DAMSense Argility POPIA Act

POPIA 2020 and Digital Asset Management

The much anticipated SA Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) came into effect on the 1st July giving businesses one year’s grace to get their compliance ducks in a row and align their controls and protection of customer sensitive personal information with the conditions of lawful processing of personal information. After the 30 June 2021 businesses will face severe penalties for non-compliance.

Whilst most of us have been aware of the looming PoPIA and have started to take the steps required to ensure alignment we can no longer hide behind the lack of finalised dates to formalise the internal actions required.
At ATG, the gap analysis and POPIA risk mitigation reviews have raised various streams for action, one of which is protecting the rights of internal data subjects, another is ensuring we comply on behalf of our customers and lastly looking at how we can assist our customers with their compliance needs.
A stark reality is that paper based customer credit applications, credit agreements, supplier take on documents and other contracts are still active in the South African business space. Many organisations are lagging in terms of secure digitisation of these artefacts.
The below documentation storage limitations come to mind:

  • Destruction
  • Lost or misfiled documents
  • Compromised information security and access control
  • Inefficiency in searching for documents
  • Labour intensive manual filing and administrative health checks
  • Manual document management restricted to one user working on a customer file at a time
  • Poor auditability of user activity related to sensitive information
  • Cost of physical storage space for manual storage.

These weaknesses and imminent implementation of PoPIA are a compelling reason for the secure digitisation of sensitive paper documents.
Digitisation of the documents alone is unfortunately not enough and should be augmented by a control system that complies with digital asset management/PoPIA standards.
The implementation of paperless processes is contributing to additional volumes of what needs to be stored in digital format. Digital assets are set to grow in sheer volume due to increased digitisation and the need for getting the balance right between security and cost savings requirements.

Argility’s DAMSense Digital Asset Management System is a trusted and optimised solution for the secure storage, search, and controlled access, to sensitive digitised assets. By utilising DAMSense on the Google Cloud Platform many boxes are ticked; from General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliance, from which POPIA has evolved; through to the flexible and cost-effective digital asset storage options.

DAMSense Features

Features & Benefits of the DAMSense system

Explore DAMSense as an innovative solution to making sense of your digital assets by visiting our website: DAMSense or by dropping us a mail to: info@argility.com

*** Source: IT Web

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PredictRetail Argility

PredictRetail accepts the challenge to improve business

Retail has faced many hurdles due to the economic climate which has been further compounded by the impact of lockdown. This, of course, is very challenging. Argility’s artificial intelligence analysis tool, PredictRetail, is the answer.

This cost-effective cloud solution improves business insights, supports growth, plus it enhances your knowledge of your business and customers. It heightens shopper retention and empowers retailers with the ability to boost sales to current and new customers. All of this in turn leads to boosted profits and sustainability. Key dashboards enable you to keep operations running smoothly and maximise profitability.

Given the current COVID context and the fact that all patterns and consumer behaviours have changed, now is an ideal time to utilise analytics, based on machine learning (ML), to quickly pick up on the new trends. These tools are designed to aid business leaders to make informed decisions and as such to counter the disruption caused by COVID.

PredictRetail comes with several standard predictive models that are focused on key areas, these include customer: lifetime value; forecasting (propensity to buy); segmentation; product recommendations and more. There are extensive descriptive dashboards based on key forecasting models including: sales; stock management and selling patterns.

PredictRetail applies data science and predictive modelling based on historical data, to extract trends and patterns which will aid informed decision making.

Descriptive dashboards are created from existing customers’ historical data. ML models are then used to generate new data sources i.e. predictions/classifications etc., and then predictive dashboards are redeployed on top of the new datasets. This is a defining differentiator between PredictRetail and the average business intelligence (BI) tool which is designed mainly for visualising data and descriptive analytics without ML.

The power to slice and dice information at lightning speed by organisational and product hierarchies, is enabled through the Google Cloud Platform, allowing for a pay-as-you-use model, and alleviating the need for massive infrastructure investment.

Once we have transformed your data, and with a little training, you will be ready to take advantage of trends and patterns never before seen which could transform your business with dynamic effect.

Want more information as to how this can work for you – Contact our Business Consultants on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit our website, www.argility.com 

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SkyData – Temperature Monitoring and Control for SA’s Pharmaceutical

SkyData – Temperature Monitoring and Control for SA’s Pharmaceutical sector

Eamon McCann, CTO, the Argility Technology Group, outlines some of the challenges facing the pharmaceutical and medical sectors with regards to thermolabile products.

The South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) strictly governs the procurement, storage, and distribution of thermolabile – defined as a product or substance readily destroyed or deactivated by heat – pharmaceutical products. These rules are in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) specifications.

Companies that store and distribute these products must ensure that they comply with SAPC GPP (Good Pharmacy Practice) regulations of ambient, fridge or cold room temperatures, making it essential that the temperatures are constantly monitored in order to remain within optimal range otherwise the efficacy of the products can be compromised and a broader range of pharmaceutical products cannot be stored.

It’s also necessary to guarantee adherence to compliance requirements including diligent temperature recording and history so implementation of an automated system capable of monitoring and raising timeous alerts is crucial.

The significance of the Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT has opened-up a world of possibilities in the medical and pharmaceutical arenas and Argility’s SkyData platform provides IoT remote monitoring and alert capabilities for devices at designated fridges and storage units.

What does SkyData do?

The platform empowers companies to connect devices and deploy applications that enable automated data collection and analysis, remote device management, contextual and real-time decision making. It permits businesses to monitor and manage any number of data points presented from various devices and may be used to scrutinise and administer anything on a dashboard from temperature; humidity to: utilities – electricity; water; gas usage and assets such as vehicles, billboards, machinery and more.

In the pharmaceutical use-case the platform monitors devices that are connected to the fridge to monitor the internal temperature and the external ambient temperature.

Once data is communicated from the IoT devices Argility’s Skydata platform will take care of device management, business rules, security, alerts, notifications, dashboards, and reporting as well as the storage and management of historical data.

Given the device agnostic nature of the SkyData IoT platform, any future business monitoring needs can be satisfied by deploying additional IoT devices and sensors into the physical environment which can then feed additional data points into the platform without requiring another software platform. SkyData can monitor humidity, pressure, CO2/air quality, gas, water and electricity usage, GPS location and more.

Multiple notification mechanisms are available allowing SMS, email and mobile app. push notifications to be configured for any level of alert severity, this typically managed from low through to critical levels of alerts.

Reporting – leading to compliance

Access to real time dashboard and daily/monthly exception reports are made available to designated people.

SkyData platform dashboards

SkyData platform dashboards

Three standard reports are distributed daily by email to either designated stores: regional or national facilities:

  • Exception summary report – provides a summary of min, max, average temperature per asset, including recent alarms raised.
  • Alarm report – provides a list of threshold breaches as per the defined rules
  • Daily temperature report – list of the temperature readings for the preceding 24 hours – compliance report for inspectors.

Data is stored on SkyData for a period of three years and can be made available when required.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Web based administration, configuration dashboard and third-party device management.
  • Secure User and role-based authentication and notifications.
  • Scheduled and automated extracts and reports.
    Multiple pre-integrated wireless and wired devices and sensors.
  • Communicate wirelessly via long range battery powered device.
  • No connection required to electrical circuit – fridge can be moved without affecting the device.
  • Cross platform mobile friendly data visualisation dashboards (Android and iOS)
    • Dashboard summaries and drill down features
    • Ability to view data across multiple stores
    • Ability to view detailed data points within a specified store/location

SkyData is functionally rich and an application fit for many environments including pharmacies; hospitals; clinics; veterinary clinics and more.

Click here for a detailed case studyInformed Decisions and SkyData partner to deliver greater efficiencies for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Laboratories.

For more information contact our Business Consultants on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit our website, www.argility.com

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As a retailer, isn’t it time to embrace artificial Intelligence?

As a retailer, isn’t it time to embrace Artificial Intelligence?

