Staff vs. Software: Who Rules The Store?
The business world has seen some truly dynamic times; from depending entirely on manual labor, to moving towards machinery, and then finally entering the technology realm – to say that it has evolved tenfold would be an understatement.
Even so, the age-old debate of “staff vs. software” refuses to die out in the retail industry. On one hand, retailers consider staff to be more reliable and “real”. On the other hand, software provides one thing that manual labor could never bring to the table – high-speed efficiency on all fronts.
Both staff and software have their pros and cons, and we could spend hours talking about them – but what do each of these options do for a store? Let’s find out:
Staff – Is Old Always Gold?
Perhaps the major reason hiring staff is a concept people are quick to defend is because it’s what helps them pay their bills. Providing jobs not only helps people live financially stable lives, but also contributes positively to your country’s economy.
However, there is one trump card staff has over technology, something that most retailers overlook: personalisation.
Human beings are social creatures; we thrive off of interactions with both friends and strangers. This is even more noteworthy considering today’s business model, where consumers are becoming more self-aware, and so expect to be treated not as wads of cash, but as people – and if you want your retail store to survive, these expectations must be met.
The best way this can be done is by hiring staff who can roam freely, share a smile or two, and help out customers when they need it. This kind of one-on-one interaction is something no software can do; every customer is different, and so an employee can relate better and create a solution that’s more personalised, and less mechanical.
Where a web application is limited to a cookie-cutter solution to any kind of problem, a staff member can be more creative and dynamic when trying to solve issues arising out of nowhere – whether its of sales, customer satisfaction, or marketing. Furthermore, this added personalisation to the customer experience helps businesses last longer in the hearts of many.
However, we can’t let staff take the glory just yet – because there’s a lot more to running a business. It’s not just consumers you need to satisfy: you’ve got inventory to manage, accounts to handle, sales to record, and a business to scale beyond. This is where software comes into play.
Software – The Ultimate Trump Card?
Where staff tug at customers from their hearts, software keeps the entire business intact through maximised efficiency.
Let’s face the facts first: running a business is hardly an easy ordeal. Apart from managing customers, you need to manage employees, daily sales, profit margins, invoices, stock levels – the list goes on. If you were to depend entirely on staff to handle such details, then you’d either have one too many human errors, or just too much staff in total!
For this, the best solution is perhaps a software. It provides a single platform that can handle multiple operations at once, all while keeping data secure, and accessible to the right people. Such software also help bridge the gap between front-end and back-end operations, making sure that none of your work functions lag behind. Being able to control your business from both an in-depth view and a bird’s eye-view helps make sure you’re in full control of your store’s present, and future.
Retail stores of today have already taken advantage of this to optimise many parts of their business with a single software. A POS system in Lahore – the Oscar POS – is a great example of a software that lets you handle multiple parts of your business with features like inventory management, customer relationship management, accounting system, reporting/analytics, sales, and much more. Furthermore, automating such work functions help reduce chances of errors, and produces the most accurate, tangible results – i.e. results you can use to scale your next money move.
So Who Wins?
Neither does! In the end, this question isn’t an “either-or” question to begin with – and you might have realised that yourself too.
No matter how advanced your software may be, you need to rely on staff to create memorable and personalised customer journeys. Simultaneously, no matter how skilled your staff may be, there can never be enough people to control every part of your business (at least not without some chances of error or mishaps along the way.)
This proves to show that running a business itself is a pretty dynamic endeavour, and needs help from both staff and software in order to be successful.