Things are always changing—some quickly, some slowly. You need to know which trends will affect your business now, and which you should let evolve for a while. At ADD Systems we recognize the importance of this. In fact, one of our most important jobs is to keep you on top of what’s changing, and help you use it to your advantage. It’s not enough to avoid being left behind. You need to get ahead.
With that in mind, here are some trends that are becoming standards right now:
Web Self Service
Most customers don’t want to get on the phone anymore. They want a quick and easy way to do business with you. Web self-service offers your customers 24-hour immediate access, and a site where they can view their transaction history, print statements or invoices, make payments, schedule appointments and much more. (See Blog: Customers Crave a Great Online Experience & Webinar: Are you making Money While Your Business is Closed?)
The best way to stay relevant with your customers is to communicate. Push communication offers the ability to send outbound communications like marketing promotions to alert customers to special offers or new enhancements.
Wireless Delivery and Service
The road and the office aren’t separate entities anymore. Drivers and service technicians need to stay connected at all times. With access to real-time information, they can make informed decisions and provide excellent, efficient customer service. (See Blog: The Benefits of an Integrated Mobile Solution)
Companies are always looking for technology to address hard-to-forecast customers or locations. Tank monitoring is a wireless or hard-wired device that electronically transmits daily tank readings. Having this information at your fingertips virtually eliminates the possibility of a run-out situation.
Paper checks are slowly phasing out. Various kinds of electronic payments are an efficient and cost-effective way to handle payments with your customers online, not to mention a great way to shorten your accounts receivable cycle!
There’s a lot of road out there so route efficiency matters. Optimized routes are the best way to ensure drivers don’t get lost on new routes, deliveries stay on time, and the maximum number of deliveries are made in the fewest amount of miles and the least amount of time. Every mile and minute saved is a dollar earned.
Item Level Inventory
Grocery stores have tracked their inventory at a detailed item level for many years, but convenience stores have been slow to adopt this. Today, however, more and more convenience stores can now see the true velocity of their merchandise with item ranking reports, turn reports, and powerful inventory controls to ensure the right product is in the right place at the right time.
abor is a huge expense for convenience store owners, and wages continue to rise. Today stores are leaning on sales data to draw insights into how to staff more efficiently. Reporting on store sales data provides a better outlook on weekly, monthly, yearly, and seasonal trends. This helps you determine your busiest times so that you can proactively staff your store with the proper amount of employees.
Companies are interested in working smart. Data analysis and Business Intelligence give business owners the ability to mine their data and uncover new and informed ways to improve business. Key reports and analysis can be automatically emailed to your managers, allowing you to focus on the exceptions and save time by not weeding through pages of reports. (See Blog: Getting Smart About Business Intelligence)
These are just a few of the trends that are becoming standard in the energy distribution and convenience store industries today, and, of course, there are more trends emerging right now. But rest assured – ADD Systems will be watching for them.