Boston Retail Partners Names Ken Claflin as Executive Vice President of Client Services

Mr. Claflin brings twenty-five years of experience assisting C-Level executives achieve significant benefits through creative and real world business-aligned technology strategies and transformations.

Boston, MA – November 23, 2013 – Boston Retail Partners announced today that Ken Claflin has been named Executive Vice President of Client Services. In this role, Mr. Claflin will manage client delivery services including oversight of client projects and building of long-term client relationships.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Ken’s experience on our consulting team,” said Walter Deacon, Principal at BRP. “His vision and leadership will significantly enhance the services we offer,” he continued.

“Ken brings the type of client experience and industry knowledge we strive for,” stated Ken Morris, Principal at BRP. “His innovation and dedication to the retail industry perfectly complements the experience and goals of our team.”

Mr. Claflin was most recently Senior Managing Partner with Gartner Consulting’s Retail and Consumer Industry Practice. Prior to that he was the Client Relationship Principal within Capgemini’s North American Consumer Products, Retail and Distribution Practice where he was responsible for the successful and on-time delivery of client value-add engagements within the retail industry. Some of Mr. Claflin’s retail clients include Costco, Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, The Estee Lauder Companies, Neiman Marcus, True Religion Brand Jeans, Nike, and Delhaize.

About Boston Retail Partners: BRP is an innovative and independent retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential.

For more information, go to https://brpconsulting.com.

The Transformation of the Supply Chain is Key to Meeting the Needs of the Omni-Channel Consumer, Reveals Boston Retail Partners’ New Supply Chain Benchmark Survey

Conquering supply chain transformation is ‘a must’ for the future survival of retailers, as they move from self-sufficiency to collaborative networks.

The retail world continues to change and evolve as retailers battle for customers across channels and even across the supply chain. The latest challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers is fierce competition from online retail giants who are attempting to disintermediate retailers right out of the supply chain in other segments, just as they have done with books, software, and games. To compete, retailers need to leverage their stores as “theater” and transform their supply chain to meet customer expectations.

“Consumers are becoming exponentially more demanding, and expect retailers to deliver new services to meet their evolving needs,” said Ken Morris, Principal of Boston Retail Partners. “Services like same day shipping and the “endless aisle” concept of shopping are now expected by the consumer, and retailers need to transform their supply chains to meet these demands.”

As investments in systems are made across the supply chain to address consumer demand, it is critical that key components are included in any technology decision. Each organization must define its individual vision within three areas: the ability to seamlessly allow ordering, delivery, and returns across channels; the capability for real-time visibility across channels; and the need for tighter collaboration with strategic vendor partners to reduce costs and the time-to-market for products. These three areas are catalysts for the necessary supply chain transformation and should be assessed carefully.

Boston Retail Partners’ recent premiere of the 2013 Supply Chain Benchmark Survey delves into some of the ways retailers are managing this supply chain transformation and details the supply chain trends and initiatives around these three key areas in the industry: Integrated Omni-Channel Capabilities, Supply Chain Visibility, and Collaborative Vendor Management. Read more about supply chain transformation in the 2013 Supply Chain Benchmark Survey available at www.bostonretailpartners.com.

About Boston Retail Partners

Boston Retail Partners is an independent management consulting firm dedicated to the retail industry. We specialize in strategy, selection, and implementation of Point of Sale, Omni-Channel, CRM/Loyalty, Merchandising, Supply Chain and IT solutions. Our clients choose us because of our unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment that helps them achieve their business potential.

Boston Retail Partners Rebrands and Updates Website to Reflect Expertise in Retail Industry

Boston Retail Partners (BRP) is pleased to announce their rebranding and updated website to more fully reflect the firm’s skills and experience across the extended retail value chain.

Boston, MA – July 17, 2013 – Since the firm’s earliest beginnings, BRP has continued to grow and expand their consulting service offerings. Along with an expanded team of retail industry experts, the firm has taken on a number of new clients, new projects and significantly extended their market survey and thought leadership efforts. In recognition, BRP has launched an invigorated brand and revamped website to reflect the firm’s six primary practice areas.

