Today’s retail CIO’s are under pressured to find efficient solutions that integrate inventories and enhance the customer experience. Most retail organizations offer multiple sale points including on-line sales, brick and mortar stores and even catalog sales. That paradigm shift in retail has required many CIO’s to setup and maintain separate inventories to serve consumers. However, in doing so, CIOs are facing new challenges in facilitating inventory management while improving customer experiences both in-store and online.
Addressing these challenges is Soft Intelligence, a firm that provides multi-channel POS solutions to its clients. The firm’s flagship offering, NCR Counterpoint SQL, is a scalable retail POS platform that comes with a built-in inventory module that can be customized to suit the individual POS needs in different verticals. “The inventory database in the Counter point platform maintains hundreds of data points, like the number of products above and below margins and how each category, sub-category or vendor is performing,” says J. Lombardi, Princess of POS and the National Sales Manager, Soft Intelligence. The flexible solution is designed to help retailers make informed decisions on how to align their inventory purchases and sales strategies.
NCR Counterpoint also supports loyalty programs and customer tracking to reward loyal consumers. Customer Connect, an email marketing tool, allows retailers to market to their customers based on purchases. Marketing to specific customers based on their purchases had been a missing puzzle piece for many retailers.
Smart Alerts, another service, analyzes the Counterpoint data to give SMS alerts to specific employees and ensure that the client is supplied with a constant stream of intelligence on what is happening in the store. On the hardware front, Soft Intelligence offers robust and retail hardened checkout terminals and mobile inventory management devices capable of storing and retrieving comprehensive data of over 450,000 items.
These offerings from Soft Intelligence have been aiding retail clients in many industries that require specialized POS needs. One such client is Industrial Shoes and Apparel, a retailer specializing in safety wear to many manufacturing industries. The firm faced difficulties in inventory management and needed a system to process product vouchers. Soft Intelligence was able to address this challenge using an automated add-on to the Counterpoint platform called WorkWear Plus.
This module was custom built to expedite the sale of safety ware and supported voucher-based sales as well. Upon implementing this solution, clients are able to remove intermediaries and expedite the retailer’s revenue stream. This also helped the client improve their consumers’ experience by tailoring the checkout to the industry needs.
Adding to every CIO’s pressure is the latest requirement to accept Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) or smart chip credit cards. This has put additional pressure on CIOs to upgrade to newer systems. “Implementing the needed EMV infrastructure and ensuring that retailers are compliant with current security standards is not an overnight process” says J. Although EMV employs robust security systems to ensure customer data is as safe as possible it has come with a cost in both time and money.
For the future, Soft Intelligence plans to expand its geographical footprint to the west coast of U.S. “The firm’s enduring customer base has given us a tremendous growth streak as we are also planning the release of a new line of products and services soon,” concludes J.
“The inventory database in the Counterpoint platform can find hundreds of data points, like the number of products above and below margins and how each category, sub-category or vendor is performing”