By Sonja Leoncini

Retailers need to stay current and with the impact of COVID-19 and downturn of the economy, the game has changed. Now, like never before is the time to keep competitive and sustainable; don’t wait, act now. Retailers are always scrutinising ways to improve profits and grow business and AI is an essential tool . You have data – yes? Then make it work for you in a way that will allow you to engage and improve your relationships with your customers through personalisation. Create loyalty by running targeted campaigns focussed on the customers’ preferences, improve stock management, cut costs, release capital. Ultimately, grow your business and improve your bottom line. Within 3 days of loading your data onto Argility’s PredictRetail solution, you can start to see results.

How do you do this, is it so simple? Start using Argility’s PredictRetail solution which has been developed to address retail and supply chain challenges and affordably make the best use of data both current and historical.

PredictRetail Solution

Argility PredictRetail Solution

 

What is this and how does it work? Let me elaborate:
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Data Science (DS) are all underlying disciplines of the PredictRetail solution. Modern technologies like AI, ML, DS and big data have become popular by words which everybody talks about but not everyone fully understands. People often get confused.

First let me give a view of what Artificial Intelligence is; simply put it is the simulation of the human thought process by machine. This is achieved by creating a neural network that is able to reason learn and self-correct. What makes AI attractive is that it does all this with lightning speed.

Machine Learning learns and improves itself without the need for direct programming. Instead ML focusses on algorithms which learn to understand things from structured data in order to get the insights that can be used to make predictions. In simple terms use the lessons of the past to predict the future.

Data Science is the ability to extract useful insights from the data which includes many skills including, mathematics, machine learning, statistical modelling, data engineering visualisation and pattern recognition.

To summarise; Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of the human reasoning by machines. Machine Learning is a subset of AI that focusses on a specific activity. Data Science uses ML to achieve its ultimate goal which is the real world application of Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to provide solutions.

Some common business applications include behaviour forecasting, recommendation engines, anomaly of fraud detection, personalised marketing, customer service and chat bots.

PredictRetail is a software solution that has been developed to provide decision support for retailers. It used the aforementioned skills to of AI, DS and ML techniques to provide actionable insight from data. PredictRetail is part of a larger ecosystem and aims to supplement business processes both existing and new.


Want more information as to how this can work for you – Contact our Business Consultants on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit our website, www.argility.com 

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MultiTrax retail driver delivery solution

MultiTrax – delivery and driver management solution

MultiTrax – delivery and driver management solution

By Tanya Long, COO Argility Technology Group

Planning deliveries, scheduling and tracking drivers have, at no other time in history, been more important as retailers jostle to retain and grow trade and move to online purchases with timeous delivery.

MultiTrax – developed in-house by Argility – empowers businesses with the ability to schedule deliveries and track drivers.  This easy to use App permits efficient route planning, proactive customer notifications, enhanced proof of delivery (PoD) processing and maximisation of driver availability.  It is a comprehensive delivery system hosted in the cloud that enables drivers to effectively execute deliveries allocated to them through their smartphones. Moreover, it achieves this with real-time visibility on a management dashboard that enables central planners to effectively schedule deliveries.

MultiTrax has now been expanded to include an additional module that automates driver delivery scheduling (DDS). This is a powerful addition to this innovative product facilitates uploading of outstanding delivery lists – per store or across multiple stores; selection of available drivers; deliveries for selected drivers are added directly to their individual calendars via a drag and drop capability. Through the DDS feature-rich additional module, driver deliveries can be placed on an area map which automatically location tags customers’ addresses for easy route viewing. It also automatically calculates the route and expected delivery time, as well as unload and assembly time. Driver progress can be viewed by planners via an online map view.

The DDS module is not only valuable for warehouse transportations, but can also schedule supply on behalf of stores, or can be used directly within a store for management of its own deliveries.

Integration with current retail or warehouse management solutions is available – removing the need to rip and replace current solutions to move one’s business forward. PoD’s can be integrated in real-time, speeding up processing time, and removing the need for PoD data capture confirmation.

The selection process for the MultiTrax DDS delivery scheduling is enabled through user-friendly drag and drop functionality, providing planners with visual and easy to understand views.

MultiTrax DDS allows customers with no POS or e-commerce integration to obtain all the foregoing benefits. In the case of manual smaller environments, DDS permits customers to pull the data from a manually captured Excel spreadsheet or capture deliveries manually into the system for planning allocation and execution. MultiTrax DDS is, therefore, is a valuable and attractive proposition for small and large enterprises.

MultiTrax DDS functions and features:

  • Upload outstanding delivery lists – per store or across multiple stores.
  • Select the drivers available.
  • Deliveries for selected drivers are added directly to the drivers’ calendars via drag and drop functionality.
  • Drag and drop the drivers’ deliveries onto an area map, which automatically location tags the customers delivery address for planners easy route viewing.
  • Automatic calculation of route times plus added functionality, that includes unloading and assembly time.
  • Proactive calculations of actual expected delivery time to customers.
  • Driver progress can be viewed by planners via an online map view.
  • Additional functionality is available to include item assembly time requirements allowing maximisation of delivery routes and maintained customer satisfaction levels.
  • Future releases of MultiTrax will include item dimensions for delivery vehicle space volumetric planning.

By using the existing MultiTrax driver application features on their smart mobile devices, drivers have:

  • Clear route plans.
  • Delivery timing targets.
  • The ability to communicate directly via SMS with customers allowing for proactive customer notifications of delivery time, or delays, or requests for estate access codes – without intervention from central planners.
  • Contactless proof of delivery ability via the use of image uploads and customer own device SMS authentication.

Benefits

  • Central planner decreased telephone costs.
  • Driver route planning and management is enhanced.
  • Customer experience is maximised through improved customer notifications and direct driver contact – no more unnecessary customer waiting.
  • Manage your own delivery fleet efficiently or drive down operating expenses related to salaries plus fleet costs by controlling and using owner-operated private transporters that are pre-vetted to represent your brand on deliveries.

For more information contact our Business Consultants on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit our website, www.argility.com

Brief Bio: Tanya Long – Chief Operating Officer, Argility Technology Group

Are you feeling the heat? Calling all Retailers of Pre-Cooked; Frozen and Refrigerated FoodTanya Long, COO Argility Technology Group

Tanya has 30 years industry experience and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Argility Technology Group.

Tanya’s career in the IT sector started in 1988 in IT Support for Point of Sale solutions. She moved formally into software development with UCS/Argility in 1989 as a developer and progressed through to: team leader; account management; project, and development management roles

Tanya is an internationally Certified Consciousness Coach, Enneagram Practitioner, and leadership speaker and facilitator.  She is considered a specialist in the fields of culture and engagement and often presents at conferences on the topic of engagement, leadership and coaching.  Her strengths lie in her exceptional people management abilities and dedication to precision and execution.

In 2017, Tanya was appointed Human Capital Executive at Argility where she reunited her Retail, IT, Leadership, HR and coaching knowledge to drive her zeal for transformation.  In her capacity as COO, she heads up the Sales and Marketing and HR teams whilst driving performance and processes within the group.

Tanya’s vision is to ensure that the Argility Technology Group is filled with engaged, skilled and innovative individuals delivering outstanding customer-centric solutions.

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Are you feeling the heat? Calling all Retailers of Pre-Cooked; Frozen and Refrigerated Food. SkyData

Are you feeling the heat? Calling all Retailers of Pre-Cooked; Frozen and Refrigerated food.

By Tanya Long, COO Argility Technology Group

What is your worst nightmare this week? Whilst Covid-19 related challenges may be all-consuming at present, temperatures not correctly set or monitored resulting in non-compliance with health regulations and stock losses could be adding unnecessary stress! Temperature control is a business imperative for all retailers stocking pre-cooked, frozen, refrigerated food and cold beverage products. It is crucial that these products are stored in optimal environmental conditions to preserve quality and guarantee customer satisfaction. For products that are subject to formal regulation, it may also be a requirement that historical temperature data is logged and stored for compliance reasons.
Argility can help you achieve this goal through our IoT management solution, SkyData. The SkyData platform links to device-agnostic probes that constantly monitor fridge and freezer temperatures, logs historical data, and triggers alerts when thresholds are breached to authorised users.

