eCommerce ideas – Virtual store – QR Code – mCommerce

How to become #One without increasing number of stores?

mCommerce:   Mobile commerce – or M-commerce – is the fastest growing area of retail.  Retailers are scrambling to catch up with the rapid growth of smartphones and how they’re changing the way we shop.   About quarter of consumers have used their smartphone to access websites while out shopping.   Tesco (Home Plus) reckon they’ve got a captive audience to try out their latest technology at Gatwick’s North Terminal.  It’s also one of the busiest times of the year with tens of thousands of passengers with a lot of time to kill between flights.

“We don’t think it’s a gimmick – it’s a taste of the future,” says Mandy Minichiello, marketing manager for Tesco.com.   “In 2016, about 90% of all mobiles will be smartphones.  Tesco virtual shopping mobile app.   A mobile app scans the QR CODE and orders the selected items.  “We’re doing this as a trial to try to get some customer feedback. We’re keen to make customers lives as easy as possible.   “Increasingly, they want to shop on the go.”

Tesco was a pioneer of internet retailing and has more than a million online customers.   They’ve also done a similar experiment in South Korea, where commuters pointed their mobile phones at billboards in subways and bus stops. These have become a permanent fixture.

The UK trial goes further with an interactive feature.  “It’s significant they’re doing this before other mainstream retailers have got in on the act,” says Neil Saunders, managing director with retail consultancy Conlumino.  “It shows that Tesco are determined to make a success in the mobile retail environment and the potential for growth.”

Changing fast – Other retailers will be watching closely.  According to mobile retail strategy consultancy Velti, the industry is changing fast.  Tesco virtual shopping:  Tesco insist the idea is not just a gimmick.  “Retailers are struggling to keep up,” says Matt Cockett, vice president of sales at the company.   “A mobile strategy is key for any retailer because the revenue has more than doubled in the past 12 months.

“Mobile investment is about how you develop a strategy and manage to take advantage of the oncoming rapid changes in technology.  He added: “The Holy Grail is to connect the data touch points and to get a comprehensive view of each individual customer.  “Retailers need to consider all touch points that drive mobile traffic to support online, mobile and in-store, and ultimately increase conversion rate.”  Retail is increasingly all about making it as easy and convenient as possible for consumers to part with their cash.

Perhaps it won’t be too long before the Tesco experiment will come to a bus stop or train station near you.

 

2013 in review and report of your blog focusing on ERP and eCommerce

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

  • Some visitors came searching, mostly for erp, implement, erp presentation,fortis hospital software, and happy end of financial year.
  • A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.
  • Visitors of iJyoti.com blog are from 105 countries in all!
    Most visitors came from India. The United States & The United Kingdom were not far behind.

Click here to see the complete report.

Reasons for ERP Software project delays

ERP Implementation

ERP Implementation

Evidence suggests that majority of ERP software projects are delayed or doomed by cost overturns.  Even when ERP projects are completed on time or within budget, users often complain that the software they have paid for does not meet their expectations in terms of quality, or features or both.

In other words, a great deal of software that is developed never gains user acceptance.  No respectable field of engineering has comparable failure.  That would be a catastrophe, and construction and automotive engineers would not make a living!

