What the introduction of ITigris Optima gave us?

A.N. Burenok, LLC «Ost-Optik» CEO,
Vladivostok (Russia).

How did the introduction take place, which proved to be quite successful? To say that it was very quickly and easily – then sin against the truth. There were difficulties, but not of a fundamental nature. All the obstacles and misunderstandings between programmers and optics in a joint operation had been successfully overcame. Working “side by side”, we constantly learn from each other and gradually solved all arising problems on our way.

The first version of Optima began to function successfully in a real market in December 2010. And in the “Ost-Optic” has accumulated a huge statistics on sales, procurement of components, customers, etc. for two years. Now we know about our business much more.

What changes have occurred in our company in the process of successful implementation?

We are almost completely got rid of the paperwork

Our dreams came true! No more paper requests and invoices for the goods, plans and results of sales, prices, orders, internal business communications. Everything is now in the computer! We are proud! We saved acres of beautiful forest for the country. And significantly facilitated our work.
All items within the “Ost-Optic” are registered now, can be transfered, processed, written off, marked down, etc. using electronic documents. This trend has been partially affected and our external trade turnover. In particular, with our biggest suppliers, for example, the company “Spectrum Vision” within the Optima has implemented automatic electronic exchange of requests and the invoices. Requests for contact lenses come directly from our computer to the wholesaler’s warehouse computer in electronic format. Employees of the supplier’s warehouse is now no need to handle a requisition by hands, as it would be if the request was sent by fax or e-mail. Invoice for requested goods, in turn, is automatically sent to the “Ost-Optik” warehouse and now we do not spend time on entering it into the program account. This scheme allows you to significantly reduce labor costs for both firms and avoid the numerous errors that are inevitable with manual transfer of information to a computer. Such an effective scheme of work has already been implemented in several of our suppliers. And we hope that sometime in the near future we will be able to say that we work only with wholesale companies, supporting the exchange of documents electronically.

The work of ordinary employees greatly simplified

  • greatly facilitate and accelerate the reception (transfer) of goods from the warehouse to the store; no longer need to look at the frame arm model number, try to discover the model in the invoice and put a “tick” near; you only need to scan bar codes on all frames in a row and the computer will give information whether all of them are available;
  • search for prescription lenses for customer and order is now is much easier and faster;
  • any time you can see goods stock in the warehouses and promptly make the necessary proposal;
  • by barcodes on the goods it is easy to learn its history: transfers, revaluations, in which he participated, its parameters, etc .;
  • discounts to customers counted automatically;
  • seller has a full information about serving clients, what is very useful in a dialogue with them;
  • now sales in the store are not impersonal; every sale is attached to a sellor who took the order, it allows to consider this information when calculating the salary to workers;
  • you can always check the status of the order on computer (waiting for lenses, in workshop, ready, issued).

It facilitates the work of not only sales assistants who are now able to spend more time on the client, not to a paperwork, but also ophthalmologists, workshop workers, accountants, warehouse workers and managers.
More information about this can be found in Part 3 of this article, “Employee reviews”

Management got the opportunity for more effective monitoring and having influence on the performance of personnel

It is a first time in twenty-year history we have clearly seen the business from the inside. In details! And we didn’t like everything that we seen (and that was hidden from our view till now). We have changed many established schemes of work, such as the procedure for procurement and distribution of goods between stores; cooperation between production and commercial departments, schedules, the number of full-time staff of some units, and more. We even closed one of the stores after seeing in built reports how it is not profitable.

