Why OTB is Effective Retail Planning?

Retail operations managers can’t run their businesses on jet fuel and flying by the seat of their pants. To be profitable, you’ve got to be effective at the nuts and bolts of the operation, and that requires planning. Open-to-buy (OTB) is retail’s model for effective long-term planning with the right OTB software. Here are eight reasons why it’s so effective:

1.OTB leverages historical patterns to determine dollar distribution – By looking at the long-term trends of the past, you can better and more accurately predict how each dollar of expense is allocated toward achieve bottom-line profits.

2.It compares sales and inventory data with granular views – OTB allows retail managers to look at sales and inventory data over time using charts and drill-down graphics at various levels within the organization.

3.OTB uses stock-to-sales ratios – By understanding how much of your existing stock you can sell during a given period of time, you can better forecast when and how much inventory to purchase for the next period.

4.It’s flexible and accurate – OTB allows retail managers the flexibility they need to forecast the measurements that are important to their specific situation.

5.It can manage multiple season forecasting simultaneously – Just about every retail sector requires some kind of seasonal planning and forecasting. OTB allows retail operations managers to plan for multiple seasons at the same time.

6.OTB makes allocation simpler – Whether you use a top-down or a bottom-up allocation model, OTB makes it simple.

7.Retailers can track the most important KPIs – You get to define your own KPIs. With OTB planning, you can define your own performance indicators.

8.OTB increases profits and revenues – When you have the right planning software for your retail operation, you’ll be more profitable because you can count on future revenues more accurately.

ChainDrive OTB software makes OTB planning simple, easy, and flexible for retailers of all sizes and all types. ChainDrive is a fully-integrated solution allows vendors to offer custom-tailored retail management strategies in a unified environment. If you still have more questions or want to find out more about how ChainDrive’s retail management advisers can help you step-up your heavy-duty retail operations, contact our retail management software experts or log on https://chaindrive.com/free-live-demo/ to book a live demo

Top 10 X Factors to Consider in Your Search for The Best Mobile Point of Sale Software

What is a mobile point of sale?

Mobile point of sale (mPOS) is a portable point of sale on a smartphone, tablet or dedicated wireless device that performs functions as a cash register or electronic POS terminal. A mobile POS system is an ideal way for retail and wholesale businesses to take credit card payments on the go.

What are The Key Differences between a POS and mPOS?

While a point of sale, or POS is a broad term referring to the entire retail, an mPOS simply stands for mobile point of sale. These innovative mobile point of sale solutions are built for smartphone or tablet use instead of desktop computers.
An mPOS or mobile POS is a smartphone, tablet or dedicated wireless device that performs the functions of a cash register or electronic point-of-sale terminal (POS terminal) wirelessly.

To implement an mPOS for your retail stores, you will need a broadband connection, a credit and debit card reader, and an application downloaded to whatever device you wish to use for the transactions. An mPOS can therefore be paired with additional POS hardware devices like a barcode scanner and a cash drawer.

How to Improve Your POS Software Selection Criteria?

mposMobile point of sale is relatively recent technology, but it quickly became an essential tool for retailers and wholesalers who want to leverage their agile architectures.

With the rise of omnichannel trends, more and more business owners are coping with cross channel operations, as result the pent-up demand for integrated and seamless platforms like ChainDrive Omnichannel Platform which delivers end-to-end solutions including Ecommerce, Financials, Inventory Management and CRM skyrocketed in recent years.

Having an All-in-One System to manage inventory and financials as well as helping you expand your sales presence through an integrated ecommerce platform is definitely a great advantage over mass-market and prepackaged POS products. Thanks to its unified data base and subsystems, users and decision makers alike have all their operations under one roof. Moreover, a seamless and agile system is designed to enhance and facilitates Supply Chain movements which helps companies synchronize and harmonize their business processes with vendors, customers and sales associates in Realtime.

Customizing is another area of strength of ChainDrive. You can set your own business parameters according to your business model or vertical, allowing you to automate and manage your corporate needs, key performance metrics accordingly.

