Supply chain & logistics

Timing is everything and ‘your newest team member’ is right on time!

Lan Nguyen, Marketing Manager, Bossa Nova Robotics

With AI and data from your newest team member, retail work has never been easier. Bossa Nova, a leader in creating autonomous service robots for the global retail industry, tracks inventory plus store and shelf conditions in real-time. Its solution delivers data with speed and accuracy. By reducing inventory time, Bossa Nova is able to provide real-time data for stock levels with improved accuracy. So how does this translate to a financial gain for retailers? First, by automating mundane tasks, employees are happy and happy employees make a happier retail environment. You might wonder how many hours are spent on mundane tasks such as inventory audits.  There are 30,098 items in the average grocery store. A typical Target store has around 80,000 SKUs and a Walmart supercenter sells up to 120,000 items. It takes about 20 human hours to audit 10,000 products. Following this logic, an average grocery store would require over 60 hours per store,  160 hours per store for Target, and a whopping 240 hours auditing shelves at a Walmart Supercenter. It’s easy to see how grocery stores following the recommended minimum quarterly inventory schedule forfeit a high proportion of human working hours to this task. For those that audit monthly, the labor costs are even more tremendous.   Bossa Nova helps retailers automate these inventory audits and monitor shelf-conditions in parallel, scanning an 80 linear foot aisle in 90 seconds with 98% accuracy. Through automation, employee focus can be shifted to more action oriented, customer-centric tasks, while the Bossa Nova robot detects anomalies in shelf conditions, covering everything from addressing out of stock and misplaced items, to pricing, and more. This shift in employee focus to the customer directly translates to higher shopper satisfaction and increased loyalty. It is estimated that out of stocks cost retailers over $129 billion in lost sales in North America - a loss of -4% of revenue annually. (the cumulative worldwide cost of out-of-stocks for retailers has now reached over $984b) A study conducted by MIT Supply Chain Management Research determined that 78% of products that are not on the shelves (i.e out of stocks) are actually on-hand. Given this, a majority of out of stock issues can likely be resolved in-store. Inventory replenishment is critical to success, and those tasks need to occur at store level. Having the right products in the right place when consumers are looking for them (both online and in-store) allows sales to escalate and deliver a sales velocity that makes the most effective use of each square foot of space. Bossa Nova is committed to maximizing this efficiency by gathing  reliable, real-time data that delivers task oriented, actionable items. Efficient inventory control improves speed to shelf by alerting store-level associates of inventory on hand, as well as buying desks / suppliers of true OOS situations. Through computer vision implementation, retailers can accurately assess, and more importantly, address in-store conditions in real-time, across all locations. Real-time accuracy is not only important to retailers, but it is also important to your shoppers. By having accurate inventory, confidence thresholds for item availability can be increased for both in-store and online shopper inventory inquiries. In fact, 81% of shoppers do research online before visiting a physical store for what they want to buy, yet only 27% of retail sites provide store level inventory. When the robot “wheels” into your stores, you will be saving intensive labor hours and improving your store conditions with unmatched accuracy. Bossa Nova has the credibility and experience to help retail operations realize the return on investment and successfully integrate with existing platforms and systems. There are two popular sayings that really affect your bottom line: “Timing is everything”, and “Time is money”, and in business, money really is everything. While many technology companies are still working to surmount the bell learning curve of applied technology, Bossa Nova is equipped with extensive retail experience and has been trusted by operations and IT professions to successfully integrate and lead this huge step in retail automation. With accurate inventory management, you can increase your revenue potential and more accurately can forecast the future. +MORE

Local Roots

Local Roots

We design, build, deploy and operate the world’s most productive indoor farming solutions. We believe the key to a more sustainable future requires eliminating supply-chain risks and undoing the commoditization of the food industry. That’s why our Local Roots Family is building a distributed network of cutting-edge farms throughout the world to grow the freshest, healthiest food possible.  We bring the Farm to you. We deliver turnkey TerraFarms, to your location, operated by our experienced farming team.   +MORE

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Robots for Retailers

Bossa Nova Robotics

It is estimated that out-of-stocks account for -4% loss in revenue, not to mention the possible long-term effects of losing loyal shoppers. Great shelving conditions can lead to great shopping experiences. Bossa Nova is the leading developer of robots designed to provide real-time inventory data for the global retail industry. Our retail service robot autonomously tracks inventory and the true state of in-store conditions to seamlessly deliver actionable tasks benefiting retailers through efficiencies and accuracy.   Ensure implementation and maximize operational efficiencies by relying on the retail experience and expertise of Bossa Nova. Our trusted team makes it work for all retailers - helping them turn real-time data into actionable tasks and insights.  Real-Time, Accurate Inventory Data Product Availablity with Efficient/Actionable/Timely Replenishment Real-time Corrective Actions to Remedy Merchandising, Pricing and Promotion Compliance  +MORE

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BEFORE! Predictive Analytics

