EPB (Enterprise Browser)
Enterprise Browser Pte Ltd. is a Software Company based in Singapore. they specialize in development of java based, enterprise based software product. Enterprise Browser Business Operation Management System (EPB System), that focuses in the corporate business application system domain, is targeted for customers in global SME. They have extensive experience in the business domains of Sales Distribution, Retail, Finance and Account, Manufacturing and Logistic (especially in Marine Logistic).
Over the past years, Decks has gained significant traction at its stores, leading to an increase in business volume attributed to an increase of individual walk-ins from word-of-mouth. This strengthened foothold is due to Decks’ high level of engagement from the founder, who involves himself tirelessly at the respective outlets to serve the customers and to listen to their feedback to improve the designs of his apparels.
With the high demands of efficient processes and quality output due to the increase of market penetration for apparel supply to the service industry, it is critical for Decks to transform from manual driven processes to partial automation and digitization. Decks has limited technological tools for the enhancement of overall retail experience and customer loyalty which lead to several constraints that hinder the growth and transformation of the company.
Deck’s current way of retail operation is extremely rudimentary and manual, preventing them to keep up with the increase in business activities. As such, most of the employees (including management) are deeply engaged with fire-fighting operational bottlenecks. This causes frustration between different departments, and takes time away from management. The current way of operations for each process is reflected below.
For a wear retailer, a fitting room is the key touchpoint of converting visitors to customers. However, Decks’ current way of fitting room experience is traditional and rudimentary, where sales associates will greet the customers outside the fitting room, count the number of pieces, lead customers to the fitting room. There is no opportunity to do cross-selling or up-selling as this is deemed as a turn-off by many shoppers today. To add on, it is also observed sales associates are spending a significant amount of time hanging back the clothes back to the hangers before returning to the sales floor, instead of serving individual customer with full dedication, resulting in low customer satisfaction. As Decks’ traditional way of retail processes are dependent on staff to convert sales, the current fitting room process has resulted in high overhead costs and low resource management. At this point, the management does not have any statistics on how well the fitting rooms are being serviced (e.g. how long it takes for staff to respond to fitting room calls), thus unable to ensure excellent service for its customers.
A few years ago, Decks made it first move in improving efficiency by embarking in an ERP and CRM systems to improve its overall productivity and business processes. While the current CRM system has benefited Decks in terms of helping the company to centralise, optimise and streamline its communications with customers, it is essential for Decks to go beyond the usual customer engagement tactics and provide a great post-purchase experience to its customers and drive brand loyalty. Currently, there is no birthday discounts or personalized promotion for its members, thus resulting in a low retention rate. To add on, the current CRM system is unable to tell the management exactly how many items the customer tried on and how many he or she has bought. There is no way Decks to track a customer’s purchase history in the given store or chain and accurately calculate the conversion.
Currently, the management faces the issue of inaccurate merchandising planning, where the types of merchandises are planned and arranged at each brand and outlet without obtaining any feedback and data from shoppers’ choices. There is a lack of important insights on customer preferences in terms of geographical location and inability to keep up with consumer demands around omnichannel experiences and track them across various devices and touchpoints. The current situation for Decks is that the management is unable to collect analytics about how a customer interacts with the products. Which dress is usually bought right after fitting? Which one was tried on several dozens times a week, but wasn’t bought anyway? Information like this is extremely valuable for Decks since it helps the management to understand what do their customers want and offer them the range of products and the quality of services the customers expect. However, with the current traditional retail experience offered, it is almost impossible to get such valuable findings.
The other issue which Decks currently faces, is the lack of clear visibility and consolidation of inventory across all its physical outlets. To ensure accuracy in its inventory for back-of-house and front-of-house at the outlets, sales associates are required to conduct inventory stock count twice monthly. There have been occasions where items were lost due to the lack of security measures in the fitting rooms as there is no way of tracking the merchandise items from sourcing/PO stage to its final sale to the end consumer currently. The inaccuracy of the stock quantities affected the effective operations at store fronts.
To manage operational uncertainty, Decks has to relook at its existing business model and amend its business strategy accordingly. Work processes need to be streamlined to improve efficiency and eliminate unnecessary operational cost, without compromising on overall product quality. At the same time, it is essential to ensure that service quality is improved and not compromised so that the company continues to remain as the lead apparel company in Singapore. Sales associates are the key to executing the experience, and must be able to easily and measurably impact results. Once the customer leaves the fitting room, it’s a loss of sale. Just like any other retail outlet stores in Singapore, tagged with the low barriers to entry, it is important for Decks to find unconventional ways to engage its customers. As such, Decks would like to embark on a Smart Fitting Room Management System that is digital and technology driven, allowing its shoppers to experience a brand new Omni channel retail experience. Tagged with the RFID functionality, the solution will enable seamless tracking of merchandise item code from Sourcing/PO stage to its final sale to the end consumer, thus preventing the loss of unnecessary sale and manpower for stock counting.
Within the organization, additional skills will be required. Staff will have to undergo a job redesign and additional training will be critical for the successful deployment. Whilst more manpower many be needed in the future, due to the unforeseen economic onset of COVID-19, we do believe that as a company we are better re-training, redeploying and upskilling our staff.