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Demystifying Key Performance Metrics…

Imagine that you are the owner of a small/medium retail business. Maybe you are a second or third generation entrepreneur who has seen his/her business survive for many years based on the loyalty of several customers through the ages.

But, as any retailer in India would agree, sea changes have happened in the business of retail and changes are happening every day that radically changes the way retail business is done in India. And suddenly, you realize that not only competition has increased, but also the loyalty of your long-term customers is no more an assumption.

It is possible that you suddenly are forced to see your own business in a whole different way. Gone are the days when you could treat your retail outlet like an office where you go and come like any other office bearer…

From having a stable existence, the survival of your business becomes a question that hinges on key decisions that you take. A lot of questions start popping in your head that never existed before, for example, “Am I selling the right inventory?”, “Am I in the right market?”, “Do I need to be in more markets?”, “Are my suppliers helping me or exploiting me?” … I could go on and on.

When any such retailer is faced with such a scenario, more often than not, it is not that questions are not being asked. It is that most retailers don’t know what are the right questions to be asked!

Caught between businesses that adamantly renounce modernization and those that seem to be using something called “BIG DATA”, most retailers reach the state of accepting that questions need to be asked but just don’t know how to go about selecting the most important ones.

In my experience of working with so many retailers over the last decade, I have seen these very same retailers who do not know what question to ask to do wonders when provided with answers to the right questions.

Providing a basic set of such questions and their answers, in other terms referred to by the fancy acronym “KPI” should be one of the core functionalities of any business management software. Over the last 10 years, it has been our constant endeavour to provide information on these fundamental KPIs and we have been humbled to see the ways in which these entrepreneurs use this information to take their businesses forward.

We have witnessed our customers control their AC usage using data, streamline their internet connections using data and even plan the duration of their interactions with their suppliers based on data!!!

If there are any retailers who see software and ERPs as a drag on their business, it’s only because they themselves are not clear on what data is most important to their business. I would like to tell all of them, that

Understanding the data that your business needs are the beginning
of uncovering what your business can achieve



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