How to Optimize Ordering for Food and Beverage

Ordering for Food and BeverageOrdering for food and beverage can be quite complex, depending on the source. The first challenge is deciding what strategy to use for ordering—and this should be considered at the item/store level. Should the item be ordered to maximize turn or to maximize economics?

An item that is ordered to maximize turn has the benefit of lowering inventory investment at the expense of handling and delivery cost. While this is a common strategy for multi-day delivery stores, it may not be cost effective for small and fragile items such as small items like toothpicks, fragile items and broken case items. Some items make more sense to order in a case pack or larger multiple to reduce handling charges. For those items, determining an economic order quantity that might exceed a turn goal is more cost effective.

When ordering to maximize economic investment and reduce handling costs, consideration must be allowed for space and shelf life. It may make more sense to order a lot of Styrofoam cups, but there may not be space for the product. Milk might be more economical to order in larger lot sizes than turn based, but that increases the amount of spoilage and reduces customer perception that a merchant carries the freshest product.

Balancing economics with turn is a strong starting point to reducing costs while increasing profits on the current product mix for any food and beverage merchant such as grocers and convenience companies.

But there is more complexity that merchants have to consider. Some categories require a certain minimum be met before any further can be ordered. Some items (whether it is for economic/turn or planogram limits) have certain min/max constraints. When creating the order, all of these considerations have to be optimally balanced.

These considerations are very time consuming for store managers, not to mention distracting from a common goal of being customer facing. When looking for an order creation tool to help in the stores, consider a solution that provides the key benefits designed for food and beverage merchants:

  • Turn and/or economics ordering
  • Accounting for shelf life optimization
  • Balancing the min/max concerns of vendors
  • A tool that works by exception to minimize manual intervention needs
  • Provides an interface that is usable in the aisle
  • Designed for grocers and convenience chains

Grocers and convenience merchants can’t rely on the same order generation tools that are in place for fashion industries. These markets need a tool designed for their needs, rather than adapted as a work around.

Find out how Redner’s optimized their inventory with Retalix demand driven replenishment solution, click here.

For more information about inventory management and demand-based replenishment, contact Alex Achour at



NACS 2013 Show: Mobile Payment Trends Presentation

NCR Vice President of Marketing & Mobile Solutions for Retail Chris Lybeer will highlight the revolution taking place in the payments world. The presentation will take place at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) 2013 Show in Atlanta on October 13 from 8:00 to 8:50 a.m. in room A305.

Technology and consumer demands are converging, challenging the existing payments model and retailer interaction with consumers. Payment capabilities on mobile platforms are taking off and moving the c-store industry into uncharted territory. Retailers are faced with investing in new mobile technologies, providers and platforms to grow their business. As experts continue sorting through the hype and prospects of this emerging landscape, learn how retailers can better prepare for hard decisions that lie ahead.

Lybeer will be joined in the session by executives from the Spinx convenience stores chain. Together they will highlight this summer’s successful roll-out of the Spinx branded version of NCR’s ConvenienceGo (C-Go), a mobile shopping solution to make fueling and shopping at the chain of 57 convenience stores easier.

The app allows shoppers to initiate a fuel transaction, select the amount of gas they want and pay with their smartphones. The solution has even become the central component of the chain’s recent television advertising campaign (click here) and loyalty rewards program.

“Omnichannel retailing isn’t just a phenomena of the big box retailers, it’s definitely impacting the convenience store industry today and for many years to come,” says Lybeer. “There are some decisions facing many in the industry for how they will embrace shoppers’ desire for alternate payment methods and the strategy behind implementing and marketing them. Spinx and NCR have a great deal of insight and real-world experience to share.”

Lybeer brings a wealth of experience and insight to this and other retail topics from years working in the industry. He has spoken at many other industry events, including the annual National Retail Federation Big Show, and been interviewed on retail trends for many years. Click here and here for some of Lybeer’s previous presentations and interviews.

In addition to discussing mobile payments and C-Go at the NACS educational session, NCR will be demonstrating C-Go in its NACS booth, No 3432, during the show.

