Lost In Retail Translation

Kirk Tanner discusses the benefits of having a retail business' inventory, accounting, and sales systems all work together.

Welcome to Whiteboard Wednesday. I’m Kirk Tanner, Chief Marketing Officer at Fishbowl. And today we’re gonna have a conversation about retail.

We came up with this cute little title, “Lost In Retail Translation.” Don’t ask me why. It was the guy who drew the funny art up on the board. He liked it, so…

But normally we talk about wholesale distribution or manufacturing, but today we’re gonna give retail a little bit of attention.

If you’ve got a small retail business, it’s gonna look something like this right here. And what we’ve got is we’ve got some departments or functions. We’ve got our front sales, our front office right here. We’ve got our back office doing all of our accounting, and we’ve got this warehouse where we’ve got all of our inventory.

Most of these small businesses are keeping track of everything paper-based. They’ve got their sales and their accounting and their inventory reports, but it’s not easily accessible and it’s very slow. In fact, if you’re using this process it’s very labor-intensive and one of the biggest problems with this kind of system that isn’t using software to manage all these processes is there’s too many touches. And too many touches creates redundant data and oftentimes introduces human error.

So this is a common model, but it’s a model that, if you can, you probably wanna move away from this more to a model that looks like this up here.

Now, oftentimes these businesses will have computers in all these different locations, and they’re even connected over a network, but they’re not taking full advantage of being connected and having these computers in all these locations.

So this graphic up here, we’ve taken this same model and we’ve flattened it out on this digital plane up here. So we’ve got our sales, we’ve got our accounting, and we’ve got our inventory, but no walls. All of that, all the activities, all of the processes that are happening down here when they happen up here this is all real time, so anything that happens anywhere is real time and recorded and available.

So what happens when you have a point of sale, inventory management, and accounting integration going on here? You’ve created greater efficiency in your business. You’ve got data that now is easily accessible. You can find out anything you need to know about your business, and this gives you the ability to make better business decisions.

Of course, with fewer touches we have no, or very little, human error. Instead of doing something here that then is keyed in over here and maybe keyed in over here, it’s just shared dynamically, and you remove the chance of the multiple touches creating human error.

So if you’ve got a retail business that looks somewhat like this where you’re climbing over these walls and sharing information, consider a software application that’s gonna integrate and give you the benefits of this digital plane up here.

Most small businesses are going to be using QuickBooks, so you’re wanting to look for something that’s gonna integrate with QuickBooks so that as you run that business all of these processes are happening dynamically and you benefit from the efficiency, the accessibility, and reducing human error.

If you do that, your retail business is going to be much more efficient, much more profitable, and you’re gonna have peace of mind and your job is gonna become much more enjoyable in running this retail business.

That’s it for this week’s Whiteboard Wednesday. Join us again next week. Thanks.

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