  • Why does the distinguished software industry have such an abysmal track record? A big part of the answer is ‘scope definition’, a phenomenon that causes users to be highly inconsistent and unpredictable, about what they wish their software to do. Experienced software engineers often say that users are notorious for their inability to clearly articulate their expectations from software. As a result, it is alarmingly common for the development (construction) of software applications to begin with insufficient requirements and ambiguous specifications.
  • ERP project is taken as ‘by-the-way’ project whereas in true sense it should be the only priority during implementation phase.
  • And because software is intangible (impossible to see and touch) while it is under development (unlike other forms of construction such as bridges and cars), it is commonplace for needs to keep evolving as the software gets built. With every round of change and clarification. The scope of the project changes (as earlier assumptions are negated and new ones introduced). And timelines are pushed out to accommodate new expectations. This is analogous to building a house for which the architectural design keeps shifting with the changing priorities of the owners. Human experience suggests that moving-targets do not lend themselves to happy outcomes. And so it is with the timelines and budgets of numerous ERP projects.
  • Untreatable as it may seem on the surface, scope creep (changes) is an eminently treatable problem. For example, world-class ERP organizations now employ the use case method to manage user requirements. Instead of asking users what features they want in their software, the user case method guides them to describe their current and future processes and behaviors in terms of stories and scripts (much like playwrights write plays) that are stuffed with actors, actions and entity. It turns out that humans are fundamentally better at narration than specification, and the requirements that originate from this method are decidedly more robust.
  • Further, the software implementation and development process has itself become less linear and more cyclical. These days, large ERP projects are broken down into a series of short, burst sprints that last between 30-60 days each.  Sometime, module wise implementation helps building up confidence.
  • Only a small set of requirements are addressed in each sprint, and no changes in scope are permitted while a sprint is progress. Finally, users themselves play an active role in software evolution. As each iterative cycle draws to a close, representative users (or focus groups) interact with the ‘live’ (albeit partially complete) system, and provide critical feedback. The feedback is analyzed, course corrections engineered, and scope creep managed in a controlled fashion.
  • Software engineers are devising early warning systems that will allow them to predict well in advance how serious the downstream effects of unmanaged scope creep can be. An innovative measure that is gaining currency is the requirements clarity indicator, a metric that allows a panel of software experts to review a set of project requirements early in the life-cycle and determine how well the stakeholders even understand what they want from their stability indicator. Low scores on requirements clarity or requirement stability ought to be sufficient to assume that a project is headed for serious trouble.
  • In conclusion, scope creep remains a major threat to the success of every software project.

However, its impact can be minimized by leveraging best practices that are part of the emerging repertoire of leading IT organizations. Good software engineering is all about deciphering what users need, and not getting distracted by what they demand. It is also about managing scope creep intelligently. Use cases, iterative sprints, task group feedback, as well as indicators that measure requirements clarity and stability allow modern software engineers to do just that.

Above write-up is based on Jyoti Zaveri’s experience of software development and software projects implementation experience.

ERP Cycle for Cycle Business on the web

Cycle business on the web

Cycle business on the web

Presenting real case study of Germany Deutsche Bahn organization.  You will appreciate perfection!

Call a Bike is a bike hire system run by Deutsche Bahn in several German cities, which uses a system of authentication codes to automatically lock and unlock bikes.  Here is the WEBSITE BUSINESS LOGIC:

Cycle ERP business logic

Cycle ERP business logic

Cycle friendly city

Cycle friendly city

To find the bikes one has to search at the cross roads in the central areas of the towns or use location-based services on SmartPhones to find them.

  1. To hire Customer calls the telephone number given on the bike which includes the BIKE’S ID and gets by voice the 4 digit opening code, which he then types onto the bike’s touch screen to unlock it.
  2. To return: Lock the bike to a fixed object, and select “return bike” from the bike’s touch-screen. A code will be generated which then has to be telephoned to the control centre, as proof that the bike was locked. As well one has to give the exact street names of the cross roads, which has to be within the permitted town area.
  3. From 2013, in some cities, e.g. Cologne and Munich, this phone call to return a bike is no longer necessary, as the return location is now being transmitted to the control centre by GPS.
  4. Lock temporarily. Similar to returning the bike, except that it doesn’t generate a “return code”.

DB provides local numbers for the phone calls from a cell phone which are required to both hire – rent – and return the bikes. Depending on your phone contract, the cost of your phone calls may exceed the price of the bike hire. However, if you are using a German SIM card which often has a flat rate for calling fixed line numbers, phone calls will be FREE of charge.

The system uses an electronic wheel lock and a cable lock, all controlled by embedded microcontroller with touchscreen LCD display. A set of 1024 pre-generated lock/unlock codes are unique to each bike and stored in memory.

