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Remote work is here to stay.
Prior to COVID-19, just 3.4% of the American workforce worked primarily remotely. When the pandemic hit and more Americans got a taste of working from home, they liked it—54% say they’d like to work primarily remote, and a whopping 99% would like to be able to work remotely at least some of the time. Those who work primarily remote report being 22% happier in their jobs.

Employers too are reaping the benefits of the new normal, as it can cost upwards of $2,000 per employee to keep them on site. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that businesses are accelerating cloud adoption plans. As always, Katalyst is ready to help your business adapt to these new realities.

Amazon Connect

One industry that is especially seeing results from embracing remote work is contact centers. The experts at Katalyst have the insight needed to prepare your organization and its employees to assist customers—from anywhere. “With our expertise in Amazon Web Services and the Amazon Connect platform, Katalyst can provide complete end-to-end solutions for contact centers,” says Praveen Minumula, Chief Technology Officer at Katalyst Technologies. “Katalyst can help migrate legacy contact centers to Amazon Connect and deliver managed services to existing customers.”

One of the biggest benefits of Amazon Connect is that there are no upfront costs. It is a pay as you go solution and it allows your organization to operate a complete contact center from anywhere and can easily be scaled to enable a business to support unexpected call volumes. It is estimated that customers can save nearly half of their costs compared to an on-premise solution. Another benefit is the speed at which these remote contact centers can be set up: it takes a matter of days to implement, compared to more traditional setups which require several months. These services can also be integrated with third-party Customer Relation Management (CRM), helpdesk, and Work Force Management (WFM) systems.

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How Shopify And ERP Integration Sync Well With Dig

eCommerce business owners should prioritize the effective execution of their operations. Though concluding on a most fruitful and easy to use ecommerce is a tedious thought process. 

Shopify has grown exponentially, mainly due to its easy to start, managing functionalities and capabilities to expand your online business. The personal aspect of store hosting has made it a preferred product of retail. 

The need for Shopify and ERP Integration 

Tracking your inventory should be a priority. This means you need to automate your inventory in real-time, as manual supplies may be depleted. Thus, when integrating with an online store company’s internal business system, you can synchronize your Shopify Store inventory with the status of your ERP database system inventory based on a predefined schedule. Automatic updating of Shopify options, stock quantities, and prices are beneficial for online stores with a significant range of products, especially when the stock status of these products/items is constantly changing.   A critical factor when considering an ERP system is whether it works well with Shopify. If not, you can limit your activities. However, you might have to learn to move data manually between your e-commerce store and ERP systems if you opt-out of integration. You then have to manually enter online orders, promotions, product updates, and customer information. Processing takes a long time and is subject to human error.  

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Are you a retailer? Is your brand recognized online?

If you are a retailer hitting in the dark with a conventional brick and mortar business model, you need to sync with the latest technology drive. You need to bring your retail business online, and the reason is a new generation's online shopping habits.

According to Statista, some of the top global eCommerce regional markets such as Asia, North America, Europe, Australia, MEA, and South America have witnessed multifold growth, building a sustainable and flourishing billion-dollar industry.

These success figures depict the operational efficiency of industry players. This was gained by following the technological shift and increased accessibility to enterprise solutions dedicated to eCommerce players.

So, is your eCommerce business prepared to meet this booming demand?

Staying geared means clubbing some of the pioneer eCommerce channels such as Shopify and Magento. With globalization-led ripples striking the shore, making your eCommerce business technological competent with ERP solutions is now a survival strategy. From managing all your data to simplifying the process, ERP software makes things work for any business to meet customer expectations. Moreover, picking a smart ERP system is one of the core strategies to make your eCommerce operations hassle-free.

Why Is Next-gen Enterprise Solution For Your eCommerce Venture Important?

ERP solutions serves as an end-to-end and flexible integration solution for eCommerce Platform with scalable results. When you take advantage of ERP software with its e-Commerce capabilities, it can make many tasks easier and faster. The specific features with which ERP software can help you depend on the type of business and the software you are integrating.

ERP, when integrated with an eCommerce platform, can assist in,

Customer updates - With the ERP software integrated into your eCommerce platform, an automatic notification is sent to your customer, for example, when an order is received or a shipment is delayed or canceled.

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The last two quarters have been the most challenging period for conventional businesses that believe in a one-way business model. However, some businesses came up with a hybrid way of mitigating these complexities that occurred due to the spread of the COVID-19. Be it B2C or B2B, every business model took the support of digitization.