SkyData platform supports capabilities such as email/SMS notifications, data visualisation, dashboards, and reporting, which can be further enriched with predictive analytics and machine learning. By utilising the wealth of data available from Skydata, businesses will be able to take swift action from insights gained.

SkyData platform - how it works

Argility SkyData Platform – how it works

 

What does SkyData do?

The platform empowers companies to connect devices and deploy applications that enable automated data collection and analysis, remote device management, contextual and real-time decision making. It permits businesses to monitor and manage any number of data points presented from various devices, and may be used to scrutinise and administer anything on a dashboard from temperature; humidity to utilities – electricity; water; gas usage and assets such as billboards, machinery and more.

Businesses are increasingly pressured to optimise returns on assets, increase productivity, and improve operational efficiencies. As you move to introduce new refrigerated and frozen food products to meet growing demand, you need to ensure that environmental conditions are monitored and kept at optimal ranges. It is also vital to ensure that you comply with regulations specifying temperature ranges at which different food products must be stored and keep a record of the temperature readings.

If the specified storage temperature range is breached, SkyData notifies you immediately by SMS and email. This allows you to immediately take corrective action and prevent products from being damaged or compromised. It also prevents stock loss and of course, most importantly removes risking the health of customers.
The SkyData platform registers each fridge and freezer individually, and each one can have its own unique temperature range settings, with detailed dashboard reporting where required.

Who should be looking at this product?

  • Supermarkets and speciality food stores
  • Liquor stores, Taverns, Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Store types:
    • Individual stores
    • Chain stores
    • Mall stores
    • Hyper stores

SkyData can integrate into any business operational system, feed from and to multiple data sources and deliver data sets to any mobile device. It provides for web-based administration plus configuration and it includes mobile apps for both Android and iOS for remote access – anytime, anywhere.

The bottom line is that this IoT platform is set to transform asset and resource monitoring management – now that’s something to keep the nightmares at bay!


For more information contact our Business Consultants on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit our website, www.argility.com

Brief Bio: Tanya Long – Chief Operating Officer, Argility Technology Group

Are you feeling the heat? Calling all Retailers of Pre-Cooked; Frozen and Refrigerated FoodTanya Long, COO Argility Technology Group

Tanya Long, COO Argility Technology Group

Tanya has 30 years of industry experience and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Argility Technology Group.

Tanya’s career in the IT sector started in 1988 in IT Support for Point of Sale solutions. She moved formally into software development with UCS/Argility in 1989 as a developer and progressed through to team leader; account management; project, and development management roles

Tanya is an internationally Certified Consciousness Coach, Enneagram Practitioner, and leadership speaker and facilitator.  She is considered a specialist in the fields of culture and engagement and often presents at conferences on the topic of engagement, leadership and coaching.  Her strengths lie in her exceptional people management abilities and dedication to precision and execution.

In 2017, Tanya was appointed Human Capital Executive at Argility where she reunited her Retail, IT, Leadership, HR and coaching knowledge to drive her zeal for transformation.  In her capacity as COO, she heads up the Sales and Marketing and HR teams whilst driving performance and processes within the group.

Tanya’s vision is to ensure that the Argility Technology Group is filled with engaged, skilled and innovative individuals delivering outstanding customer-centric solutions.

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How do retailers get a piece of the delivery pie MultiTrax

How do retailers get a piece of the delivery pie? by Tanya Long

I would hazard a guess that at the moment if one was to hold a 2 am online webinar, there would be countless heads of businesses awake to attend. Sleep has been evading many due to worry and planning on how to survive this Covid-19 pandemic.

Questions like: “How do I pivot my business?” “How do I make up for lost revenue?” “How do I draw customers back in spite of decreased ability to spend?” and be smart about it all?
You may also be asking yourself “With my current cash flow how do I get a piece of the delivery pie without it costing me an arm and a leg?” “How do I retain my existing customer base?” “How do I make my business attractive to new customers?”

Let’s be honest with ourselves about two things: now is the time and speed of implementation is vitally important. Covid-19 is a digitisation catalyst that cannot be ignored. Goods delivery as primary customer touchpoint is now more important than ever.
As tempting as it may be, it isn’t a matter of hiring 5 drivers and sending them off into the sunset with deliveries, but rather investing in a driver delivery application for optimal scheduling and tracking.

One that allows you to efficiently plan your deliveries. One that proactively informs customers of arrival times and upon delivery allows contactless delivery confirmation (especially important during these Covid-19 times). Exceeding customer expectations and delivery efficiency is vital. The absence of which the bitter taste of the delivery pie could hurt your business more than help. We all know that an unhappy customer could spread poor customer service news like a brushfire through social media platforms.

What I’m suggesting is that in order to smartly transform you’ll need to invest. Surprisingly the investment doesn’t need to break the bank.
Smart technology businesses are rising to the challenge with affordable solutions to goods delivery as an optimised process.

Argility’s customer-centric MultiTrax delivery application gives you control over the quality of your delivery touchpoint. Why not drop one of our team a message to get your business quickly into the running – info@argility.com? Or check out the solution at www.argility.com/multitrax/


Also read: Home Delivery – The new normal

Brief Bio: Tanya Long – Chief Operating Officer, Argility Technology Group

Tanya Long, COO Argility Technology Group

Tanya Long, COO Argility Technology Group

Tanya has 30 years industry experience and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Argility Technology Group.

Tanya’s career in the IT sector started in 1988 in IT Support for Point of Sale solutions. She moved formally into software development with UCS/Argility in 1989 as a developer and progressed through to: team leader; account management; project, and development management roles

Tanya is an internationally Certified Consciousness Coach, Enneagram Practitioner, and leadership speaker and facilitator.  She is considered a specialist in the fields of culture and engagement and often presents at conferences on the topic of engagement, leadership and coaching.  Her strengths lie in her exceptional people management abilities and dedication to precision and execution.

In 2017, Tanya was appointed Human Capital Executive at Argility where she reunited her Retail, IT, Leadership, HR and coaching knowledge to drive her zeal for transformation.  In her capacity as COO, she heads up the Sales and Marketing and HR teams whilst driving performance and processes within the group.

Tanya’s vision is to ensure that the Argility Technology Group is filled with engaged, skilled and innovative individuals delivering outstanding customer-centric solutions.

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Home Delivery MultiTrax Argility

Home Delivery – The new normal by Tanya Long

During this 8th week in Covid-19 lockdown, as with probably many others, I’ve realised that I need to be more creative in fulfilling my personal shopping demands. Just popping down the road to the shop, is not an option at present. Sadly what I think the next few months will bring is more of the same. Times are definitely ‘a changing’.

Like thousands of other consumers, I’ve resorted to online shopping. Suddenly the war for connectivity has started in my home. Where I used to bemoan that WiFi was on my teenager’s Maslo hierarchy of needs, I’ve started to congratulate myself for foresight and great parenting. What is true is that whilst my generation may be slightly slower on the uptake of technology, crisis brings about change.

Last week, confronted with no lockdown end in sight, I forged ahead and took the online delivery plunge. In under 30 minutes I managed to order printer cartridges from one retailer; groceries from another and dinner from my local takeout. That evening dinner promptly arrived and during the next three days the goodies appeared hassle free on my doorstep. I have to admit it felt a bit like Christmas.

Would I do it again? Absolutely.

After doing the sums, I realised that the ROI of the small delivery fees, superseded possible petrol costs, time and frustration. I found myself focused on buying what I needed and not overfilling my shopping basket (in spite of it being easy with just one click). Not to forget the convenience of it all. Definitely a reason to smile.