- See more at:

How Mobile Technology is Transforming the Convenience Retail Customer Experience

Joel Miller with NCR will be presenting a session on NCR’s ConvenienceGo mobile solution for the c-store. Mobile payments are enabling an explosion of mobile functionality that we are making available to customers to improve their convenience retail experience. Hear more about Synergy 2013 here: 2013

Department & Specialty Store Retailers Attending Synergy 2013

Melissa Donnelly, VP of Department Specialty Retail, runs down some of the key highlights of the upcoming Synergy 2013 event. Meet hundreds of other NCR Retail customers to compare notes and network. Attend a wide range of helpful sessions on everything from social media to customer retention. You won’t want to miss our keynote speaker, Steve Wozniak. Find out more at

Q&A: What Retalix’s SOC1 SSAE16 Attestation Means for Connected Payments Customers

Retalix recently earned a significant accomplishment when its Connected Payments offering completed the SOC1 SSAE16 Type 1 examination. Connected Payments is a highly scalable and mission-critical service offered by Retalix that complies with many industry standards regulations such as PCI. Retalix SaaS Solution Architect Shlomi Machlev discusses what the SSAE16 Type 1 attestation means for Retalix and its customers.

Q: What is SSAE16 Attestation?

Machlev: The Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE16) is an auditing standard (formerly known as SAS 70) that is used in the U.S. to provide oversight and assurance for SaaS providers’ internal controls.

Q: What does this mean for Retalix?

Machlev: Completion of this report is a major milestone for Retalix, because obtaining the certification indicates that the company’s payments-as-a-service procedures and controls have been verified as secure at the highest levels, and they have been tested successfully by an independent auditing firm. The report has been accepted as a standard in the industry for cloud providers.

Q: What does it mean for Retalix customers and prospects?

Machlev: The result is greater peace of mind for our current and prospective Connected Payments customers that our control policies and procedures were evaluated and tested by an independent auditor that has experience in both accounting and information security.

Q: Describe the examination process?

Machlev: The year-long process was conducted in conjunction with our partners at Ernst & Young. It included reviewing multiple processes within our Connected Payments program, from software development and quality assurance, to information technology, deployment and production support. These processes met all of the SSAE16 standards.

For more information about Retalix Connected Payments, contact Machlev at

Five Reasons Why Self-Directed E-learning is Better Than Instructor-Led Software Training

By Rebecca Fritzson, senior manager of technical product training at Retalix

Some benefits of e-learning-based training, include:

1.    It’s more efficient. E-learning takes about half the learning time of instructor-led training, making more efficient use of your associates’ time. E-learning can run 24 hours a day, and it gives retailers and distributors the ability to efficiently stagger class times and keep productivity high. E-learning also lets companies create new hire classes on demand versus aligning them with scheduled instructor-led training sessions.

2.    Students can direct their own software training, software implementation, retail technology, retail software, supply chain technology, logistics technology, software deployment, software rolloutpace. E-learning provides the flexibility for students to move at their own pace, unlike a classroom setting where everyone must keep up with, or slow down to, the instructor’s pace. So students who need additional time to review materials can do so at a slower rate, while faster students can breeze through course materials more quickly.

3.    Students can direct their own learning paths. Likewise, e-learning also provides the modularity for students to choose their order of coursework in a manner that best suits their respective learning styles. This has been especially desired among adult learners.

4.    Employees are better prepared. In software implementations it is best to conduct training before the software goes live. With instructor-led training, end-users typically have no hands-on practice. E-learning, on the other hand, lets users simulate and practice the new system beforehand. Associates can also perform testing within the simulations, giving companies more accurate insight into whether or not their employees truly know how to operate the new software.

5.    It’s very cost efficient. E-learning initially had a bad reputation for being more expensive than instructor-led training. However, the concept is now actually less expensive, because while development costs are about the same as instructor-led training, deployment costs are much lower for e-learning since an instructor is not required.

To learn more about the importance e-learning, contact Rebecca Fritzson at

Omnichannel Retailing: IDC White Paper Highlights New Rules

Omnichannel retailing is no longer a dream. In fact, the ability to deliver a personalized and consistent shopping experience across all sales channels and touch points is essential in a world where consumers expect retailers to allow them to shop however, whenever, wherever and with whatever device they want.