These areas are:

  • Point of Sale
  • Omni-Channel
  • Merchandising
  • IT Strategy & Execution
  • CRM/Loyalty
  • Supply Chain

“In a relatively short timeframe, BRP has become well known in the areas of Point of Sale and Omni-Channel”, stated Walter Deacon, one of the firm’s founders and BRP Principal. “Our expertise also extends beyond these areas and includes the entire merchandising and supply chain.”

BRP is well known for the Annual POS Benchmarking Survey that is released each January at the NRF Annual Convention. This survey is now in its 15th year. In addition to periodic White Papers, BRP introduced the 1st Annual Merchandise Planning & Allocation Benchmark Survey last fall and plans to premiere the 1st Annual Supply Chain Benchmark Survey this summer.
Please check out their new website at www.bostonretailpartners.com.

About Boston Retail Partners
BRP is an innovative and independent retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines our consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential.

Boston Retail Partners to Lead Session at International Retail User Group (IRUG) Annual Conference for Second Consecutive Year

Boston Retail Partners, the leading independent retail management consulting firm, announced today that the firm will lead a session titled “The Customer is the Point-of-Sale” and participate in a panel discussion of retailers and industry experts on “The Challenges Facing Specialty Retailers” at the 36th Annual International User Group (IRUG) Conference in Anaheim, CA this week.

Boston, MA – April 22, 2013 – The IRUG Annual Conference is a gathering of U.S. and international retail systems users and solution providers participating in sessions on the latest in education, experiences, best practices and information in key areas of change: the mobile customer, EMV for the USA, mobile payments, couponing, delivering a compelling customer experience and challenges in specialty retailing, big data, mobile marketing/promotion, Future of Apparel Retailing, The Changing Supermarket, and POSMobile on tablets – all focused on the theme, “The Changing Retail Adventure.”

Boston Retail Partners’ sessions include:

The Customer is the Point-of-Sale

In the near future the traditional point-of-sale and the checkout lane as we currently know it, will likely be obsolete. Mobile technology and a renewed focus on the customer experience has changed retail forever. The future of POS is now in the customer’s hands – literally – as smartphones and tablets revolutionize the point-of-sale. In this session, Boston Retail Partners presents the findings from the recent 14th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey: Customer Point-of-Sale (cPOS) of top North American retailers. This survey, combined with the practical knowledge gained from assisting hundreds of retailers with mobile POS implementations, will offer insight into the benefits and challenges retailers face as they implement the technology and process changes necessary to adapt to this new customer point-of-sale (cPOS) model.

The Challenges Facing Specialty Retailers

Specialty retailers face tough competition from other retailers who offer a differentiated brand or shopping experience, and from e-commerce. In this session retailers and industry experts will discuss how specialty retailers are transforming their stores and enabling a more personalized, cross-channel shopping experience to attract and retain customers.
For more information about the upcoming IRUG Conference visit http://www.ibmretailug.org and for more information about Boston Retail Partners visit https://brpconsulting.com.

About Boston Retail Partners

BRP is an innovative and independent retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential.

 

Today's Omni-Channel Customer is Transforming Retail Merchandise Planning

Retailers are looking to new and enhanced tools to optimize their store assortments and meet the demands of the Omni-Channel customer – according to Boston Retail Partners’ recent Merchandise Planning & Allocation Survey.

Boston, MA – April 2, 2013 – According to Boston Retail Partners’ recent white paper on Retail Merchandise Planning, Allocation and Replenishment, today’s retail customer expects to conduct business seamlessly across stores, catalogs, websites and mobile devices to purchase the items they want. Savvy retailers know that by supporting this capability, they can better satisfy the customer, uphold their brand, provide an optimal assortment, and maximize the return on inventory investment. While a centrally stocked distribution center can usually stock a complete (breadth and depth) assortment of products for web and catalog orders, traditional brick-and mortar locations are constrained by limited selling floor and storage space, as well as overall inventory and supply chain costs.

Squeezing more productivity out of a limited inventory is where Merchandise Planning tools are focused. Using these tools, the inventory assortment and product depth can be adjusted to anticipate what customers will be searching for in each location.

