Automation: A Growing Need Of Today Retailing Sector

One thing which is constant in business is “CHANGE” and those who adapt themselves with this change emerge as a survivor and those who do not lost somewhere in the book of history or in the memories of people. It is true to said that “Change is the key to success for every business” and in this change technology plays an important part. It completely redefines the business. It helps in automating business system. Here we talk about how advanced technology helps the retailing industry

Retail is the process of buying and selling goods/services to satisfy consumer‘s needs through various distribution channels to earn profit. Between two ends points of buying and selling multiple operations took place everyday involving number of transactions daily. To take account of each and every activity and to maintain them accurately in book of records is a troublesome task in itself and the possibility of human error also cannot be denied. The levels of services in manual operation depend on the efficiency of individual. It suffers from many other shortcomings which can be overcome by fully integrated system. There are two main areas of retailing ie. Inventory and Billing, where the immense need of automation felt. Following are some comparison being made to understand the advantage of automated system over manual operations.

Inventory Management: - Inventory means maintaining sufficient stocks of goods so that business operates smoothly without any hurdle.

                          There are two ways of management – Manually or Computerized.

Manual operationComputerized
1Labour intensiveSingle person job: Everything s on computer, huge work force for handling inventory does not required
2Human error possibilityNo room for such error.
3Hand count of inventory took a daycan be done within a seconds/clicks

Its time consuming and efficiency of task depends on the capability of staff membersit is fast and efficient


Instant documentation is not possible require right person to respond Instant documentation, from Purchase to sales order, to check Invoices everything on system


It is very difficult to track sales and stock figures at any time of a dayManagement unit can easily pull report at any time a day to find out how many product on floor, how many sold , which is out of stock and which selling fastest

Billing:- Generation of bill is an important tool of accounting which is an intrinsic part of business. It demands high level of alertness and accuracy from person.

Automated system helps us to overcome with the flaws of manual billing

Manual billingAutomated billing
1Prone to human errorMinimize such errors
2Possibilities of duplication of data entrySystemization reduce duplication of data entry
3In case of mistake, manual calculation has to be completely redoneJust update

Time consuming: Checking,reviewing,going through multiple documents to Locate information. Consume Time & EnergyTime saving: complete information on screen
5Book records are more susceptible to loss, damage by fire and waterReduce intensity of such losses. Years of records can be found on system if stored properly
6Possibility of dishonesty in preparing wrong bill entering incorrect data and figuresNo room for such possibility
7Wrong information of bill misinterpret the position of businessCorrect status of business can be known

Apart from these there are other general problem with which retailer face off daily like large ongoing staff training cost, system dependent on good individual, if thinking of expansion centralized management is not possible and having every bit details of transaction occurring in other branches cannot be estimated if going through manually but with the automated system we can overrule all this limitation and can grow and flourish.

But retailer still hesitates in automating their business .They have general thought that automation would add extra cost to its expenditure, the cost of: System installation, Software implementation, Maintenance cost, Training staff etc... but if we carefully look the aspects of Cost vs Benefit, later one has always upper hand. In fact we reimburse our cost by:

There are Pro‘s and Con‘s of every technology but as compared to limitations of automation the “Face and Pace” which it has given to the business is remarkable. We are living in the era where technology has progressed so much for the betterment of mankind, so,
“When we have technology to make our work simpler or easier than before, then why not to make it our tool”