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Technology in Decision Making

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Technology in Decision Making

Kohls is one the United States largest retailers. To stay competitive and keep the excellent customer service that Kohls currently has, they must stay ahead of the other retailers by taking advantage of latest technology. There are many ways technology can be used and Kohls uses a winning combination that seems to work well for them.

Kohl's use of combining the right technology allows them to work more efficiently "whether it's integrating data and business applications with the Tibco enterprise service business technology, which is part of a new service-oriented architecture with SAS analytics sitting on top of it, or whether it's adopting tools that automate processes to assure greater alignment with business objectives" (Plas, 2007).

Technology has also helped Kohls with their merchandising process. The information systems used by Kohls allow them to focus more on the cost of the merchandise they sell and develop a low cost structure. The advances in inventory technology allow them to ensure they have the right inventory in the right stores. Kohls uses technology to supply specifically each individual store with the inventory in demand for each store.

Kohls currently uses systems analytical software or SAS to analyze their business and customer's statistics "their markdown optimization (from SAS) is 'focused on the pricing clearance items at the appropriate price for each location" (Grackin, 2010). Kohls need excellent software to analyze the enormous amount of data they receive from each store to produce the successful results they have now. Technology has helped Kohls become a leader in the retail industry.

Kohls uses Marketmax Technology for the planning of their merchandise. This was announced in May 2002. Their thought process is choosing Marketmax Technology is to attain a software program optimize profits, help make decision making easier, and create more efficiency. Marketmax has many large clients around the United States ranging from Discovery Channel to Williams-Sonoma. Their goal is to keep their clients one step ahead of demand (CBS Interactive, 2010). Kohls choose Marketmax Technology for their reputation as well as their ability to handle clients with large volume. "We analyzed several solutions providers before selecting Marketmax. In addition to their understanding of retail, we found that Marketmax's technology could scale to handle Kohl's volumes" (CBS Interactive, 2010).

Another way in which Kohls uses technology is seen in their price tags. They have small electronic digital price tags. This is a great idea because it allows pricing to be updated and changed using the point of sale (POS) system. This saves a lot in the area of resources because the store does not need paper signs nor do they need an employee to go around and place the signs on the sales racks. This type of technology was chosen because it is futuristic and very resourceful. It will save Kohls money that they can spend on something more useful. Not all of their stores are using these types of price tags, but it will be something that will be eventually changed storewide.

Returns and exchanges are transactions that can cause stress for customers and salespeople alike. Kohls has taken the extra step to use a POS system which retains the sales transaction information. This means that when a customer brings in his or her receipt and item to be returned the salesperson only needs to scan the bar code. On the original receipt and the transaction information such as item, dollar amount, and form of payment are all brought up and once verified the refund can be processed. This is a faster, simpler way to handle these types of transactions. Kohls is smart in choosing this method. First, it guarantees the correct price will be refunded to the customer. Second, Kohls is keeping their customers happy by ensuring quick, accurate returns. Keeping the lines short is a priority to them.

Kohls

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