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barcoding-huddle-retail-strategies-2022

Conquering the Retail Landscape—Realizing Your 2022 Retail Strategies

Nov 5, 2021
TOPIC: Operations
3 min read

There’s no way to escape the panic being heard from industries all over the country: workers are in short supply, while at the same time customers are demanding more—more options, more speed, more flexibility.

So the topic of our recent October Huddle, “Conquering the Retail Landscape—Realizing Your 2022 Retail Strategies,” was very timely and, we think, very helpful.

During the session we discussed why workers should be every employer’s (not just retail employers’) #1 focus; how technology improves the worker experience; and how the worker experience ultimately drives customer satisfaction and brand.

"Technology improves worker experience, and worker experience ultimately drives customer satisfaction and brand."

For those who couldn’t join the Huddle, here’s a recap—and a link to the video recording below so you can watch the whole thing!

Our October Huddle speakers were:

  • Jody Costa, VP of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Barcoding
  • Greg Henry, Director Business Development, Spectralink
  • Renee Harwood, Retail Technology Expert, Ring Central
  • JD Dillon, Chief Learning Architect, Axonify
  • Brett Cooper, Partner, Mobile Strategy, BlueFletch

During the Huddle the group discussed ways retailers today can be using technology to:

  • Enhance the experience retail workers have—and increase productivity on the floor
  • Deliver an exceptional customer experience to meet increasing demands/expectations
  • Future-proof their supply chains while minimizing downtime associated with training, customer adaptation, etc.

Jody Costa started us off by recognizing that we’ve had 18 months of chaos and disruption in retail...but also impressive displays of agility. Jody asked the panel, “What are you seeing out there today?” Some responses:

  • More focus on frontline workers. Satisfying omnichannel demands used to be the big topic; today, it’s all about the frontline worker. There’s a huge burden placed on them today to deliver what customers need, when and where they need it. To enable that, we need to connect these people to systems, customers, and other employees, and the way to do that is with technology
  • Instant needs and immediate fulfillment. Gone are the days when “2-day delivery” is going to cut it for many customers. Soon we’ll be seeing “by the end of the day” and “15-minute” deliveries! Retail locations will essentially turn into micro distribution centers to facilitate these demands
  • We need to empower workers if we want to retain them. We’re all strained to find the workers we need, and keeping them happy will require a shift in how we think about them, and how we equip and enable them

Another question for the group: “What’s driving management’s perspective on the frontline worker’s experience?” The big takeaways here were:

  • Management today is seeing employees as customers. Those that are attracting and retaining workers have done so by simplifying and streamlining things for them—just like we’re all doing for customers!
  • Burnout is one of the top reasons for leaving a job. Workers want autonomy, yet most don’t have the ability or flexibility to make decisions, nor do they have the right tools. We all know that workers want good pay and benefits, but they also want to enjoy their work. Technology enables them to work the way they want, and is the key to making them capable of delivering what customers want
  • Workers today want mobile access...they’re digital natives who want things presented digitally. That includes messages, training, information...everything. We all think of the customer when we talk about making things frictionless, and now we need to think about workers that way, too!
  • Workers want one spot from which to communicate and do their work. Unified communications on a mobile device is the answer. By giving them the ease of mobility, and a single platform from which to do their jobs, we’re enabling them to deliver a great customer experience

One of the ways Spectralink helps frontline workers do more with less is to extend internal systems to them: link customers/customer information, vendors, and other employees all to the frontline worker (where it makes sense). This could enable them to do cycle counts, pull up task lists, and access safety tools right on their devices.

And, The Final Takeaway: 3 Words

Jody asked her famous last question; this time it was, “What three words best describe what you see coming in the future?” Many of the answers shared a common worker-focused thread:

  • “technology empowers employees”
  • “my work experience” (work should and will be personalized to each employee)
  • “listen to employees” (listen AND implement)

THANKS!

Thank you, panel members, for your stories, insights, and enthusiasm for this subject. And thanks to all of you who joined us live. Improving the front-line worker experience and empowering them with technology is something you can’t ignore. Consumer demands are requiring that we change how we do business, and how we equip employees with the technology will determine our ability to do that. We’d love to talk to you about solutions you can deploy today.

Our next Huddle, which is the last one of the year, will be here before you know it! Registration information will be sent out soon via email, or, you can sign up here.

In the meantime, watch the video recording of October’s Huddle to get more detail:

 

And download our guide, How to Effectively Deploy Mobile Computing Solutions.

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