Consumers are one of the more vital factors in the success of the retail industry. There are times, though, when retail focuses a bit too much on customers and not enough time on what makes the customer experience a smooth one. That is, its associates.
Businesses in the retail industry must find a way to maximize the time and talents of their associates to enhance the in-store experience for their customers. A more well-known retail company, Kroger, is aided by Google Cloud and Deloitte as they help the grocery chain use cloud technologies to increase associate productivity across its nearly 2,800 stores nationwide.
Through the collaboration, Kroger is working with Google Cloud and Deloitte to create two purpose-built applications to enhance associate productivity.
A new task management application provides Kroger's night crew managers with greater visibility into the volume and type of merchandise arriving on a given day, store staffing information, and stocking needs. The system also prioritizes team activities in a few clicks on an Android device with associates quickly informed of inventory or delivery changes in real-time.
The second application is Kroger's new store management application, which empowers store leaders to be less dependent on paper tools. The app provides a standardized audit checklist for store managers and department leaders to ensure a high-quality shopping experience for customers. It also offers a customizable walk path that guides store audits, while giving team members flexibility in how store conditions are regularly evaluated.
The foundation of Kroger’s new applications is comprised of several Google Cloud technologies. Google Cloud's AI and machine learning dynamically optimizes Kroger associate task lists based on inbound signals such as goods delivery data and staff availability.
Google Cloud Spanner's fully managed relational database allows Kroger to build an event-driven ledger, which enables the company to capture unique events to make better-informed decisions about how to direct associates to be more productive.
Kroger also uses Google Cloud's Dataflow for capturing and analyzing data from different sources like labor rates, transportation logistics, sales forecasting and out of stock information.
"Technology and digital tools are fundamental elements of how Kroger continues to improve the associate experience," said Jim Clendenen, Vice President, Enterprise Retail Systems, Kroger. "Google Cloud and Deloitte brought us a technology architecture and application framework that we could implement in record time.”
Clendenen also said that results are seen across Kroger stores because of Google Cloud and Deloitte. Associate tasks are optimized, and overall productivity is increased.
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