Does it still make sense to count stock manually? ...Read more
In this RFID Q&A, Daphne talks to Sandra, a senior project manager at Nedap Retail, about the strategies and best practices for keeping store teams engaged and motivated when using RFID. Discover how RFID, especially Nedap's iD Cloud solution, plays a pivotal role in simplifying in-store processes and improving overall operations.
Daphne: Hi and welcome to this new episode of our RFID Q&A. My name is Daphne. I am a business developer and RFID enthusiast at Nedap Retail. Today, I will be interviewing Sandra, who is our project manager.
Daphne: So, Sandra, can you give a short introduction about yourself?
Sandra: Yes, thank you for having me. Hi, I'm Sandra Keaney. I am a senior project manager out of our US office for Nedap, and I'm very excited to be here today.
Daphne: So today, I'm going to interview you about how you engage store staff that are using RFID, and we know that engaging store staff can really make or break the RFID strategy. What are some best practices regarding this?
Sandra: Yeah, so it's really important to get teams engaged early and often. We recommend that the retailer determine a clear narrative around why they're using RFID for in-store processes, as well as why they chose Nedap's iD Cloud storage solution. Some of the best things the retailer can do is show their store teams how RFID will make their life easier, as well as fun. This can be accomplished by creating things like hybrid teaser videos which showcase iD Cloud store features like count search and availability, which all make in-store processes more efficient.
Sandra: Another way to keep stores engaged is to have championed store managers do the training instead of corporate teams. We've seen store managers get so excited about our iD Cloud store solution because it's not only intuitive but also saves their store teams time with their day-to-day processes. They end up loving the solution quickly and are psyched to share it with other store teams. This really creates a great dynamic and a faster adoption throughout the estate.
Daphne: So there are many ways to engage store staff that are working with RFID. You also said that you can show them how RFID makes their life easier, but how does RFID make their lives easier?
Sandra: RFID allows stores to have high levels of stock accuracy, which in turn gives more visibility to what you have on your sales floor and in your stock room. With iD Cloud store, we have a feature called availability which lets the store teams know exactly what's available for the consumer and where, right at their fingertips. Not only can they see what's available in their store, but they can also see what's available in nearby stores. So, the retailer is never going to miss a sale, and the consumer has a much better experience waiting only seconds to see if something they want is available, rather than waiting for the associate to scour the stock room. The store teams also have the ability to use iD Cloud store to search for items in their store. It works kind of like a Geiger counter, where the closer you get to the item, the faster the reader beeps or vibrates. Search is definitely a fan favorite, and it saves the store associates so much time when looking for a particular item. Everybody helps them to fulfill their operational tasks in an easier and quicker way.
Daphne: I also know, for example, that a weekly inventory count does take up some time. How do you keep store staff motivated with tasks like this?
Sandra: A weekly inventory count can take 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the store, but the benefits that come with the weekly count make it worthwhile. Count really feeds other iD Cloud store functionality, such as refill and availability, which vastly improve in-store processes. This count allows you to know exactly what you have in the stock room and on the sales floor. So once we know what's available and where, our solution can provide refill suggestions to feed your sales floor so that you never miss a sale. And we can make use of availability when a consumer is looking for an item in their size, so that we're providing a positive consumer experience. Store teams seem to quickly realize that the 30 to 90 minutes spent on a Monday morning doing a count makes their lives so much easier during the rest of the week that it's worth the time investment. The time spent on count is made up for tenfold with the efficiencies it creates for the other in-store processes. So RFID can really make some operational tasks easier and quicker.
Daphne: I also know that it can help with some omni-channel processes. How does RFID make omnichannel fulfillment in stores easier?
Sandra: The Nedap iD Cloud storage solution creates real-time visibility of every item in every single store. This helps to reduce omnichannel order cancellation rates and also allows store teams more efficient ways of pulling those omnichannel orders. They can leverage our search functionality to find items in the stock room, which can reduce the amount of time spent pulling these orders. The biggest benefit by far, though, is the reduction in cancellation rates, which greatly improves the consumer experience. We now have retailers which once had to cancel omnichannel orders regularly, which, if you've ever had this happen to you, is quite a frustrating experience. But now, they never or rarely have to cancel orders because they know exactly what's in the store and available for those omnichannel orders.
Daphne: Yeah, it is really cool to see that RFID in stores can really help with the omnichannel strategy of a retailer. And if a retailer gets some new employees in the store, how do you make sure that they are engaged as well with RFID?
Sandra: Sure. So store teams tend to love the iD Cloud store solution because of how easy it is to use and how much time it saves them in their day-to-day processes, especially when helping their consumers find exactly what they're looking for. Even with that in mind, it is important to keep things fresh and keep people engaged and excited about RFID and iD Cloud. So to do that, we recommend things like creating a newsletter with user success stories to get people motivated and even create some healthy competition among the stores. Or maybe leverage the gamification in our team counting functionality, where we assign emojis to each user during count. We have two rare emojis, both the unicorn and the dragon, and the retailer could have some sort of prize for the associate or the store team that gets one of those emojis when performing their count. Every time we introduce the emojis during the store training, there's an uproar of excitement. It really makes it fun to do a team count and see what everyone else is getting for an emoji.
Sandra: We've also seen to keep people engaged, retailers giving bonus incentives for store teams that have an inventory accuracy that's expected or even a sales increase. And I think one of the most important things to keep the store staff engaged, especially with new people coming on board, is to make sure that they keep their training fresh and up to date and also create moments for training refreshers because the solution is ever-changing and keeping up with the market. So it's really important to make sure that everything is up to date so you can keep everyone engaged in using the solution to the best of its ability.
Daphne: So it is really important to keep store staff engaged and also new employees that are coming in. You can do that through training refreshers but also by giving away some prizes, for example. So there's a lot that the retailer can do to keep the store staff engaged.
Daphne: Well, I would like to thank you for sharing your insights regarding how you keep store staff engaged, and I hope to see you in the next interview.
Sandra: Yes, and thank you very much for letting me participate today.
Daphne: You're welcome, and I also would like to thank the audience again. I hope to see you next time in a new episode. Bye bye.