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Technology

Survey Validates Value of ARTS

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Prospective ARTS members frequently ask variations of two key questions: Who else is a member, and what is the measurable value of ARTS membership?

Answering the first question is easy: The ARTS member roster is a “who’s who” of leading retailers and retail solution providers, including Walmart, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Limited Brands, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, SAP, Oracle, NCR, IBM, Google and Microsoft. You can find a complete list at www.nrf-arts.org.

How members and non-members — yes, ARTS makes most of its standards available to the wider retail community free of charge — use ARTS products and quantify the value they receive from them is more difficult to determine, as many retailers no longer share “value” information due to the competitive nature of the industry.

One good measure of satisfaction can be found at the annual ARTS Users Conferences, where users present case studies on the ARTS products they have implemented. Past presentations have been made by Lowe’s, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Adidas, Shell, Pier 1, BevMo! and Kroger. The 2012 Users Conference will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Sheraton Dallas by the Galleria.

The other regular sources of product usage information are the quarterly meetings attended by companies that gather to build new or enhance existing ARTS products and engage in general information sharing. The next quarterly meeting is August 13-15 at NRF headquarters in Washington, D.C. You can register to attend the 2012 Users Conference or quarterly ARTS meetings at www.nrf-arts.org.

Now, thanks to a survey conducted in partnership with NCR, ARTS has additional insight into user-quantified benefits, some of which were slightly surprising.

Part of the survey focused on reducing integration costs — one of the principles on which ARTS was founded. As you might expect, such efforts were seen as providing the greatest value benefit. But the second-most cited benefit — learning retail and implementing best practices – was something of a surprise to us. The message here appears to be, “Have a young, inexperienced staff? Use ARTS.”

The survey asked about the time and cost savings retailers experienced with ARTS implementations. Seventy percent said they saved 20 percent or more when compared with non ARTS-based implementations, and 22 percent said they saved over 40 percent. So on a $100,000 project, you could reasonably expect to save more than $20,000 by implementing processes that meet ARTS standards — the equivalent of more than four years of ARTS membership dues.

Given these levels of savings, it is easy to see why 88 percent of survey respondents said they were fully satisfied with their use of ARTS standards.

Some respondents were lavish in their praise of ARTS and provided comments that we believe address some of the challenges many retailers will find familiar. For example:

“Our company had a number of aged legacy applications in place. Moving forward with rapid growth plans, we turned to ARTS. ARTS allowed us to move quickly, deliver quality solutions and control cost while providing a number of new platforms across our enterprise.”

ARTS exists to help you complete your next IT project on time and on budget. The ARTS library now contains 38 products, standards, best practices and selection guidelines: Most likely, one or more of them will provide time and cost savings to your operation.

The full results of the survey can be found here.

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