To borrow from CallBike

  • Call a Bike – without stress and without traffic jam. Simply smart!
  • Call a bike you can amongst others in Berlin, Frankfurt / Main, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart or Karlsruhe mobile on the go. Regardless of schedules, good for your figure and friendly to the environment.

DB Rent GmbH belongs together with the DB Fleet Service GmbH to the mobility service of Deutsche Bahn.

Domain Knowledge

Domain Knowledge is the knowledge of a particular industry

domain

Domain knowledge is the knowledge about the environment in which the business organizations operates, and it encompasses the understanding of the industry dynamics, history, sectors and segments, business model, competitive landscape, value chain, customers, supply chain, challenges and the industry specific strategies of the target enterprise.

Domain knowledge is necessary because it provides the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions and empower the users to deal with complex business situations.  For implementing e-commerce project it is necessary to learn about the business that you are trying to automate on the internet.  Gaining understanding of the industry means a smarter analysis, clearer logic underlying business decisions, closer attention to key dimensions of implementation and operation, and more disciplined performance management.

On the lighter side, here is a joke:

Get Domain expertise

Get Domain expertise

There was a family with one kid. One day the mother was out and dad was in charge of the kid, who just turned three.

 
Someone had given the kid a little ‘tea set’ as a birthday gift and it was one of her favourite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when kid brought Daddy a little cup of ‘tea’, which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for from father for such yummy tea, kid’s Mom came home.
 
Dad made her wait in the living room to watch the kid bring him a cup of tea, because it was ‘just the cutest thing!!’
 
 
Mom waited, and sure enough, the kid comes down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up, then she says to him, ‘Did it ever come to your mind that the only place that baby can reach to get water is the toilet??’
….Mothers know!
 
Moral Of The Story:  Domain knowledge is very important!  Else your project may fail.

Communicating between end-users and software developers is often difficult. They must find a common language to communicate in.  It is necessary to learn the jargon (vocabulary)  to communicate effectively.   The consultant may play an important role to bridge the gap between business executives and software engineers.

Examples of Domain Knowledge that may require for a project in the respective business category.
  • Automotive Domain.
  • Banking Domain.
  • Education Domain.
  • Engineering Domain.
  • FMCG Domain.
  • Retail Domain.
  • Telecom Domain.
  • Travel Domain.

In ERP / e-commerce project, domain knowledge is knowledge about the environment in which the target system operates. Domain knowledge is important, because it usually must be learned from software users in the domain (as domain specialists/experts), rather than from software developers. Expert’s domain knowledge is transformed in computer programs and active data, for example in a set of rules in knowledge bases, by knowledge engineers.

Year ends on March 31 – Are you ready?

Due priority should be given by all stakeholders on 31 March 13 in India

Financial Year in India

Financial Year in India

Year-end procedure.

In India, the accounting year is April to March. Accounting year 12-13 has ended on 31st March 2013. Important procedure is given below to plan the ‘year ending’ in ERP.  Due priority should be given by the stakeholders.  There are two kinds of closing balances that needs to be focused:

  1. Accounts closing balance: Debtor and Creditors / Assets and Liabilities.
  2. Closing balance of stock.
  • For efficient supply chain management it is necessary to record physical stock of all locations such as depot, warehouse, godowns  stores, cold storage (if any), CFA, distributors, and so on.

It is important to note that both inventory and accounts are tightly linked in ERP.  FAQ: “Can we enter creditor / debtor balance and closing stock, later?” The answer is NO.

Step-by-step procedure to GO LIVE is as follows:

1. Before doing anything take backup. Copy on once writeable CD; take the backup media to another location (different building).
2. Task: Enter closing stock for Inventory items.
3. Count stock. This exercise should be done very carefully. This is important for ‘going-live’.
4. Enter the closing stock, as on the cut-off date, from that date onwards, ERP will prepare the inventory related books, as well as accounts books, automatically.
5. E.g. closing balance as on March 31, mid night is opening balance for April 01.

