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.

 

Year ends on March 31- Due priority should be given by all stakeholders

Year-end procedure.  In India, the accounting year is April to March.  Accounting year 09-10 has ended on 31st March 2010.  Important procedure is given below to plan the ‘year ending’ in ERP.  The following procedure for ERP rollout is very important.  Due priority should be given by the stakeholders.

The procedure will vary depending on your current status as follows:

1.    ERP status is ‘go live’.  Users are online and entering transaction in real-time.  The closing stock was already entered.

2.    ERP is being implemented.  Conference Room Pilot (CRP) run is done.  You have to  decide on the cut-off date.  You may think of considering 31/03/2012 as cut-off date, or any suitable date.  The day after the cut-off date, users go online.  That is ‘Go live’, and embraces New Year 2012-2013 with more accuracy in inventory management and tighter discipline.   There are two kinds of closing balances that are required:

Accounts closing balance:  Debtor.  Creditors.  Closing balance of stock.

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.

1.    Before doing anything take backup.  Copy on once writable 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 judgment, 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’.

For additional information study The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002

The bill was enacted as a reaction to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals including those affecting Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, Peregrine Systems and WorldCom. These scandals, which cost investors billions of dollars when the share prices of affected companies collapsed, shook public confidence in the nation’s securities markets.

In India PWC and Satyam is recent examples of accounts manipulation.

2011 blog review – Viewed about 2,500 times in 2011.

Automatic analytic helps in fine tuning your blog strategies.  At end of the year it is a good idea to analyse the social media work.  Here is a cool summary, that I would like to share with you.

The WordPress.com stats has prepared a 2011 annual report for this DNSERP blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 42 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Find out from which countries visited this blog website, report also gives numbers about various posts, and date on which viewed most, and so on.  See the report to learn more.  Don’t you think this is interesting?

ERP software for hospital – Fortis

Q&A: Shivinder M Singh, MD, Fortis Healthcare (India).

Q&A: Shivinder M Singh, MD, 

Standardisation affects the cost by virtue of the fact that you don’t have to replicate the same process in a number of places. You can reduce the number of jobs at the front end. You can standardise them, it gets easier as you go along. The quality improves and errors, a major cost in healthcare, reduce. The idea is that if I have a hospital in a tier-3 or a tier-4 market, and it runs on the same system, it’s cheaper for me to run it.

We are doing this project, called Project Next, which, in a nutshell, is hospital-wide ERP. It’s costing us a bomb, roughly $5 million. But that’s across the entire network and it’ll put everything on the same platform, front and the back-end. By virtue of having scale, you can actually do more and you can do it cheaper.

” I take the 600,000 villages in the country and link each to a network which has got an emergency response. The villager has the basic diagnostic facility to figure if he has a problem early enough. And there is a preventive structure in place where there are annual health-checks and other such mechanisms”.

Look who is hiding face on facebook or LinkedIn?

This is about profile picture on the social media sites.  Here are some do and do not for smart internet marketing on the networking portals.

Would you like to meet a person who says:  “Hey, network with me, trust me, but I will hide my face”?

Well I don’t think so. That is the point for networking sites: picture is required.  Your profile is the most precious real estate out there on a social media site, like, facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, twitter, etc.  Leverage these Web 2.0 platforms to market you business.

If you are casual about your profile on the social media, chances are others will also take you casually. You do not have to be a software engineer (I don’t know why people always give example of a rocket scientist?), to understand that the first thing we see when checking out a new LinkedIn contact, Facebook friend, or Twitter follower connection is a profile photo.

  • Your own picture is extremely important in the profile.  We usually recognize a friend or old colleague or classmate more reliably by face rather than by name.  I know that there may be some professionals who would prefer to not be exposed to profile photos from people they may NOT know.  This setting can be done in most social media sites like LinkedIn or facebook. Such setting will allow others to see your picture only if you have accepted them as a friend. Having a good profile picture may be more important than you think!
  • On one hand we want our friends and contacts to trust us, on the other hand face are kept a secret; this is not a good idea, in the Global village.
  • Uploading a cartoon picture instead of a proper profile picture is not a good idea.  Seriously.
  • Not able to find a picture to upload on the social media site is not a valid reason.  You can even use a cell phone camera to take a picture and upload.  It is that easy.  Avoid other things in background, plain background is recommended. Do not put a group photo.
  • Do NOT put a logo in place of your profile picture.
  • It is recommended that you put your own picture only and not with someone else, even if you love or admire him or her.  Profile picture with other person, on social networking web site is not the place for group photos.  The facebook photos album, Picasa, or Flickr is just the right place for such group pictures and share with your contacts.
  • I encourage people to include photo in the profile, because it shows you’re comfortable with yourself.
  • Profile picture on social media websites is important from job point of view too. Yes, from HR point of view – as a candidate you would prefer transparency, and not look for associating with such a company which may filter bio by color, gender, race or age.

