In his excellent 2019 article, Boston Consulting Group Managing Director and Partner Nicholas Goad discusses the importance not of technological solutions themselves, but of a ‘connective tissue’ between the retailer and the technology. He states how crucial it is for retailers to work in partnership with outside agencies and partners to implement these technological solutions. SWL is one such partner with a proven track record as the ‘connective tissue’ in your business between your business operations, your workforce, the customer and productivity.
Some key extracts:
‘The technology solutions that enable retailers should deliver machine learning-based insights to business decision makers in a digestible fashion and in a workflow that is intuitive and fits their business. Such solutions should also encourage the use of centres of excellence and work collaboratively with profit-and-loss owners.
‘For merchandising functions, for example, in order to extract the value of the digital solutions technology providers are offering, retailers must come up with a process, structure, and related capabilities to reimagine how the merchandising organization and other specialized functions will work together to connect those digital solutions to the merchandising strategy. In order for the relationship between the technology and the merchandising strategy to succeed, such a “connective tissue” is critical. As category lines continue to blur and retailers find themselves up against more competitors than even before, they need to do more than just add new categories—they need to think of themselves as credible solutions provider for their customers. The speed at which the strategy impacts what happens online or in the store needs to be that much faster. And yet, in most retailers, a connective tissue that extracts the value of technology within merchandising is largely missing, which impedes its adoption.
‘Here are three places where a connective tissue might lead your merchandising organization:
- ‘Integrate assortment or promotional effectiveness algorithms tailored to your business and categories into a system that merchants are excited to use
- Develop a new merchandising operating model that sets out how each player and specialist should work together, including the related process and any supporting tools
- Reconsider the importance of a private label offer category by category, even in categories and services not currently offered, to improve profitability and expand store and e-commerce traffic
‘Indeed, there are some amazing technology partners out there for retail. Especially the biggest players; they’re in the game to really service and understand retailers’ use cases and how to bring those to life, and that’s exciting. However, technology isn’t an answer unto itself. Retailers themselves need to have a smart plan and the right people to charge hard and execute against it.
‘The future of retail looks brighter than ever before, and as NRF (National Retail Federation, USA) 2019 made clear, technology is playing a starring role—in particular for merchandising organizations. To extract the full value of the technology that will enable a winning merchandising strategy, retailers will need to arm themselves with a process, structure, and related capabilities to reimagine how the merchandising organization and other specialized functions will work together to connect them.’
NRF 2019 and the Connective Tissue Most Retailers Need
- Published on February 4, 2019
SWL are specialists in productivity improvement in the Retail industry. Call us today on 01527 895020 to arrange a discussion on how SWL can be the ‘connective tissue’ in your business between your business operations, your workforce, the customer and productivity.