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Boosting store efficiency

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NRF09 INTERVIEWS

INTERVIEW WITH ROBYN SCHWARTZ

TITLE: Boosting Store Efficiency - 3:11

ROBIN SCHWARTZ:

Retailers are focusing on boosting store efficiency on two sides of the coin: One is the customer and understanding how do they increase customer loyalty because increased customer loyalty means increased profitability

On the other side, it's about focusing on the store assets. And the assets in the store can be the people, their store associates, it can be the resources in the store.

IBM's workforce management is focused in four major areas. It's really about labor and resource management, task management, assisted selling, and mobile point of sale. By putting the best employees on the floor at the right time in front of your customers and giving them the tools in hand to be able to sell to your customers, you can increase customer loyalty, increase productivity, and leverage your best store assets, your people

Leveraging such solutions as the expert advisor, store managers can actually do labor management not only based on the resources within their own pool at their own store, but be able to leverage experts from afar by bringing them through improved technology like voice or video over IP and bringing and expert on hand to the customer at the point of decision.

Assisted selling is the type of solution where we can bring knowledge and information in-hand to the store associate so they can actually stand toe-to-toe with a customer and advise them on the right products for them to buy.

Mobile point of sale means that the store associate can close the deal from anywhere in the store. We've seen that this type of solution is very important in terms not only of reducing wait time, but also in terms of increasing cross-sell, up-sell, and by the way, loyalty and speed of conversion because the store associate can work with the customer when the customer is trying to make that buying decision from the middle of the selling floor.

Energy performance management is part of our green store solutions. And the green store encapsulates everything from electronic shelf labels to kiosk printing out personalized coupons on demand, to messages on a mobile device, to actually operationalizing the assets in the store. Any asset which consumes or produces energy can be part of our energy performance management solution.

A U.S. grocer who's deployed energy performance management solutions is actually running over 450 stores energy free because of this solution.

Understanding how to get started is a matter of assessing current state, who are your best customers, what do they expect from you as a retailer, what are your best operating assets inside of the store, and what makes the most sense for you as a business?

It's all about managing cost while increasing profitability.

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