JULY 24 I STANDARDS I KATHLEEN COSTANZA
Four Ways You Didn’t Know NAMM Standards Save You Money
The old adage “time is money” is never more true than in the case of a busy retailer’s day. The NAMM Ad-Hoc Technology Committee, though, has been hard at work for over a decade saving the industry time and money via B2B standards. At one point, they helped the industry get behind barcodes. Now, they’re pushing a broader set of B2B standards that help automate day-to-day transactions, increase efficiency and cut down on errors.
“There’s a tremendous amount of savings behind all of this,” said Bill McGloine, IT director for Korg and the chairman of the NAMM Ad-Hoc Technology Committee. Based on a suite of XML-based documents, the standard can be implemented by any supplier or retailer in the industry. Here are a few major ways building them into your business can help your behind-the-scenes operations enter the 21st century and save you money:
1. Streamlines Order Lifecycle
When managed via faxes, phone calls and emails, the traditional order lifecycle is time consuming and costly. A retailer has to enter a purchase order in their system, send it to a supplier, request confirmation, then manually enter an invoice in their system and match it to the original P.O. You know the drill.
The NAMM Standard streamlines all that. Retailers can send a purchase order directly from their system into a supplier’s system, and suppliers can send confirmations and freight tracking info directly back to a retailer’s system. Then, suppliers can send invoices straight to a retailer’s system, eliminating data entry for the retailer and freeing up time for activities that grow business like posting to social media, planning events or even heading out to the floor.
2. Simplifies Research
Searching for new product info takes time. But if the NAMM Standard is implemented correctly, suppliers all file products under consistent category names. That means everything is accessible in one spot. For example, since all manufacturers would place combo amplifiers into the same category, a retailer spends less time researching. This also gives retailers a “big picture“ to make more informed buying decisions.
3. Cuts Down on Errors
With manual data entry comes good ol’ fashioned (and expensive) human errors. But since the systems are speaking directly to each other with the NAMM Standard, retailers don’t have to enter invoice info by hand or worry about keying errors that will cost them down the line. Invoices are automatically linked directly with the original purchase order.
4. Low Cost to Start Saving
McGloine said the initial investment of money and time for cleaning up data systems might be keeping more businesses from implementing the standards. But more than that, he said it’s a lack of awareness of the savings that are keeping many dealers and suppliers running the old fashioned way. However, getting started is less intimidating than a lot of retailers think —some might already be using the standard without knowing it. While some companies like Korg have implemented the standard into their own systems, a number of industry POS systems already support the standard.
“The data standards look like gobbly-gook to a lot of people,” said David Rice, CEO of Omacro, a free platform that uses the standard to instantly communicate price and product information between manufacturers, retailers and distributers. “You have to have some level of developmental experience or IT resources in your company to be able to program those. But what our macro does, for the other 99 percent of companies without those resources, we make it really easy so they can just use our platform.”
To learn about other POS systems which use the standards, along with more info about adopting the standards, visit namm.com/standards