Mobile Solutions in the Grocer and Retail Industry

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Mobile Solutions in the Grocer and Retail Industry

By Garrett Long, SVP of Strategic Consulting at Tangoe - 08/08/2016
The grocer and retail industry faces many logistical challenges when managing large store chains. Between employees, managers, and suppliers, there is a lot to keep track of and there is a growing amount of information being shared on a daily basis. Collaboration is crucial to remain on top of things and make sure the operation runs smoothly and efficiently. As these teams work together to keep their company moving forward, communication also comes into play. When it comes to dealing with such a large and evolving business, mobile solutions can be transformative in the operations of the stores and business overall.

Mobility is not only enhancing the customer experience from payments to sales offers, but it is a critical component to the back office. Mobility plays a significant role in the supply chain – distribution, warehousing and inventory – and is an easy way to connect food distributors to stores and employees to managers. It increases efficiency and allows for better employee management. Businesses can empower their employees and encourage more organization as well. Using mobility can also grant workers a feeling of freedom and allow them to manage their own schedule. Workers are also able to communicate instantly, saving time and making their working experience more enjoyable. The happier the employee, the more successful the company becomes.

Implementing mobility can also enhance customer experience and keep customers coming back. Many businesses are using self-check-out via mobile devices so customers don’t have to wait on long lines. Employees can also use devices when assisting customers with any inventory items or returns. The appealing idea of being able to get in and get out and assisted easily will drive business and keep customers coming back.

Many of these larger store chains deal with huge amounts of inventory and warehousing. Mobility allows for easy access to information regarding product location and organization. Employees are able to update this data in real time which increases productivity and ensure that the company doesn’t lose any money from product loss. Grocery stores can also use this to keep tabs on how long certain food items stay fresh.

To successfully integrate a mobility solution the devices need to be properly managed and companies need to be proactive in updating their management process. Security should remain at top of mind and a unified program is best to handle logistics. Companies with a large number of employees need to ensure that they have the resources to manage it. This includes employees, funding and time to train new users. A helpdesk with policy management administration support, server monitoring and maintenance, upgrades and reporting is also helpful. These devices all need to be unified as well on a single platform so companies can deploy mobility quickly and manage services all in one place.

Mobility will continue to transform these industries with a growing reliance on telecommunication. As more retail and grocery chains acknowledge this trend and adopt mobility, telecommunications spending will rise.  Companies will have Mobile Device Management, Mobility Managed Services and Bring Your Own Device to work with when implementing a mobile solution. Some companies may even invest in custom app development. These companies will focus on choosing tools that will boost collaboration, secure data and reduce overages and costs. The bottom line remains that mobility is a platform for innovation.

-Garrett Long, SVP of Strategic Consulting at Tangoe