How LS Central Reduces the Toll of Poor Inventory Management

How LS Central Reduces the Toll of Poor Inventory Management

Inventory management lies at the heart of any thriving retail enterprise, having a profound impact on both profitability and customer satisfaction. Consider the cautionary tale of industry giant Toys R Us. Their bankruptcy in 2017 was made worse by the consequences of overstocking. Similarly, Gap experienced significant profit losses and damages due to unsold clothing. Even renowned fast-fashion giant H&M has faced the challenges of both overstocking and stock-outs, especially during periods of high demand.

It is clear that inadequate inventory management can result in significant financial setbacks, including wasted resources, missed sales opportunities, and increased costs.

Navigating inventory management challenges: recognizing the pitfalls

Let’s explore some of the most common effects and consequences of inventory management issues that directly impact a company’s performance and profitability:

  1. Rising storage costs: Holding excessive inventory requires extra storage space, increasing costs for rent, utilities, and upkeep. This could become a significant drain on profit margins.
  2. Product obsolescence and inventory rotation challenges: Overstocking may lead to products becoming outdated or obsolete, resulting in extra expenses for disposing of or selling surplus inventory.
  3. Elevated risk of inventory shrinkage: As stock levels grow, the likelihood of theft, damage, or misplacement increases, leading to financial losses due to inventory shrinkage.
  4. Missed sales opportunities: Insufficient inventory, or understocking, can result in lost sales chances when customers are unable to find and purchase the products they seek.
  5. Diminished customer satisfaction: Stock-outs result in customer dissatisfaction and tarnish a business’s reputation.
  6. Strained cash flow: Having too much money tied up in inventory can strain a company’s cash flow, limiting its capacity to invest in growth initiatives. On the flip side, understocking can lead to lost sales and reduced cash flow, reducing investment opportunities in various areas of the business.

These challenges underscore the necessity for retailers to promptly address inventory management issues, given their profound impact on overall financial performance.

Identifying the Main Causes of Improper Inventory Management

1) Relying on intuition and manual processes:

Business owners and managers who are using personal knowledge or experience to manage inventory may end up in trouble once their business grows in size and complexity. Retailers with multiple store locations, or stocking a high number of SKUs, need to use technology to keep track of what products are going in and out, and at what speed. Unfortunately, many of them still rely on outdated methods such as spreadsheets, local software which only manages warehousing but not sales, or separate solutions which doesn’t communicate to other stores or to HQ.

To overcome these challenges, retailers need inventory management software that covers not just the warehouse, but also the stores and back office. This kind of software enables you to organize your data and automatically analyze it, giving you both a big-picture view and the detailed information you need to make informed decisions, fast.

2) Changes in demand:

Product demand can change for various reasons, from seasonal shifts to holidays to special events. While some factors can be predicted, others may catch businesses off guard. As a result, it can be a challenge to accurately forecast stock needs, and the chance of wrong inventory purchases is high. This problem can be made worse if business don’t strategically price products, or don’t effectively promote their business during seasonal buying periods.

Businesses need to understand the impact of seasonality and holidays on demand, so they can strategically plan their assortment, manage procurement, and avoid the risks of overstocking or understocking. Technology that helps visualize and summarize how seasonal shifts affect customer preferences enables businesses to optimize inventory levels to meet customer demands.

3) Too many software systems and integration issues:

Juggling multiple systems can lead to siloed data and wasted hours in manual reconciliation. The complexity only grows when retailers have a chain of stores, with many products. When operating your business using a disparate system, you risk running into inaccurate data and delays in synchronization, which in turn can translate in stock-outs, overstock situations, and missed sales opportunities.

Elevating retail efficiency with a unified software solution

Businesses that strive for operational excellence need to switch from outdated, overly complicated methods to modern retail management software. Companies that invest in solutions like LS Central are better positioned to simplify their operations well beyond inventory management. LS Central extends Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, enabling retailers to run their POS, inventory management, store operations, financials, supply chain management, eCommerce, and customer loyalty within one comprehensive platform. Having a single, extensive software eliminates the challenges of integrating separate solutions. At the same time, retailers get clearer and reliable data.

