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What is Oracle Retail?

Oracle Retail is the common umbrella name under which Oracle offers various retail applications for retail business management. It is also known as Oracle’s ERP suite for the retail industry. Oracle offers many retail IT solutions. Under Oracle Retail, there are multiple software modules; each module for a unique retail operation.  The objective is to provide retail enterprises with software solutions to help them better manage their merchandising, purchases and inventory functions, achieve high levels of operational efficiency, deliver superlative customer experience, run omnichannel operations seamlessly, and gear up for scale and higher profitability.

With fully-integrated software solutions under Oracle Retail, it becomes easier for retail businesses to manage the entirety of their operations from one unified platform. Retail processes could run across the enterprise and locations in a synchronised manner with real-time information sharing. It becomes possible to manage the activities of external entities like suppliers and logistics partners with more precision while giving them the flexibility to adjust their internal operations.

In addition to software applications for traditional retail functions, one of the advanced retail products offered is AI and Analytics for inventory optimisation, consumer insights, assortment and space optimisation, merchandising optimisation, etc. There are software solutions to create loyalty and reward programs and enhance cross-channel customer experiences. Oracle also offers hardware retail solutions under POS Systems. As pointed out earlier, there are a plethora of software products for different retail objectives under Oracle Retail.

When we talk about Oracle Retail ERP solutions, we are indulging in one of the most advanced and sophisticated sets of software applications. Implementing any of these solutions requires professional expertise and assistance. Why? Let us delve into some of the challenges faced by retail enterprises in the implementation of Oracle Retail solutions.

Challenges in Implementing Oracle Retail Solutions

Hasty need Analysis

Retailers or retail enterprises should first establish the business case of having Oracle Retail solutions for their business. What necessitates it or what are the business and operational objectives behind it? Which retail functions are intended to be managed through an Oracle solution? Will it bring any difference in performance or lead to the desired results? Answering these questions sets the vision for having a software suite or application. Any hasty assessment could lead to onboarding an unrequired or mismatched software solution. Trying to make it right after implementation would make the project costlier. The intended digital transformation will take longer to sink with operations.

Aligning the Software Solution with Business Requirements

A business software application should be able to deliver the performance or output that meets the business requirements. For example, if a retail store wants to award loyalty points to buyers based on the amount of the bill or for customers having a credit card facility with a partner bank, the software solution should also provide for such accounting. From a broader perspective, if the objective is to only implement a loyalty program, then the focus of alignment should be confined to this objective and product(s) that could meet this objective. It is important to define what a business wants to accomplish and then establish the relation to a suitable software solution. Customizability is also important because the default product may not exactly match the different requirements of different retail enterprises. Retail businesses usually do not maintain a separate IT team/department until their business reaches a certain level. And in the absence of technical expertise surrounding business software applications, it can get difficult for many retail business owners to bring home the right software solution.

Lack of Budgeting and Financial Planning

Oracle Retail suite is a long term investment. Its benefits outweigh the costs over longer periods and large business volumes. This makes Oracle Retail also an investment involving careful ROI assessments and due financial planning. On the brighter side, Oracle Retail empowers retail enterprises for scale and expansion. It provides a huge and advanced leap in retail management bringing it to the level of global industry standards and practices. Thus, a small or medium retail enterprise adopting Oracle Retail indicates that the business is not settling for a mediocre existence.

Also, strictly speaking from the perspective of financial management, financial and budgetary planning is a necessity before embarking on making an investment and starting a project. Any deficiency in the financial assessments and estimations could result in lesser ROI, delayed breakeven, increased maintenance expenditure, longer repayment period, etc.

Shortcomings in User Training

Many retail brands and enterprises strike out providing user training to their employees.  There are myriad reasons for this – not to hamper business operations, saving on what is considered an avoidable expenditure, and over-reliance on supervision and independent technical adaptability of employees. But such an approach causes more problems than it promises to resolve. When a new software is implemented, it is alien to employees in one way or the other. A new software comes with a new workflow, new interface, new tabs and links, new terminologies, new formats, etc.  It is important to make employees comfortable and convergent with the functioning of the new software so that they could pick up the skills in a shorter time and with better understanding and clarity. Without proper user training, blaming the software for delivering the intended results is a natural human response. In Oracle retail consulting, experts believe that a software product will actually not deliver the results if it is not used the way it is supposed to be.

How YRC can help

Your Retail Coach (YRC) offers implementation and support services to retail enterprises in implementing Oracle Retail ERP solutions in their businesses. We do this via planned and customised process solutions. Our mission is to ensure that Oracle Retail ERP gets implemented in clients’ enterprises in a planned and systematic manner with zero tolerance for deviations. Priorities we accomplish are discussed below.

Need Validation

In need validation, we help clients identify and establish the business case of having an Oracle Retail solution in their business. What business goals are involved? Which retail functions are intended to be carried out through a software platform? Which product should be selected? Will it help achieve the desired goals? For instance, if the goal is to improve inventory management, the right product might be found in the Supply Chain Management solutions. If the objective is to also improve demand forecasting, there could be another product from the same group of solutions. Thus, carrying out this need validation also helps to tie specific business objectives to specific solutions.

