We invite you to explore these informative white papers to learn more about the challenging issues facing the retail industry. Drawn from years of hands-on retail and technology experience, RPE staff experts share their perspective to assist retailers in improving business performance for a total IT solution.

QA process testing typically ensures that stated business requirements are met and that applications behave as the business desires.

These 10 questions can quickly determine the state of your software and vendors. If you answer “no” to six or more questions, it may be time to look at a modern software solution from a trusted vendor to provide accurate, real time information across all channels.

Discover five great ways cloud hosting and systems management services can help businesses operate, maintain and improve operations utilizing a secure and trusted Data Center infrastructure.

Transitioning to Modern and Profitable Unified Commerce
Unified Commerce connects all channels in real time with data available to all parties from store operations and buyers to vendors and customers. While retailers recognize the importance of Unified Commerce, executing a true Unified Commerce strategy has its challenges. Serving the customer as they wish must also be balanced with profitability.

Point of sale plays a critical role in staying ahead of the competition, cultivating customer loyalty and increasing sales and productivity. Still, many organizations run outdated legacy systems unable to handle today’s unified commerce. These 10 questions will help you quickly determine the state of your software.

Personnel Turnover: How to address the continual need for new training
Every retail organization has to deal with turnover in its personnel. It is important for teams and individuals to progress in their careers and grow professionally, which means people will leave and others will join the team. But this presents a continual training challenge, particularly when complex business systems and processes are at stake. What are the ways to mitigate this disruption? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Eight Step Checklist for Retailers Making the Move to a New POS System
Whether evaluating your existing retail point of sale solutions to determine if it is time to make a change or selecting new retail POS software, make an informed decision by following this timely checklist. Gain insight on what to look for in retail POS software to open doors to new channels, increase opportunities and achieve customer engagement and loyalty.

Payment Exposure Reduction and the PCI DSS Requirements
The payment processing environment is constantly evolving as hackers find more methods to steal data and the payment industry continues to block these attempts. It’s a complicated topic, so here’s a visual: Most people carry as little cash as possible, and one reason for this is to reduce the risk of being targets for robbery. Plastic cards are popular because they allow people to reduce the cash they carry. This minimizes people’s exposure to loss from robbery, because what you don’t have can’t be stolen.

Improve Customer Satisfaction While Increasing Profitability and Efficiency with a JDA Allocation Upgrade
The significant new capabilities introduced in the latest release of JDA Allocation make managing the allocation environment easier than ever before. Several new features deliver improved analysis and control over merchandise selection while new analysis and reporting capabilities provide deeper insight into allocation results.

Cloud Computing: A Practical Guide for Retailers
The platform of computing technology swings like a pendulum with each new generation. You hear of terms such as on-premise, hosted, SaaS, PaaS, virtualization and SOA. No doubt there will be more acronyms and phrases in the years to come. However, the one that gets most of the attention today is the cloud. In the 2012 Gartner Annual CIO Survey, Tier 1 retail CIOs rated cloud computing as one of their top five technology priorities through 2015.1 Learn how retailers can benefit from cloud computing.

7 Steps to Increase Profits and Loyalty with Advanced Business Intelligence
By following a seven step guide, learn how to leverage the massive amount of data already being collected. Discover how to accelerate and extend business intelligence from the C-suite to the stock room and find the best ways to deliver products, how, when and where today’s increasingly knowledgeable customers want them.

8 Steps to Success in the Future of POS
The point of sale system for retail has improved over the years with today’s new technology. Gathering customer information through POS has become extremely important as retailers expand into other marketing uses for the data collected through point of sale retail systems.

It’s the Right Time to Invest in the Supply Chain Process
In a sluggish global economy with varied perspective on when and how the retail industry will fully return to a state of consumer confidence, there appears to be growing optimism. A resurgence of retail IT spending is emerging in North America.

Distribution and Inventory Strategy Effectiveness
The goal of an inventory strategy is to minimize overall inventory costs such as transportation, distribution and inventory carrying, and to maximize revenue for a given service level. The ability to reach an optimal point of both revenue and inventory is dependent on four basic elements: supply quantity, supply timing, demand quality and demand timing.

Four Solutions to Dramatically Improve Your Business
Developing a roadmap that closes gaps in an organization’s IT capabilities and identifies enablers that produce measurable results is key to thriving in today’s retail environment. RPE and RIS News have identified four proven solutions that drive sales, raise margins and increase operational efficiencies. Deployed in an agile, short-duration roll out these solutions deliver strong bottom-line performance measured in months and not years. The four solutions: Business Intelligence, Price Optimization, Enterprise Planning and Multi-Channel Fulfillment.

Supply Chain Transformation: A Retailer’s Story on Creating a Flexible, Scalable and Efficient Solution
Anna’s Linens, a national tier 2 retailer, was facing rising supply chain costs, inventory growth, an unacceptable store level in-stock position for ad product, and an overdependence on bundled transactional pricing from third party providers for logistical services and logistics data capture. Faced with the challenges of an increasingly competitive retail environment, Anna’s Linens embarked upon a strategic shift regarding the role of the supply chain within the organization. The goal was to create a flexible, scalable and efficient supply chain that would provide a greater return on human, systems and physical capital.
View Webinar on Anna’s Linens Transformation

Mapping Out a Five-Year IT Strategy
Creating and carrying out a long-term strategic information technology plan brings a host of benefits to retailers. Long-term (three- or five-year) plans help keep the entire organization moving toward its business goals – even when facing unexpected challenges. For a plan to provide maximum benefits, it needs to combine big-picture vision with specific steps.

