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Transforming Finance Operations for Retail

Few industries have felt the impact of data and digital technologies more than retail.

Having only barely had time to breathe from the first round of “omnichannel”, today’s omnichannel means that you have to deal with even more data from external parties. This means that you’re dealing not only your company-owned channels but those of your increasing number of third-party delivery, sales and payment partners. As fast as these new channels open, ramp-up and spin-down, each creates an urgent need to bring their data streams into the order to cash chain and a slew of associated workflows to manage that process. Reconciliation and close have never been so data-intensive and challenging.

To this challenge, blend in ever-more ubiquitous and sophisticated loyalty and membership schemes and the bullwhip effect they have on allocations that subsequently hit the bottom line. The diligent CFO understands the associated need for finance to not only allocate and account for this “loyalty” liability but to work hand in hand with marketing to track, analyse, fine-tune and justify the incentives and promotions they drive and to understand real Customer Lifetime Value. Business-partner CFOs are always running forecasts, what-ifs, monitoring loyalty breakage (the unclaimed expiry of loyalty benefits) and mapping purchase interval and basket to provide value and insight to their colleagues and the business.

That’s without the effect an increasing data, and digital-literate workforce has upon traditional finance functions such as budgeting and simple reporting and analysis. As the world gets more data literate and the speed of business increases, all staff are now looking at finance seeking fast, and actionable insights from an ever-growing pool of data. As the demand for services from fiance increases, many finance departments are struggling for bandwidth as they are encouraged to keep headcount low. Taking advantage of technological advancements is the answer.

While new technology is creating problems for your business, it is also giving us the tools to fix them.

It all adds up to spreadsheet-sprawl, to risk, to compliance burden and governance headaches. It adds up to aggravation and dissatisfaction in staff and a spiralling increase in the simple cost of time sunk into running the finance function within enterprises everywhere.

None of this is news to CFOs and their teams.

What is news is that even as technology and change create these issues, so too do they solve them.

ABM Systems deliver rapid speed to-value solutions to address all of these areas. Data-centric, reliable and provable answers to the problems and questions faced by today’s retail CFO. Right-tool, right-technology, right-partner solutions drawn from our daily experiences both in ANZ and overseas.

We recently wrote a piece on the disappointment many “digital transformation” projects represent, and some strategies for avoiding them. In this article, Data-Centric Digital Transformation; How to change outcomes and not simply technology, I referred to the data-centric approach ABM uses and outlined the way we focus on outcomes and looping from data to process to solution and back. Read the article here.

Get int touch if you would like me to explain how this philosophy sits alongside the tools, skills and experience ABM Systems brings to our customers and how that can enable the office of the CFO to face a disrupted retail world with not just confidence but actual excitement.

Drop us a line.

Talk to us about transforming financial operations for retail