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The paradox of most retail enterprise systems today is that the more powerful and complex they get, the less useful they become. This is because while the supply of data that software can supply keeps growing exponentially, the time and attention span of managers is fixed. So while there are lots of software packages out there with lots of nifty bells and whistles, there are very few managers out there with the time to understand what those bells and do, much less ring the bells and blow the whistles on a regular basis.

Time and time again, we have been surprised by how many of the features available to them in their inventory control system retailers never use.

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One answer to this problem is automation: the software must automate as many of the tasks and processes the retailer needs as possible. Most other inventory control systems only offer a limited set of tools that require managers to constantly take corrective action after-the-fact.

XpertMart, on the other hand, offers a complete suite of tools to optimize the retail operation, including: the automatic setting of Minimum & Maximum stock levels to optimize inventory, automatic Purchase Orders to restock merchandise that is selling out, Automatic Transfers to balance inventory between stores and the automatic matching of In Slips and Out Slips that spots any discrepancies in inter-store transfers.

Our view is that the job of the manager is to study trends and set the correct parameters for the operation while watching for important exceptions. The difference is like the difference between flying a propeller plane and flying a 747: while other systems require you to keep your hand on the joystick at all times, with XpertMart you'll be feeding coordinates into the plane's auto-pilot system and making sure everything runs smoothly.

But automation is not enough. We believe that the only way to cope with this explosion of information and empower managers is to design "expert" systems.

So what is an expert system? To be truly useful, a system needs to not only generate the mountains of raw data and information, it also must make sense of all of the information for the user. An expert system needs to organize and convey the information into meaningful trends that managers can take timely action on. An expert system needs to filter out the important pieces of information and present them to the user - even if the user hasn't asked for them!

Ultimately, an expert system must generate decisions, not just information. Based on a set of rules the user defines, an expert system must analyze the available data and then come to a specific recommendation the user can accept or reject.

This is the vision that has guided the development of XpertMart so far and will continue to guide us as we add new features and capabilities to our software. We think it's important that when you buy software from us you feel confident that your new partner has a vision for the future and is anticipating your technology needs.

We are proud to announce the release of our first expert feature: XpertTrend. Stay tuned as we announce the release of new expert features currently under development.