Following functions of Optima helped to improve management efficiency and staff responsibility:

  • integration with fiscal registrars and cheque printers; their involvement allowed to fix in Optima memory all financial procedures and the results of departments;
  • the possibility of random or full revisions at any time in any store without interrupting its work as by the workers themselves (for a self-assessment) as well as for management of the company;
  • the creation in the program of sales plans and the procedure for monitoring and visualization of the process of their implementation; information on the implementation of planned targets is always available to managers and employees as for the whole department as well as for the one seller;
  • the ability to send electronic orders and instructions from management to all or any individual seller by sending it in the Optima program and to control the implementation of this order in “real time»;
  • placing of necessary referral and commercial information (price lists, reglaments, instructions etc.) in Optima; now you don’t need to find required paper in draweres or ask colleagues for a help to find it;
  • the presence of high-grade, general client base, allowing to “filter” our customers in many ways (birthday, date of visit, gender, age, employment, etc.) and at a certain moment to remind them for example, on the need of regular vision tests, using the built-in functions of Optima sending SMS and E-mail;

Qualitatively changed top management capabilities for enterprise management and control of all workflows

Top management come into possession a brand new tool for monitoring, evaluation and having impact on all business processes in the company. In real time, you can keep track of all the important parameters of the current work retrospectively evaluate the results of operations in any direction over any selected period of time and to develop plans and tasks for the future.

Director General equipped with powerful weapon such as ITigris Optima know about his company everything. Log in with a high status access code – TOP-manager. See user-friendly interface. What do i want to know? For example what are results of the store for the previous day. Build a report “Results of the store” and see total return of yesterday. And how are results for December? Set period limits and see what is total revenue for days in December. How close is the store to meet the sales target? Which seller was the most productive to reach the set goal? Also you can see how many returns were in this month. Why did it happen? And what are our losses from it. Then, after analysing, you can decide which measures to take. One more interesting report – you can check results of the store by gross profit. You can easily build a report with a couple of clicks and compare current results with results of previous year or with results of another store.
You need to purchase new frames and lenses? Check the stocks of the store and the warehouse. Determine which goods do you need to buy. For example, you want to buy Enni Marko frames. What frames were the most popular in sales? For man or woman, metal or plastic, full rim, half rim or rimless, which color and size? You can answer these questions using Optima. The order made with full knowledge , that you don’t buy too much, but only necessary goods.

And what is happening right now in the store? Click «Order journal». And check all current sales in the real time.

And how much we owe to suppliers today? Go to the report, “Suppliers” (just one click with the mouse). We see total debt and breakdown of this amount by suppliers. Clicking the mouse on the name of the company – and that’s in front of us our debt to a particular organization, or rather the whole history of payments and the supply of goods under a contract with it.

And do accounts department paid them yesterday? One more mouse click and see all the costs of yesterday (or any other period).

And it’s fast. Without the numerous calls to executives. Without trying different papers on the desktop and long calculations on a calculator. Here is all the information cut and dried! Instantly and without errors. All you need is to use all this information the right way. Unfortunately, the computer has not yet learned to make right decision instead of me and issue instructions to employees.

One of the skeptics may have a doubt. Well, what are they made? Saved a few sheets of paper? We are full of wood in Russia. It became easier to work for employees? So what? They had not much bothered before. Now managers can know everything? I know what they know, but to put into practice their new knowledge is another question. Saying things like that skeptics is unavoidably. And they will be wrong. The fact is that as the appearance of the first results in the implementation process, the employees themselves are beginning to make qualitative changes. Those who are lazy and do not believe in the whole “this automation,” just go away. And the rest of the opponents gradually become loyal supporters of the positive changes taking place in the company.

Finally, I would like to add only one thing. Especially for the skeptics. We have compared a few days ago the work of our company in 2011 and 2012. Well all the information is available in ITigris Optima. And it has been proved that the number of orders received in 2012 was slowly, but growing. For the first time in several years! And the stocks of goods on the contrary have been decreased, but with increasing turnover. The cost of many items has been reduced. But revenue rose slightly. As a result of synthesis – increased profitability of the company by 4.7% compared to the year 2011. And it is under the ongoing crisis! These additional 5 cents per ruble of revenue is more than paid for the cost of implementing ITigris Optima and still have reserves to buy the program for two new stores. They will be opened next year. Coincidence? Hardly!

Part 3. Employee reviews.