The human factor has always been important in retail, but recent years have put the spotlight on this issue even more. On top of that, the speed of change gives Retailers and Brands big challenges but also opportunities. How effective can the human factor be, how much can it be improved, what solutions exist and how does it impact on performance? The Danish company Atobi, has developed an innovative software platform that can provide practical answers to these challenges. We spoke to the company’s Vice President Morten Hedrich.
In your opinion, what are the top challenges retailers are currently facing?
Supply chain issues are what keeping everyone at wake at night. Rightly so. In the last 40 years retailers and brands have invested millions and millions of Euro´s in optimizing supply chains. Investments in these systems represents approximately 20% of the retailers cost. Efficiency, predictability, collaboration and insights are the tangible outcomes. All this is fantastic, but what about efficiency, predictability, collaboration and insights into where 80% of the costs are. Our people?! When the cloud tech arrived 15 years ago retailers invested millions in in-house HR and people solutions – these investments address 80% of the internal cost base.
Those systems target internal needs and processes. But what is about the full end-to-end process from supplier down to store level? No one has taken the agenda and addressed what we call the human knowledge supply chain. End to end system support for suppliers, retailers and their employees. Technology has not been ready, and software companies have failed to learn from easy consumer friendly apps with the user in the center instead of complicated corporate processes… The approach has been wrong – the systems available in the market have all forgotten the user and how we consume apps in our private life´s. That is one of the reasons why adoption of HR and learning management solutions across the board has been poor.
How should this be understood? Could you explain in more detail?
It is vital to get insights across the entire value chain from brands to customers, but 95% of retailers and brands do not have a seamless real-time view of people performance, engagement and collaboration. All our clients have a strategy. And they generate results and accounts for these results. But this is not the challenge. We find the challenge in the operational middle, where customers meet the store staff, the moment of truth where conversion and value are created. This is what we call the execution & collaboration gap, a gap between intentions and actions. And this is where Atobi fit, we help retailers and brands close this gap and ensure that the entire team is doing the right work in the right way and delivering the right results. Every day.
What do you think retailers can do?
We believe that retailers should close the execution and collaboration gap in several ways. First, you need to drive alignment across the organizations by breaking down strategies into operational KPI goals and missions. These goals should be cascaded to every single person in the organization, so everyone understands the strategy and knows their individual part in executing the strategy. The solution should drive visibility and accountability across the entire business. After your business is aligned, you need to execute. Store execution is about getting work done in teams across traditional organizational silos. The right solution should enable brands, retailers, departments and staff at all levels to collaborate, work on common goals, and share knowledge. It should improve communication across teams, increases focus and allow employees to tap into the expertise of others in the organization.
Morten Hedrich, Vice President, Atobi
„The right solution should enable brands, retailers, departments and staff at all levels to collaborate, work on common goals, and share knowledge. ”
Solutions should cover seamless integration between brands and retailers and cover visual merchandising, communication and training that increase employee and team productivity from day one.
Business alignment and team collaboration set the stage for the next discipline retailers must get right, which is people performance. In this area, you make sure everyone on your team is upskilled, has access to all relevant information, are motivated and perform their work as well as they possibly can. This area should include things like missions/training built on gamification for highest engagement and adoption, WIKI like functionality – Easy accessible repository for all relevant information. Social – Instagram-like feature that informally can help to inspire and grow. Chat and video communication for easy communication across the organization. Once you have the fundamentals in place, you want to be able to analyze the data you have collected. The data should be pulled across communication, learning, compliance and performance.
Do you offer a solution?
Yes. Atobi is the first-ever retail execution and collaboration software platform that enables seamless collaboration between brands and retailers. With the user at the center of everything Atobi is offering brands and retailers one single platform to execute, collaborate and gain actionable Insights. By using the platform retailers/brands will dramatically optimize the entire supply chain of knowledge. Capturing actionable insights is key to increase awareness and in-store conversation. An innovative platform that fundamentally changes the way retailers and brands do business together and where everyone wins.
How do you work with your clients?
Atobi provides all these applications through a Software as a Service model. We have tens of thousands of users on our platform and have enterprise grade infrastructure and delivery track record. In terms of customer success, we harness our deep retail industry expertise and we work closely with our customers and have helped improve profitability for some of the largest retailers and brands in Europe and globally. We’re especially strong doing implementations in large accounts with thousands of users. Our services team has played a key role in all these projects, helping our customers not just automate processes and increase productivity but drive a transformation in their companies. And adopt what we’ve identified as best practices.
What can be expected from using this solution?
So, what’s the business impact of our applications? There are many efficiency gains across the business from implementing Atobi. We recently did a survey among our customers. What we heard was things like: 19,6% Sales uplift, 160% increase in campaign efficiency, 14% efficiency increase, 100% Margin Revenue stream. The communication of strategy on average was one week faster. And again, this is not something we made up. All this data is coming directly from our customers. So, what’s the net of it?
Our value proposition is that by implementing Atobi you can add the equivalent of 2-3 % of revenues to profit. Get a 10x return on the investment in Atobi. Within 3 Months. We think this makes perfect sense. If we can help you: focus your people on the right work, upskill them so they are doing their work as best they possibly can, engage the entire organization around key priorities, drive seamless collaboration with suppliers, nurse & retain your top talent, move your bottom performers.
Do these things help our customers run their business better and help make money? I think we´ll agree the answer is “yes.”