ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Showing News Filtered By Date from: 2015-11-01 - 2015-11-30

  • Nov 26 2015

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    Retail figures show strong potential for 2016

    The retail industry in one of the biggest sectors within Australia. Representing the very end of the supply chain, success in this industry often directly benefits suppliers and manufacturers. With positive indicators for future growth, how can firms utilise business management software to successfully realise the potential in the retail industry?Retail spending strong in 2015 According to Roy Morgan's State of the Nation: Australian Retail report, consumer spending increased by 5 per cent compared to the previous financial year. Overall, Australian customers spent over $100 billion on goods in the year ending June 2015. Australian customers spent over $100 billion on goods in 2015In terms of demographics, spending among mid-life and older couples outpaced younger demographics. This was due to a higher amount of disposable income post-Global Financial Crisis which meant this group were more willing and able to purchase luxury products. Using tools such as business intelligence software can be useful in identifying consumer segments as they emerge. Both of these reports also explored aspects of ecommerce and how this will contribute to the overall customer offering.Ecommerce continues to growIn 2015, Roy Morgan found that consumer spending online totaled $37.8 billion, a rise of 9.7 per cent from the previous year. Out of all the purchases made online, 72 per cent were from Australian companies. Recent figure from the National Australia Bank Group (NAB) supported the positive outlook, as online spending expanded by 1.1 per cent in the September quarter, when adjusted for seasonality. New measures may spur future growth in this channel.  Online shopping is continuing to grow in Australia. Australian Post recently announced an initiative to offer $20 million in funding to support ecommerce businesses. This will be open to emerging firms to help build a more effective platform for Australian Post. In order to best appeal to customers, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine explained that businesses must be active on multiple channels. "Consumers don't care about the battle between online and traditional bricks-and-mortar stores for them, it's all 'shopping'. They research products online before visiting the store, or they touch, test and try on in-store before buying online," she said."Our most successful retailers - from niche online-only sellers to national chains to international juggernauts - are those that can supply the demand from all angles."Utilising online retail management software is a good start in building a platform for your business on the internet. Maintaining both your physical and digital presence will become key to success in the modern world of retail. 

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  • Nov 20 2015

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    How can your business optimise stock for the holiday season?

    The holiday season can be a time of great opportunity yet high stress for a small business. While consumers are more willing to spend, this requires firms to accurately predict and manage stock levels.In order to capitalise on the increased activity, businesses need to have strong systems in place, such as structured stock software, to see success.Why is inventory management so important?A joint report from eBay Enterprise and CFI Group uncovered some key insights into consumer demands and expectations for stock.36 per cent of customers expect on-demand shipping and ordering information.According to the survey, 79 per cent of consumers online will change brands if they are unable to get the product in time, rather than waiting for a restock. A further 36 per cent expect on-demand shipping and ordering information when requested. CFI Group CEO Sheri Petras explained the potential consequences businesses can face by not having the right stock levels, especially since many companies now operate in the digital space."The critical nature of product availability is emphasised when realising that not only will a retailer lose a sale on the out of stock item, but often times on other products in an overall purchase," she said."It's true that consumers have a strong desire for multiple ordering and shipping options, but first the product must be readily available."How can you better handle your stock?When estimating your stock levels for the holiday season, it is important to look at historical information and possible trends. For example, last year Australia saw a 4.1 per cent yearly increase, according to the Australian Retailers Association. The organisation stated that this was a positive sign of growth, yet noted that sale surges in December are often hard to measure in the statistics.This is where using business intelligence software can be useful in improving the accuracy of your forecast. By utilising real-time and historical data, firms can make better decisions and predictions of required to meet customer or client demand.  Using software can help businesses make better forecasts. Another key consideration is having a strong internal system in place. A report by Deloitte highlighted that businesses must establish a set of KPIs and best practices measures in areas such as inventory transfers, inventory adjustments, and procurement and sourcing to effectively meet these goals. With the right technology and methods, businesses can enter the holiday season with the confidence they will see a successful period of sales management. 

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  • Nov 12 2015

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    How can your business respond to global challenges?

    No matter the size of a firm, conditions, opportunities and threats in the rest of the world have a significant impact on operations here in Australia.Economic conditions affect the price of imports, the willingness of consumers to purchase goods and conditions within the domestic market. With this in mind, how can Australian companies utilise business management software to best navigate a variety of shifting factors?Survey shows CFOs sensitive to global marketsAccording to Deloitte, sentiment among Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) has held steady during the third quarter of this year.Increased dealings with China has lead to more sensitivity amongst Australian CFOS. While 47 per cent were concerned with the state of the Chinese economy in the previous quarter, this proportion has increased to 68 per cent. However, confidence in the European and US economies remains at positive levels.

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  • Nov 11 2015

    How are customer tastes evolving in the food market?

    When it comes to the consumption of food, individual tastes and preferences are a significant driver of innovation, market shifts and new products.With so many factors to consider, it can be hard to identify and make full use of emerging trends. With this in mind, how can companies utilise business management software to capitalise on these growing areas? Global growth propelled by changing tastesFrost & Sullivan recently predicted that the market for food & beverages will reach US$20 to US$25 trillion by 2030, in terms of consumer expenditure. This growth is compounded by rising interest in particular areas such as freedom products and organically produced foods. These two markets are expected to reach $500 billion and $40 billion respectively in global sales by the end of 2015. In order to see further growth, firms must revisit their production methods.Despite the rise in expenditure, the organisation believes that retail prices will decrease to similar levels seen in 2010. In order to see further growth, firms must revisit their production methods, aided by business intelligence software. "The food and beverage market needs new tools, knowledge and processes to produce the food that people want," said Food and Agriculture Senior Industry Analyst Tosin Jack.Consumer trends aren't the only influencing forces in the sector. In terms of raw materials, Acidulants are becoming a more commonplace additive in production. The compound helps to stabilise pH levels, balance flavour and improve the shelf life of food products. According to Report Buyer, this particular market will grow by 7.6 per cent over the next five year to a value of US$6134 million globally. Capitalising on shifting trendsIn order to keep up with these social changes, it is important for businesses to keep collecting and analysing data from their target market. As a whitepaper from MarketResearch.com explained, customers are attracted to authenticity and food purchases are intrinsically linked to a variety of social factors, often unique to the region. This requires an organisation to constantly revise its strategy. It is also important to assess whether adopting a new product or method is feasible and will produce a good return on investment. Using technology such as business accounting software can be good way to accurately calculate this and how to best price new products.Wine industry set to see major recoveryTrend shifts in the industry are not limited to food products in Australia. A number of recent reports have highlighted growing value within quality alcohol production. According to Wine Australia, September marked a key turning point in exports for local growers. Values grew by 8 per cent over the year to a total of AU$1.96 billion, the highest rate of growth seen since 2007. This was mainly propelled by growing interest in Asian markets. For example, growth in China was pegged at 47 per cent, with the country contributing $116 million. South Korea is another growing market as both value and volume exported grew by 16 per cent in the year to September.  Growers are starting to sell their wines for better prices. The average value of wine now sits at a record high of $15.45/litre. Although it is early days for recovery in the industry, Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark was pleased with the results, stating that a small group of growers had sold their 2015 vintage wines at higher prices this year. Smaller breweries in need of new strategies Pushing value as a selling point is also becoming a more commonplace strategy in the beer industry. Tim Collin, co-director of craft beer company Vale Brewing, stated that the variety of available beers is changing purchasing habits. "In the wine industry the customer expectations in terms of flavour profiles and quality is very high, and that's the same in...

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