ACT Operations Research

1) Predict demand down to store and SKU level 2) Predict promotional campaign affect in the store, transportation and warehouse operations 3) Buy optimal quantities 4) Manage the risk associated with stock outs vs promotional campaigns and waste 5) considers assortment constraints and category efficiency 6) simulate store queuing for capacity analysis purposes and cost reduction purposes.  REVENUE, SALES & PROMOTION Revenue management and price optimization is a core-activity in any market oriented company operating in different industries (Retails, Fast Fashion, Chain Store, Car Rentals, Web Business, etc.). The goal of our suite is to provide, to the revenue managers, advanced analytics, using a unique combination and integration of predictive, optimization and simulation models. While the analytics tools are complex the results are always presented in an intuitive way. The core products included in the Revenue, Sale, Price & Promotion (RSP&P) suite are: Dynamic Price Optimizer (DPO), the multi-paradigm predictive paltform - Before! Predictive Analytics with Before! Sales Campaign -, the customers and market profiling analytics (CMP), the promotion optimization and what-if analysis platform - Before! Promo.  Before! Sales Campaign Before! Sales Campaign software addresses the needs of industries where the products and the merchandise assortments, have a fast renewal  dynamics, even during the same season, like the case of fashion and  fast-fashion channels, electronics or several web-business  Before! Promo Before!Promo, is a complete multi-paradigm analytical tool by ACTOR, developed for scaling enterprise companies. In the current competitive scenario the consumers pay high attention to the promotions, on the other hand promotions exposed retailers and vendors to higher risks in terms of image, in case of stock-out or costs in case of over-stock. When products are fresh-food or fast fashion for example, the risks become even higher.  Before! Predictive Analytics  Before! Predictive Analytics or simply Before!, is a complete multi-paradigm demand forecasting platform by ACTOR, developed for scaling enterprise companies. Before! provides you the capability to forecast the demand while gaining control of the related organization processes such as; planning, procurement, inventory optimization, store replenishments, etc..  Dynamic Price Optimization  Dynamic Price Optimization (DPO) is a capacity and revenue management software based on sophisticated analytical algorithms. It permits users to optimize the prices of products, assets and commodities over the time based on the expected demand, the competitor’s prices and other key-information like, for example, price elasticity.   +MORE

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Litmus7

Litmus7

Our Retail Services  The most sophisticated retailers in the world trust our technology services to power up their mission critical systems.  Digital Commerce Litmus7 specializes in setup, customizing and upgrading of eCommerce Platforms such as ATG, Oracle Commerce and IBM Sterling Commerce. We provide an end to end service across all systems and technologies required to operate a high performing retail business.  Services Implementation Retailers today are dependent on an ever growing number of inter-dependent services. Litmus7 excels in making sure that the highest quality and performance is maintained as our customers scale.  High-End Engineering As more and more retailers are becoming technology companies that are in the business of retail, our services are allowing their teams to develop and deploy faster than ever. Infrastructure Services We help some of the world's largest and most stable eCommerce websites achieve %99.999 up-time and support billions of visitors around the world.  Consulting & Research We hire the best experts from all disciplines of retailers. Their wide experience allows us to look at a customer's business and potential from all angles, to conduct root cause analysis as well as identify growth opportunities.  User Journey & Experience We take great pleasure creating the best and most innovative user experiences in the world and tracking how they increase our customer's conversions as well as shopper satisfaction.   +MORE

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Pseudo Customer Centricity: Fool’s Gold

Gary Hawkins on Winsight Grocery Business, CART

Retailers must employ a customer-first philosophy into organizational culture Many regional retailers are (at last!) intent on becoming customer-centric, more than a decade after The Kroger Co. led the way and more than two decades after early loyalty pioneers proved the value of a true customer focus. But too many retailers believe that customer centricity can simply be bolted on to their organizations without realizing that true customer centricity is far more involved. Like the intrepid gold miners of the 1840s, these retailers awaken to the realization that what they’ve taken for retail gold is in actuality a false promise, seduced by the fools gold of pseudo customer centricity. I can recount meetings with senior executives from well-known retailers who espouse their customer centricity efforts; spending massive sums on consultants and solutions powered by a decade’s old approach based on customer segments integrated to the retailer’s category planning processes, and even personalized offers to shoppers. Countless of these retailers remain anchored in a product-focused world, even those who tout using technology to discover what products should be put on offer to their customers rather than starting with a vendor-funded offer pool.  True disciples of customer centricity deeply embed a customer-first philosophy into their organizational culture, extending it to every part of the enterprise. These companies realize that providing savings on products relevant to the shopper is only the beginning. Leading companies such as Amazon and Kroger are investing heavily in taking customer centricity to the next level: comprehensive, seamless user experiences across channels and devices, integrating personalized product recommendations with an understanding of the individual shopper’s specific health conditions, and laying the technology foundation for immersive shopping experiences melding the physical and digital worlds. Customer first disciples understand the dynamic flow of customers and their shopping behavior over time, putting in place capabilities and processes attuned to providing contextual relevancy inside and outside the store. And personalization—driven by past purchases and recommendation algorithms—is fast evolving to what I think of as strategic hyper-personalization, leveraging vast intelligence about each individual shopper to power a mix of recommendations to win the shopping trip, grow baskets, maximize retention, and foster customer advocacy—one customer at a time, in real time. Many regional retailers are based in more rural areas where company executives believe their shoppers are less tech savvy, relieving pressure on digital imperatives. According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans own a cellphone in 2018, with 77% of Americans owning a smartphone. Pew also calls out that in 2018, 89% of Americans use the internet. Location is no longer a proxy for customer technology illiteracy.  This year, Amazon is projected to realize over $258 billion in U.S. retail sales, an estimated 49% of all online retail spending in the United States. With this kind of penetration, and the ability to ship products anywhere overnight, traditional supermarket retailers would do well to remember that their shoppers are increasingly expecting (demanding!) the seamless and comprehensive user experience provided by Amazon, and increasingly by Kroger and Walmart. Yet, too many retailers remain mired in digital purgatory, constrained by capability silos and the inability to bring piecemeal capabilities together in a seamless fashion for shoppers.  Lastly, many seasoned grocery executives have spent their careers being rewarded for following, letting someone else bring innovation to market and only following when it has been proven successful. Years ago IT executives would buy IBM, even if it wasn’t the best choice, but because it was the "safe" choice. This practice continues today as retailers sign deals with "established" providers because they believe it is the safe choice, failing to understand that today’s environment rewards fresh, forward-looking thinking. Retail executives need to look beyond yesterday’s approach to customer centricity to capabilities and platforms that actually position the retailer for future success. The cost of failing to provide a seamless shopping experience, for failing to provide true individual shopper personalization, and failing to provide real time contextual relevancy, can rapidly obliterate any savings or security from yesterday’s "proven" approach. Tom Furphy, a former Amazon executive and the originator of Amazon Fresh, in a recent interviewspeaking to the challenges retailers face today, especially a reliance on past practices, says it all: “What seems safe is actually destructive. That’s a recipe for longer term disaster.” This article originally appeared on Winsight Grocery Business and can be viewed here +MORE

