Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 20 - Page 85

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// INTELLIGENT VERTICAL: RETAIL TRANSFORMING FINANCIAL PLANNING IN RETAIL When it comes to developing relevant operational plans, Allan Saffy, FP&A Executive at Decision Inc, says the finance teams of South African retailers must be able to adjust for the unique challenges of this environment whether it is mobile e-commerce or real-time data analysis. T he growth of mobile requires an effective view of multi-channel financial reporting and planning. Retailers still struggle to understand the precise financial effect that such a changing channel focus has already had, and might have, on their business. It also becomes difficult to quantify the financial impact that e-channels may have on in- store sales cannibalisation. Now, thanks to the increasing availability of real-time data analysis, imagine a world where finance is not only able to report on the current and historical return on investment of each channel, but also on the returns each are likely to deliver because of future financial plans as outlined in the budget and forecasts. Changing dynamics Another indication of evolving market conditions is the strategy behind store development. A fundamental retail principle is that store presence, coupled with accessibility, positively impacts revenue. However, the process of modelling and planning new store viability is often a cumbersome and time-intensive exercise. Retailers are under pressure to manage increased customer expectations around service and product quality and availability. Given how much choice they have in the “ ANOTHER INDICATION OF EVOLVING MARKET CONDITIONS IS THE STRATEGY BEHIND STORE DEVELOPMENT. INTELLIGENTCIO 85