Could your current technology make you the next retail victim?

20 June 2018

The face of retail is rapidly changing with many of our household named stores disappearing as consumers move towards an entirely different shopping experience. House of Frasier, once one of the most popular department stores within the UK, announced the closure of over half its stores just days after Mothercare announce it is to close 50 of its 137 stores.

As these high street stores disappear, the remainder cannot become complacent. Whilst buzzwords/phrases such as process optimization, improved efficiency and digital transformation have been around for some time, they are here to stay, and it’s time to delve deeper into ways of working smarter and faster without adding due complication to processes in order to survive.

So where does document management technology come into all of this?

Retail stock commonly consists of a combination of sizes, colors and/or styles across all items. Take sneakers/trainers as an example. In the sales order below the stock appears multiple times and needs to be summarized.

In this instance, if a sportswear retail chain wanted to know the exact number of items being ordered of a certain item number, size, colour and/or style, the information could be at multiple positions in the same sales order/purchase order. This presents and extremely complex issue as the items can appear on thousands of lines and in turn creates performance issues. Just imagine the complexity and time involved to design a report of some 5000 sales lines, testing and then having to re-test if something has changed, furthermore the impact on performance as lots of data is fetched / retrieved from the database.

Formpipe Lasernet, a specialist provider of document output management solutions, has created a solution to this issue in its latest product release with an extension to its current connector, which has been developed specifically with retailer in mind.

The extension to the connector can summarize any combination of lines within a sales/purchase order and present the data in an XML file within a matter of seconds. Performance issues are taken care of too as the connector only collects and processes the information required to compile the report, which also reduces consumption of Cloud/Azure resources and processing time.

Retailers are now able to select a specific method from within the Dynamics Lasernet connector to build a defined the required report structure with ease. This functionality is provided “out of the box” which intern reduces the complexity involved in pre-production testing. An illustration is provided below:

Our retail clients can also reuse the same code/structure across different reports by simply adding the same method to any report, resulting in a grouped and nicely formatted report as illustrated below:

Beginning today, you can realise the benefits of streamlining item centric documentation which represents the true value of your brand. Together with the Lasernet technology and expertise we have helped retailers such as Marc Jacobs to design and disseminate attractive, brand-rich documentation, including purchase orders and invoices, with flexibility, ease and precision. Formpipe Lasernet is Microsoft Gold Partner and member of Microsoft’s PREP program, with over 2500 successful implementations worldwide. For further information please contact