As a logistics specialist, your focus needs to be on ensuring a minimum of delay from factory to shelf, a maximum of compliance at the loading dock, retention of your experienced staff, trouble-free account management, and other matters that bear directly on supply-chain efficiency. Computer software is at best a means to those ends, and mostly deserves to be left to the information technology (IT) staffers who devote their full-time attention to it.
M-payment, procure-to-pay (P2P), and other emerging payment techniques "The Payoff" covers each week are often regarded in terms of cost saving, logistic compliance, and automation. Those are crucial benefits, of course, and the easiest to quantify. What's truly exciting about these opportunities, though, is the way they'll qualitatively change your customers' experience in your stores.
"Cashless society" means something different to law enforcement agencies, privacy advocates, consumer agencies, development consultants, retailers, and other constituencies. MasterCard has been in the news often lately, revealing what it thinks about the place of cash in a consumer society. Let's look at the evidence.
"The Payoff" has modest ambitions. When we bring you the latest news about payment systems, the point is not to "energize your consumer base" or inspire your employees or any of the other lofty claims we occasionally see for "gamification" or the "mobile Web".
"The Payoff" and, more generally, ec-bp, advocate automation and related supply-chain efficiencies; our general attitude is that "trimming the fat" is always a good thing. That's why we explain the latest techniques in EDI (electronic data interchange) and ERP (enterprise resource planning), and how to make the most of them.
Most ec-bp.com readers work for bricks-and-mortar stores, or for the suppliers that feed these retail outlets. How much do on-line purchases matter to them? Plenty. It's not just that on-line activity pulls away revenue that might otherwise be yours; laws and regulations aimed at on-line shopping often impact consumer relations in physical operations.
"The Payoff" is for you wherever you are in the e-commerce supply chain. While the first installment of this weekly column emphasized what happens when a consumer walks into a bricks-and-mortar outlet, that's far from the only time payment needs to be convenient, efficient, and secure. This week, let's look at a piece of what happens when retailers pay their suppliers.
When in business do you sigh, breathe more easily, and say "There!" with the feeling you've arrived somewhere important? Is it when you shake hands on a new deal? See a new employee come through the doors on his or her first day? Wrap up a crucial presentation in front of your boss?