I wondered to myself, what had been holding me back from online shopping before? I realised it was habit and the perception that I would pay more. Trust also came into the picture. Once I ordered online, only to receive the goods 10 days after the promise date and upon opening the box to find the wrong item!!! Well, with my most recent purchases, I was impressed. The providers had gotten the experience right. And as we can all agree positive customer experience is everything.

So heads up to all those constrained retailers out there, I’ve decided that online shopping and home delivery will become my new normal. And I think that there are many other consumers who feel the same.

As a retailer, are you ready for it?

Why not take a moment to investigate the benefits of the Argility MultiTrax delivery application or contact us today on info@argility.com to explore options with one of our team.


For more information visit our website, www.argility.com

Brief Bio: Tanya Long – Chief Operating Officer, Argility Technology Group

Tanya Long, COO Argility Technology Group

Tanya Long, COO Argility Technology Group

Tanya has 30 years industry experience and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Argility Technology Group.

Tanya’s career in the IT sector started in 1988 in IT Support for Point of Sale solutions. She moved formally into software development with UCS/Argility in 1989 as a developer and progressed through to: team leader; account management; project, and development management roles

Tanya is an internationally Certified Consciousness Coach, Enneagram Practitioner, and leadership speaker and facilitator.  She is considered a specialist in the fields of culture and engagement and often presents at conferences on the topic of engagement, leadership and coaching.  Her strengths lie in her exceptional people management abilities and dedication to precision and execution.

In 2017, Tanya was appointed Human Capital Executive at Argility where she reunited her Retail, IT, Leadership, HR and coaching knowledge to drive her zeal for transformation.  In her capacity as COO, she heads up the Sales and Marketing and HR teams whilst driving performance and processes within the group.

Tanya’s vision is to ensure that the Argility Technology Group is filled with engaged, skilled and innovative individuals delivering outstanding customer-centric solutions.

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Retail South Africa - The landscape and opportunities Argility

RETAIL SOUTH AFRICA – The landscape and opportunities by Sonja Leoncini

For the many years I have been involved in the supply of retail solutions including software and hardware, I have always found it difficult to get lists of store retailers in South Africa. I tried many sources such as, market research agencies, large hardware, and software vendors – all to no avail.

So, I recently conducted research of my own and came up with some results based on information from stats, various shopping malls and small retail strip malls. Granted, I did not go as far as remote areas and concentrated mainly on the larger provinces but as my information grew and I viewed the charts, as I added more information the one point that came through clearly was that the vertical market share remained the same throughout.

Let me explain: FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), Hospitality, Fashion, Building, DIY, and homeware have the larger share of the market along with the many retailers I named as the “specialty” sector. The larger Tier is, of course, the Corporate or Blue-Chip retailers, such as The Foschini Group, Pick n Pay, Shoprite, PEP and so on. The next Tier forms our well-known multi-store and often multi-chain retailers and includes the likes of Busby and Cape Union Mart. You will find that most shopping malls are made up 70% of these types of retailers’ operations with the balance being independent single stores or small multi-store operations. The rest of the market, whether they be multi-store, single store owners or district specific – are often difficult to source and solutions tend to be sourced through vendors supporting these specific markets.

I also found that up until recent years, retailers “sweated” their solutions, seeing them as a necessary expense, but not as particular value adds to the business and often not keeping up to date on market and customer demands, which in this day and age changes at the speed of lightning. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced retailers to urgently revisit their existing technology strategies, making gaps more apparent. Today, however, retailers are increasingly reaping benefits by fast-tracking the implementation of new technology offerings and digitally transforming their solutions in order to survive. This in turn enables them to provide support systems that improves their business operations allowing them to acquire customers and provide superior service.

Technology driving retail growth

In today’s world of new technology, increasing innovations, customer expectations, plus an often complicated supply chain – make retailing a challenging arena in which to function. However, new technologies often offer optimal affordable solutions making it easier to implement a seamless operation.

The advent of big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), bringing up to date wide scoped information to manage the business and make educated decisions based on machine learning, have produced results no one could imagine a few years ago. This is all to the benefit of Retailer, Supply Chain and Customer.

South Africa tends to lag with some of this modern technology because of various obstacles such as: infrastructure, high cost of investment, skill sets and length of time to see ROI. In today’s economic tough times investment decisions are tough and difficult decisions to make but, in the end, it translates into sustainability and growth for your business – so, it’s worth it. South African technology businesses such as Argility are steaming ahead with world class competitive solutions at an added benefit of rand based pricing plus engaging local skills.

The SA e-commerce platform has been slower to adapt than in other countries, although some local retailers and e-commerce operations have got this right, e.g. Takealot, One Day Only, Pick n Pay and Woolworths. These retailers understand the market needs of fast turnaround, efficient delivery and the many options e-commerce offers a customer in terms of buy online and collect in store, order and receive, buy online and return at the store, buy online and return collections.

Retailers selling through brick and mortar stores, on-line or through the various social media platforms, must get the right systems in place. I am being bold in suggesting that you need efficient stock management making sure you have stock in the right place, at the right time. However, if you are wise you need to go beyond the standard information provided in your ERP systems. You want stock to satisfy customers but also to keep optimum levels and not waste capital on excess stock that could be used in other areas of business. Argility’s PredictRetail provides a next level Artificial Intelligence tool delivering improved information and forecasts keeping optimized stock, satisfied customers, and improved bottom line profits.

Using the Loyalty System to Best Advantage

Retailers want to take every opportunity to gain information and grow their customer database. With loyalty schemes in circulation consumers carry many cards to receive benefits. Why not use this information at another level. You can increase customer traffic and bottom line profits through Beacon technology. By installing a small Bluetooth device within a range and a software management platform, you can proactively communicate with your shoppers. All they must do is download your store application from an App store onto their smart device, Apple or Android and they become available to you. You can inform them of specials, new stock, promotions, product information etc. In addition, applications can also be made available to your staff to further provide customer satisfaction and service such as product and technical information, stock availability, even going as far as placing an order to be finalized at the till point.

Argility offers many solutions to support retailers in their journey through the Digital Transformation of their businesses with core and value-added software and services.

Retail SA - The landscape and opportunities ATG Ecosystem

ATG Ecosystem

PredictRetail using AI and data science, offers a multitude of ways in which to analyse data being captured. This is achieved regardless of whether it is about: improving business operations; stock control; loyalty; promotions; customer information etc. PredictRetail displays information on many different views of dashboards with drilldown capabilities.

A Beacon of Advantage amidst a Sea of Competition

SenseView is our Beacon technology platform that offers enticing information to shoppers and sales associates and results in superior customer service. Think about knowing whether your loyal customer is in your store and greeting them by name plus knowing what type of goods they could be interested in.

We support on-line shopping through our digital asset management platform Damsense. Managing and storing whatever media you are using by linking to a central database of digital assets such as images, videos, packaging for stock products.

Argility also provides a digital delivery solution (Multitrax) to manage deliveries and collections from start to finish with seamless ease. We can engage either directly with your stores, warehouse or with your chosen courier service to provide them with a superior tool to enhance their operations.

Fleet solutions

If you have your own fleet of vehicles, we can go one step further and manage your fleet for you through our subsidiary company, Fleet Domain.

These solutions are owned and developed by the Argility Technology Group, based on over 35 years of delivering successful products to the South African retail, supply chain and fleet markets.

We welcome your engagement to discuss our solutions and how they can add value to your business.


Give us a call and let us tell you more. 011 712 1300; email info@argility.com or visit our website www.argility.com

ABOUT

Aegility Technology Group (ATG) Logo

The Argility Technology Group – is a leading innovator and implementer of customised enterprise software solutions for the retail and supply chain industries. Our vast experience combined with a depth of proprietary software and skills enables us to address the multitude of challenges facing businesses in today’s digital transformation era.

