Retail IT is constantly on the forefront of change. It’s up to your team to keep technology relevant—both according to consumer needs and business demands. Walking that tightrope is something we understand.

Lexmark employee adding manufacturing label

The tightrope

Retail is the first industry to be affected by mass-adopted, popular technology trends—both consumer-based and business-oriented. That means your IT teams are continually challenged to implement best practices that will better your business on the backend and cater to the consumer-based technologies that get shoppers to buy, all while working to understand the true cost and value of keeping your legacy systems running.

But, with technology advancing as quickly as it is, there’s a fine line between embracing the new and maintaining the essential. It's a challenge, but with clear visibility, it's a challenge worth taking on.

Infrastructure support: Built for the way you work

Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, but you shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you implement an update. You need retail solutions that are flexible enough to integrate with your existing systems--solutions that are built for the way you work  that will improve processes today and make you agile for the future.

At Lexmark our retail solutions are built to work perfectly with the systems you have in place to further maximize the ROI on your current investments. Seamless integration allows us to leverage what you have to get you where you want to be. No need to change for us.

Tim Rowland Vice President and General Manager, Global Industry Retail Lexmark

Cloud: Where the view is better

Choosing to operate technology systems in the cloud alleviates a lot of the traditional challenge of installation and maintenance for your team. There’s no hardware setup or software installation, so implementation is faster and easier than ever. That means your employees are free to focus on more important tasks that grow your business and satisfy your customers.

Five things  to consider when assessing a cloud solution:

  1. Choose an enterprise-class cloud platform that is proven to run at the scale of retail. Not all cloud software providers understand the scale of operations in retail and have built platforms to support. 
  2. Opt for flexibility to get the most out of your investment. You’re not just investing in the software, you’re investing in the planning and integration. You’ll want to get the most for your time and money. 
  3. Look for streamlined implementation with features that are configurable rather than customized. That way, upgrades are easier down the road. 
  4. Reduce maintenance and IT burden to learn and operate a new system. Some tasks are best left to the experts to handle. Decide what your team will take on and what you’ll leave to the vendor to handle. 
  5. Adopt simple software interfaces that leverage employees existing expectations for usability. There’s little need to stray from standard conventions. Simple and straightforward will save you later.
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Did you know?

Lexmark’s Cloud Signage Platform prints nearly 70 million signs every month

Ready...Set...Go mobile

Increasing flexibility in your processes can add real value to your business, and that’s why mobile capabilities have serious power. Solutions with a mobile component let you get the job done from anywhere — seamlessly — without disrupting operations.

With mobile solutions, your employees are no longer forced to tailor their processes around rigid information systems. Instead, they’re able to leverage technology to complete tasks without interruption or delay.

A mobile strategy is essential to empower your workforce whenever and wherever they need access to your company’s resources.

Brad Clay Senior Vice President, Chief Information and Compliance Officer Lexmark

Six ways retail employees can get the job done from exactly where they're working:

  1. Conduct a price check in the aisle
  2. Take a photo of an incident and automatically add it to the electronic file
  3. Capture shipping documents on the loading dock
  4. Print signs directly from your printer—no computer needed
  5. Store manager approves an expense from her phone
  6. Add new hire identification to employee file (scan on printer)
     

Breathe easier with enhanced security

It’s a bad morning to wake up to find that a gap in security has landed you on the news. But while a big data breech makes the headlines, preventing them isn’t your only task. There are many places where information can leak...or spill and create risk for a retailer. Here’s how solutions with built-in security can help make sure your information is protected:

Keep employee information private. Retailers take in sensitive information every time a new employee is hired in a store. A certified and proven secure multifunction printer and central content repository can scan, capture and store that information safely.

 

Remove the burdens of security. When security becomes a barrier to getting a job done, employees will find a way around it. With easy access to personal mobile phones, staff can choose a shortcut that gets the job done but circumvents security. Built-in security that’s easy to use reduces the likelihood of this type of behavior and maintains a secure chain of custody.

 

Monitor possible leaks and spills. Retailers need to face the fact that competitors could come from the inside. Monitoring your systems for data spillage, where internal employees access information, is important. Secure printers allow you to know what is copied, printed and shared at all times.

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