Office Depot’s Terry Campbell and Tim Nelson, IT director, enterprise data and intelligence discussed the retailer’s decision to move its critical enterprise data to the cloud in their “Office Depot: The Retail Analytics Struggle Is Real” session.
Office Depot has been undergoing a massive transformation over the past two years as its pivots from an office supplies retailer, to an office supplies and services provider. Along the way numerous critical decisions had to be made. The retailer relies on mountains of enterprise and shopper data every step of the way to ensure the new organization is healthy and stronger than ever before.
“We are a data-driven company,” Nelson said. “Everyone throughout the organization relies on data. When we talk about our transformation it is all run on data.”
To provide seamless access to all of that enterprise data, Office Depot has transitioned its data storage to the cloud. The move to the cloud allows the retailer to scale up and down its computing needs in real-time, paying only for the computing power it actually consumes. The move has produced significant financial savings for Office Depot, while simultaneously eliminating data slowdowns during peak user hours.
During “The Inclusion Imperative: Responding to and Advancing Real-Time D&I challenges,” Shannon Schuyler, PwC, noted that “diversity is no longer a competitive issue, or just a business issue. It is a societal issue.”
Schuyler introduced: Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S.; Carolyn Tastad, Procter & Gamble; and James Fripp, YUM! Brands.
“We are a home furnishing company,” said Petersson of IKEA, “but at our core we are about people, we believe people can do a lot of things together when they are different.”
He noted a company’s leadership must take action on furthering diversity and inclusion, and cited his post at IKEA Japan, where he said three of the 1,000 IKEA managers in Japan were women at the time. When his team asked female employees what would make management positions more attractive to them, they mentioned work/life balance. By the time Petersson left, 43% of IKEA’s managers there were women.
Tastad spoke about five pernicious myths about women that society has bought into and noted that “the mix of men and women is 50/50 at the lower leadership and management levels — but much less at higher levels.”
“We don’t need to fix the women,” she said. “We need to fix the system.”
Fripp noted that the business case for diversity and inclusion has been proven time and time again, and cited the purchasing power of the LGBTQ community alone is more than $1 trillion and all future U.S. growth will come from a multicultural and racially blended population.
In a fireside chat, "More In Store: Target Invests in Its Guests and Its Future," Target CEO Brian Cornell spoke about how his organization is reimagining its stores and reinventing its brands.
"Whether we are in an up market or a down market, or a strong consumer market or a soft one, there will always be a next generation of shoppers, so you have to put the consumer in the middle of every decision you make,” said Cornell. “You have to constantly reinvest and play your own game and not someone else’s."
Target has been reinvesting in its workforce and Cornell noted “the best investment we made was in our team and they are driving the sales and engagement success we are enjoying. Human connections matter. It is part of our experience and what differentiates our brand, this is why we are sitting here today saying we are having the best year in a decade."
Target has been successfully navigating one of the most profound periods of change the industry’s ever seen.
"Technology is going to disrupt the future of work, perhaps sooner than we thought,” he said. “We are exploring everything from AI to VR, but we see no substitute to our stores and our employees. We focus on building talent and personal service."
He also noted, "it’s hard not to be distracted by the bright shiny objects, but the changes we make are led by the consumer."