CrossChannel Integration  Is the 21st Century Retailer Fully Integrated?
The concept of selling through multiple channels is not new to the retail industry. In order to provide the capacity to shop anytime, anyplace, and from anywhere, retailers need to provide customers the ability to transact from any one channel and fulfill or return in another channel. Retailers must shift their cross-channel organization toward the retail paradigm known as fully integrated cross-channel retailing.

JDA PMM Optimization ‒ A 5Point Perspective
As any retailer knows, one of the keys to success is having a competitive advantage. In order to achieve these advantages, the retailer must also possess the IT infrastructure to optimally support their business. Any merchandising system requires ongoing maintenance to maintain stability. RPE has developed a 5-Point PMM Optimization Model to help users better understand where they can improve the management and use of their powerful, open architecture, highly scalable system known as PMM.

Opportunities for Supply Chain Optimization: Common Scenarios for Softlines/Fashion Retailers
There are two key components in analysis of retail planning methodology. One is the type of planning tools used. The second is whether or not the tool is used in the appropriate place in the supply chain, at the appropriate level and is interfaced correctly to other tools and functions. Mapping all facets of the supply chain and ensuring the communication, data flow and effective integration of tools and applications – both forward and backward – are key to supply chain optimization.

Item Transitions: Maximize Profits from New and Exiting Items
Item transitions refer to periods of activities when retailers execute the addition of new items and removal of exiting items from a product mix. Adding new items to an assortment offers a chance to increase sales and gross margin. Removing items will ultimately eliminate unproductive inventory and make space for items with more profitable sales. Both events pose logistical challenges to the merchandising, inventory management and store teams responsible for implementing the change. Retailers who excel at item transitions will separate themselves from the competition by increasing profits and improving customer satisfaction.

Software Implementations: “Out-of-the-Box”or Intelligent Modifications
What do all retailers have in common? They strive to provide the right product at the right time to the right location. The most difficult challenge retail software vendors face is how to provide an all-inclusive out-of-the-box solution that satisfies the unique requirements for a wide spectrum of retail organizations. The challenge is even greater for the retailer. The day of the custom merchandise system is gone. This raises the primary question every retail IT executive faces when making package selection decisions. Do I change my business processes to fit the software solution or change the software solution to fit my business processes?

Retail Software Package Selection
Selecting a software solution that meets the unique needs of your business, your customers and your team is one of the most important projects a retailer can initiate. Because of the time, expense and risk involved with even the best implementations, selection decisions will impact the business for years. All too often, the package chosen at the end of the selection process is not the best solution for the retailer’s needs. The process failed to select the software most appropriate to address the retailer’s needs and bottom line benefit potential is reduced. Following ten suggestions will improve your chances of success the next time you decide to kick off a software package search project.

Documentation ‒ Maximize Team Effectiveness and Extend the Investment
Documentation is often an overlooked step in major change initiatives. It may be bypassed or does not receive the attention it deserves. After all, once the project team has disbanded, users frequently feel isolated and on their own to continue using the new process or tool as intended. What other deliverable outside of documentation supports the users in their quest to improve results? Creation of top rate documentation can ensure long term success of change initiatives.

Planning & Allocation vs. Replenishment: When is Each the Best Strategy?
Assortment optimization, pricing decisions and promotional activity fall flat if the product is not on the shelf for the consumer to purchase. Out of stocks, overstocks and markdowns drive down already strained profit margins. How can the millions of item/store combinations be managed centrally to enable store teams to focus on the customer? Replenishment is a process that maximizes sales while minimizing inventory expense. It also frees time enabling your team to focus on the ultimate profit driver, the customer.

10 Keys for Project Success
All projects represent a significant effort justifying the allocation of resources and expense. Success is critical. Project failure not only diminishes or eliminates the benefits expected when the project is initiated, but can damage existing tools and processes. There are 10 key areas to be addressed for project success. Many of these steps happen concurrently during a project’s lifecycle and are important focal points for project teams and executives contemplating initiating projects.

Replenishment: What is it exactly and why is it important?
Replenishment is an area within operations where retailers can find an edge to beat the competition and meet customer needs. Excelling at replenishment enables a retailer to implement the promotional, pricing and assortment strategies established. Plus, additional profit can be gained by minimizing inventory levels and reducing lost sales. Time is made available for analysis and special projects when fighting the fires of overstock and out of stocks is removed from the buyer’s day.

Retail Process Excellence: Achieve Superior Results
You’ve hired a strong team, and you’ve installed best-of-breed software solutions across the enterprise, yet bottom-line improvements are proving elusive. What else can be done to drive improved results in such a competitive retail landscape? Process Excellence can help your organization achieve superior results often at a reduced expense and risk compared to alternative strategies.