‘The process of creating localized assortments by store, cluster or even customer, is driving Merchandise Planning to higher levels of sophistication and complexity,’ says Walter Deacon, Principal of Boston Retail Partners. ‘Retailers who don’t understand or anticipate these trends will be at a competitive disadvantage in the not too distant future’.

To cope with these challenges, retailers are turning to enablers such as Forecasting, Optimization, Automation, Exception Management and Business Intelligence. These new tools and methodologies are emerging to help make a well-planned and well-executed local assortment achievable. By enabling retailers to effectively match massive amounts of data with ‘intelligence’, they can help automate the creation of assortment and item plans. This provides retailers with the ability to balance an optimized overall product assortment, localized store assortments, a distinct web assortment, the correct size offering by store, optimal packs and comprehensive by-item lifecycle planning.

To learn more about this transformation and these tools, Boston Retail Partners recently released the 1st Annual Merchandise Planning & Allocation (MP&A) Benchmark Survey. The survey discusses these tools, identifies overall trends in the industry as identified by top retailers, and discusses additional current initiatives to support new, Omni-Channel Merchandise Planning requirements.

To download your free copy of this exciting new survey visit: https://brpconsulting.com

The customer is the point-of-sale, reveals 14th Annual POS Survey from Boston Retail Partners

Recent retail executive survey focuses on changing technology usage and provides perspective on current and future direction of retailer technology spending.

Boston, MA – January 18, 2013 – The widespread adoption of mobile technology in the last few years has forced a major technology shift, causing retailers to completely rethink the point-of-sale (POS). For the first time, with a mobile device, the POS is out on the floor and utilized in a collaborative fashion so the associate can better engage with the customer.

Expansion into mobile retailing continues to drive the industry forward with more than half the retailers surveyed operating a mobile channel compared to 33% in 2011 and 12% in 2010. Retailers are exploring the possibilities of mobile technology through offering social networking opportunities, providing interactive customer service, driving store traffic, offering additional sales channels, and providing in-store product information. Mobile technology is becoming mainstream and is revolutionizing the customer experience.

“The point-of-sale has become mobile and the next step is enabling customers with their own POS – cPOS, or customer point-of-sale. Customers already have the technology so why shouldn’t retailers leverage it?” said Ken Morris, Principal of Boston Retail Partners. “The future is now, the POS is literally in the customer’s hand. Retail is never going to be the same, and the ‘Appleization’ of retail was just the beginning.”

To support the mobile experience retailers have realized the need for tight integration across multiple systems and a strong Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) layer. Utilizing a centralized technology platform allows retailers to offer a seamless experience across all channels. This Omni-channel view of retailing continues to expand as more than half the retailers surveyed have implemented or are planning to implement a centralized platform to support the Omni-channel experience. Even more telling is the number of retailers who do not plan to implement a centralized technology platform has dropped from 46% last year to 33% this year.

Boston Retail Partners recently premiered the 14th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey at the NRF Big Show in a panel discussion entitled “Top Retailers’ View on Emerging Customer Technology Trends” with Ken Morris, Principal at BRP; Ed Clary, CIO at Havertys Furniture; and Josh Jewett, CIO at Family Dollar. For more information on the NRF session please visit http://www.nrf.com and to have the 14th Annual POS Survey results emailed to you, visit https://brpconsulting.com.

About Boston Retail Partners

Boston Retail Partners is an independent management consulting firm dedicated to the retail industry. We specialize in strategy, selection, and implementation of point-of-sale systems, Omni-channel solutions, merchandising systems and information technology. Our clients choose us because of our unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps them achieve their business potential.

The Future of Planning is Now, Reveals Boston Retail Partners’ 1st Annual Merchandise Planning and Allocation Benchmark Survey

New survey of retail executives focuses on retail planning processes to provide retailers perspective on trends, issues and priorities in Merchandise Planning, Channel Planning and Assortment Planning.

