When Team Car Care made the shift from spreadsheets to fully automated financial planning, it was able to quickly harness its system’s AI and ML capabilities to forecast how many customers would stop by individual Jiffy Lube stores at various times during the day. That AI- and ML-generated forecast is seamlessly synced to the company’s sales and workforce plans, helping everything from labor to product inventory stay in lock step with customer demand.
And those faster, better insights don’t actually require more resources. In fact, replacing a manual task, which once involved passing 50-plus spreadsheets among district managers, into something easily tackled by AI and ML reduced the forecast scenario cycle from a months-long process to mere days.
“We’ve got 250,000 SKU-item combinations,” says Matt Castonguay, senior vice president of finance, analytics, and supply chain at Team Car Care. “Now we can feed our operational and financial data into our system so we can have instant access to a single source of truth for everything that’s going on in the business.”
3. A Seamless Consumer Environment Across the Omnichannel Ecosystem
Gone are the days when consumers drew a clear line between online and in-person shopping. These days, consumers rely on multiple channels along their buying journey. In fact, since the pandemic, one-third of Americans have made buying online and picking up in-store a regular part of their shopping routine, according to McKinsey research. Nonlinear buying behavior means retailers need to deliver a seamless experience across an expanding omnichannel ecosystem.
“Consumers don’t care if it’s retail, online, or something else; they think about interacting with their favorite stores and hospitality partners from start to finish and they don’t bifurcate between channels,” Rankin said at Workday Rising. “And it’s really, really important to use technology and data to create those seamless experiences to deliver what consumers expect in today’s market because they’ve got lots of choices.”
And while e-commerce through social media channels is expected to more than double from 2021 to 2025, according to McKinsey, retailers can’t lose focus on delivering a best-in-class brick-and-mortar service. Indeed, 84% of retail executives report that consumers are seeking experiences outside the home, per Deloitte.
Savvy leaders will invest in cloud-based solutions to align these multiple revenue streams. Fulfillment is a natural focal point to capture consumer buying trends. A handful of the industry’s biggest names (think Walmart and Albertsons) are transforming their stockrooms into micro-fulfillment centers that ship merchandise directly to online customers, as well as offering curbside pickup.
“Retailers are trying to provide better options to their customers to enable better fulfillment,” says Sam Ganga, partner and national consulting leader at KPMG, in a Workday Podcast episode. “That takes the shape of buy online, pick up in store, direct store delivery. You really want to take advantage of the fact that you’ve got two channels that are going to work together symbiotically.”
4. Focusing on the Retail Manager Experience to Boost Retention and the Bottom Line
While retaining frontline workers must remain a top concern for retail organizations, they can’t afford to overlook their managers in the process. Managers are at an even greater attrition risk than the employees who report to them—63% of managers say they’re likely to leave their jobs in the next three to six months, according to McKinsey research.
“If you look at what matters most to nonmanagers, [there are] a lot of things that managers control,” says Bryan Logan, partner, McKinsey & Company. “[There are] things such as career development, inspiring leadership, and meaningful work. We have this interesting juxtaposition where the nonmanagers’ satisfaction is largely based on a group of people—the managers—who themselves aren’t very satisfied and are thinking about leaving.”