While the economy has recently shown signs of recovery, retailers have been challenged to tighten their belts and cut costs wherever possible throughout the last few years. The Bon-Ton Stores, a retail chain with 277 department stores and 11 furniture stores, recently implemented the Retail Enterprise Suite from Episys to help reduce costs and waste.
“Our systems weren’t integrated,” said Lisa Celebre, Divisional Vice President, Director of Store Operations at Bon-Ton, in a press release. “In our business, it is essential that our pricing is accurate and the information on the sign is accurate. “By integrating the pricing, inventory and signage systems, we’ve also been able to achieve expense savings by reducing the amount of paper used in stores.”
Bon-Ton operates a promotional pricing strategy and utilizes the Episys signage system to communicate sales offers to its customers. The use of digital signage is becoming a more prominent practice in-store, as retailers strive to innovate how product messaging and information is presented to customers. According to IHL Group, 20% of retailers will increase in-store digital signage in 2011.
Before Bon-Ton implemented Retail Enterprise Suite, their pricing system and inventory systems were not integrated with their signage system. As a result, all signs were delivered to and printed in-store, regardless of the inventory count in-store. Sign production was a labor-intensive task that led to challenges in timing, efficiency and the problem of getting the right signs in the stores at the correct time.
With the implementation of the Episys solution, Bon-Ton has eliminated unnecessary paperwork in the store. “We are setting all of our promotional events so that they are driven by the signs that are produced in the system and, consequently, printed in the store,” Celebre continued. “With that, we have reduced the amount of time we are taking to set a sale, and reduced the expense associated with paper.”
Future plans for Bon-Ton include the integration of Retail Enterprise Suite with mobile applications which will provide even more efficiency and accuracy in its stores.