By : Tom Chittenden
September 05, 2018 12:00 PM
With NCR global headquarters being based in Midtown Atlanta, we are fortunate to be down the street from one of the country’s foremost technology- and science-focused universities, the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Fortunate because it gives us great opportunities for collaboration and shared learning – not just with the school itself, but with the Atlanta business community which includes leading brands such as Coca-Cola, Delta, UPS, and more.
Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a discussion alongside speakers from another iconic Atlanta brand, Home Depot, as well as professors from the Georgia Tech Business Analytics Center (BAC) at their annual forum.
The agenda was built around the premise that, as the lines between channels in the retail world continue to fade, successful companies will be the ones with the ability to leverage data-driven insights and take action on (not simply report) analytics to drive next-level performance for their business. This includes everything from delivering unbroken omnichannel consumer engagement, to synchronizing product and service delivery, to making better decisions across the supply chain.
What we discussed during our session were the different ways data-driven decisions lead to less friction throughout the enterprise – for consumers and for the business. While the Internet of Things is quickly connecting the dots between the devices we use every day, what it’s really enabling is the “Internet of Consumer Experiences,” a way of seamlessly blending highly personalized communications and interactions with brands throughout our daily lives. This is enabled by the vast amounts of data consumers trade for services – more than 590 million transactions occur each day from edge devices, providing insights about consumers, their preferences, and buying behaviors.
This information impacts every part of the business. For example, Dr. Manpreet Hora, who teaches Operations Management at Georgia Tech, illustrated how the perception of supply chain and merchandise management functions within an enterprise is changing: With the cost- and inventory-optimization businesses are able to achieve by utilizing data, these functions are no longer seen as cost centers, but rather value centers. Similarly, our keynote speaker, Richard McPhail of Home Depot, shared how his organization uses highly sophisticated labor models and can execute activity-based forecasting to enhance store operations and shopper experiences in their stores.
It was an extremely valuable and thought-provoking discussion, full of the kinds of questions and challenges to traditional views of retailing that we need to explore given a rapidly shifting industry landscape. I look forward to our continued partnership with Georgia Tech and idea-sharing with members of our business community from whom we can gather multi-dimensional, real-world learnings. To learn more about the different ways you can take the friction out of your retail enterprise, get our free eBook or visit our microsite.