Boston, MA – October 11, 2012 – It’s an exciting time in the world of retail planning. The continued growth of the web along with the proliferation of additional customer touch points creates both new opportunities, as well as new challenges for merchandise, channel, and assortment planning. Today’s Omni-channel customer expects to seamlessly purchase items in the color and size they want across every channel. This puts added pressure on retailers to uphold their brand and provide the optimal assortment while maximizing the return on inventory investment. Boston Retail Partners’ recent survey, 1st Annual Merchandise Planning and Allocation Benchmark Survey: Planning for the Future, delves into some of the ways retailers are managing this and details new tools and methodologies to facilitate the planning process.

“Today’s retailer needs to provide a store specific, tailored assortment to satisfy their Omni-channel customers, regardless of what channel eventually services the sale,” said Ken Morris, Principal of Boston Retail Partners. “This is a tremendously difficult task to accomplish using traditional assortment planning methods. The future of planning sees the ongoing evolution of Business Intelligence and Exception Management as tools to help deal with the sheer volume of data that needs to be analyzed to provide the successful end-to-end planning required at a micro-merchandising level.”

Business Intelligence (BI) is key because it offers retailers the ability to gather, store, analyze, and report on large amounts of data needed to make overall business decisions. Traditional BI lives outside of planning in a data warehouse but some planning software vendors are beginning to integrate components of BI into planning which provides a more predictive approach in generating plans. While the top retailers surveyed currently use BI to assist with planning, there are still opportunities to access BI information within the planning application.

Exception Management is critical because the success of end-to-end planning and execution is dependent on the automation of detailed level processes and the ability to manage the results by exception. While most of the retailers surveyed currently utilize online reporting, they do not utilize exception reporting which is necessary to be able to plan at low levels of detail.
Read about these areas and more within the retail planning process in the 1st Annual Merchandise Planning and Allocation Benchmark Survey available at https://brpconsulting.com.

About Boston Retail Partners

Boston Retail Partners is an independent management consulting firm dedicated to the retail industry. We specialize in strategy, selection, and implementation of point-of-sale systems, omni-channel solutions, merchandising systems, supply chain solutions and information technology. Our clients choose us because of our unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment which helps them achieve their business potential.

Boston Retail Partners to lead Omni-Channel Workshop at RIS Retail Technology Conference for second consecutive year

Leveraging the Store to Drive the Omni-Channel Experience is the topic of Boston Retail Partners’ Masters Workshop at RIS News Conference

Boston, MA – April 4, 2012 – Boston Retail Partners, the leading independent retail management consulting firm, announced today that the firm will lead a Masters Workshop at the 6th Annual RIS Retail Technology Conference. This three-day event features a unique hybrid format that provides top retailers with outstanding opportunities for peer-to-peer exchanges of information, interactive Masters Workshops and unparalleled relationship building. In addition, the event features a unique Center of Excellence where retailers can find a broad selection of leading technology vendors to help them get up to speed on the latest retail innovations.

6TH ANNUAL RIS RETAIL TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE

Leveraging the Store to Drive the Omni-Channel Experience
Workshop Leader: Ken Morris, Principal, Boston Retail Partners

In the last few years, the “Apple-ization” of retail has changed the way customers view the in-store experience. Customers now expect the same type of personalized customer service found with many online retailers – they expect an omni-channel experience. This transformation has also driven retailers to view store technology with greater importance. In Boston Retail Partner’s 13th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey, retailers indicated their growing need to be technological innovators to survive. In this session there will be a discussion on the enablers, benefits, and challenges that retailers face as omni-channel technology drives the transformation of the business.

Thursday, April 12, 2012, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Hotel, Orlando

For more information about Boston Retail Partner’s 13th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey and to download a copy, visit https://brpconsulting.com.

About Boston Retail Partners

BRP is an innovative and independent retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential.

Real-time Retailing Is the Key, Reveals the 13th Annual POS Survey From Boston Retail Partners

Retail executive survey by Boston Retail Partners focuses on store technology use and provides perspective on current and future direction of retailer technology spending.

Boston, MA – January 27, 2012 – A major technology shift in the last year has retailers focusing on new POS technology such as thin client solutions, mobile POS, centralized POS platforms, and even customer smartphones as a checkout device, instead of the traditional POS platform. This is in direct response to consumers’ growing demand for immediate gratification, and is changing the playing field forever. Retailers are finding that they need to have real-time capabilities to meet consumer demand.