6. Task: Enter ALL items in the item master.
It is strongly recommended that for EACH location stock balance be taken. E.g. stores, rejection location, scrap location, WIP (work-in-process), third-party (subcontractor location), etc.
7. Task: Take location master printout (excel sheet showing all locations) from the ERP (not from Tally). The list will also show names of subcontractor locations.
8. Bought out items, raw material, consumables, spares, etc. Items that are supplied by vendors (supplier).
9. Sub-assemblies, semi-finished goods, factory made item, etc. This may include items that are received from third-party, if it is semi-finished goods. (WIP).
10. Finished Goods, (FG or product that usually appears in the sales invoice).

11. Task: Prepare the Item list using ERP software instant excel sheet option. You can prepare category, sub-category wise, separate list. Give to concerned person to take physical stock (count) and write on the excel sheet itself, put date and sign. This is strongly recommended to avoid confusion of item code / description.
12. Use this list (hard copy) to enter closing stock figures in ERP.
13. From that moment onwards, every transaction must go through ERP.
14. Depending on your judgement  estimate time required to do the physical count and the exercise to enter the data in ERP. This will depend on number of persons allocated for the task.
15. During the stock taking activity, there should be NO material movement. All goods inward and sales issue has to be suspended. For instance some companies would like to do this exercise on 1, 2 and 3 April and start the year on 4 April 08. Some companies stop the manufacturing activity on 30 and 31 Match.

16. You may find items that are physically present but not in the list – enter in the item master and enter closing balance.
17. Account Closing Balance are required for the following:

  • Debtor (customer),
  • Creditor (vendor, service provider, and third-party) balance pertaining to 11-12 balance will be carried forward automatically.
  • Pass JV (cr. Note or debit note if necessary to get the correct balance). Make sure the bank-reconciliation exercise is done well in time for ensuring correct ‘Trial Balance’ statement in ERP.

18. In case you have already gone “Live”:
Count physical stock for each item and write on the excel sheet printout, next to ERP stock statement (book stock) figure. Ideally, both should be same. If not write the difference (plus or minus). You will have to get explanation from stores-in-charge and pass SAN (stock adjustment note) to get the book stock same as physical stock.
19. You may find item that are shown as stock in hand but there is no such item. Check that there is no confusion in item name. Any case one must reconcile the stock.

20. You will have to do this exercise for each location. Especially stock lying with the third-party (if any).
21. Print separate list for FG, WIP, Stores items, consumables, packing material, etc. from ERP software.
22. You will need people so plan in advance, inform your team (staff), this is not one or two persons task. More people are required depending on number of location, size of the inventory, and so on.
23. At the time of login, into the ERP, select appropriate year (the first screen where you give log in name and password).
24. New document number series will start from the New accounting Year – e.g. April 1, 2012.
25. ERP System will allow you to enter 11-12 transactions even in April 2010, (for this select year 11-12). Finally, when the audited Balance Sheet is available one can make a “closing JV (Journal Voucher). This may be sometime in April / May 12. Whereas the current year (11-12) transaction can be entered from 1st April itself (these will be in new document series).
26. Cut-off date is ‘as on’ date in the Closing Balance data entry screen.
27. In item ledger and item stock statement ‘From’ date should NOT be less than Closing Balance, date that is used for entering closing balance.
28. User must press ‘enter’ key after entering the closing balance stock.
29. Once closing stock is entered, user should check, and if mistake is found, then enter again; this will over-write previous figure. Once all closing balance is checked, printed and confirmed then REMOVE access to the closing Balance menu-using user manage. No one should enter again cl. Bal. because this is one time exercise.
30. Only after disabling, the cl. Bal. menu user should be allowed to enter inventory transactions.

