Retail Sector

Retail has always been a tough, competitive market. And especially when competing with the retail giants, smaller retail chains have to stay focused on costs and changing sales trends. Overspending in one area, or not noticing a change in demand, can easily wipe out any profit margins that are around. For many, the costs involved in sophisticated planning software is typically prohibitive, and so reliance is placed on spreadsheets to set budgets, collect forecasts, and analyze results.

Spreadsheet Dilemma

Unfortunately, spreadsheets just aren’t good enough. Being ‘single-user’ means it’s not easy to distribute and collect budgets; their inflexibility makes it difficult to modify each time a forecast is required; and when it comes to reporting performance, their ‘one view of the business means it’s hard to create reports that analyse the business from multiple perspectives such as by store, by product line, by week, and so on.

“As the brand grew, we needed to involve more people in the budgeting and reporting processes and sending Excel spreadsheets to ever more members of the team was fraught with problems … my team would spend too much of their valuable, and expensive, time error-checking the sheets and re-inputting or re-pasting figures, when they should be using the figures to produce meaningful and useful reports for the business.”

However, things are changing.

‘Software/hardware free’ Solution

Recent changes in technology, and in particular in the area of hosted (sometimes known as ‘cloud’ solutions), means that smaller retail organizations are now able to benefit from the same technologies as used by large commercial organisations. Using Financial Driver, retailers have been able to transform their planning, forecasting and reporting processes by replacing their spreadsheets with a modern online solution, but without the cost of buying software or the associated hardware.

“Implementation was quick - we had all our historical and current data imported and we were up-and-running inside two working weeks, which meant our operational downtime was virtually nothing.”

Our hosted solution eliminates the need to buy or install software and yet still delivers enterprise business benefits

“We’re now able to more quickly model changes to our product lines, stores, territories, staffing or supplier-base and so help the business make more timely, accurate decisions. Finance is now at the heart of all the strategic decisions that define the overall direction of the business”.

Why not see how Financial Driver could transform your planning, forecasting and reporting processes? What have you got to lose? For more information: