The last few years have seen retail emerging as one of the most prominent and growth-oriented sectors. Along with adopting disruptive and innovative practices to attract and engage more customers, the retail industry players have also been using newer technologies for retail automation to streamline their processes, navigate the challenges effectively, and ultimately improve their bottom line.
Robotic process automation in retail is one of the best solutions to complement the growth of the retail sector and effectively navigate the challenges that come with it. RPA in the retail industry offers the luxury of automating day-to-day mundane tasks, reducing human errors, accelerating workflows, and optimizing overall costs.
In this post, we explore how RPA in the retail sector helps with the help of the top 8 use cases.
1. ERP Management
RPA based Enterprise Resource Planning is gaining a lot of traction in retail. Right from keeping track of price variations, employee vacancies, billing to generating day-to-day reports such as accounts payable and receivables, an ERP managed with RPA automates almost everything and helps minimize human efforts.
2. Returns Processing
Product returns are a common practice in various retail processes. Managing it manually can be a very time-consuming task and can add cost to the company. RPA can be a great tool to effectively manage the returns in retail by performing all the changes required in altering the customer billing details and inventory database.
3. Workflow Management
Retail is essentially a human-driven industry where customer interaction is mainly done online. However, RPA in retail allows the players to manage and facilitate the workflow and other HR processes much more productively. Automation in retail makes everything from measuring time and attendance, assigning shifts, payroll/ leave management, or assessing employee performance much more accessible.
4. Customer Support Management
RPA in retail plays an instrumental role in customer support management. Whether offering 24×7 customer support or sending real-time updates to customers, RPA automation helps retail companies make their customer support much more quick and convenient.
Right from when an order is placed to delivery, an efficient customer support system based on RPA facilitates saving a great deal of time, money and effort for retail players.
5. Account and Finance
RPA in retail streamlines the account and finance function in multiple ways. Whether it is order and invoice processing, accounts payable/accounts receivable management, account reconciliation, order to cash, record to report cycles, procure to pay, or consolidating statements, everything can be effortlessly managed using RPA.
6. Demand and Supply Planning
Demand and supply planning, in general, is quite a cumbersome task that involves seeking and gathering volumes of data, running simulations, finding out exceptions in them, followed by confirming and communicating the plan.
RPA technology can automate all these tasks and help retailers increase their capacity and improve customer, supplier, and employee satisfaction.
7. New Product Introductions
New product or product line launches in the retail industry involve a significant upfront investment and transparency across multiple departments such as manufacturing, marketing and R&D.
Apart from this, detailed analytics is another crucial aspect when it comes to new product introductions. RPA automation makes the process simpler and allows the retailers to modify production, pricing, and stocks according to the specific customers’ preferences.
8. Sales Analytics
One of the best automation ideas in the retail industry is sales analytics. There is a constant need to conduct a comprehensive analysis of massive sales data and consumer behavior in the retail sector. Creating and analyzing such reports manually can be an overwhelmingly time-consuming task.
Robotic process automation in retail can be an invaluable tool to analyze these exhaustive reports with absolute accuracy and fluency efficiently.
We have listed here some of the everyday use cases of RPA in retail. However, there are several other tasks in the retail industry where automation can reduce human efforts and minimize errors along with optimal utilization of valuable resources.
With automation , the need of executing manual and tedious assignments is practically wiped out. As indicated by insights by PwC, there is a possibility to save more than $2 trillion, via mechanizing a large portion of the undertakings being finished by people, and with regards to an industry like retail – utilizing RPA gets central.
All in all, the use of RPA in retail eliminates the need of performing various manual tasks and helps to improve the overall efficiency manifold.