As predicted, eCommerce is becoming the go-to business model for a lot of companies. And rightfully so. Making your online presence optimized increases the ratio of potential customers and buyers.

According to Frost&Sullivan the global b2b e-commerce sales would attain the mark of $6.6 Trillion by 2020. It is difficult to foresee how fluctuating the eCommerce statistics will be in the coming year, however, the momentum of the eCommerce industry is set to flourish, based on the bounce-back effect of the vertical.

Some factors that have influenced the growth of B2B during this pandemic are one-to-one interaction, digital engagement, and shifting business models. But that does not mean that the trend of B2B sales will be identical to what it was before the pandemic. Enterprise eCommerce solutions such as Magento are helping businesses uphold their growth figures with ease.

This article highlights some of the imperative reasons why the best eCommerce solutions like Magento can help businesses ramp up their eCommerce store capabilities with its flagship features.

Robust eCommerce development

Magento is the only e-commerce development platform that can easily store and manage thousands of products. Also, the Magento platform offers some of the handiest features, such as inventory and product management. The easy-to-deploy functionalities make organizing and managing products more flexible, thus reducing the operation time.
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The digital transformation is a frightening reality that is about to dominate the entire e-commerce sector. Each sector is subject to impending digital disruptions. Believe it or not, digitization is the primary driver of higher revenues and profits.

Digitization is not just about reshaping the business. It introduces a new mindset to hierarchies, networks instead of silos, pace correctly, and leverage customer learning. The digital landscape requires a new way of thinking.

Tips to Thrive In Your Ecommerce Business

In short, developing a digital business process strategy means using technology to accelerate performance. Here are some facts and figures highlighting the need for digital automation and what it can provide once adopted.

As a business enthusiast, your goal should always be to improve your current operations. You also want to create new business models and create exciting opportunities. You are guaranteed to save time developing new products and services, making informed management decisions, and expanding your organization's reach to all market segments. Not to mention that its growth and expansion will hinder antiquated business strategies. So going through this phase shift might also cause mild tremors in your organization.

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ServiceNow Innovation Ensures Workforce Safety Wit

We care deeply about our people. Empathy and consideration are ServiceNow's core values, as are many other companies around the world. COVID-19's impact on individuals and families does not diminish or disappear when we return to our workplaces. Some employees might not return to work in the future due to their circumstances.

Our efforts to return to work include two priority areas. The first, team preparation, means that we find our employees where they are, with empathy and compassion, given their circumstances as a result of COVID-19. The second, workplace preparation, focuses on preparing and managing our physical workplaces, with many requirements and restrictions to ensure safety.

ServiceNow recently launched four apps for the Safe Workplace Suite, based on real-time feedback around the world, as they continue to return to workplace planning and activation.

ServiceNow Safe Workplace Suite Includes

Employee Readiness Surveys:

The Employee Readiness Survey application allows companies to assess and recognize employees' willingness to return to their office or physical workplace, through a series of surveys with a set of queries and recording employee responses. Based on survey responses, companies can formulate the right course of action to gain employee confidence and get them back to work smoothly.

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Let‘s take a brief survey: how much has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your organization?

A) Drastically
B) Majorly
C) Greatly
D) All of the above

No business has escaped the impact of coronavirus, especially those that rely on supply chains—physical or otherwise. Many products and services suffer from low demand, such as cars and hotels. Other companies struggle to keep up with severely increased demand—good luck finding toilet paper on store shelves. But through diligent planning and smart use of technology, it‘s possible to reduce the bumps in the supply chain and find solutions that will maximize efficiency and success.

“We’ll never get back to the normal we knew before COVID-19,“ says Tracy Warren, Manager of Delivery & PMO at Katalyst Technologies. “But we’ll settle into new ways of getting things done.“

Take Advantage of IoT

The Internet of Things has connected processes in seamless and ultimately effortless ways for companies and consumers alike. If you‘re one of those businesses experiencing a dramatic shift in demand in either direction, IoT technology can effectively manage inventory and monitor equipment. If you‘re facing a sharp uptick in demand, predictive maintenance techniques will be majorly beneficial in keeping up.