LS Central is the ideal choice for retailers that need advanced replenishment functionalities with real-time visibility into sales and stock levels across multiple locations. The latest replenishment features and improvements include Bill of Materials (BOM) and component replenishment for businesses with multiple legal entities, seamless integration of assembly orders into replenishment calculations, improved lead time functionality, and enhanced manual replenishment features.

With LS Central for retail can address the significant costs resulting from inadequate inventory management. Additionally, it can simplify their overall retail operations, drive sales growth, and gain a clear understanding of the entire retail business.

For further information on LS Central. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with allonline365 at +27 (21) 205 3650, email us at contact@allonline365.com or visit our website www.allonline365.com.

Boost Sales Productivity with Microsoft Copilot for Sales

Boost Sales Productivity with Microsoft Copilot for Sales – Now Officially Available

Microsoft is committed to revolutionizing the way we work by empowering organizations with secure, enterprise-grade AI capabilities that seamlessly integrate into the business applications teams rely on. As of February 1st, Microsoft Copilot for Sales becomes generally available.

Microsoft Copilot for Sales combines the prowess of Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 with role-specific insights and actions. Streamlining business processes, automating repetitive tasks, and fostering creativity. This solution provides the flexibility necessary to integrate seamlessly with your existing CRM. Helping you to accomplish more with less effort.

Revolutionizing Sales Productivity with Copilot for Sales

Modern-day sellers face more and more challenges each day. According to a 2023 study, 79% of sellers are now managing more customers and accounts than in the previous year. Gartner research advises that for enhanced sales impact, sellers should delegate some control over customer interactions to AI-powered technology—such as generative AI, emotion AI, and digital humans. This allows salespeople to focus on their critical activities. Engaging buyers on a human level to understand their needs, motivations, and objections, and ensuring a purchase aligns with their needs.

At Microsoft, extensive efforts have gone into creating an AI solution that addresses these challenges. Last Spring, Microsoft introduced their vision for Copilot for Sales, an AI assistant designed to empower sales teams, maximize productivity, and close more deals. Thanks to their dedication, Copilot for Sales is now officially available. Building on Copilot for Microsoft 365, Copilot for Sales enhances connectivity to CRM platforms like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, delivering sales-specific insights and recommendations to applications such as Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Word.

Microsoft Copilot for Sales Capabilities

Currently, Copilot for Sales assists sellers and sales managers in:

  • Generating sales meeting preparation briefs in Word.
  • Summarizing emails and identifying relevant buying intent and budget, authority, need, timing (BANT) analysis in Outlook.
  • Crafting emails in Outlook with pertinent product, account, relationship, and opportunity information from their CRM system and Microsoft Graph.
  • Adding leads and updating CRM records directly from Outlook.
  • Accessing meeting preparation notes and real-time sales insights during calls in Teams.
  • Reviewing sales meeting summaries in Teams with conversation analysis, sales keywords and KPIs, and suggested tasks.
  • Creating collaborative deal rooms in Teams that synchronize with CRM data.

Microsoft 365 Integrations

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is integrated into Copilot for Sales, providing sellers with additional productivity enhancements such as:

  • Generating presentations in PowerPoint.
  • Crafting plans and organizing team information in OneNote.
  • Asking questions in natural language to catch up on customer interactions through Microsoft Copilot’s chat experience.

Towards the end of February, Copilot for Sales will introduce CRM connectivity to the Microsoft Copilot chat experience, allowing sellers and sales managers to quickly gain insights on conversion and win rates, sales cycles, and pipeline data. In the coming months, Microsoft plans to further enhance Copilot experiences in Microsoft PowerPoint and OneNote, tailoring them to address seller-specific needs with CRM connectivity.