We solve complex business problems by supplying and supporting various customised software solutions such as Point of Sale, ERP, Warehouse Management, Fleet Management, IoT management software, Proximity Marketing, Data Science (Artificial Intelligence) solutions and more. We strive to become an extension of our client’s businesses and not just another solution provider.

The group’s origins trace back over thirty-five years as a leading software supplier to the retail sector. Decades of long, prosperous customer relationships bear testament to our customer-centric culture, exceptional service, and innovative thinking. From single systems to the digital transformation of an entire organisation – we have the solutions, skills, and experience.

The Argility Technology Group is comprised of: Argility; Cquential Solutions, Fleet Domain; SkyData Communications, and strategic partners, Ashanti AI, and Neo Retail Solutions. All are foremost technology developers and suppliers of customised enterprise software solutions for the Retail, Supply Chain, Fleet industries as well as a comprehensive IoT framework that enables local enterprises to integrate, manage and optimise their growing IoT ecosystems.

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AI Supercharged retailer PredictRetail Argility

AI and Supercharged Retailers by Sonja Leoncini

After lockdown …. what next?

Sweating out existing technology, expecting customers to return to their old ways of shopping will not be an option in the aftermath of Covid-19. Retailers need to be quick on the draw to respond to this new era. Customers have had time on their hands to browse or shop online and I believe there will be a dynamic change in the way they custom shop, bringing more challenges and competition for your market share. This is going to be an exciting time to use technology at its best to sustain and grow your business.

It’s not a time to miss opportunities. Many retailers have centralised data for information, and put tools in place to support product plans, stock optimisation and customer intelligence. However, few have thought about moving beyond these measures, but make no mistake, the retailers who have will be the winners in the race for market share.

Everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) but how many retailers are utilising this incredible technology?

Very few I think – which is short sighted. Argility has a super intelligent affordable solution to support retailers in this quest, called PredictRetail. It is based on predefined data learning models – where data has been trained to correlate and thus provide meaningful information linked to a situation, supported by data-science (using scientific methods, processes, and machine learning algorithms), specifically focused on retail business goals. The Argility team has harnessed years of retail solution experience with the goal of extracting information and thereby provide realistic and usable analytics to solve business problems more efficiently and effectively.

Retailers can use data to gain valuable insights regarding stock demand, and customer analytics. This will enable businesses to become more customer centric with personalised messages and focused product offerings which will be more likely to enhance customer interest and sales, through promotional and marketing activities. PredictRetail helps businesses to identify relationships between customers product transactions and services by analysing data and producing results that enable you to better predict supply and demand by identifying trends and hidden patterns. This will also empower you with optimum stock holding and enable you to release capital for use in other areas of your business.

South Africa tends to lag when it comes to implementation of some of these modern technologies, due to various obstacles such as – infrastructure, high cost of investment, skill sets and length of time to see ROI. However, this is not the time to dawdle. In today’s economic times this is often a hard decision to make but it is also very much in keeping with the old adage “snooze and you lose” – this is the time to act and outstrip the competition.


Give us a call and let us tell you more. 011 712 1300; email info@argility.com or visit our website www.argility.com

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Beacon Technology proximity marketing Senseview

SenseView a Beacon for future growth by Sonja Leoncini

In an increasingly competitive market we all – regardless of the sector in which we are operating – want to capture every opportunity to engage with existing and potential customers. Products or services – it doesn’t matter what we are offering – the goal is customer engagements that result in sales.
Knowing where and how to target customers with relevant (to their interests) information, is the name of the game. For example, in a shopping mall there are a multitude of options.
How many times as a consumer yourself, have you been in a store intending to purchase but because the sales assistant could not provide information on a product – frustrated – you leave. The scenario is irrelevant but possibly familiar, it can happen in a car dealership or any retail outlet.
Therefore, as a business owner, you want your sales assistant to have the right product information and specifications available on the spot so that they retain the interest and follow through to closing the deal. You want/need to be able to distribute information on new: products; services and promotions to your customers – but the trick is getting the right information to the right customer.

If you are in the hospitality industry you want to inform guests of activities; restaurant menus and promotions. Imagine the beauty of being able to provide intelligence on artifacts via mobile phones in, for example, a museum.
Examples abound regarding the application and need to provide on the spot details such as: specifications; pricing or new services – the latter could be delivered to clients sitting waiting for an appointment in a bank.

John Sanei’s exploration of digital trends notes – the digital revolution is futile without a customer focus* and going forward, should be the changing “need states” of consumers. He details five defining need states as follows:

  1. Hyper-personalisation
  2. Hyper-convenience
  3. Hyper-trust
  4. Hyper-recognition
  5. Hyper-value.

He goes on to say that without taking these factors into account, digital cannot have its required impact on business. In essence, hyper-informed consumers are driving purchase decisions and patterns.

The technology exists and is available for you to drive information to a specific targeted customer category such as loyalty shoppers. Industry becomes more technology driven as each day passes and customers and clients are expecting the best service from you or they will go elsewhere. Many of the new technology opportunities to improve business often require large investments. This includes gearing up for a full omni-channel environment (bringing solutions together), moving to 4th Generation technology and of course, AI and the Internet of Things (IoT). The intention with all of these technologies is, of course, to bring business benefits to enable you to run efficient business operations and this they do. But sometimes at a cost.
With today’s economic climate your business wants to ensure that your spend on technology will bring a return on investment (ROI) without capital outlays and lengthy implementation roll out. Your goal is to see a fairly immediate bottom line improvement.

How do you achieve this?

Beacon technology is one technology solution that allows you to do all of the above. It is part of the IoT ecosystem. It brings real benefits that provides value add to you and your customers in a relatively short space of time, and without the need for costly investments. Beacon technology has the power to change the way consumers access information and personalises the relationships between organisations and their customers. Customers can tailor settings to receive notifications according to their individual preferences and behaviours.
Whether you are in retail, hospitality, banking and financial services, car dealerships or shopping malls both you and your customers will benefit.

Argility SenseView – Merging the Digital and the Physical World

Argility SenseView is a powerful cloud-based platform that allows consumers to receive opt-in, proximity based, communications via their mobile devices. Using state-of-the-art, easily deployed beacon technology, getting the right content at the right time is now a reality.
Argility’s latest innovation, SenseView, delivers content-rich messaging in real time through the Argility-built platform. Using low energy Bluetooth to connect smartphones to strategically placed beacons which trigger messages when someone approaches, enters or leaves a specified location.


Please contact us for more information about this exciting new technology: 011 712 1300; email info@argility.com or visit our website www.argility.com

* Digital revolution is futile without a customer focus

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CEO Marko & CFO Richard revealing next-generation innovations

CES & NRF 2020: Retail’s Big Show

Marko Salic, ATG Group CEO shares experiences from Global Retail Conferences in the USA – CES (The Consumer Technology Association) and the National Retail Forum (NRF) 2020.

I was very excited at the prospect of visiting these incredible retail showcase platforms hosted annually in the USA. I kicked off my trip at CES in Las Vegas – this exhibition is renowned for revealing next-generation innovations and has been doing so for the past fifty years.
Approximately 4400 consumer technology companies exhibit at this conference, attracting more than 170,000 delegates from 160 countries. It is billed as the global stage for innovation. CES is the world’s gathering place for all companies watching the consumer technologies development space. It certainly proved no disappointment.
New York City hosts the National Retail Forum (NRF) regarded worldwide as The Retail Big Show that aims to assist retailers to attract and retain customers by dazzling them with innovative retail technology and store designs.