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Katalyst Technologies recently reported on the rise of e-commerce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the sheer extent of the surge has surprised even us. According to Adobe and Forbes, these past few months have escalated industry growth an estimated four to six years. The $82.5 billion spent online in May marked a 77% increase over last year, with the state of Connecticut seeing a whopping 99% boost.

On the downside, however, with more e-commerce sales come more dissatisfied customers. 25% of people who have shopped online in the last three months say that they’ve had a negative experience. Clearly, there is room for improvement. A better order management system (OMS) such as Celero could be just what your organization needs.

What is an OMS?

An OMS is effectively a one-stop-shop for an e-commerce business’s functions: tracking sales and inventory, managing orders, ensuring security, and collecting data. What the customer experiences as the simple, streamlined process of placing an order is actually an intricate series of behind-the-scenes operations working step by step to flow efficiently.

A customer makes their way towards an e-commerce site, browses the selection of products, adds an item to their cart, and places the order. They can choose a payment method and shipping speed, and their order is placed. Especially with mobile ordering, all of this can be done in the span of about 30 seconds. Meanwhile, internally, the OMS is working on updating inventory and notifying users of their cart status. Furthermore, it is also processing the payment, informing the appropriate delivery company, and preparing to track information and status updates that the customer can access as they wait for their order to arrive. This process must be all be handled with encryption to protect sensitive information. That’s a lot to handle in just a couple of clicks!

Why It’s Necessary

With so many consumers turning to e-commerce now, an effective and easy and secure sales system is necessary to keep up with competitors. But it also makes things better for customers and employees by removing any unwelcome surprises from the order process. What happens if your site is not correctly integrated to manage inventory, and a customer orders a product that is out of stock? You’ve probably lost that customer for life. An OMS will not only make sure that no customer deals with the bait and switch of unassumingly ordering an out of stock item, but can also handle predictive analytics that prevents it from going out of stock in the first place.

If you have multiple warehouses, an OMS can properly balance orders based on priority and item allocation. If you have a brick and mortar location, it can indicate available physical stock. Operating without an efficient OMS will lead to unnecessary complications and stress for customers and employees alike.

How to Choose Your OMS

Depending on your organization’s needs, there are a number of things to consider when selecting an OMS. The experts at Katalyst are ready to assist you in implementing the best solution for your business.

Site integration. If you have an existing website, you will likely want to select an OMS that can complement it, rather than operate separately. Celero can be easily integrated with Shopify, Magento, Quickbooks, ShipStation, and many other leading industry products.

When you’re exploring new OMS solutions, it’s probably because you hope to grow your business. Not all systems are equipped to handle larger loads, so it’s important to select one that can accommodate your organization’s needs, now and in the future.

Customer functionality. The idea of opening an e-commerce site that allows servicing customers all over the world is exciting but also presents challenges. If your OMS is optimized to account for different currencies and languages, as well as determining the best global shipping strategies, it will make the process much smoother.

An effective OMS is the key to a strong e-commerce presence. Now is the time to scale your operations—and Katalyst can help.

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SAP is regarded as one of the most comprehensive and secure SaaS options available, but in light of necessary cost-cutting measures, optimizing SAP systems is seen as an ideal way to save money. The good news is that there are several viable options to achieve that. The bad news is that’s because your organization has probably not been using SAP effectively for a variety of reasons:

Most SAP solutions are not designed with minimizing operational costs in mind. When SAP is first implemented, businesses want to take advantage of its amazing features. In doing so, they may initiate projects and processes that wouldn’t have otherwise gotten off the ground.

Some functions are rarely or only partially used. Not only are these features superfluous, but they require more support, both on a user level and while updating software.

>Companies acquire more licenses than necessary. It’s important to monitor who in your organization actually needs access to SAP, and to what level (Professional vs. Limited Professional vs. Self-Service).

Your SAP is not up to date. This could be a result of either a lack of updates that limit function capability or a lack of review of which functions you actually need in your operations.
One of the biggest cost concerns with SAP, though, is in its architecture. Many organizations incorporated SAP in the days before cloud computing was a realistic option. They still may be relying on these antiquated legacy systems when transitioning to a cloud-based environment will both save money and allow a more convenient, adaptable workflow.

There are several different options for how to make the transition to a cloud infrastructure, and fortunately the experts at Katalyst are available to help you in the process. Migrating to the cloud is significantly less expensive than investing in new hardware, and depending on where you are in your service contract, now could be the right time to look into making the change.

