Scan-based Trading Users are Ready for Something Better
Remember when you were a kid and you dreamed about getting that awesome new toy? Sometimes the toy lived up to your expectations and other times, it was relegated to the back of your closet after a few hours. But hey, that was a long time ago. We’re adults. We’ve moved on and we no longer want toys, right? Wrong! Of course we still want toys, they’re just not dolls and dinosaurs. We adults dream about getting “toys” like a powerful computer or a new software suite. We envision our workdays being much more fulfilling and our projects impressing colleagues and supervisors.
Sometimes we’re even lucky enough to get budget approval to purchase exactly what we want, until it’s not. Because even as adults, we sometimes purchase products that don’t meet our expectations. Some call it buyer’s remorse, some chalk it up to being misled by marketing or “not being told the whole story.” Regardless of how you classify it, Dr. Harold Sighall, a social psychologist and a Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland, writes in Psychology Today, “Sometimes, we have no choice but to own up to our buyer’s remorse.” In fact, Dr. Sighall argues it can be in our best interest to do so. “Allowing ourselves to have that experience is critical to our psychological and social well-being.”
Okay, we can all probably agree that “owning a mistake” is the best way to prepare ourselves to mentally move on. But, there is another benefit. “If we can own up to our buyer’s remorse, it can facilitate better decision-making in the future,” writes Dr. Sighall, and this is an important point.
Thinking back to our example of wanting a new software suite, what if the software we wanted so badly turned out to be a complete disappointment? That’s going to cause us to grapple with some very uncomfortable thoughts about our abilities as decision-makers and how others perceive our competence. However, if we utilize Dr. Sighall’s approach to owning buyer’s remorse, we will be better equipped to make the right software selection in the future. And this type of behavior is now being seen in supply chain software.
Scott Kleinert, Director of Consumer Goods for TrueCommerce Datalliance, says he has seen a strong uptick in conversations with people looking to apply new technologies to support their supply chains, specifically around scan-based trading (SBT) initiatives.
“Suppliers are tired of settling for software that addresses only some of their issues for supply chain management,” explains Kleinert. “In the mid-2000s, retailers increasingly began asking suppliers to participate in their SBT programs, and some suppliers chose a basic system or managed the process manually hoping it would be good enough. Well, that hasn’t necessarily been the case, and with retailers expanding their SBT programs, suppliers are scrambling to become educated about what’s the right software and services for them.”
One major issue surrounding inadequate SBT software is that suppliers are often forced to utilize complicated and messy spreadsheets to help them track what’s been sold while managing proper inventory levels. Kleinert says, “Planners for these suppliers have to go in and manually update multiple spreadsheets daily. A lot of time is devoted to the process, the output of which is critical – ensuring a supplier’s invoice reflects an accurate count of what went across the scanner.”
So, what type of SBT software support should suppliers utilize? In Kleinert’s experience, he feels “at the very minimum, software should be capable of automatically ingesting point-of-sale data from a retailer, have the flexibility to manage multiple retail store assortments, and produce an accurate invoice.” However, Kleinert is quick to point out “that type of software only scratches the surface of SBT.”
“To really make the most out of your SBT program, suppliers need software that can ingest and analyze retail data, reconcile the min/max inventory levels at the store shelf, suggest order replenishment by item by location, and produce accurate invoices,” explains Kleinert. “These suppliers are sometimes managing SBT programs for thousands of stores, and suppliers are coming to me for a solution that does it all. They don’t have the time or personnel to use something that doesn’t.”
Finding a solution that “does it all” is reminiscent of when we found that perfect toy as kids. It made us feel great about our purchase decision and we enjoyed every second that it was ours. There is no reason those same feelings can’t be replicated as adults.
To learn more about scan-based trading software solutions, contact TrueCommerce today.