31. Closing balance Rate or value:

  • While entering stock closing balance, user also should enter rate. This is required to calculate the value.
  • For item that are purchased from outside – pl. enter the Weighted Average Rate (WAR) rate (weighted average rate), or last purchase Rate, if WAR rate is not available.
  • For all factory made items – SFG (Semi-Finished Goods or sub-assemblies) or FG (Finished Goods)– user should enter ‘cost rate’.

Video lecture (excerpts) about the year ending.


Case study video clip:
Marico, ITC, Emami. “Emami’s recent investment in I. T. has ensured finalization of its balance sheet in a record 35 days against the 60-day norm”.

Hope you are ready to embrace the New Year with more confidence and financial discipline that is so important in the competitive world.

I will appreciate your comments / feedback.

Wired or UN-Wired Business? Go Mobile

Web based / Mobile Application – Wired or UN-Wired Business?

Use mobile based or tabs based Apps and business management software for efficient business management.

Achieve the leading edge in this highly competitive market.

Use ERP on Android / Windows / iPhone based Apps

You want productive employees and they want the freedom to use mobile applications to get their work done.

Business on the Go

Business on the Go

Go Mobile Business advantage:

  • Already implemented business solutions to manage inventory, pre-sales, sales, sales and distribution, warehouse management, purchase, and many other areas of operation.
  • Specialist in Enterprise Software solution with a proven track-record.  Option of cloud based database so no need for in-house Server. 
  • Option of cloud based database so no need for in-house Server. 
  • Specializing in understanding business requirements, identify bottle-necks and stream-line business process to push the report on the mobile directly to users– for efficient management.   Option of linking payment gateway if required.   Software will be optimized to operate on Smartphone or Tabs.
  • Pre-sales and Sales modules supports discounts (document level or line level).
  • Warehouse module / Depot / CFA / Super Stockiest business logic deals with issues such as goods allocation, picks and put-away, shipping, physical control, etc.
  • QR Code or Bar code integration.
  • Go Mobile requires permanent connection to a hot spot / WiFi / 3G.
  • For marketing and effective branding option of linking your operations with other digital platforms such as Facebook / Twitter, etc.
  • Solution on HTML5 compatible web browsers such as iOS (iPhone and iPad), Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.  Can use on desktop or laptop.

Give your team the software they need to handle key tasks and make decisions in real time, anywhere and any-time with the mobile / tab based software for businesses.

  • Mobile device and ERP system provides stores managers with a real-time view on their existing stock status.
  • Ability to receive and issue goods in an integrated fashion.
  • Ability to transfer stocks between locations.
  • Extends the reach of Material Management system anywhere any-time.
  • Real-time MIS (information system ) for manufacturing and inventory visibility.
  • Improve productivity and effectiveness of field sales team.
  • Lower cost of sales by eliminating inefficient paper-based processes.
  • Ability to analyse individual and team performance within and across sales teams.

Case Studies:  Fifteen success stories of system already implemented by Zaveri http://www.dnserp.com/erp_success_story.htm

What do you say?  I will appreciate your comments.

2012 in review – ERP Posts Annual Report

The WordPress.com stats prepared a 2012 annual report for this ERP Blog.  “The purpose of eduction is not to fill a bucket, but to light a fire”  – Herodotus.

Please Click here to see the complete ERP Blog report.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This Blog got about 3,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this Blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Here are Ten additional resources to learn ERP.   Connect, subscribe, follow and share knowledge.

Regards,

Jyotindra Zaveri, ERP and Social Media Marketing Consultant & Trainer.