The Top Five Ways Retailers Benefit from Industry Trade Shows

Courtney Muller, Chief Corporate Development & Strategy Officer, Clarion UX

When was the last time you attended a retail or food and beverage trade show? If you have to pause to think of the answer – or know immediately that the answer is, “Never” – then it might be time to find a show or expo near you. Trade shows are the best places for those within the industry to get out of their stores and network; find new products and stay abreast of the cutting edge technology offerings; and gain invaluable education in the areas you need it most. In short, even if you spend time every day trying to stay current, you could never see it all – or know what to search for. There is no better place than a trade show … from seeing new products, meeting new people, becoming educated on a new way to engage your customers, or finding out about technology … this is the place to find what you don’t know!   Here are some of the top reasons you should attend a trade show this year: Network with Decision Makers When you think of networking, perhaps the typical “mixer” scenario comes to mind with people you don’t know awkwardly milling about a bar or restaurant, trying to strike up conversations with random people in the hopes that you might be able to benefit one another in some way. Networking at a trade show couldn’t be any more different. As an attendee, you can specifically find exhibitors with the products you seek; attend educational sessions that pertain to topics you are interested in, therefore attracting other audience members who share the same challenges; and be assured that your peers in the same industry as you are seeking similar solutions as you.  And you might even run into a colleague you haven’t seen in years! Find New Products and Foods You subscribe to industry periodicals and get Google Alerts in your inbox every day, but have you seen that new robot that identifies out of stock items and potential slip and fall hazards? Have you read about leveraging data to establish loyalty and trust with food delivery customers? A trade show is the perfect venue to scope out all that is new in the retail world from tech products to new foods and services – all in one place – to help you use technology to create a seamless customer experience. As you look for new technology innovation to keep you competitive, you may find the perfect partner for online ordering, rapid delivery, or rapid checkout through customer’s smartphones.  No matter what you want to go to a trade show to find, you will likely be pleasantly surprised by discovering even more than you thought along the aisles. See New Trends in Action Are vegan offerings a must-have? Should you offer chef demonstrations to showcase meal ideas? Are international flavors high on consumer’s minds? What chef dishes are they trying replicate at home? Be on the front line of this year’s and next year’s trends so you can bank on what your customers will be looking for in the near future. You’ll walk away with new products and great ideas you can implement immediately in your store operations. You may even realize that you are on the verge of creating an entirely different trend yourself that has yet to appear on the market – good information that you can capitalize on in the year to come. Receive Best in Class Education If school is a distant memory – or perhaps you learned hands-on in a family business and worked your way up the ranks – one of the best perks of most trade shows is the educational content provided to attendees and exhibitors alike. Whether you’re interested in operational excellence, developing your workforce, building bigger baskets, or sessions dedicated to those hot new tech trends we previously mentioned, trade shows like The NGA Show (presented by the National Grocers Association) in San Diego this coming February will have you covered on all fronts. What’s more, you can connect with presenting industry specialists to gain even more valuable insight into the topics that interest you most. Gain Immediate, Actionable Ideas The bottom line … your time is valuable and you want to spend any time out of your store obtaining the cream of the crop ideas - from new products, growth strategies and tech trends. Hear what the experts have to share, sample emerging products, uncover new technology, and refresh your enthusiasm for the business. You’ll walk away with a plan to bring all of these new ideas and initiatives into your store operation to drive profits, growth and innovation.   No matter where you are in your retail career, a trade show will no doubt provide you with opportunities, education and inspiration as you progress in the business. Interested in learning more? Check out the upcoming NGA show: National Grocers Association Show, San Diego, CA, February 24-27, 2019, www.thengashow.com  Each year, The NGA Show brings together independent retailers and wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers for unparalleled opportunities to learn, engage, share, network, and innovate.  Given today’s ever-changing marketplace and evolving advancements in innovation occurring in the food retail industry, The NGA Show is a must-attend event, providing over 40 educational workshops, an expo floor featuring innovative and game-changing products and solutions and countless networking opportunities.  Registration is open at www.thengashow.com – early bird registration rates in effect through December 10, 2018.  +MORE