Exhibitors Themes

There were prevalent and repeated themes from exhibitors at both conferences and I have summarised below some of the most significant ones:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud are becoming the basis of most new products with big names all building specialised retail offerings. SaaS and cloud is the future and the feeling is that anyone not on that bandwagon will be left behind.
  • Image and video recognition: There were also a large number of products and concepts based on image and video recognition technologies, in my opinion, most are not yet production ready but enough was displayed to forecast what the future will bring in this space.
  • Machine learning was marketed strongly with the main ML/AI themes being the following:
    • Forecasting and self-learning algorithms
    • Demand, planning, assortment, replenishment
  • Customer behaviour analytics and hyper personalisation
    • Recommendations, e-commerce analytics, basket analysis, propensity modelling
  • Image and video recognition
    • Magic mirrors for clothing, shoes and cosmetics
    • Automated checkouts, data collection (foot traffic, sentiment, where the customer is looking, crowd analytics, heat maps etc.)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Every product seemed to have the words ‘AI’ in its marketing messaging, however, it was interesting to note that when I asked vendors to elaborate there did not appear to be much solid context to prop up the marketing language. This served to endorse my opinion that ATG is further advanced on the AI path than many.
  • Workforce Management: This was another prominent focus at the NRF with many suppliers offering products in this domain. It pleased me to see that our group company Ashanti AI with their ML powered Warehouse Workforce Management analytics application is on the right path.
  • Self-checkout and self-service: As expected this was well represented, with many retailers in the US already offering self-checkout in their stores. You self: scan, pack, pay and leave. There are fail safes in place, like cameras with machine learning (ML) checking items, weight sensors validating basket against what was scanned etc.
    Generally, self-service seems to be big in the USA, European Union and Australia.
  • POS Systems: Most of those on display were really just more of the same – some with slightly more modern user interfaces. Again it was interesting to note that nothing outstripped what we have developed at ATG – we are right up there with the global best.
  • Interactive screens: My team tell me it takes a lot to impress me but I find this technology exciting. It facilitates the creation of virtual showrooms with 3D models of products, that can be scaled, rotated, and customised etc. I’m sure you can just imagine the great potential for this 4th industrial Revolution (4IR) technology for a range of retail applications including furniture and appliances as well as specialised products such as: smartphones, tablets, jewellery etc. retailers.
  • Augmented reality and virtual reality: were also very interesting but as with AI product slogans lacked substantive real life use cases, or were not production ready. However, one of the displays was quite impressive – it was a mobile app that can be used to scan an item like a couch from a printed brochure into a 3D model; then using your app and camera you can overlay the item into your home to see how it will look, including changing of colour, fabric etc. Fantastic tech with great potential.
  • IoT for Retail: In this space there were three dominant areas:
    • RFID but in quite a broad selection of use cases
    • Beacons and tracking of customers on the floors via sensors and cameras
    • Environment sensing such as temperature, humidity, air quality etc.
    • With the exception of RFID the ATG group already has all of the above capabilities in-house.
  • Chat Bots and Voice Assistants: Last but not least, chat bots and voice assistants were well represented with many good use cases in customer experiences and help desk scenarios. This is an area where there appears to be a lot of investment world-wide.

I would have to conclude by saying that contrary to popular belief we – South Africa and specifically the ATG group – are not far behind global technology trends. In general I saw very little that we are not either doing or capable of doing in ATG or SA which was very encouraging. Many of the companies I engaged with on the trip do not have a footprint in Africa and are seeing this as an untapped market.

So, watch this space as the ATG group continues to build and improve software solutions on our journey to digitally transform retail and supply chain using Google Cloud Platform, AI and IoT.


For more information contact our Sales on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit our website: Argility

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Heritage Day - Ikageng Building a future

Argility is working to Build a Legacy for Future Generations

As we approach Heritage Day on Tuesday 24th September, Nobuhle Zwane, Argility’s Human Capital Manager explains how Argility is working to Build a Legacy for Future Generations.

Instead of looking to the past this Heritage Day, we at Argility feel that SA organisations should be planning for the future.

Heritage Day gives all South Africans an opportunity to celebrate their history and cultural heritage, the day also offers an excellent opportunity to reflect on the legacy they will leave their descendants. For us,  the Argility Technology Group team,  it is more about focusing on building a positive, empowering culture for young South Africans.  Something that future generations will be able to celebrate as their shared heritage.

It is our vision to build the heritage of generations to come and to achieve this the first step is to start with investment in the youth of our great country.

We believe that the future depends on helping SA’s youth to become the best that they can be. This is why our corporate social investments focus heavily on education and youth development.  We also do not believe in an approach of throwing money at development efforts and walking away – this can all too often be a method used in corporate South Africa.   Argility does it differently – our staff – from the executive level down – roll up their sleeves and engage actively with our CSI projects and their beneficiaries.

Our current two youth development projects that we have engaged with are: Ikageng Itireleng and Releasing Eagles.

Ikageng Itireleng, an NPO in Orlando West, Soweto, which cares for and supports over 800 orphaned, vulnerable children and youth in the community. Ikageng’s prevention and therapy programmes, individual and family interventions, group work sessions, seminars and structured meetings aims at collective empowerment and facilitating processes that help the poor, vulnerable and marginalised to regain control over their lives.

Releasing Eagles,  supported by Argility, strives to raise the level of consciousness among the youth around their purpose in life and their impact on their world. Releasing Eagles creates platforms and environments where the potential of young leaders is incubated and nurtured through strategic mentoring partnerships and with youth workshops, staged in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Programmes such as these don’t simply offer short-term assistance – they actively work to change and empower young people to improve their lives. We believe that if all of corporate South Africa started focusing on initiatives that deliver sustainable impacts that truly empower our youth, we would go a long way towards achieving our country’s development goals.

The African proverb “It takes a Village to raise a Child” could not be more true.  The Argility community has embraced this philosophy and on this coming Heritage Day we ask other organisations to do the same.

Visit our website: Argility 

Nobuhle Zwane – Human Capital Manager, Argility Technology Group

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Argility Digital Assets Management System

Tanya Long, Argility COO, unveils the enhanced version of DAMSense

Argility’s Digital Asset Management System

It’s always good to get to the point quickly and what is the point here?  Well, it is that DAMSense makes sense of digital assets and enables businesses to organise, store and retrieve. Now that’s an attention grabber for any business readership.  

DAMSense is a comprehensive Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, which enables companies to manage and make sense of digital media files in one central and searchable repository platform. The solution can be deployed across a range of organisations – from large eCommerce enabled image websites to internal corporate branding asset management systems.

It is important to understand that DAM is now a strategic business priority. DAMSense is set to lead the multiple usage innovation arenas where it is already deployed and proving to show the best return on investment (ROI). 

DAM enables companies to: accelerate time to delivery for marketing campaigns; increase the number of promotions that marketers can deliver in a given time period and launch new products more quickly, while at the same time accelerating global product launches.

DAMSense provides organisations with the ability to make sense of their images, videos, music, PDF’s and other documents in one central and searchable place.

Already successfully deployed!

DAMSense has already been implemented successfully at a wide range of companies in Southern Africa, supplying solutions that provide real benefits on a daily basis.

It is a cost-effective and high-performing webserver application that is delivered either as a cloud or as an inhouse hosted service, giving you access to a leading-edge digital asset management system. The benefits of the cloud platform are that it limits the costs and worries of running a high performing server infrastructure.  It has been designed to be modular, providing the ability to build the solution you require. Moreover, it is branded to our client’s requirements, and as such, adheres to their organisational identity standards.

The solution offers: on-demand access to contracts; management of a single view of customers’ history and prevention of duplication of form-filling for frequent customers. In a digital asset management environment, the enhanced metadata features powered by AI, facilitate the process of organising, storing and retrieving rich media assets.  It also serves to alleviate the need for expensive storage space and resources.

DAM proven to reduce costs

The implementation of DAM has been proven to decrease asset creation costs as it leads to better asset reuse; avoidance of duplication of effort and a reduction in the number of assets that are created but never used.

Productivity benefits include: less time spent searching for assets; streamlined review and approval processes, plus easier collaboration with external stakeholders. It also provides greater visibility into project status, which is an enabler of productivity gains. But at the same time, it reduces risk as it prevents non-compliance use of licensed content; unapproved assets being used and it stops the theft or leak of intellectual property.