I strongly advice people who have still not uploaded picture on social networking sites, to do so without further delay.  Think from mere security point of view.  Have you attended a social get-to-gather or a party where guests wearing funny masks? Would you share your ‘happenings’ with such people? Sometime someone can easily get in the crowd and impersonate.

Tip: Picture also makes your profile a lot more pleasant and trust worthy.   It is recommended that you take a head-shot, rather than the picture of you in front of a Pyramid or the Taj.  Sites like facebook allow you to make your Albums to show these kinds of photographs.  Do not put very old pictures.  I would not like to exchange business card with a person who is covering his / her face, in a conference or a professional seminar, would you?

I am writing this topic of profile picture in this blog based on my own practical experience of networking with over 1000 professionals on the LinkedIn, over 700 friends on facebook, etc.  If you have already put a proper picture in your profile, that is good, but you will be surprised when you check your connections.  There are many who are still ignorant.  Do you agree with me? Just share this important guidelines with them by clicking button provided at the bottom of this blog.

Type currency symbols directly from keyboard.

Type currency symbols of 132 countries directly from keyboard such as “€”, ₡, Kč, etc. in your word documents, or blog, web site, without using any special software.  This is possible by using your numeric keypad as follows [it is that simple] no downloads necessary.

First activate your numeric key pad.  If you are using a laptop the J K L keys etc. will change to numeric keypad, 1 2 3 and so on.  This is used by data-entry operators when he or she has to enter lots of numeric data, therefore you might not be using it often.  Caution: Do not forget to again make the same normal, otherwise instead of left arrow it will type 4, or on laptop when you type J it will type 1.  Study the method and the currency symbols of 132 countries given in the following document:

Web 2.0



E-marketing

E-marketing

Here is what will happen in the web 2.0 era? Homepage will not be important but ‘landing page’ will be.  Because user can come (land) on your website directly on the inside page.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) hype will be over because of cloud computing (distributed network).  Web-publishing will take precedence in marketing.  Companies will be out-of-business if they do not understand e-Business.  Even the simple day-to-day plastic money will become obsolete by the digital money, and so on and so forth.

However, this new technique does not stop at this point, but this is word of mouth in the digital era. Your fans, friends, and followers can help you get noticed!  Your content on your web-pages will be shared by viewers.  User can retweet your offer on Twitter.com.   User can post a review on a blog; this keeps the conversation going and generates a powerful Web 2.0 buzz for your business.  It is now a level playing field.  Wagh Bakri chai is leveraging Web 2.0 technology to do branding to complete with Tata Tea.  An affordable technique.  Even Tanishq is using facebook to do branding.  This is called ‘cyber branding’.

Usually website owner is looking at more visitors visiting on the site.  Normally people talk about ‘eyeball’ or hits to measure the success of the site.  However, Google kind of search engines are more interested in knowing how many visited and stayed on the site for longer period.  Or they came and left the website immediately?  This is called bounced rate.  A report can be generated to find out the bounced rate and steps can be taken to correct the situation.

“Next big thing is WEB 2.0. It has something to do with websites that interact with people”.  What do you think?

India@63: “Made-in-India” I.T. PRODUCT, a success story. ERP with over thirty modules focusing on growing organizations (SME).

15 August 2010.  Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day

It is interesting to note that DNS ERP software, which I designed in 2002, is now successfully deployed and used by hundreds of users.   However, it has been an uphill task.  I would like to THANK the DNS team all of you who have been encouraging me and gave support in this struggle.

View success stories since August 2002 http://www.dnserp.com/erp_success_story.htm

Please share here, about other “Made-in-India” I.T.  related products or services (hardware or software anything related with I.T.) that you are aware of.   Help me making such a list of such ‘IT initiatives’ of India Inc.  kindly enter the details in ‘leave a comment’ window below.

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