Unfinished Business in the Retail Sector

It came as no surprise to the industry that another retailer – Rue 21 – announced yet another bankruptcy in the already beleaguered sector. Meanwhile, other retailers find themselves “on hold” awaiting approval mega-mergers – like Walgreens and Rite-Aid – to achieve the necessary economies of scale for profitability in the new digital economy. Add in closings at Kmart/Sears, Acena Retail Group (Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, etc), Payless, JC Penney, Michael Kors, hhGregg, Children’s Place, and 2017 looks to truly be a game changer for the industry as a whole.

Debating the reasons for closures or mega-mergers in the retail marketplace is a discussion better left to the Motley Fool and CFO crowd. Esoteric examination of the “why and how” aside, there is one thing that is certain. When the merger, bankruptcy, acquisition or even closure “shoe drops”, the moving pieces and parts can quickly overwhelm existing staff, and nowhere is that more evident than in an organization’s IT department.

Think about it. IT is on the front line of each and every process associated with closing, merging, acquiring/opening, or selling a location or facility. From adding or terminating employee network accounts, buying or selling hardware, re-configuring back-office systems, and even turning up or down telecom services – the IT team is called upon to integrate – or even “dis-integrate” every facet of the digital and communications footprint; that is in addition to their “day job” of keeping users connected, happy, and back-office systems running.

Most IT teams will tell you that this integration / dis-integration process can be a real source of nightmares. Especially when it comes to Telecom.

Services over purchased or purchased outside of corporate standards, services left behind at closed locations, services not-ordered at new locations, services billing outside of master contracts, cell phones in drawers, improperly applied early-termination fees, overly generous installation fees…if you can think it, IT has seen it happen.

And BAZ has too.

When the Process isn’t handled…the costs go up

While in the larger scheme of closing, merging or acquiring locations, adding or removing telecom and data services seems a triviality or a simple “laundry list of to-do items”, it isn’t. From old lines and data pipes that were never disconnected when a location closed, services that were never moved, and even duplicated services that weren’t caught for months or more at a new or merged location, the costs can quickly spiral to enormous amounts.

Let’s face it – ordering, tracking and removing telecom services is a highly labor intensive process. Small “missteps” can add significantly to the retail operations bottom line at a time when costs should be dropping. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How to accelerate time to zero-cost

The “in the weeds” tasks  – orders, tracking, inventories and the like – are perfect for outsourcing. Engaging with experts – like the BAZ Group – allows the retail operations and IT teams access to on-demand, third-party flexibility and expertise that can mean quick cost savings with very little internal IT time or additional expenditure.

Here is what it looks like. Our team quickly evaluates what needs to be done including finding hidden services, disconnecting existing services while mitigating early termination fees, designs scaled telecom environments while decommissioning duplicated services, and quickly bringing closed locations and bring your business down to a complete $o cost state. How? Experience, relationships, and expertise. Experience in the rapidly changing retail environment, vendor-independent relationships with the local, regional and national carriers, and expertise in hunting down the not-so-obvious services that can keep costs from stabilizing.

Retail Operations and IT Teams have more than enough challenges in the 2017 “Retail Apocalypse” without having to track and manage the labor intensive process of telecom. With the multitude of moving parts, it only makes sense to engage a consultant – like BAZ – to navigate and manage the turn down / turn up process and provide implementation services that can result in the most cost-effective solution to detangling the retail telecom environment.

The BAZ Group starts each day with one goal in mind – saving our clients’ money. In fact, we have been reducing our clients’ telecom costs for over 25 years – translating into millions of dollars returned to their bottom lines.  Its repeatable, it’s successful, it’s what we do.

Learn more about what we do!

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