DAMSense can be applied in a myriad of industry sectors and holds great promise and relevance for any of the following industries and more:

  • Media – Create libraries of news and research material.
  • Corporate – Control and protect brand usage across distributed departments.
  • Travel and Tourism – Share up-to-date images with business partners, including: brochure and website material.
  • Retail – Locate images with ease for campaigns, brand usage, press releases and collaboration with business partners.
  • Public Sector – Create large scale, centralised national archives, whilst securing sensitive digital material.
  • Education – Create and share libraries of learning material for lectures and seminars.

For more information contact our Sales on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit our website: Argility

Brief Bio: Tanya Long – Chief Operating Officer, Argility Technology Group

Tanya has 30 years industry experience and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Argility Technology Group.

Tanya’s career in the IT sector started in 1988 in IT Support for Point of Sale solutions. She moved formally into software development with UCS/Argility in 1989 as a developer and progressed through to: team leader; account management; project, and development management roles

Tanya is an internationally Certified Consciousness Coach, Enneagram Practitioner, and leadership speaker and facilitator.  She is considered a specialist in the fields of culture and engagement and often presents at conferences on the topic of engagement, leadership and coaching.  Her strengths lie in her exceptional people management abilities and dedication to precision and execution.

In 2017, Tanya was appointed Human Capital Executive at Argility where she reunited her Retail, IT, Leadership, HR and coaching knowledge to drive her zeal for transformation.  In her capacity as COO, she heads up the Sales and Marketing and HR teams whilst driving performance and processes within the group.

Tanya’s vision is to ensure that the Argility Technology Group is filled with engaged, skilled and innovative individuals delivering outstanding customer-centric solutions.

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9 out of 10 businesses fail. What’s the formula then for success? Resilience and Ability to Recover

Resilience and the Ability to Recover

By Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility

9 out of 10 businesses fail. What’s the formula then for success?

This is the last in our series on what the formula for success is in businesses. In previous articles we have covered:

  1. Right Product for the Right Market
  2. Pay Attention to Everything
  3. Focus on Growth

 

The #4 key success factor: Resilience and the Ability to Recover

We all know that things go wrong and there are times when even the expression ‘pear-shaped’ will not do the situation justice.

It’s not only about having the courage and facing the music but about being resilient and versatile. Versatility doesn’t only relate to skillsets and systems within your business but also the mindset. This will get you through tough times. Drawing upon your current support systems and partnering with suppliers who can provide different solutions and give options makes this so much easier.

The thing to keep in mind is – To Ask.

You’d be surprised by the insight and knowledge of the people within your business and your network. Once again we come back to the concept of ‘working smart’ by exploring options and possibilities and having a versatile team who is open to change (always underpinned by building a culture of accountability within your business).

When confronted with this, the best approach is to:

  • Focus on the facts with a view on how to go forward
  • Don’t ask why – rather ask “What can we learn from this and how can we do it differently?”
  • How can we do this better? More effectively? Smarter?
  • What do we need to cut or add to this process?
  • Get inputs from different sources. There’s a famous quote from Einstein which says: ‘We cannot solve problems with the same kind of thinking that created it’
  • Listen and most importantly take action

Resilience is “About how hard you get hit and keep moving forward” (Rocky Balboa). A team that is able to recover together also has the ability to evolve and be able to work harmoniously together through tough times.

Conclusion

Sure there are success stories, which are a product of luck. However, there are far more businesses which attribute their success to being smart and hard work. Those are the ones that have a product that meets their markets need, they pay attention to every aspect of their business, they focus on continuous growth and they recover quickly from the hard knocks of the retailing life. If you focus on these four factors, you’re sure to enjoy the sweet taste of success.

For more information contact Sales on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit the Argility Website.

Article contributions are taken from Neil Patel, Forbes Magazine.

Biography – Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility

Tanya Long is a Qualified Performance and Business coach, with over 25 years’ experience in Software Development for Retailers. The fusion of her retail, software and coaching knowledge is used by many to uplift businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals in achieving the results that they desire. She currently serves as Human Capital Executive for Argility and works with various organisations to design and implement their Culture Strategy aligned to enhancing their Employee Engagement to drive business results.

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Focus on Growth - Success Factor #3

Focus on Growth

By Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility

9 out of 10 businesses fail. What’s the formula then for success?

So far we have spoken about:

  1. Right product for the right market
  2. Pay Attention To Everything

 

The #3 key success factor: Focus on Growth

I’m always amused at the moans and groans from staff that erupt when they walk out of an annual planning session regarding the next year’s targets. You’ll overhear remarks like: “It’s impossible!”, “What is our leadership team smoking?” Then fast forward to the next annual review and lo-and-behold, barring dire circumstances beyond the businesses control and the focus from the team on the right things, the growth and targets have materialised (if not exceeded, then a close second).

What is needed for owners and managers is to keep pushing for growth? There’s a saying that ‘Growth leads to more growth’ – and if so surely constant focus is imperative.

In order to get this right, keeping ones finger on the pulse is the key. Utilising data and software is the tool, and if your software doesn’t provide this, then change quickly is my advice. Some things you should be getting and analysing is:

  • Stock movement and stock turn
  • Supplier history specifically on orders and pricing
  • Cash flow management and control
  • Sales history – top and bottom sellers viewed not only from Gross Profit but also from quantity sold and turnover value
  • Shrinkage and variances in stock takes
  • Price override, promotions and discount information
  • Ability to push sales to in place customers with basket increase options and promotionsto name but a few

Setting targets for growth needs to be focused in the right places and prioritised. Often retailers focus a lot on their weaknesses – but it should not stop there. Managers and owners should apply just as much focus on the strengths of their business, thus spending more energy on moving forward. Focusing on the possibilities and looking for opportunities. Without a doubt, growth in a business inspires not only staff but customers, and helps to keep the passion alive.

For more information contact Sales on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit our website: Argility

Article contributions taken from Neil Patel, Forbes Magazine.

Read More: Resilience and the Ability to Recover – Success Factor #4

Previous: Pay Attention to Everything – Success Factor #2

Biography – Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility

Tanya Long is a Qualified Performance and Business coach, with over 25 years’ experience in Software Development for Retailers. The fusion of her retail, software and coaching knowledge is used by many to uplift businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals in achieving the results that they desire. She currently serves as Human Capital Executive for Argility and works with various organisations to design and implement their Culture Strategy aligned to enhancing their Employee Engagement to drive business results.

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success factors is: Pay Attention to Everything

Pay Attention to Everything

By Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility.

9 out of 10 businesses fail. What’s the formula then for success?

In our first article on this topic, I spoke about the surprisingly high statistics for business failures and the top item for success being the right product for the right market.

The #2 key success factor is: Pay Attention to Everything

You may have a fantastic product and a willing market, but if your underlying processes do not support sustainable actions then failure may creep up on you. Small issues suddenly turn into large issues.

Boring but necessary business processes, business models and scalability should always be top of mind. Make time to work ‘on’ your business, not always ‘in’ your business and ensure that you have effective solutions to give you the time to do so.

Let’s do a quick health check on the state of your business:

  • What business processes do you have in place to effectively manage the different areas of your business?
    • In buying and stock merchandising
    • In stock ordering, receiving and despatch
    • In stock takes and stock control
    • In cash management
    • In debtors management
    • In staff management….. to name just a few
  • Are these supported by constantly updated and documented SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)?
    • With details not only on physical processes but authority levels and also software system processes
    • Is time made to ensure that these are kept up to date with changes so that any person can walk into your business and be fast tracked to productivity
  • Do you have the controls and measurements in place? And are the results reviewed frequently for active and quick decision making?
  • Do your employees have clear job descriptions and a process of monthly measurement of results? Is someone providing monthly feedback to them and the stakeholders to make sure you have the right people performing at their optimum levels and servicing your customers with excellence?
  • Is up-skilling and training of staff a priority? As the impact of this ultimately is felt by you and your customers.