NGA Show 2019: The Epicenter of Grocery Industry Innovation

CART, Advancing Retail

In a special event leading up to the opening of the new NGA Show 2019, CART will bring together unique education, an impressive line up of speakers, and cutting edge innovation to make San Diego the epicenter of grocery industry innovation during Feb. 24-27, 2019. With a focus on regional retailers and dynamic independent operators, the CART team will present an innovation tour de force designed to help attendees not only stay in the game but help them win. CART is coming together with leading retailers through-out the industry to provide attendees a new worldview for the future of retail where transformation and disruption are the new normal: iRetail. Focused on five ‘i’s, iRetail will give attending executives a framework for evaluating their existing capabilities and provide a roadmap to closing the innovation gap. In a time of declining and disappearing industry events, the NGA Show has become a beacon of light for the industry as it has grown each year, even outgrowing its longtime home in Las Vegas, spurring the move to San Diego this coming February. CART has had a long time partnership with NGA and is taking the relationship to a new level this year, building on the success of CART’s Innovation Event at last year’s show.  Make sure to put Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, on your calendar and plan to attend the CART special event at the new NGA Show! +MORE

Technology's Profound Impact on the Supermarket Industry

Peter Larkin, President & CEO, National Grocers Association

Often cited as the one of the greatest catalyst of change within the retail grocery industry, technology is an area that independent supermarket operators must understand, and embrace.  Technology continues to have a profound impact, where virtually every detail of the supermarket industry is being touched by new solutions and platforms. I see three technology threads, each entwined with the other. One is the explosion of mobile applications and programs that are turning grocery shoppers into high information consumers. According to Pew research, smart phone adoption among Americans has more than doubled since 2011. Not only are shoppers becoming more sophisticated, but they are using technology as a way to gain more information, transparency, and convenience. At the touch of a mobile screen, consumers can instantly access to updated information on locally sourced perishables, competitive promotions, price checks and recipe ingredient lists. In turn, this migration to the digital space is shaping customer relationships with retailers. Today’s shopper does not want to be talked to but instead wants to be a part of the conversation. Consumer product manufacturers and marketers make up a second technology thread. By analyzing large chunks of customer data and retail sales, manufacturers, retailers and service suppliers are exploring innovative ways to touch their target audiences. Big data though can be vast and hard to harness. Whether it’s social media, a mobile payment system, or loyalty programs, technology can effectively create many new opportunities for savvy retailers to learn about and to connect with their shoppers to better serve their needs. A good place to see and learn about a number of these innovative solutions is right here at www.advancingretail.org. The third thread is in the store itself, where technology is increasingly employed to improve overall store productivity to program more effective lighting, to boost checkout efficiency, to track shopper traffic flows to improve layout and sales per square foot, or to offer customers immediate cost savings via real time wifi connections as they shop. A great, and very recent, example of this is Sedano's Supermarkets launch of a “robotic supermarket,” which entails an automated fulfillment center where AI-enabled robots will assemble full supermarket orders of up to 60 items. While the landscape is quickly evolving, many independent grocers are taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies to engage with their shoppers, find efficiencies, and reach new and existing customers where, how, and when they want. Independents have been making their move into digital. They are hiring dedicated staff, dedicating marketing budgets to digital initiatives, more effectively leveraging social media platforms, and integrating the latest technologies into their business strategies.  With the dramatic pace in which new apps and tech solutions are coming on to the market, it can all seem a bit overwhelming, but technology will play a defining role in the supermarket industry.  Those retailers that are on the forefront of implementing new technology and embrace the hyper-connected, tech-savvy consumer are positioning themselves for success. I’m one who is convinced that these threads will weave into a pattern of rising sales and profits. And that’s why the 2019 NGA Show will kick-off with a new educational event, spearheaded by our partners at CART, entitled “iRetail: Technology Innovation Reshaping the Grocery Industry.” The event is designed to give supermarket operators a framework for navigating fast-paced innovation while maintaining a focus on the importance of people and physical stores as we move into the future. Despite increased competition from all angles, it is an exciting time for the supermarket industry – and we at NGA are bullish about what the future holds for the independent grocers! Known as the true entrepreneurs of the industry, independents are nimble enough to quickly overcome obstacles, and are finding innovative ways to respond to changing consumer preferences, which is something they’ve always been good at given their close ties to their communities and the consumers they serve. +MORE

Increasing Supply Chain Efficiency through IoT Solutions

Rae Steinbach

The Internet of Things is a rapidly growing network,expected to r​oughly double​ from 2015 to 2020. It’s connecting a vast new variety of devices including everything from cars to refrigerators. While many are aware of the opportunities it provides to consumers thanks to things like o​n-demand app development,​ there’s less knowledge of its impact on the supply chain. In essence, the supply chain is the path each product takes on its way from being initially produced to finally being purchased and used. 9​4% of supply chain leaders​ anticipate that digital solutions will impact how the supply chain works in 2018, and with such a wide range of new technologies, it’s easy to see why. These are some of the most important ways IoT solutions are affecting the supply chain. Identifying and Responding to Maintenance Issues Using the IoT Having an effective control of the supply chain is s​trongly correlated with success,​ and the Internet of Things offers businesses new opportunities to monitor and control their inventory. Maintenance problems in just one area of the supply chain can cause substantial inefficiencies in others, underscoring the need for an immediate response.  IoT solutions are capable of updating companies on the condition of individual parts, allowing managers to anticipate and address failures before they happen. Preemptively fixing maintenance issues reduces or eliminates the downtime required and helps keep small problems from becoming much more severe. IoT Solutions to Improve Quality Control Just as monitoring item condition allows businesses to more efficiently respond to maintenance-related problems, it can also provide them updates as a product is shipped to retailers or an end user. The Internet of Things sends updates much more quickly and reliably than more traditional methods of quality control. In addition to saving companies substantial amounts of money, it also gives them an opportunity to promote a personal relationship with the customer. Reducing the likelihood of issues with a product or its shipment, along with being able to provide instant notifications, makes the process much easier and more dependable for consumers. Leveraging the Internet of Things for Branding As a higher percentage of customers become aware of and start making decisions based on social issues, it’s becoming more and more important for businesses to take a stand on the positions they believe in. The IoT allows users to monitor the progress of an item through the supply chain, which in turn lets companies advertise their items as socially conscious. While most consumers are principally aware of the possibilities the Internet of Things opens up for end users and in homes, they typically know far less about what it’s already doing in the supply chain. These are just a few of the many ways in which the IoT is improving supply chain efficiency and reliability. There are sure to be countless more examples in the next few years. +MORE

Locai Solutions

Locai Solutions Inc

locai is the first company to offer a full suite of software that integrates an e-commerce platform with a fulfillment management system. locai provides a flexible set of solutions including a turn-key eCommerce website, as well as access to great UX features - such as product recommendations, meal planning, and endless aisles - via APIs for easy integration into your existing eCommerce platform. These features have been proven to drive higher basket sizes, and create greater customer engagement, satisfaction, and retention. The locai platform is also the first eCommerce solution for grocers to be built on a cloud based architecture that enables order execution via the full spectrum of fulfillment formats. The locai Fulfillment Management System is versatile and capable of supporting numerous operating footprints, from warerooms to dark stores and/or dedicated distribution centers, and while fully integrated with locai's eCommerce Platform, the FMS can easily integrate with other eCommerce platforms and order management systems to create a unique solution for your brand. Embedded with real-time operating metrics, intelligent pick cart building logic and order verification, the locai Fulfillment Management System is proven to reduce operating cost per order while improving order accuracy. +MORE

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The One Technology Every Grocerant Needs to Know

Tebo Store Fixtures

Digital signage isn’t just a pretty display, it is a tool to boost sales, customer experience and more; The use of digital signage in your grocerant deli will inform and persuade customers. The use of eye-catching imagery and content will drive sales, allow you to cross promote within your store, and excite your guests. Every day more and more grocery store delis are adopting the use of digital signage and seeing the benefit from this increasingly affordable technology. In the Deli environment, this is not only a resource for customers but is a great resource to engage your employees as well. It brings your daily menu to life with promotions and specials.  Not only does this increase dwell time, it will also help your customers get to know your brand better than static boards leaving lasting impressions. The Benefits of Using Digital Signage: Remotely update menu boards with no ongoing printing or labor costs Offer service to non-English speakers Boost sales 8-22% by simply placing the screen in your deli space Reduce perceived wait time Cross promote within store Employee engagement The Deli grocerant has many challenges that digital menu boards can help solve, but the key to success is to have a clear objective for your digital menu boards. Asking yourself how to correlate to your customer base, store branding, and employee involvement are the steps necessary for a successful relationship with digital signage. Regardless of the size of your grocery stores (multiple or single locations) with the use of digital signage, it will increase the effectiveness of communication in the work environment. A little-known fact is having engaged employees there is a positive correlation to above average productivity. With a raise in productivity leads to more sales and customers walking through your doors. Bringing digital signage to your space is a great start for positive growth of your grocerant deli. +MORE

Pace of Innovation -- Shattering the Status Quo

Gary Hawkins, CART

Retailers are shellshocked by the increasing pace of technology fueled innovation that is transforming and disrupting the industry. It seems not a week goes by that we don’t read about yet another new competitor entering the grocery space or some new innovation being rolled out by an existing competitor. Case in point: Kroger’s recent announcement that it is deploying its Shop, Scan, and Bag self-shopping solution at 400+ stores. This in response to Amazon’s cashier-less Go store pilot and Walmart’s similar self-shopping solution. Supermarket retailers are challenged on several fronts relative to innovation. It is nearly impossible for a retailer to be aware of all the new innovation entering the market. As an example, CART reviews an estimated 100 new solutions each month. Beyond awareness though is the challenge of deciding what areas to focus on (supply chain, distribution, marketing, store operations, etc.) and deciding what specific solution to pilot. And then having to decide what new capabilities to deploy across operating stores. Having efficient operations, quality foods, and great pricing and service is simply the cost of entry to supermarket retail. The new battleground is innovation. This is a new world for retailers to navigate. As an example, we see too many retailers implementing different digital capabilities in a piecemeal fashion rather than working towards a cohesive and comprehensive platform. The self-shopping capability mentioned earlier is a great example. Some retailers are trying to implement this kind of capability through a third-party app or a separate app rather than bundling it into one mobile app for their customers. Shoppers are after an omni-channel, seamless experience, not being forced to interact with different apps or systems to do business with a retailer. CART is here to help. We’re able to leverage our strong retail experience, industry knowledge, and unique insight to new capabilities and innovation flowing into the market to help retailers understand where they are today relative to their competitors and best-in-class retailers. Developing an innovation roadmap is important to help in prioritizing what new innovation to focus on and to create a foundation capable of adapting to new capabilities and technologies as they come into the market. +MORE

