Retail Executive

SEP-OCT 2017

Retail Executive is the trusted advisor to top retail executives from the industry’s most profitable retailers. We help retail executives succeed in their job role and grow their business via exclusive, actionable, peer-driven content.

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Editorial Advisory Board SAEED AMIDI Founder & CEO Plug and Play Tech Center NIKKI BAIRD Managing Partner Retail Systems Research MILA D'ANTONIO Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement Ovum SCOTT EMMONS Head of Innovation Lab Neiman Marcus LESLIE HAND VP IDC Retail Insights DAVID JOHNSTON Sr. Director of Loss Prevention & Corporate Security, Dunkin' Brands, Inc. MIKE KEENAN Managing Director, Retail Loss Prevention TAL Global THOMAS J. SCHUETZ CIO hhgregg JIM THOMPSON CFO Cavender's JANIE YU Partner Fung Capital USA EAB Retail Executive is honored to present its Editorial Advisory Board, which is comprised of some of the retail industry's best and brightest. Keep your eyes on our EAB that will continue to grow to include addi- tional retail industry luminaries. Q What's your best advice for retail's C-suite regarding partnering with early- and growth- stage retail technology companies? A FIRST, RETAIL EXECUTIVES should never look at technology companies just because they're trendy. There has to be a specific problem (e.g., optimizing store-level merchandise mix and inventory level vs. improving store sales), and then the executives should be looking for a technology that could help their teams solve that problem. Second, it's people who solve problems, and technology is just an enabler. Executives must make sure they have the team and process to implement the technology. Finally, once a technology vendor is selected, executives need to make sure that their teams fully utilize the technology. No matter how powerful a technology platform is, if it's not properly used, it won't generate the desired results. JANIE YU Janie leads deal sourcing and manages portfolios at Fung Capital, whose investments focus on early- to growth-stage B2B technology companies that enable omni-channel commerce and improve supply chain efficiency. Q According to, "By 2019, robotics and IoT technologies will increase in-store, in-warehouse, and in-distribution center productivity by 1.5x for early-adopting retailers and by 3x for later adopters." How does this vary among tiers-one and -two versus small to midsize retailers? A THERE ARE MANY CONSIDERATIONS that impact precisely how much more productive an organization will be after implementing robotics or IoT technologies. Companies with tens of thousands of items under management and with rapid inventory turnover will find that robotics and IoT reduce complexity, improve accuracy, and increase customer satisfaction, while increasing productivity, and are essential to keeping the business running efficiently and profitably. Small to midsize retailers may find that robotics and IoT are essential to meet customer expectations and maintain a competitive edge, however. How the individual retailer defines ROI for robotics and IoT will likely depend on business complexity — not revenue. LESLIE HAND Leslie Hand is responsible for the research direction for IDC Retail Insights. She provides fact-based research and analysis for IDC Retail Insights Omni-Channel Retail Execution Strategies. ASK THE BOARD REX RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 8

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