How do you fare on the above? If you can tick the boxes and say yes, then give yourself a pat on the back and start delving for more… If not, then it’s never too late, this is one of those things that you will be saying “What in one years’ time will I wish I had started today?”

Whilst manual processes are still a fall back, look towards technology that will enable you to get access to information quickly and with as little effort as possible.

Flash Figures gives your business users key performance data, as mobile business intelligence, at their fingertips, enabling them to make informed decisions on the go.

For more information, you can either contact Sales on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit the Argility website.

Article contributions taken from Neil Patel, Forbes Magazine.

Read more: Focus on Growth – Success Factor #3

Previous: Right Product for the Right Market – Success Factor #2

Biography – Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility

Tanya Long is a Qualified Performance and Business coach, with over 25 years’ experience in Software Development for Retailers. The fusion of her retail, software and coaching knowledge is used by many to uplift businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals in achieving the results that they desire. She currently serves as Human Capital Executive for Argility plus works with various organisations to design and implement their Culture Strategy aligned to enhancing their Employee Engagement to drive business results.

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Retail Right Product Right Market

Right Product for the Right Market

By Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility.

9 out of 10 businesses fail. What’s the formula then for success?

A frightening statistic popped out at me when I was reading Forbes Magazine the other day, which said that 90% of start-ups fail. Now, I’m not sharing this to discourage you but rather to get you thinking that it’s imperative to work not only harder but smarter too.

Success Factor 1: Right Product for the Right Market

The top reason for success (as gained from research across many successful businesses) is having the right product for the right market. Even the most innovative, cost-effective, sexy products won’t sell if there is a lack of market need. Do the research. Now this is not a once off exercise but rather something that should be evaluated continuously. So what are the questions you should be asking regarding your products?

1. Who are our customers and how do we reach and market to them?

  • Does our target market also include businesses or only individual customers?
  • What do our customer profiles look like? What are the characteristics of our customers and how can we use this data to assist us with our marketing strategy development. An example would be: what are their demographic/expenditure/lifestyle/media preferences?
  • What does our customer segmentation look like? What are the similarities/differences in our customer base (potential and current) and how can we use this information for cost-effective and accurate targeting in our direct marketing?
  • What are our customer demographics? Where do our prospective customers live? What is their Socio-Economic Measure? How frequently will they buy? What is their average age group and gender

2. Determine your competition

  • What would make a customer choose the one over the other? Is it price-variety-quality?
  • Does the competitor offer superior customer service?

3. Know your products

  • Ensure that you understand and know your products features and benefits, as the pricing determines if it is bargain value or luxury.

4. Request customer feedback

  • Constantly ask your customers about their experiences

I’m sure there are more questions you could ask, but I’m hoping that this will kick start the process and the answers to these are at least a bare minimum of information needed.

Ongoing research could be cumbersome and time-consuming, so look for software systems which can fulfil your data needs. Information taken from Point of Sale on product sales plus customers’ sales trends and segmentation should be mined continuously to ensure that your product and marketing strategies are still on point.

With the buzzwords of AI (Artificial Intelligence) flying around these days it is imperative to select a technology partner who can provide you with solutions that allows you to analyse the under-utilised wealth of information at your fingertips. And to raise the bar of not only having the data to view (referred to as Descriptive Analytics), but systems which allow you to predict and plan your stock levels and promotions (just to name a few) referred to as Predictive Analytics.

Article contributions taken from Neil Patel, Forbes Magazine.

For more information contact Sales on 011 712 1300, visit the Argility website or email info@argility.com

Also read: Data Science & IoT

Read more: Pay Attention to Everything – Success Factor #2

Biography – Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility

Tanya Long is a Qualified Performance and Business Coach, with over 25 years’ experience in Software Development for Retailers. The fusion of her retail, software and coaching knowledge is used by many to uplift businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals in achieving the results that they desire. She currently serves as Human Capital Executive for Argility and works with various organisations to design and implement their Culture Strategy aligned to enhancing their Employee Engagement to drive business results.

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Tanya Long, COO Argility -retail concepts and resources

The World of Retail – Concepts and Resources

Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility

Delve into the retail resources and concepts 

There is no doubt that the world of a retailer is a highly complex one. It doesn’t matter what vertical you are playing in, there are so many elements to get right that only the brave of heart and sharpest of minds take on the challenge.

With the advent of the digital age, customer expectations have evolved at an astounding pace. The early days of walking to the local farmer, bartering for products or paying with coins are memories retained only in fairy tales (remember Jack and the Beanstalk?).

Customers of today are spoiled for choice, highly informed and expect nothing less than exceptional pricing and speedy service. The result of which demands that any business owner or manager is at the top of their game, using the most appropriate resources and fitting the puzzle pieces together to create the success that is needed to sustain and grow their business.

Now the term ‘resources’ can be used to cover a wide spectrum of things. This can be anything from stock to cash, processes to systems to people, knowledge to the availability of information.

Over the next set of articles, we will delve into retail concepts and resources options with our Retail Coach to allow you to have the knowledge needed to excel and take you to the next level.

Whether you are just starting in your business or are an experienced retailer, the concept of always making time to work ‘on’ your business and not just focussing on working ‘in’ your business is one that should be made a priority. And a secret of working ‘on’ your business is to ensure that you partner with others whose own priority is to ensure your success. At Argility, our commitment to our customers is to utilise our wealth of experience, our varied and rich product suite and our drive for solutions/service to allow you to be at the top of your game. Whether you are an existing Argility customer or just wanting to know more about us, contact us today to meet with one of our experts.

For more information contact Sales on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit our website on https://www.argility.com/

Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility

Tanya Long is a Qualified Performance and Business Coach, with over 25 years’ experience in Software Development for Retailers. The fusion of her retail, software and coaching knowledge is used by many to uplift businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals in achieving the results that they desire. She currently serves as Human Capital Executive for Argility and works with various organisations to design and implement their Culture Strategy aligned to enhancing their Employee Engagement to drive business results.

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Innovation to build a new world

Innovation for a Better World

Argility has formed a relationship with local social change organisation (SCO), Partners for Possibility*, who bring school principals and business leaders together to develop strong leadership capacity and principal support processes in schools.

In collaboration with Partners for Possibility (PfP), Argility has embarked on a project at Enkanyezini Primary School in Phiri, Soweto. Work is well underway not only to upgrade the facilities but also to add value to the school and assist in strengthening its academic offerings.

Argility’s divisional executive, Jai Kalyan, explains that PfP coordinates courses for the nominated business leader and the relevant school principal to identify needs and develop a strategy to address them.

“To date, the Argility team has been responsible for the re-opening of the school library which had been turned into a storage room due to lack of resources. We commenced a company-wide drive that resulted in the donation of many books from staff keen to be involved in this worthy initiative. Another exciting development is that our customer, Shoprite, donated 30 computers to the school. The Argility team then configured and set up the PCs on site,” says Kalyan.

He confirms that Argility staff are visiting the school regularly to assist not only with computer skills but with mathematics, science programmes and other academics.

The team has been responsible for the upgrading of the school’s playground area and other facilities by providing solar geysers for the kitchen, and a solar heating system is planned for future installation. The students previously attended classes in unheated rooms in the midst of winter.

Kalyan notes this is an incredible project. “The Argility team has much to be proud of in their work in this initiative. We have agreed to sponsor the soccer team with a sports strip. Our work is ongoing and forms an important part of our company culture and corporate social investment policies aimed at adding value to the broader South African community as a whole,” says Kalyan.

Dr Louise van Rhyn, CEO and founder of Partners for Possibility, says Argility’s contribution to the school is a significant example of where business can elevate South African education. “Argility’s contribution will make the staff environment more comfortable and assist in the efforts to grow the leadership ability of the school principal, who leads tens of teachers, hundreds of learners and thousands of community members,” concludes Van Rhyn.

Partners for Possibility: http://www.pfp4sa.org/

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