CDS Solutions Group, the #1 innovator of emerging technologies for the home furnishings industry, announces the official launch of Retail 6: The Next Generation of Retail Management Systems, with a launch party at Market Showplace, Thursday evening, October 20, 2005, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Amartini bar, hors d'ouvres, and a demonstration of the Retail 6 system will be featured on the 3rd floor balcony, overlooking downtown High Point.
Retail 6, which has been in development for nearly five years, provides an easy-to-use, cost effective retail management solution. Its leading-edge technology allows a retailer to control all areas of the home furnishings retail environment. "Often times, in our industry, new products are created by updating existing solutions. However, there are inherent problems with building on old technology indefinitely," states CDS President and CEO Ren Baker. "That's why we started with a blank sheet of paper."
Baker explains that before developing the new system, the company conducted significant industry research, and questioned the customers it has served for nearly 25 years. "Reality for retailers in the US market is shifting. Tomorrow's consumer is an impatient one, focusing on speed, selection and price as their primary decision-making criteria," states Baker, expanding on these three key criteria. "Speed refers not just to the transaction, but also the time elapsed between emotional ownership and product enjoyment. Selection is all about providing a wide variety of fashionable products and styles from which the informed consumer can make a confident choice. US retailers have less control over actual price than ever before because the internet makes price differentials ineffective. To be successful with pricing, retailers need to focus on lowering expenses, reducing the cost of money, and increasing the returns on employed capital."
Baker explains that the Retail 6 team designed each function to map back to the issues of speed, selection and price. "We continue to build on our product, constantly evaluating how each feature enhances the retailer's power to control these drivers."
As a result, the company now offers a 100% Windows ® based retail management system specifically designed to help the home furnishings retailer maximize the efficiency of their operations and warehousing processes; secure their network, data and customer information; improve their retail and sales management functions; instantly access reliable finance, funding and cash flow figures; and perform all accounting functions.
The system's many features include a completely wireless warehouse barcode device enhanced with touch screen technology; flexible serialized inventory capabilities; the ability to accommodate warehouse operations of all sizes by simply flipping a switch from basic to enhanced mode; predictive workflow that prompts the user through the entire process; and a 100% seamless global pick list function. All of these enhanced features increase warehouse efficiency significantly - increasing productivity time by at least 15 - 20% and reducing employee training by 75%. Baker adds that non-bar coded warehouse operations can expect an increase of 300 - 400% when the Retail 6 system is implemented.
In addition, the system is built around an advanced 3-tier security model. "First, we have to let the 'good guys' in, and we do that with our Tier 1 Authentication. We know whether you belong on the system because you need a SmartCard and a PIN, just like a person's ATM Card" says Baker. The SmartCards provide certificate-based 128-bit security that makes logins over 1,000% more secure than traditional username/password models. "Next we need to keep the 'bad guys' out, which we do with firewalls and a sophisticated maintenance system that keeps patches and virus scanners up to date every day. Good Intrusion Prevention is more than just making a system secure, it's about keeping it secure over time." Baker reports that the third tier addresses the #1 cause of system failure when an authenticated user introduces malicious code. "This often happens through email attachments and internet downloads. We use advanced Intrusion Detection products that enable real-time monitoring and remediation of this type of problem."
In addition to securing logins for the Retail 6 system, SmartCards can be used for door access systems and time clock usage. The cards also ensure a clear accountability and audit trail for each employee's usage of a retailer's systems.
Retail 6 also provides easy-to-use touch-screen, point of service stations on the showroom floor. A best of class inventory allocation function and prompter screens with upsell opportunities like manufacturer offers, rebates and complimentary items available for purchase, assist the sales team in providing an enhanced customer experience. Sales staff can create invoices, provide estimates, even coordinate delivery - all at the point of sale for a smooth and seamless transaction.
All areas of the Retail 6 system feature real time processing for customized, on-demand reporting. The system has elevated accounting and reporting functions to an unprecedented level, capturing enhanced, real time data and generating reports that examine every area of a retail business. Data can be retrieved according to the specific needs of the retailer - weekly, daily, even hourly; and in a variety of ways - via reports, email, on a PDA or in a PDF.
Baker stresses that while the Retail 6 technology is sophisticated, it is also easy to use and easy to learn. "Data Conversion is certainly part of our process, and we also focus quite heavily on the people aspect as well. We have spent considerable time and development building a system around the adoption rate of the end-users," reports Baker. Adoption rates are considered key to the Retail 6 team, and deal with how quickly an average person will enthusiastically integrate the system into their daily routines.
"Anybody can implement technology," reports Baker, adding, "The key is to implement the right technology for the right reasons to do the right things at the right time. And, Retail 6 does just that."
CDS Solutions Group was founded in the early '80s with a single focus - to build the software solutions that enable good home furnishings retailers to become great companies. Hundreds of installations later, the CDS team continue that tradition, putting together new programs that propel retailers to the next level of performance. Today, the company's vision goes beyond simply building great software. CDS has taken on the responsibility of leading the industry into the future. For additional information on CDS Solutions Group or its innovative new retail management system, Retail 6, please call 888.309.8002 or visit www.cdsgroup.com
Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers