Adam Haight, SVP of Sales
Many retail CIOs are overwhelmed by mass amounts of data from various sources. They know that it contains crucial information on the profitability and efficiency of their organization, and it’s their job to harvest and leverage it. However, “traditional” report-based analytics don’t make it any easier to understand and act on data— they just generate lots of reports. The modern retail CIO needs an advanced yet simple-to-use tool to analyze, interpret, and deliver actionable insights from their data that tells a story in plain language about what impacts their business to employees at the edge who can in return act and generate value.
Most, if not all, retail CIOs have heard about the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions. The word “AI” has been covered in major publications, discussed at industry conferences and trade shows, and many technology executives are being asked about their AI strategies.
Nevertheless, CIOs do not invest in technology based on the amount of buzz. They base investments on their practical applications. In other words, what can their people accomplish with an AI-powered retail analytics solution, and what results will it generate to validate ROI? They need assurance that a solution will be easy to use, increase sales, improve the customer experience, and generate measurable value in a faster manner.
“Complex workflows in the retail industry generate massive amounts of data, presenting a formidable challenge for any retail CIO,” says Adam Haight, SVP of Sales, Profitect. “CIOs can make this easier by investing in an AI-powered analytics solution, which can efficiently and effectively interpret data into actionable tasks that impact profits and margins.”
Profitect’s award winning prescriptive analytics solution uses advanced practical AI to pull revenue-impacting insights from data, and then distributes them as opportunities in simple text format. Opportunities might indicate excessive damages, inventory inaccuracies, operational bottlenecks, training/process gaps, labor utilization, and more.
Our solution resonates well with ROI-conscious CIOs because it calculates the dollar value of each identified opportunity and makes it easy to determine priorities and understand the financial impact
The solution sends each opportunity to the appropriate stakeholder, along with easy-to-understand corrective actions, and the associated value. Machine learning draws feedback from the actual outcome of the opportunity, forming a feedback loop to ensure true positive results.
In one notable success of leveraging data to tell a story, a fashion retailer’s Point of Sale (PoS) system had an unknown glitch that purged transactions after seven minutes of idle time. Fraudulent cashiers would activate a gift card and wait the required idle time for the transaction to disappear. This resulted in the gift card maintaining the dollar value that was used to activate it with no record of the activity happening, thus generating cash out of thin air. From there, the cashiers could easily sell the cards online for cash or spend the funds on merchandise. Profitect’s prescriptive analytics solution quickly identified this “upstream” problem and notified the retailer’s Asset Protection and IT teams. The IT team was able to eliminate the issue, stopping additional losses that could have gone on unnoticed, and worked with AP to identify cashiers who had exploited it. This was an issue the organization was unaware of contributing to the retailer’s reporting-based analytics inability to identify it. It took a practical approach to using AI like prescriptive analytics, which combs through massive amounts of data in search of anomalies, detects them, and prescribes a corrective action.
“Retailers do not have time to review and interpret dozens of reports. Everyone in the organization benefits from prescriptive actions that identifies the root cause and what needs to be done to fix it,” says Haight. “Our solution resonates well with ROI-conscious CIOs because it calculates the dollar value of each identified opportunity and makes it easy to determine priorities and understand the financial impact.”
Already used by some of the world’s largest retailers, including Ahold Delhaize, Ann Taylor, Tractor Supply Company, and Walgreens, among others Profitect customers typically realize a 2-5 percent increase in sales, better consumer experience, 10-15 percent basis point margin improvement, and labor productivity improvement within six months.