term in warehouse and over the period of time those stocks will be become obsolete and useless.

“According to the studies the well-run companies are also have anywhere from 20-30% of inventory as dead stock. These dead stocks can affect in the business profitability in long term”.

#Reasons for dead stock:

1.      Low Demand in market – When demand is less in market & stocks are more in Warehouse, the stocks will become slow-moving or dead stock.

2.      Inaccurate Forecasting of demand & supply – while purchasing the products from the vendor, know the sales trend of the product in stores. If anything is ordered excess that may become obsolete in warehouse

3.      Communication between Warehouse team & Sales team – if the company doesn’t have livestock reports with the sales team, that may cause in under the utilization of the items in warehouse.

4.      Lacking Inventory Management systems – inventory systems are very much important in a company to know the stock in hand, procurement of stocks & sales trends in the market. These 3 aspects will give the clear knowledge on the company inventory costing. These 3 things may go out of reach when there is no inventory management in an organization.

#Impact on business by dead stock:

1.      Cost of Warehouse & Space utilization: if the cost of the warehouse is increasing that means the working capital /return on investment Cash held up in non-selling inventory is what we call non-working capital. The investment should be working to bring profits which can be re-invested to buy fast-moving stock that will generate even more profit.

2.      Offers on old products – This will reduce the profit of the company by giving offers on the product. These costs are often hidden cost for the company.

3.      Opportunity Cost or Carry cost – the company is spending money on a dead inventory item & the held-up money that can’t be used to procure an item that will sell and gain profit. This will indeed make loss to company by reducing the sales by not procuring the fast-moving products.

4.      Lost sales cost of inventory – when there is high demand for product & low inventory levels in a company that will directly affect the Gross profit of the company as the products can’t be sold when there is high demand in the market.

#Liquidating the dead stock:

1.      Bundle it with other products. Combine and sell it with related products at a discount

2.      Purchase Return – By returning the stocks to the vendor will circulate the stocks to others who can make use of it.

3.      Promotions & discounts on Product- apply discounts on outdated products, combo offers with fast moving products & higher loyalty points can be given to slow moving product.

4.      Organised the stock in warehouse where staff can easily find the slow-moving product easily. So, that the items can be disposed after the certain time of doing purchase & also, by adopting the inventory management system in the organization can help making of it.