New Retail White Paper From Peak Technologies Examines Strategies and Tools for Successful Omnichannel Implementation
COLUMBIA, MD (March 28, 2018) – Peak Technologies, Inc., a provider of end-to-end supply chain, mobile workforce and retail solutions for business-critical applications, recently published an informative new white paper describing how brick-and-mortar retail locations can integrate mobile technology for successful, customer-driven omnichannel operations.
The new white paper, titled “Retail Transformation: Strategies and Tools to Realize the Full Potential of Omnichannel,” reports on some of the challenges faced by retailers as e-commerce growth takes off and provides information on mobile tools, software and hardware that can integrate with existing inventory systems to help retailers create a more effective omnichannel platform.
Focus: Opportunities in Supply Chain Optimization
“Brick-and-mortar retail locations are far from dead, but they need to transform,” said Brent Felker, Senior Vice President Business Development, Retail Solutions at Peak Technologies. “We’ve seen a growing trend of forward-thinking retailers shifting their attention and investments toward integrating e-commerce, inventory systems and online platforms to improve the in-store experience while creating an overall more customer-focused omnichannel retail operation.”
Peak Technologies worked with VDC Research, a market research and consulting firm covering technology markets such as AutoID, enterprise mobility and industrial automation, to research and identify key areas where today’s retailers are making those technology investments, including:
Cross-channel order fulfillment and distribution: Retailers, caught off guard by the speed of e-commerce, are now attempting to consolidate their distribution channels to improve efficiency and respond to customer demands.
Customer engagement: Changing demographics and a move away from “the product” to “the experience” are forcing retailers to rethink the in-store experience.
Inventory visibility: Having a comprehensive, real-time view of all inventory—not just in the distribution center but also in transit for store replenishment, in retail stockrooms and on the store floor—to help ensure maximum, profitable utilization of all levels of inventory.
Peak Technologies/VDC research indicates that many retailers are investing in mobility technology for retail store personnel to better facilitate customer engagement and satisfaction when completing Buy-Online-Pick-up-in-Store (BOPIS) transactions.
Consequently, the most significant issue facing retailers with their BOPIS initiatives is related to inventory accuracy. With in-store inventory accuracy estimated at only 50 to 70 percent, VDC’s research indicates there is growing recognition that poor in-store inventory visibility can hamstring effective BOPIS efforts and lead to customer dissatisfaction, lost orders and poor brand perception.
Strategies to Make Retail Locations “Omnichannel Ready”
Peak Technologies’ white paper outlines strategies for retailers to evaluate targeted, highly productive technology and operational investments that can help make the entire retail supply chain “omnichannel ready.”
The paper covers tools and processes used throughout a retailer’s supply chain from the distribution center inventory management to the shipping dock to the retail stockroom – right down to every store shelf and every point-of-sale (POS) station to create a new retail concept called “Fulfill From Store.”
Fulfill From Store is based on treating the inventory present at the retail location as part of the entire inventory the retailer can use to fulfill any customer’s purchase—whether the item was picked off a display in the store or ordered from the retailer’s online catalog.
The white paper describes several areas where investing in the right inventory visibility tools and process enhancements can make Fulfill From Store a reality, including:
- Stock Receiving: Better processes and tools are needed at the retail location to maximize the accuracy of received stock – because if it’s not accurate when it enters the store stockroom, it’s much harder to correct errors.
- Discrepancy Management: Having a store-level set of processes and tools to identify discrepancies, particularly at receiving, equips both store management and e-commerce management with better, real-time information.
- Stock Counting: There are now mobile-based tools available that store associates can be trained to use to conduct “mini-inventories” by department or store.
“Many retail organizations have been working to implement these kinds of capabilities using internal IT resources and purchasing off-the-shelf mobile tools and hardware,” said Felker. “However, VDC’s research indicates there are significant advantages in working with third-party suppliers who can provide comprehensive solutions—including hardware, software, integration with existing inventory systems and consulting—enabling a more effective, timely and reliable path to success.”
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