The Benefits of Cloud-Based Infrastructure for SAP

Aside from hardware purchasing and maintenance, there are several ways in which the cloud approach is beneficial for your business’s bottom line.

Pay per use pricing. Using this structure, you only pay for environments when you actually need them (e.g. not overnight or when not in use).

Disaster recovery. Disaster recovery systems are flexible in that they only require full capacity of resources in the event of a system failure or outage. A dedicated physical system is probably excessive; cloud storage is more advantageous.

Archiving. Many companies have never implemented comprehensive archiving procedures, requiring more storage space. Adjusting accessibility could lead to significant savings.

Security. A perceived lack of data security is one of the top reasons why organizations remain hesitant to forgo legacy systems. However, cloud services have proven to be a protective, manageable solution for companies at small and large scales.

Though it may be challenging to change practices, now is the time to explore solutions that will save money and ready your organization for the challenges ahead. As always, Katalyst is here to help. Contact us today!

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The retail landscape is constantly evolving, as style is redefined, and what constitutes cutting edge technology one day is obsolete the next. Katalyst has previously explored some of the more recent trends in retail and took a deeper dive into how brick and mortar stores can emphasize the value of coolness over commodity. But one of the underlying principles of modern branding practices was adopted by, of all things, a grunge band nearly 30 years ago.

When Pearl Jam released their triumphant debut album Ten in 1991, instant classic singles such as “Jeremy” and “Even Flow” made it clear that the band would leave a major footprint on the 90s rock scene. But what nobody could have predicted was how the group’s forward-thinking fan-friendly “Ten Club” would ultimately serve as a prime example for finessing customer relationships. Initially little more than an average fan club—think newsletters and Christmastime singles in the mail—the Ten Club morphed into something that transcended transaction. Determined to understand its fans’ needs and wishes, Pearl Jam refocused on direct interaction and rewarding fan loyalty with top-tier tickets at lower-deck prices. The strategy became a key factor in the band’s popularity and longevity, a lesson for retailers across all industries: the best way to build a brand is to know who you are selling to.

“Successful businesses understand their product or service is about more than the transaction; they are in the relationship business,” says Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of global marketing and branding firm Mavens & Moguls. “People connect with brands they know, like, and trust.” Arnof-Fenn emphasizes the importance of winning customers over early, who will then be likely to stay loyal long-term, using the example of a teen looking for an acne cream. If that product works for her, she’s likely to turn to that brand when she needs moisturizer and other cosmetics. “Once you build a trusted relationship, you have a competitive advantage to keep them from looking elsewhere,” she says.

Building the Relationship with Data

Companies can access customer data through a variety of ways—sales, surveys, even coffee machines. They can subsequently use that data—and obtain more—to grow relationships with individual customers by offering personalized deals. This sort of quid pro quo is increasingly necessary, as consumers now have more power than ever in offering and rescinding their personal data, and they don’t want to give it without getting something in return.

“The job of data is to be a support point to accelerate the sales cycle,” says Arnof-Fenn. “It is all about your target audience and what motivates them to purchase.” Companies that use their data to enhance the customer experience will see surefire gains, as 70% of consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to brands that treat them with consistently high quality. (That same survey indicates that 59% of customers value personalization.)

Products like CeleroERP will help your organization manage its data and find solutions. Contact our experts for guidance on how you can enhance your enterprise with Katalyst services.

The Power of Social Media

Perhaps the biggest catalyst in creating a two-way conversation between consumers and retailers is the emergence of social media. This power shift has led to a sort of public customer service through Facebook and Twitter. Still, savvy brands have also taken advantage of the opportunity to earn loyalty and even establish “friendships” with their users. That could be more vital than ever during the pandemic.

“I predict the most trusted leaders and brands will have a big competitive advantage in the new normal that evolves in a post-corona world,” says Arnof-Fenn. “Employees, customers, and clients will remember who treated them well during the crisis, and they will be rewarded with loyalty from earning that trust during the bad times. The current crisis has provided a stage for brands and business leaders to rise to the occasion.”

However, while it may be the best option for companies, given the current circumstances, Arnof-Fenn warns that nothing will ever eclipse a more personal connection. “Technology helps advance the conversation, but it will never replace the human interaction that builds trust over time,” she says. “My tip is to disconnect from technology and focus on cultivating human, face-to-face relationships when social distancing is over.”

Whatever strategy your organization chooses to focus on, putting customers first is the key to growth and success.

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