Redefining the Shopper Experience with Omnichannel Retailing is a new white paper from IDC Retail Insights that explores the drive for omnichannel retailing, the processes and technologies it requires, and the approach retailers should use to make it happen. The study initially discusses how to move from a multi-channel to a truly customer-centric omnichannel retailing environment. Key insights include:

  • How to satisfy the “Start-Stop Shopper.” IDC Retail Insights defines start-stop shoppers as those who typically hop from among several channels and touch points before making a purchase. Omnichannel shoppers spend up to 3.5 times more than their single-channel counterparts.
  • How to get started. Omnichannel retailing is a relatively new concept, and best practices are still being developed. IDC Retail Insights has designed an Omnichannel Retail Maturitiy Model to help guide retailers through the steps required to deliver an omnichannel shopping experience.
  • How to deploy and support the right technology. IDC Retail Insights has also developed an Omnichannel Retail Architecture that highlights a flexible approach to omnichannel deployment. With the right technology foundation, retailers will be able to deliver a fully personalized shopping and a seamless brand experience, anywhere and everywhere.

Next the white paper discusses how to take omnichannel to the next level of Total Experience. IDC identifies Retalix 10 Customer & Marketing suite as a marketing solution that allows retailers to achieve Total Experience, by consolidating innovative marketing technology within the retailers’ omnichannel IT environment.

Download the IDC White Paper on OmniChannel Retailing Now

Data Quality: The Part of Inventory Replenishment that Many Companies Miss

Why Bad Data May Be “Shrinking” Your Inventory Replenishment System Effectiveness

By Alex Achour, store replenishment and inventory product solution manager

There are many options when forecasting inventory replenishment. Some companies tout special logic for special types of items. Most, however, tout their use of multiple algorithms and their system’s benefit to different markets, products and consumer needs.

Many demand-based replenishment and ordering solutions, though, only consider two basic components when predicting product need: sales and receipts. Each of these components suffers from a significant flaw if not identified quickly. That weak point is a proper inventory system.

Keeping inventory amounts in good order often falls as a burden to each store. And even the most advanced replenishment solution will suffer if the data used to create orders is wrong. Consider the components used for replenishment and how inventory will affect the resulting orders. Sales data that is not clean causes the wrong in-stock amount to be displayed in the program.

Cashiers. Shrink. And Receipts.

Cashiers’ abuse of the “quantity” key on their POS systems – instead of scanning each item – is a common source of this problem. For example, if someone were to buy 20 flavors of baby food and the cashier simply uses the quantity key, one flavor is decremented too much and the others too little. Multiply this effect by the thousands of SKUs in a store and the problem becomes very real.

Another part of the sales process that is not tracked well is shrink due to loss and waste. Products that “walk out the door” are not often reflected in a store’s current inventory. In addition, waste is often handled expediently and without regard to system updates of data.

Receipts of merchandise is also another area where inventory can alter from system values. Missing or substituted products, damaged goods, miss picks and such can cause large fluctuations in reality if not caught quickly.

An Inventory Replenishment That Catches Bad Data

With so much attention going to forecasting, it is surprising that so little attention is paid to leveraging inventory data patterns. A proper replenishment system will include advanced logic to identify patterns of inventory issues. The system should do the following:

•    Alert when inventory patterns exceed basic norms (i.e. a value is negative)
•    Create alerts when an item has a normal sales pattern and that pattern changes (i.e. a fast mover that suddenly stops selling)
•    Prompt for attention when a store repeatedly changes a suggested order. This is often an indication of bad data
•    Create manageable lists of items to count to ensure high-value items are audited frequently, and to report on compliance of these counts
•    Create manageable lists of items to count so you can accomplish cycle counts in departments, categories or stores within a set time period (i.e. count cigarettes every week or every day; count some parts of dairy two days a week; and ensure all items are counted at least once a week, etc.)

With so much computing power available, and so much data at a company’s disposal, neglect of this basic component is a weak spot that many merchants endure.  As the saying goes, “bad data in, bad data out.”

Find out how Redner’s optimized their inventory with Retalix demand driven replenishment solution, click here.

For more information about inventory management and demand-based replenishment, contact Alex Achour at