As for connectivity, you can also reach customers cross the value chain; be it online, by phone, by email, or through social media channels including market places. Ubiquity, mobility and streaming is the new normal for many digital natives, nomads and millennials who are looking to boost the user-experience cross many touch points.  Being connected all time from anywhere and everywhere is the new normal.

Here are the top 10 tips to keep in mind when you start your X Factor Search for the next POS System that will sway your executive team, please your collaborator and enhance your overall customer-experience while improving your retention and revenues.

1.Which Mobile POS System is The Best Fit for My Business Model?

When companies in the retail, wholesale, eCommerce or distribution start looking for a new POS or mPOS system, chances are they will be looking left and right for vendors, resellers and VARs who are authorized middle men. Finding the right system in trade shows like NRF or through web search is like looking for a needle in haystack. It’s both tiresome, time-consuming and stressful.

In fact, you may have to change your question and investigation strategy. Why don’t you start with a SWOT? You may wonder why?

Because 90% of retail transformation projects are not Greenfield. In other words, most of prospects are looking to replace existing POS Systems that are obsolete, underserved, difficult or impossible to customize, scalable after a price hike or discontinued after a large Merger & Acquisition between two or more global-centric players.

Moreover, some prepackaged, pre-bundled and canned products like Microsoft RMS are simply discontinued; especially when the new leadership team decides to change the business model and market segment for a more lucrative tier.

So how do you find the right POS system that fits and translates accurately your business model, vision and operations? In other words, how do you select the right candidate from your shortlist of software providers?

This is where the SWOT Analysis becomes handy.

What Is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a way to identify your areas of improvement, blind spots versus your dominant features, services, market segments, products, brands, etc.

This simple audit is designed to facilitate a realistic, fact-based, data-driven look at the strengths and weaknesses of your enterprise, its management tools or resources. The organization needs to keep the analysis accurate by avoiding preconceived beliefs or gray areas and instead focusing on real-life contexts. Companies should use this simple diagnostic to assess current software system, tools, services and capabilities including your organizational culture or business model. Leading the change is never an easy task unless you can mobilize your team around the new project.

Once this internal and external exercise is completed, you can start examining your shortlist of software solutions you wish to implement in order to revamp, scale-up or boost your mobile capabilities.

This being said, let’s move to the next steps to examine the other parameters:

2.Will Your Mobile POS Work Cross Multiple Mobile Platforms?

Being mobile means being able to connect wirelessly all your computers, digital devices through reliable servers, applications, browsers and cloud services in real time.

As result, you need to make sure that you are set and ready for total mobility if you want to take full benefit of mobile POS capabilities cross many channels and platforms.

3.Does it Help with Inventory Management?

Mobile POS systems for small retailers can be used with different store locations. They are designed to help its users to look at each store individually, but also to get a full scope on the entire operations; hence the importance of unified databases.

Whether you need to track a single store KPI, or expand your enquiry to separate branch locations, this type of software systems is powerful enough to give you view an enhanced picture on the current state of affairs in your sales operations.

Moreover, with the right mobile POS system, you will be able to see inventory flows cross different store locations, which can help you improve and optimize your stocking tactics while ensuring that all stores have adequate supplies, samples, sizes, quantities on time.

4.How About Customer Data Management & Monitoring?

ChainDrive mobile of sale solution for instance comes with very useful functionalities like customer history. As result, you can pull up the customer profile, previous transactions, and buying patterns. This way, you can make fast and informed decisions such as replicating their past orders, find their preferred mode of delivery information, their past cash register input notes and more.

Because you will be serving customers from anywhere in the store, you can serve more customers and keep more customer data up to date; which will eventually help you enhance and improve your customer relations, engagement and retention. Your web marketing and online sales could lead to better understanding of the customer journey through online channels and networks.

5.Is there an Easier Way to Manage and Empower Your Collaborators?

When it comes to HR agility, a smart Mobile POS should be able to help you elaborate staff planning schedules based on previous data, store traffic patterns including the capacity to make informed decisions when you need to elaborate staffing forecasts or schedules.