Profitable Delivery with FwdMbl Solutions

John Kangas, FwdMbl Solutions, LLC

Whether an Independent Grocer or a Wholesaler successful product delivery is a key part of a successful bottom line. FwdMbl Solutions (pronounced Forward Mobile) provides Proof of Delivery and Picking software options that are configurable, role based and give insight into the process.  Our delivery software manages and provides answers to 5 W’s of delivery. What needs to be delivered? Who needs to pick, stage, and deliver? When do I need to pick and deliver? Where do I need to pick and deliver? Why was this picked or delivered? Insight and options coupled with an experienced software provider gives you the best delivery solution. INDEPENDENT GROCER Once customers place an order for delivery or curb side pickup, our software guides employees thru the picking, staging and delivery process. Picking is the process of employee going down the aisles of your store and gathering product needed to fill the order. Staging is the process of bagging and boxing the picked products and preparing them for delivery.  Delivery is the process of getting the product into the hands of the consumer. Picking App Order information is transferred from your POS or eCommerce Website provider to our server. Our software reads in this information and lays out a picking plan. Picking plans can be configured for your location but generally group orders within a delivery window, batch up like products, and lay out an efficient walking path thru the store.  Our solution allows picking plans for a single picker, multiple pickers, runners, department pickers, and any amount of orders at the same time. Delivery App After picking and staging is complete, orders move to the Delivery App.  Orders are assigned to a Curb Side or Home Delivery route. The Delivery App tells users when to deliver the order, where to deliver the order, and how to deliver the order. The Delivery App lists the orders, any substitutions that were made to the order, and any special instruction provided by the consumer.  The Delivery App allows for collection of a Signature, GPS Tracking, and emails delivery confirmation of the order. Complication & Exception Handling We also handle the exceptions and complications that arise in the delivery process. Complications could be, the customer is not home to accept delivery, customer calls and wonders when the order is coming, or a customer refuses some or all of the product when the delivery person is attempting delivery. The Delivery App allows the driver to contact the customer by phone or text, allows managers and service staff in the store to view delivery status to answer questions, and allows refused product to be recorded and returned to the store. Having a way to handle exceptions and a way to quickly see into the process is key to building a profitable process. Customer Awareness Our solutions are open and offer a robust API allowing us to integrate with anything and everything. We can integrate or create a Chatbot that allows customers to lookup delivery information from Facebook Messenger on your store’s Facebook page.  This same level of integration allows us to add commands to Alexa and Google Home devices as well as integrating with your current website allowing customers to see delivery status. WHOLESALERS & DISTRIBUTORS Optimized Delivery Orders and Route Information is passed to our software from Routing Software or an Enterprise Resource Planning solution. The Delivery information provides our software with information about when the route needs to start, the stops to make, estimated time of arrival at each stop, and what is to be delivered or picked up. The Delivery App guides the driver thru a verification process and captures a signature to complete the stop.   Delivery App The Delivery App is configured by route, truck type and operational requirements setup by the company. Users start their day by opening the Delivery App and viewing route information. Route information identifies the truck and trailer to take, what warehouse to be at to start the route, and how long the route is going to take. Stop location details include contact information, ETA, and mapping options. Stop item details can be a list of items to be delivered at the stop.  Stop pallet information is a list of pallets and license plates that need to delivered to the stop. The Delivery App contains pallet verification process used by drivers to scan pallets to verify deliver. Stop returnable information track pallets and other returnable shipping materials exchanged between the wholesaler and the customer. The Delivery App allows driver to record left and picked up quantities of returnable items. The Delivery App captures GPS position, signature and received by name of the person accepting the order for the customer. Delivery notifications are sent to the customer and to the company letting everyone know the status of the delivery. Complication & Exception Handling Our Proof of Delivery solution understands that not everything goes as expected. We handle refused product, returned product, and can give drivers more information about customers if the company decides they need it. We provide insight into ETA versus Actual Delivery times, timeline and duration reporting, and customer service reporting. Having a way to handle exceptions and a way to quickly see into the process is key to building a profitable process.​​ +MORE

FwdMbl

FwdMbl Solutions, LLC

Account Management  Designed to give account managers, sales, and management teams instant access to customer information. View invoices, statements, aging, notes and much more for a customer account.  Order Management  Designed to give sales teams the ability to maintain orders. Designed to be an add-on to the Account Management Solution. Orders, Product Requests, Quotes, Credit & Returns and more transactions. Proof of Delivery  Designed to give delivery teams, management teams and customers instant access to route and stop data. Manage stop, customer, warehouse, item, ETA, order, and signature information. Management  Designed to be the Management Dashboard and Reporting hub for our solutions. Connects to other systems to bring all your data into one app. Inventory  Designed to manage Customer Inventory and Vendor Managed Inventory. List and count items in any type of location. Place replenishment orders and update ERP location information. Customer & B2B App  Designed for customers to view and manage their account. View orders, invoices, statements, aging, and make payments. Allow them to place orders or view their on-site inventory. Targeted marketing options. +MORE

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Interactive Kiosk

Aila Technologies, Inc.

