Our 2021 VAI Customer Fall Forum was held virtually this year, delivering a theme that centered around leveraging technology to achieve business growth, objectives, and leadership, while keeping pace with the rapid advancements of automation in a fast-changing world. Attendance was high across all industries, as S2K customers came see the scope of advancements within the S2K Enterprise suite of applications, plus review their technology roadmaps and share business insights. Hosting the forum virtually also gave many participants in each organization the chance to sign on and have a look at the technical components most important to them within their daily functions.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) is anticipating that retail sales will grow between 10.5% and 13.5% to more than $4.44 trillion this year as the economy accelerates its pace of recovery.
While the retail industry is seeing a resurgence of in-person traffic in recent months, the pandemic has proven that consumer adoption of e-commerce isn’t going away. The pandemic has produced a larger technological shift, leading to a surge in e-commerce sales that are driven by online and mobile device shopping, ordering, and payment. After years of evaluating the demand for online shopping versus traditional brick-and-mortar, hybrid shopping that includes Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Store (BOPIS) and same-day delivery has had a significant impact on retail brands’ reliance on these strategies.
For companies who are sustaining working-from-anywhere models, security, cloud, and mobile technology will be the key aspects of the future of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and access to it will remain a critical capability in allowing workers to do their jobs as if they are in the office, from anywhere. The ability to successfully operate and monitor your business in any kind of remote structure relies on the security, accessibility, standardization, and communication provided by your IT infrastructure and ERP software. Shoring up your security defenses, operating in a cloud environment, and utilizing mobile technology will take your ERP software to the next level and optimize its capabilities including for remote workers.
The global supply chain has taken a hit over the past year, which has slowed down distribution channels, heightened labor shortages, and increased product delays. However, advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain have created opportunities for companies to enhance supply chain operations moving forward.
Online and mobile shopping are likely the primary purchase channels for many brands today. In a recent article in Industry Week, I shared thoughts on why (despite supply chain shortage challenges for certain products over the past year) the focus on e-commerce strategies was strong throughout 2020, is expected to increase through the remainder of 2021, and continue to shift the purchasing landscape moving forward. Economic uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially throughout the supply chain, has made supply and demand tracking a difficult task, and in some cases has impacted shipping and delivery times.
Technology functions best when it is working to foster strong customer relationships and make it easier for employees to perform their tasks. Using technology to skillfully build and maintain customer communication and support their needs translates to a healthier business model. When you enrich your client’s experience with your brand, everybody wins – especially your brand.