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Retail Technology Tip #4 From Storis: Designing Special Order Products

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Does your business model allow customers to order products outside of your standard lineup? Are you offering upholstery finishes or other customized merchandise selections? Many furniture retailers are providing their customers with the ability to create customized products and buy products not in their inventory. This merchandising strategy is a growing trend in the industry and allows your business to offer customers a personal experience. Special Order Processing also comes with some challenges.

A common mistake we hear often is the sales people will build a Special Order Product with a customer that uses components that aren’t actually available or won’t work with that product structure. This can quickly turn a memorable experience into one that causes disappointment. Another challenge is accurately pricing each custom piece in a way that maintains your margins. Finally, figuring out when the product will be available for delivery, post manufacturing, can be difficult to estimate. These factors can be tricky if you are trying to execute special order processing without the use of software while maintaining customer satisfaction. 

  1. On The Fly SKU Creation- This feature enables you to extend your product lineup by ordering products outside of your inventory. With “On-the Fly SKU creation” your team can add the new product into your inventory with ease during the POS order entry process. 

  2. True Special Ordering- This is when a customer designs customized variations to a SKU that you carry in your inventory. You can create a unique piece each time by altering multiple options including upholstery, finishes, color, grade & hardware. At the Point of Sale, you sales team can use screen prompted fields based on the frame you chose. This will allow them to include open text instructions to notate every last detail to ensure the perfect product is delivered.

  3. Special Order Configuration- The most advanced form of Special Order Processing is for businesses that commission designers, have many options to choose from, or have complex costing and pricing rules. When you build products using the Special Order Configurator, all of the available options are cataloged with pricing detail to ensure you’re setting realistic expectations, delivery promises and a product that your manufacturers can successfully achieve. Simple drop down menus make processing organized and accurate. This tool automatically calculates the piece’s cost and selling price. 

 Once you complete any of the above POS Special Order entry processes, the system generates a purchase order that links directly to the customer’s sale. This maintains organization of your information and reserves that item specifically for that sales order once the PO is approved by your merchandising team. Additionally, with the use of a forms designer your customer’s receipt will print with the same requests to ensure expectations are met.

As you can see software can help make a very important merchandising strategy, Special Order Processing, easy and efficient! This ensures accuracy for your inventory and an enjoyable customer experience.

About STORIS: Founded in 1989, STORIS continues to be the leading provider of Retail Software Solutions and Services to Big Ticket retailers of ALL sizes. Over 350 Clients utilize STORIS’ single ERP solution including point of sale, mobile processing, supply chain management, customer care, accounting, ecommerce solutions, business intelligence and more.
At STORIS, we offer 3 unique levels of Special Order Processing that make the design experience smooth, organized, efficient and simple. One of these methods may be the right fit for your business. 

For more information visit www.STORIS.com.




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