INTERACTIVE KIOSK With scanning technology that’s second-to-none and customization that caters to any retail environment, Aila’s Interactive Kiosk is the industry standard for tablet kiosk solutions. ADDITIONAL FEATURES TrueScan™ Technology: The industry's best integrated image-capturing solution Wi-Fi Transparent: No matter where you place it in your store, the Interactive Kiosk is designed to maximize signal transmission Compatible: Designed for seamless compatibility with Apple's suite of iPad devices +MORE

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Retail Strategy Experts U. S. & Canada

Better Sales & Brand Management Group

PLANNING Planning for a market in the U.S. or Canada—regional or national—requires a methodical approach. Multiple elements come into play, from product to packaging, pricing and promotion. The right partners are crucial and a roll-out plan that is fiscally responsible is essential STRATEGY The key to success is a sound go-to-market strategy. We work with you to define your goals, priorities and expectations. We then recommend the best course of action based on resources and opportunities. All retail placements are backed with consumer marketing strategies to deliver sales results. BRAND MANAGEMENT Understanding the distribution and retail landscape while implementing proven brand management techniques only comes with years of hands-on experience and the right partners. We eliminate the learning curve and costly mistakes by providing a comprehensive service. Positioning – brand strategy and pricing Analysis – to decide on best distribution model Territory Management – Regional / National US and Canada Distribution Channels – set up and manage Broker Networks – set up and manage Corporate Accounts – set up and manage Sales Support – set up and manage sales teams/demos Reporting – setting goals and monthly reporting PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Brand Concepts  We Help brands clarify & Define: A unique brand vision Positioning in the current marketplace Key Messages through ingredient stories Demographic of target audiences Formulation Development Custom formulations are developed specifically to fit the brands marketing concepts and target the desired demographic. We always keep a critical eye on budgeting and timelines throughout the process, providing frequent tracking reports of the project for your review. Specialized Formulation Development Services Include: Natural & Organic Formulations  Sophisticated, efficacious, and original formulas for the personal care industry Full Stability and compatibility testing services Wide range of ingredient claim information USDA Organic and Eco-cert Certified Cosmetic Ingredients Proprietary natural fragrances for unique, custom formulations Internationally compliant formulations Packaging Development We bring innovation and experience to cosmetic product packaging and design, key components  to the success of your brand. Our knowledgeable, experienced professional team can assist in coordinating all aspects of the development and sourcing process, creating a seamless collaboration between packaging design, formulation and functionality.  We have a strong global network of packaging suppliers, which enables us to help brands source the packaging of their choice. If we are unable to find the exact packaging to meet the needs of the brand, we develop customized packaging solutions. Strategic Planning for Timelines and Product Launches When taking the brand/product rom development to market, we develop a strategic plan, budget and timeline to achieve your goal launch date.   REGULATORY SERVICES Whether you are looking for assistance in becoming compliant in the United States and or Canada, Better Sales & Brand Managment Group can help. United States OTC Regulatory Compliance FDA Compliance Ingredient List Quantitative qualitative Prop 65 compliance Claims Review Dossiers Cosmetic Product Safety Assessments (EC) 1223/2009 Annex I, Part A and Part B EU Regulatory Compliance 1223/2009 EU Regulation Packaging Labeling: Claims & Compliance - Domestic & International INCI (International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients) Ingredient Labeling Claims Substantiation - Review packaging verbiage for compliance Canada Cosmetic Registration Natural Health Product  Drug Identification Number LOGISTICS We are specialists in logistics, calculating every detail to provide customized service to our clients with a reliable consistent relationship. Skilled in U.S. and Canadian Order Fulfillment Services, working with our partners servicing all classes of trade we are able to deliver seamless operational expertise. Fulfillment Pick and Pack Light Assembly Mailing services Cross Docking Same Day Shipping Inventory Management  Web tracking EDI set up and Management Order Processing Accounts Receivable/Payable Returned goods processing    Warehousing  We can organize central warehousing, establishing a base of business in the US and or Canada and provide state of the art facilities for all of our clients warehousing needs  +MORE

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Warehouse Automation

IAM Robotics

IAM Robotics Has Built the World’s First Mobile, Autonomous Piece Picking Robot Mobile Picking Robot: Introducing Swift, an autonomous robot that navigates your warehouse aisles to pick products or retrieve goods. Online grocery shopping is poised to take off. Automation is making it cost effective for grocers, and morme importantly, consumers are finally ready to adopt online grocery shopping on a larger scale. Grocery items have a high percentage of SKUs that can be easily picked by our robots. Race past your competition and delight your community of e-grocery shoppers with IAM Robotics solutions. +MORE

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Analytics

The Smart Cube

The Smart Cube delivers specialized analytics services to global corporations and professional services firms alike, with the goal of leveraging data to drive strategic insights and tangible performance improvement.   Our strength lies in our ability to integrate sophisticated statistical analysis of proprietary client data with rigorous, in-depth primary and secondary research to derive fundamental insights into our clients' most pressing issues.  We don't simply deliver information, we deliver actionable, data-driven intelligence. Our specialist analyst team integrates industry, functional, and technical capabilities with local-market knowledge to generate critical insights that enhance our clients’ strategic performance.  Underlying this approach is a quality ethic that is reflected in every aspect of the client experience – from engagement design to execution and delivery. +MORE