Early Adopters

Early adopters of Copilot for Sales are already witnessing positive impacts on their sales organizations. Avanade staff who previewed Copilot for Sales capabilities, such as updating Dynamics 365 Sales records from Outlook, summarizing email threads, generating email drafts, and summarizing meetings with conversation intelligence, have found that these AI capabilities not only save them time but also enhance the quality of their interactions with clients. According to Avanade users, Copilot minimizes the need to switch between different interfaces, and the email summary feature alone saves them 30 to 60 minutes per week, showcasing the tangible benefits and efficiency gains brought about by Copilot for Sales.

Microsoft Copilot for Sales emerges as a game-changer, redefining the landscape of sales productivity. The integration of role-specific Copilot capabilities into Microsoft 365 not only streamlines business processes and automates repetitive tasks but also fosters unmatched creativity within teams. We at allonline365 are excited to help you embark on this transformative journey and bring the power of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft Copilot for Sales to your business.

For further information on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with allonline365 at +27 (21) 205 3650, email us at contact@allonline365.com or visit our website www.allonline365.com.

 

What does the 2024 release wave 1 have in store for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform

What does the 2024 release wave 1 have in store for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform?

Microsoft unveiled its plans for the 2024 release wave 1 of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform. This roadmap outlines a series of new features scheduled for release between April 2024 and September 2024. Showcasing Microsoft’s commitment to driving digital transformation for both customers and partners.

This release wave introduces several enhancements across various business applications. Placing a strong emphasis on elevating user experiences, productivity, cutting-edge app development, and advanced AI capabilities. Microsoft remains dedicated to creating applications and experiences that add value to various roles by breaking down barriers between data, insights, and individuals. And we are excited to highlight some of our favourites.

Key Dynamics 365 Highlights:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales is geared towards understanding customers and boosting sales through data, intelligence, and user-friendly experiences. The 2024 release wave 1 focuses on providing sellers with timely customer information, expediting deals with actionable insights. And empowering organizations through open configurability and expanded generative AI leadership.

Microsoft Copilot for Sales continues to evolve, improving generative AI capabilities for sellers within Microsoft 365 by incorporating sales-specific skills, data, and actions. The focus extends to assisting sellers on the go within the Outlook and Microsoft Teams mobile apps.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is undergoing significant improvements with a central focus on harnessing the power of Copilot. With availability in over 160 countries, Microsoft is dedicated to Copilot-driven capabilities for streamlined productivity, enhanced reporting, data analysis, elevated project and financial management, and simplified workflow automation. Development and governance tools have been upgraded, along with improvements in managing data privacy and compliance.

Key Microsoft Power Platform Highlights:

Microsoft Power Apps aims to accelerate app development with AI and natural language integration through Copilot. Enhancing user reasoning and data insights in custom apps. Microsoft is simplifying the creation of modern apps with contemporary controls, responsive layouts, and collaboration features. Enterprise-scale development is facilitated, enabling makers and admins to expand apps across the organization with improved guardrails and quality assurance tools.

Microsoft Power Pages interactive Copilot now supports every step of site building, including design, page layouts, content editing, data binding, learning, chatbot integration, accessibility checking, and site security. The out-of-the-box control library enables seamless data connection, and the website can be secured with additional insights.

Microsoft Power Automate is incorporating Copilot capabilities across cloud flows, desktop flows, and process mining. This enables customers to use natural language to discover optimization opportunities, build automations, troubleshoot issues efficiently, and manage the automation estate with ease. Improved notifications on product capabilities make maintenance simpler for enterprise-scale solutions.

Early access period

Starting February 5, 2024, the early access period will allow us to try out the latest features in a non-production environment. These features include user experience enhancements that will be automatically enabled for users in production environments come April 2024. By leveraging the early access period, we can explore the latest updates in our non-production environments. Allowing us to plan effectively, before rolling out these features to our clients.

For further information on Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Power Platform. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with allonline365 at +27 (21) 205 3650, email us at contact@allonline365.com or visit our website www.allonline365.com.

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