This year, for the first time, retailers indicated their organization has become more forward thinking with regard to information technology. More than 25% of the respondents labeled their organization as an early adopter as retailers look to new technology to serve the customer.

Retailers are continuing to expand into mobile retailing with more than 33% operating a mobile channel compared to 12% last year. There is also great interest in customer-facing mobile devices and the opportunities are seemingly endless. Nearly half the retailers currently offer customers the ability to use social networking through their mobile phone to share their shopping experience with friends. More than half the retailers are working on offering mobile coupons, specials and personalized promotions to customers as they walk into the store.

Omni-channel retailing continues to expand as retailers implement the technology needed to offer their customers a singular brand experience across all channels. Nearly half the retailers surveyed have implemented or are planning to implement a centralized platform to support the omni-channel experience.

“As we talk to retailers about their technology plans it is refreshing to see the shift as they realize that to succeed they need to think about the point-of-sale differently,” said Ken Morris, Principal of Boston Retail Partners. “The POS is not just located at the checkout in the store – customers want to be able to shop from multiple touchpoints, whether it is online, a mobile POS, or their own smartphone – and retailers need to be able to accommodate this new, technology-savvy customer with an omni-channel strategy.”

Boston Retail Partners recently released the 13th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey of top retailers at the NRF Big Show Retail Exposition in New York. For more information and to have the 13th Annual POS Survey results emailed to you, visit https://brpconsulting.com.

About Boston Retail Partners

Boston Retail Partners is an independent management consulting firm dedicated to the retail industry. We specialize in strategy, selection, and implementation of point-of-sale systems, omni-channel solutions, merchandising systems and information technology. Our clients choose us because of our unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps them achieve their business potential.

Virtualization of the Retail Point-of-Sale (POS) Sparks Debate Among Retailers

Boston Retail Partners’ presentation on the opportunities available to retailers through the Virtual POS model sparked a lively debate at the recent RIS News Retail Technology Conference.

Boston, MA – June 21, 2011 – Through the virtualization of the POS, retailers now have the means to create a more agile, leaner and more efficient environment, improve customer service, and save money, while also upgrading their store POS equipment. This should be the simple answer to a complex problem that retailers have faced for years.

Yet not all retailers see Virtual POS as the light at the end of the tunnel, which was very apparent at Boston Retail Partners’ Ken Morris’ presentation at the recent RIS News Retail Technology Conference in Orlando. The standing room only crowd included proponents of the Virtual POS model, users of the model who know its benefits, and traditionalists, convinced that today’s POS model is the only option.

In his presentation, Mr. Morris noted the current distributed POS model was developed to compensate for yesterday’s telecommunications networks, which were too unreliable, too slow, and too expensive. Today, due to massive investments in our communications infrastructure, retailers can engineer robust networks which are far more reliable and resilient, often more reliable than the power grid currently servicing the store’s electrical needs.

“Virtual POS is one of the most interesting and polarizing discussions we’ve had at the Retail Technology Conference,” stated Dave Weinand, Publisher of RIS News. “But there is no doubt that the concept is beginning to shake up how the retail industry addresses the point-of-sale.”

Virtual POS enables the retailer to have a more agile environment and offer the customer a richer shopping experience while reducing expenses – isn’t this what every retailer is working towards?

For more information about Virtual POS and to download a copy of Boston Retail Partner’s 12th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey: Mobilizing POS and the white paper REINVENTING THE STORE ENVIRONMENT: Virtualization of Retail Point-of-Sale, visit https://brpconsulting.com or email marketing@bostonretailpartners.com.

About Boston Retail Partners

BRP is an innovative and independent retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential.

About RIS News

RIS News delivers highly targeted information to senior-level executives about breaking news, major industry trends, new technologies and best-practice tips. As the trusted voice in the industry, it provides the essential information retailers need to know to make the right IT decisions for their organizations through best-in-class strategies and solutions. This mission is carried out through a media portfolio that includes print, web, newsletters, webinars, live events, research, social media and custom projects. RIS News is an Edgell Communications media portfolio.