  1. http://www.dnserp.com eLearning Site [173 K visited, 85 K Unique visitors 175 countries]
  2. http://www.youtube.com/dnserp Subscribe [65 Videos, 129 K Video Views]
  3. http://www.scribd.com/DigitalVivekananda Follow 75 Docs [129 K Read, 350 Followers]
  4. http://pinterest.com/digitalpin Digital Vivekananda Pins Follow [10 Boards, 60 Pins]
  5. http://www.facebook.com/dnserp Like Facebook Page ERP [50 Likes]
  6. https://www.facebook.com/groups/discuss.erp Join FB Group ERP [600 members]
  7. http://linkd.in/lFj98r Join LinkedIn Group ERP, E-business Forum [460 members]
  8. http://www.twitter.com/followERP Follow [340 Followers]
  9. http://www.slideshare.net/jzaveri Follow Presentations with video [180 Followers]
  10. http://XeeMe.com/Zaveri All 30+ Blogs, Micro-Blogs, Pages, Groups, Sites in one place.

Hope you will Like this innovative post and share.  Happy posting and sharing in 2013.

Senior Citizens Friendly grocery store uses GPS in the shopping cart

Map in the shopping cart for Senior Citizens

Grocery shopping can be quite an ordeal, long aisles with multiple signs, constantly changing sections, and distracting food samples comes between you and your final destination, the checkout.   Large malls will be coming up in India due to recent change in the Government policy pertaining to the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).   But, what about old people who gets lost in the large super markets?  God help ‘Kirana‘ (old style small corner shop) store.

What is GPS?  The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location, anywhere on the Earth.  It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.

To tackle this growing social issue, technologists across the world have invented a special shopping cart with a GPS system, for malls that leads confused shoppers to their desired targets, that is check-out or the POS terminal. Targeted for senior citizens:  Do you think a GPS-enabled shopping cart could be a boon to shoppers, who have  been known to go to buy just milk and return with Rs.1000/- worth of junk food?

In the back-end the ERP system will also be recording analyzing data for the ‘Business Intelligence’ (BI) to prepare reports that will tell the sellers information pertaining to fast selling items required by the senior citizens.   This kind of stores will become ‘Senior Citizen Friendly’ store, and from the CRM point of view this may attract more older people too.

This appears to be a good idea for the consumers, but the marketing people in the supermarket may not like this. They have spent lacks of Rupees analyzing consumers’ shopping habits;  that is why layouts keep changing.  It  is specifically to lure customers to spend more time wandering around the aisles, in a hope that the buyer will spend money on things they did not know about but would happily buy.  Next, you may find Apps on your iPhone (or the Android smartphone) that will tell you where you are and which way is the Exit.   Do you think this will really help senior citizens ?

[Source: This post is based on information from switch. com and device. com]

SAP ERP in Indian National Language – Hindi

Don’t say साँप – Pronounce as एसएपी

 

It is no hidden truth that Hindi, the official Indian language and the preferred language of transaction for over 40% of the population. Specifically in the public sector, there was the need for solutions that helped the Hindi-speaking workforce work in their own language.  SAP has pitched its Hindi ERP solution in the Indian market with an eye on the Hindi belt.

English: The word "Hindi" in the Dev...

English: The word “Hindi” in the Devanagari script. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The solution will surely set a precedent for various vendors to beef up work on the availability of software in local languages.  It will allow companies to employ Hindi-speaking people, thereby opening a pool of job opportunities. Vendors like Microsoft are already offering their operating system and office suite in the local language for quite some time now. It would be interesting to see if competitors like Oracle, Salesforce, etc also jump into the fray.

SAP seems to have seen a good opportunity in the burgeoning public sector where immense automation drive is on.   SAP also admits that the increased pace of adoption of the SAP ERP in the Government sector spanning across the Central, State, Public Sector Enterprises, Utilities, Municipal Corporations, Railways, Defense, Airports and Shipping, led SAP to localize its software to address local requirements of customers .

SAP ERP in Hindi will help to address areas such as Logistics including India taxation, accounting, employee data, and provident fund, Payroll including pay-slip, loans, claims and Employee Self Services.

Join this Facebook group Discuss ERP

Let us discuss:  Join LinkedIn group and Facebook Group focusing on ERP

–  Managed by Jyotindra Zaveri, ERP Consultant and ERP Trainer.

Will localize solution help unlock the domain knowledge and expertise that exists at user level in India?  What do you say?

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