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Financial Services

The Smart Cube

The Smart Cube delivers customized, high-end research and analysis for clients across all spheres of the Financial Services (FS) industry—from sell-side firms (including boutique corporate finance advisors and bulge-bracket investment banks) to buy-side firms (including hedge funds, private equity, venture capital and traditional asset managers) to CFOs across global corporations. Our clients’ analyst teams, portfolio managers, and partners rely on us for critical support and end-to-end execution for research tasks such as financial modeling and valuations, initiating coverage and earnings reports, sector and macroeconomic studies, portfolio risk assessment and monitoring, buyer/target identification and due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. We are experienced in researching developed as well as emerging markets across asset classes, covering equities, credit and derivatives.  +MORE

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Procurement & Supply Chain

The Smart Cube

The Smart Cube provides custom, high value procurement and supply chain intelligence and analyst services to global corporations, management consulting firms, and specialist procurement providers around the world. Our service offerings span the entire spectrum–from CPO and supply chain decision support to category sourcing and program support (including Risk, SRM, and beyond). Our experience includes critical direct categories across most major industries as well as all indirect categories. In addition, The Smart Cube’s research capability covers every geographic market–from developed countries to the emerging markets and beyond. Our specialist analyst teams integrate industry, functional, and technical capabilities with local-market knowledge to generate critical insights that enhance our clients’ sourcing and operational activities. +MORE

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OOS Alert

GlobalWorx

Finally, a practical and effective solution to the most pervasive drain on sales, shopper experience and profits in fast-moving consumer goods retailing — store Out-of-Stocks. With OOS Alert from GlobalWorx, success-oriented retailers have a great opportunity to enhance in-stock position, shopper experience and associated sales and profit results. OOS Alert supports superior shelf practice with reliable detection and streamlined vendor communications. The benefit is a sales increase of 2-3 percentage points. OOS Alert is specifically designed to connect the retailer’s vital OOS information with its supplier ecosystem. The objective is to deliver notifications directly to suppliers in the field that are accurate, timely (daily), and actionable (by retailer, by store, by item). Our premise is simple – suppliers covet this information and will use it to improve their in-stock positions thereby benefiting the retailer, the consumer and themselves. Service at no cost to the retailer; clear benefit for the vendors.  +MORE

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TransAccess

Trevarian

Trevarian’s TransAccess® solutions help to improve top and bottom line results by enhancing communications with suppliers and customers across the retail enterprise. The solution consists of (3) major components; Enterprise, Customer and Supplier Connect; each supported by an Alert subsystem designed to deliver actionable insight to the right person at the right time. Transforming the POS TLOG into a near real time repository, TransAccess turns traditional post sales management processes into powerful sales and marketing tools. Leveraging a fully integrated web and mobile environment, we help change the rules on how and with whom retailers communicate. By providing suppliers and customers ANYWHERE ANYTIME information access to near real-time transaction data through a suite of applications, TransAccess drives operational execution, improves regulatory compliance, drives merchant innovation and promotion effectiveness and most importantly helps retailers provide better customer service. +MORE

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CATAPULT

ECRS

CATAPULT is a single software platform that facilitates front-to-back enterprise efficiency. This powerful software automates the completion of critical tasks from supply chain to customer checkout. It has an easy-to-use interface, customizable POS menus, flexible web office reporting, and unique features such as ScaleAware™ for produce and bulk item management. +MORE

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Date Check Pro

Pinpoint Software, Inc.

Stop expired food loss before it happens. Date Check Pro notifies you exactly when and where a product is expiring, giving you time to take action, avoid the loss, and better serve your customers with always fresh, always quality food. Anything with an expiration date and UPC can be tracked. +MORE

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Digital Signage Solutions

Tebo Store Fixtures

Tebo Store Fixtures, after years of listening to America’s Independent Grocer, have developed a Digital Menu Board System designed to drive sales at a very affordable price. Once installed, your marketing team can control screens in single and multiple stores from a central point, and store personnel can make on the fly changes from any web enabled device. The complete system includes one commercial grade LG screen (49", 55" or 65"), PingHD signage player, 3 year warranty, two 1 hour training classes, and 24/7 technical support.  +MORE

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Direct Store Delivery (DSD)

BRdata Software Solutions

Maintaining control over product received at the store backdoor is crucial.  Using the BRdata DSD (Direct Store Delivery) system, users can instantly and easily verify that the costs, allowances, quantities, and products received are what is expected from the vendor. Smooth flow of DSD will increase the speed of receiving for both the store and vendor, ensure accurate inventories and correct cost/retail maintenance.  Allowing you to know exactly what is being received and at what cost at the time of delivery is an essential tool that will contribute significantly to the profitability of your retail grocery operations. +MORE

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Store Data Exchange (DEX)

BRdata Software Solutions

Store Data Exchange (DEX) is a hardware and software solution that allows retailers to electronically receive vendor invoices at the time of delivery. +MORE

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Omni-Channel Supply Networks

IBM

Deliver a consistent brand message of product availability at the right price by enabling a more agile supply chain. Improve your inventory planning with applications that use scenario modeling and analytics-based insights to optimize your sourcing strategies, supply and distribution network, transportation routing and inventory levels. Match supply to demand with near real-time inventory visibility enabled for product-specific, event-level tracking. Streamline your customer order, fulfillment and return processes across your enterprise and supplier network regardless of channel, as well as improve sourcing and supplier collaboration. Benefits include reduced operating costs, faster delivery times, and improved product availability. +MORE

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Ordering (CAO/CGO)

BRdata Software Solutions

The BRdata Ordering Module is powerful, easy-to-use graphical ordering system that produces immediate ROI. Orders can be created via handheld, PC, iOS device or automatically generated (CGO). +MORE

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