Having the right mobile POS system will also help you empower your employees by giving them more from freedom and better ways to communicate between them through fast messaging applications. Instead of spending time running back and forth from your showroom, cash counters or displays to the back store, they’ll have more time to focus on the customer. ChainDrive’ Messaging module was designed to help collaborators become more agile and more customer-centric.

6.Does an mPOS Supports Instant product Lookup and Inventory?

You can look up products from anywhere in the store will improve the customer experience and benefit your retail chain in many important ways. For example, your sales staff won’t have to walk to the front of the store every time while a customer asks about a product.

7.Does an mPOS have any Impact on Retention or Attrition Ratios?

With mobile point of sale, you can reach new and existing customers anytime and anywhere and your customers won’t have to wait in line to check out. This driving factor alone will certainly have a positive impact on the customer service. Being prompt, attentive to customer needs and expectations is mission-critical when it comes to customer empathy, engagement and retention.

8. Does it Come with Analytics?

Not all POS systems are born equal. ChainDrive Mobile Point of Sale for instance is endowed with many functionalities. As result, its users have access to three-dimensional reports, insights, visual cards and dashboards where you can deep dive into the unified data base. Having the right analytics is an essential ingredient of predictive management.

ChainDrive’s built-in Business Intelligence provides you with integrated reports and tools, offering immediate access to vital information and insights into each area of your business, and leading to improved decisions, reduced operating costs or risks.

9.Does it Increase or Improve Online Conversion or Engagement?

ChainDrive Mobile point of sale in the form of (SMS) text messaging allows retailers to instantly engage “Consumers in Motion”. Retailers can create targeted marketing campaigns that promote special offers, store events and much more.

Direct messages’ promoting in-store discounts and barcode coupon offers can be easily and instantly scanned and redeemed at the Point of Sale. Thus, retailers who rely on ChainDrive’ fully integrated mobile point of sale got better grip on their omnichannel operations.

10. Are Mobile point of Sale Solutions Affordable?

This question is no longer relevant because we live in a digitized society where mobility, streaming and cyber connectivity are fundamental in the IoT age. With as many connected objects, humans, devices, homes and businesses, it’s impossible to be fully functional without leveraging computer and web interfaced platforms.

In fact, most mobile POS systems solutions are affordable or even free of charge in certain bundles. The same applies to mobile functionalities, applications and freemiums.

This being said, many free plans won’t give you access to advanced options, reports or analytics; as they only support one to two platforms or cash registers. But if you need a mobile point of sale system that supports multiple platforms and cash registers, you will most likely need to upgrade or to spend bit to get a fully-loaded system.

You can also choose to customize the features according to your needs, relevant parameters and budget capacity.


Having a Mobile point of sale in the wireless age is essential. With billions of ultra-connected users, consumers, vendors and devices to the cyber space and communities all the time, it’s almost to be competitive in business. Agile and early adopters of smart mobile solutions have managed to fair much better during and after the latest quarantine period which hampered many digital laggards. 91% of Americans keep their cell phones within few inches from their bed-stands, office desks and car seats. Unless you expedite your digital transformation, many prospects will be swayed by other platforms and market place shakers.

Having a reliable web-based and completely integrated software like ChainDrive Mobile Point of Sale is a Must. From point of sale to merchandising and all the way to financial reporting, ChainDrive’s flexible, user-friendly Cross-Channel Solution is the typical platform you would need to harness your mobile operations; be it in Apparel, Footwear, Jewelry, Sporting Goods, Department Store, home décor, or pet shop stores.

In fine, what you need to do at this stage of the screening process is to stop looking for a prepackaged solution to boost your mobile-centric operations and to start looking for an MPOS software partner like Multidev Technologies who could help you ramp-up your digital and mobile transformation from end-to-end including how to become more agile. To schedule a free consulting session or demo with a retail management expert, please log on https://chaindrive.com/free-live-demo/ to book a live simulation.

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To discover the power of our Fully-Integrated ERP and Omni-channel Software Solutions for yourself, request a free online demo and we will be glad to show you how our software suite can help take your retail chain to the next level.

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