Mapping the Business Software Requirements

Mapping the business requirements vis-à-vis the software capabilities is something we already start to cover from the previous step. The software product or solution in consideration must be able to deliver the desired output and performance. The right way to ensure this is to correctly map the business requirements and evaluate the functioning of the software and its features and customizability to meet the identified business requirements. For example, as a retail enterprise reaches a certain level of business, employee management emerges as a necessary function. Managing five employees is easy but when there are fifty positions with as many employee requirements, casual and ad-hoc HR management does not work. Now, within Oracle Retail, there is a suite of products for Human Resource Management covering recruitment, onboarding, payroll, and workforce management. Whether a single product is required or the entire suite, it will depend on the unique business requirement of each enterprise. If an enterprise decides to have a small HR team and rely more on automation for professional HR management, it could go for the entire suite. Likewise, the needs vary. Our role here is to identify and map the business requirements vis-à-vis the software capabilities to arrive at the best-fit set of software solutions.


Before making any investment or significant expenditure of non-routine nature in business, financial prudence calls for due planning and budgeting. Investment in any large-budget software purchase and implementation also demands such budgeting. In budgeting, we plan for how the purchase will be funded, what other costs are involved, when and wherefrom these costs will be paid for, how the ROI will be calculated, what is the break-even period, etc. Oracle Retail is a long-term investment necessitating careful and elaborate planning and budgeting. YRC helps retail businesses in this planning and budgeting exercise. We use proven financial strategies and solutions improvised for each client. The necessary changes in accounting SOPs are also suggested.

Vendor Search and Selection

It is unlikely that when a business enterprise wants to buy software products it will have to directly approach the concerned software development companies. These companies appoint channel partners and vendors across countries and states. Businesses deal with these intermediaries for purchasing the products and availing other services. It is a good business principle and practice to screen these channel partners and vendors before getting into a deal with them. These intermediaries need to be evaluated on their experience of handling similar projects in the past, implementation capacities, credentials from former clients, professionalism and service orientation, after-sales services, etc. YRC helps retail clients in their vendor search and selection process. Our service objective is to find and onboard the most suitable vendor or channel partner for our clients following a planned and systematic process and in a fair and unbiased manner prioritising clients’ business requirements.

Mapping Business Requirements and Support in Software Customisation

Having the right software solution with the right features is of utmost importance to make the most out of the platform. This cannot happen on its own. The default product rarely comes as it is required because different businesses have different requirements. A certain degree of technical competence is required to align these business requirements with the chosen software solution. YRC ensures that business owners would not have to create an in-house IT team for this purpose. We map the business requirements and specifications of clients vis-à-vis the required software capabilities and coordinate with the vendor/channel partner to customise the software solution in question. Necessary approvals will be sought from clients before making any big changes to the software. Detailed SOPs are used to ensure systematic execution of the process and traceability of information sharing between all the stakeholders involved.

ERP Implementation

Once the right software has been developed, we move on to the next phase i.e. implementation of the selected Oracle Retail solutions in clients’ enterprises. Many businesses take into account as part of ‘implementation’ what we already cover in the earlier stages. For us, here we incorporate and take the software live. From implementation planning to the execution of the implementation plans, all the activities are carried out by an expert and experienced team of professionals following planned processes. The scope of the vendor’s roles and responsibilities are also mapped to define their contribution to the implementation process. It remains our endeavour to optimise hiccups in routine operations and maintain strict adherence to the defined timelines. Any deviation or inconsistency detected during the testing and implementation phases are reported to the vendor team. We keep our clients informed of the developments on a routine basis.

User SOP Training and User Blueprint Manuals

The need for user training and having user manuals for a newly implemented software platform in an enterprise could not be stressed more. On a general note, training is an important management practice. With as increase in the complexity of the tools and technologies in question, the need for training is even greater. In the case of an Oracle Retail product, we are talking about an advanced and sophisticated software solution. It is not picked up intuitively. User adaptability to such a software is not left to the independent technical skills of employees or supervisory skills of the managers or team leaders. Providing the necessary support to the workforce is critical.

YRC’s role is to make clients’ employees comfortable with the ERP platform and competent to operate the software. We design and provide user training programs where the objective is to impart both logical and practical understanding of the functioning of the software product. The different-users perspective is duly taken into consideration. We prepare the User blueprint manuals with detailed descriptions and depictions of the actual workflow. We are open to clients’ feedback and specifications in designing the training programs and user manuals.

We are a retail and eCommerce business consultancy firm with more than ten years of experience.  Having consulted over 500 clients in more than twenty verticals, today, we have emerged as an international consultancy brand with a service presence in more than ten countries. Development of processes and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for retail ERP implementation is one of our core competencies.

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    Author Bio

    Rupal Agarwal

    Rupal Agarwal

    Chief Strategy Officer


    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.