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Continuously improving: how I learned to stop worrying and love change

Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy that aims to create a culture of continuous improvement in productivity, effectiveness, and satisfaction. In the words of Founder of Kaizen Institute Masaaki Imai, “When applied to the workplace KAIZEN™ means continuing improvement involving everyone – managers and workers alike.” Over the last few months we have taken our customers’ and partners’ feedback, and applied Kaizen to the LS Central products.

More localizations, updated monthly

We have expanded the number of localized country versions. We now release monthly updates of local versions for Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United States, Philippines and Singapore. Spain and Belgium will be added to the schedule later this year.  

LS Central SaaS is now available in ten countries, with more coming. With the release of the hybrid cloud version earlier this year, more and more businesses can have a SaaS-based head office while running the POS offline.

Streamlined eCommerce experience

With multistore support you can run multiple websites on the same Magento instance. We also support Magento Commerce, for businesses that need enterprise-level service.

We have tightened the integration between LS Central and the eCommerce platforms. As a result, you now have better visibility into information like order status, support for payment tokens, and full integration with gift cards and discount integrations.

We also made the solution more responsive and scalable. Thanks to new offline support for Magento, the eCommerce part can now operate even if the link to LS Central is disconnected, making the software – and you – more resilient than ever.

More LS Pay integrations

In the last few months, more international retailers have selected LS Pay as their payment platform. LS Pay now supports 18 Payment Service Providers (PSP). Together, they cover the majority of the countries where LS Central is used. On top of adding new PSPs and countries, we have added tokenization in order to support our development in solutions for hotels, hospitality and eCommerce.

Improved planning and budgeting

We have completely redesigned our planning and budgeting functionality. “User rights to budgets” enables you to define owners and users for budgets and to assign rights. This means it will be easier to assign responsibilities within your organization. We have also changed the way you maintain budget values, making it easier for buyers to see how much they need to buy to fulfill the sales plans.

AI-powered replenishment with LS Forecast

LS Forecast is an AI-based demand forecasting method for LS Central. You upload your sales history to the cloud, where LS Forecast applies statistical calculations to figure out the best forecasting model for your data. You don’t need any data scientists, nor additional resources. You can define the granularity and frequency of the calculation and which items and locations should be considered. Since this is a pure SaaS solution, which runs on Microsoft Azure, you pay monthly, based on consumption. We urge all our customers to try it. You can start small with your most important items, and then add more later. If you don’t like it, just stop using it. It is that easy.

Easier, simpler and faster implementations

We have released new implementation guidelines for LS Central, to minimize the complexity of configuring LS Central for our customers and partners. These implementation templates are available within the LS Central online help. The guidelines:

  • help you select the right deployment model for your system
  • provide you with the best implementation practices for both LS Central and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • give you a time estimate for setting up different parts of the system
  • include a walkthrough of installation and configuration for Head Office, Store and POS.

Simplifying LS Central upgrades

One of our biggest projects for the past few years has been migrating LS Central to the new AL codebase, and upgrading LS Central to an extension for Business Central.

Now we don’t have two solutions merged into one as in the past. Instead, LS Central and Business Central are loosely coupled, and can be easily maintained separately. LS Central as an extension is a user-friendly solution that is easy to maintain and to upgrade.

Upgrades taking weeks or months are a now a thing of the past. We no longer have to spend days merging code from different sources and migrating data. You can now upgrade your LS Central system over a weekend, which means you can always be up to date and able to take advantage of the latest features that LS Retail and Microsoft offer.

The average age of a LS Central solution used to be around seven years. We plan to reduce this number to a few months.

In other words, the upgrade to the latest version of LS Central will probably be the last big upgrade that you make. Once you get on this version, you can continue to run effortlessly for years to come.

A real impact of this change is lower cost of ownership of the solution. This means you can increase your profits, or invest these funds elsewhere – for example, in innovative technology like LS Insight.

LS Insight: intelligence to propel your business

LS Insight is an advanced analytics solution that gives companies deep insights into their processes, so they can run more efficiently.

Last year we released the LS Insight reporting foundation. Since then we have continued to add support for more versions of LS Central, as well as more industries within retail and hospitality. Our plan is to use the power of the AI to focus more on the exceptions, the outliers. You don’t need a software solution to point out to you what stays the same in your business, year over year. What you need to know is which products have suddenly dropped out of favor with customers, or which ones are suddenly doing better than expected, and why that is happening.

Our vision is to use LS Insight as the basis for all our intelligent solutions, from our recommendation service LS Recommend, to LS Forecast, to other services that are yet to be announced.

In the middle of a crisis lies an opportunity for improvement. Let’s use this time to think about the future and how we can run our businesses better. Keep sending us your feedback – continuous improvement is an ongoing process.


Source: LS

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