Learn About the Tech Driving Customer Innovations From One of the Architects of Dick's Digital Strategy

Rafeh Masood joined Dick’s Sporting Goods in June 2013 and has worked on projects such as an Integrated Commerce Framework (ICF) that serves as the company's digital compass to deliver future digital capabilities and adding features to the retailer's mobile app. The omnichannel sporting goods retailer operates more than 675 locations and as Vice President, Customer Innovation Technology, Masood is responsible for digital platforms, enterprise architecture and driving innovation across channels through technology to elevate customer experience across all brands.

Prior to Dick's, Masood served as Vice President of Integrated Retail Solutions at Sears Holdings, where he was responsible for Retail Technology, Learning & Performance Management and Internal Communications functions across 2,000-plus Sears and Kmart stores. Before Sears, Rafeh served as the Chief Procurement Officer and the head of Facilities Management for BAWAG PSK, the largest retail bank in Austria. He also worked for GNX (now Agentrics) where he was responsible for customer relationship management and deployment & management of e-Sourcing programs to top North American retailers.

Masood has been acknowledged for his accomplishments in the retail and technology space with multiple recognitions including Retail Innovator Award, RIS Pacesetters and Pennsylvania Diversity Leadership Award. In his spare time he loves watching sporting events, playing soccer and running.

RIS News recently ­­­had the pleasure of recognizingMasood'scontribution to retail by naming him to our"Top 10 Movers and Shakers in Retail." The following is an exclusive Q&A with the high-ranking retail exec:

Q&A  With Rafeh Masood, Vice President, Customer Innovation Technology, Dick’s Sporting Goods



RIS News: What is your biggest accomplishment to date in the field of retail technology?

Rafeh Masood:At Dick's Sporting Goods, retail technology starts and ends with our customer. We continuously look for ways to elevate customer experience across all channels. A few years ago, we worked on an Integrated Commerce Framework (ICF) that serves as our digital compass to deliver future digital capabilities. The ICF led to the implementation of an integration suite that includes 100s of APIs that we have built, enabling faster development and continuous delivery of meaningful features.

RIS News: What new/emerging technology are you working on now?

Masood: We continue to add meaningful features to Dick's Sporting Goods mobile app and look for opportunities to delight our customers. The “Move” feature of our app allows users to connect fitness tracking applications and earn Dick's Scorecard points for achieving activity goals. We frequently run special challenges on “Move” where users have the opportunity to earn extra Scorecard points. Look for more exciting features in our mobile app over next few months.

RIS News: The title of the piece is “Influential: Top 10 Movers and Shakers?” How do you influence your team? Is there a favorite piece of advice you like to give to get the most out of your staff?

Masood:Being transparent on goals, embracing feedback, continual learning and pivoting whenever necessary are values we have embraced as a team. We have adopted quarterly Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) as the way we operate where work unit is defined, individuals are empowered and innovation is encouraged. We make the OKRs publicly accessible over our intranet where anyone can look at what someone else is working on.

RIS News: Who was the biggest influence on your career and helped you get where you are today?

Masood: My dad has been the biggest influence on my career. His work ethic, sense of responsibility and integrity has played an early role in shaping how I perceive work. Over the years, I have also had the fortune of working with top-notch leaders, mentors and teams who have helped me grow and get to where I am today.

RIS News: What key pieces of technology do you believe are having the biggest influence on the retail industry today?

Masood: I believe the technologies that connect the dots and enrich customer experiences are going to have the biggest influence in retail today. Analytics tools that can turn data into insights, AI that can leverage machine learning to enhance experience, RFID and its many potential applications, mobile which will continue to be the glue between channels and architecture platforms that unlock agility, APIs and automation are some of the technologies that will continue to shape today and tomorrow.