What You Missed at Reflexions 2019, Day One
The Reflexis user conference got down to business yesterday. If you couldn’t join us, here’s the highlights from Day One of the best Intelligent Retail event of the year!
The Innovation Puzzle
Keynote speaker Sterling Hawkins, the Co-Founder and CEO of CART, shared his perspective as a fifth-generation retailer and a retail futurist. Focusing on the impact of technology and the fourth industrial revolution, Hawkins discussed strategies for building a culture of innovation in the future of commerce.
Innovation, according to Hawkins, is about creating a “MacGyver Moment,” solving an uncomfortable situation through creative action. “When you watch someone stand up for something bigger than their own discomfort, it’s inspiring,” Hawkins explained. “It’s leading from the front. It’s innovation—significant positive gain.”
Retailers tend to think linearly, planning for tomorrow based on previous results, leaving a gap between plan and potential as customer expectations change and technology grows exponentially. Hawkins explained that stepping into that gap, in the face of uncertainty, is how you drive innovation.
Hawkins set out four steps to creating a culture of innovation from the CEO to frontline staff on the store floor.
- Have an impossible goal
- Take concrete actions towards that goal
- Track your progress
- And share your results.
By doing this and embracing the discomfort and uncertainty, you can open up totally new perspectives and possibilities to drive retail based not on what worked yesterday, but on what will work for tomorrow!
State of the Industry
Reflexis CEO Prashanth Palakurthi then took the stage to present on the current state of the retail industry and how Reflexis is growing to best serve retailers as the industry evolves. To start Palakurthi highlighted that, despite dire predictions from naysayers, retail is predicted to grow over the next decade and store openings are currently outpacing store closings.
In fact, this year 70% of all retailers reported that the store is the primary face of the brand to customers, up from 59% in 2018. Digitization, ecommerce, vcommerce (voice commerce), and other technological developments are revolutionizing stores, not replacing them. The kinds of roles and skills the retail workforce needs are shifting in order to deliver this new, connected customer experience.
For Reflexis, this means making it easy to retrain, reskill, and redeploy store managers and associates for this new Intelligent Retail environment. Palakurthi shared our goal at Reflexis: creating software that you need to use less often—so you can spend more time with customers—and enabling you to take advantage of industry changes like Digitization, Hyperlocalization, and AI and Machine Learning—so you’re empowered to take action to better serve your customers.
Improving Productivity and Enhancing the Customer Experience
After lunch, the Workforce Management Program Development Manager at Dixons Carphone spoke about how they’ve be able to deploy Reflexis Workforce Scheduler and the Reflexis ONE platform to improve associate productivity and drive the customer experience.
With the help of Reflexis partner Nextenture, Dixons has been successful at driving multi-channel retail across their stores, supply chain and distribution centers, and repair centers. With multiple brands and store styles, they have been able to apply cluster management to schedule groups of stores. Dixons has also been able to bring the online and in-store experience closer together for the customer, incorporating appointment booking, BOPIS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store), and queue management and aligning their workforce management with the execution of these services.
As a result, they’ve optimized scheduling across all their brands and ensured they have the right staff in the right place at the right time. Customers now have an easier time completing the buyer’s journey across channels with an impeccable customer experience at every step.
Document Repository: Never Having to Ask, Where?
The Director of Operations, Stores at CosmoProf Beauty, a division of Sally Beauty Holdings, shared how Sally Beauty has been able to streamline communication and knowledge sharing with Reflexis Document Repository.
Using Document Repository, they’ve been able to eliminate inefficiencies like lack of visibility, manual tracking and follow up, and lack of confidentiality. They implemented Document Repository on a 100% mobile deployment, so stores have easy access to all relevant documentation—from training materials to HR or Legal documents—on a single platform. With access controls, pinable resources, and auto-expirations for old or outdated files, it’s simpler for store associates to execute work in stores and provide an excellent customer experience!
The day wrapped with hands-on workshops covering a variety of topics, including Adapting Platforms and Processes for Gen Z Employees, Managing Labor in a Highly Dynamic Environment, and Managing Omni-Channel Work at Stores. Retailers and Reflexis experts came together to ask questions, share successes from the field, and explore industry best practices for Intelligent Retail.