News Briefs


Raymour & Flanigan Bolsters Warehouse Management Tech Capabilities

raymour and flanigan store

Mattress company Raymour & Flanigan is building out its digital warehouse capabilities, investing in a new solution to help drive greater efficiency and reduce reliance on manual processes across the enterprise. 

The retailer has partnered with Körber to support the project and make the necessary upgrades. The initiative will streamline supply chain processes, increase forecasting accuracy, and implement more sophisticated WMS and software systems. 

The retailer also says that digitizing warehouse functions will speed up the rate at which it can respond to customer inquiries and ultimately deliver a better customer experience. 

The furniture retailer also said it predicts the investment will help free up associates for more value-added tasks, such as spending time with customers. “Körber will help our associates do their jobs even more efficiently, enabling them to spend more time building customer connections,” said Bryan Anastasi, vice president of customer care and business solutions at Raymour & Flanigan, in a statement. 

Founded in 1947, Raymour & Flanigan is now the largest furniture and mattress retailer in the Northeast and the seventh largest nationwide.  As a result of this strong growth trajectory, the company has made a number of tech investments in recent months. Back in November, for example, the furniture retailer partnered with Oracle NetSuite to implement its new ERP system and gain greater visibility across the business. 



Salesforce Launches ‘World’s First’ Generative AI for CRM: Einstein GPT


Salesforce has launched Einstein GPT, which it claims is the “world’s first generative AI CRM technology.”

Einstein GPT, aims to transform every customer experience with generative artificial intelligence (AI). The technology delivers AI-created content across every sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT interaction, at hyperscale.

Einstein GPT will infuse Salesforce’s proprietary AI models with generative AI technology from an ecosystem of partners and real-time data from the Salesforce Data Cloud, which ingests and unifies all of a company’s customer data. With Einstein GPT, customers can then connect that data to OpenAI’s advanced AI models out of the box, or choose their own external model and use natural-language prompts directly within their Salesforce CRM to generate content that continuously adapts to changing customer information and needs in real time.

For example, Einstein GPT can generate personalized emails for salespeople to send to customers, generate specific responses for customer service professionals to answer customer questions, generate targeted content for marketers to increase campaign response rates, and auto-generate code for developers.

“The world is experiencing one of the most profound technological shifts with the rise of real-time technologies and generative AI,” said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.  “This comes at a pivotal moment as every company is focused on connecting with their customers in more intelligent, automated, and personalized ways. Einstein GPT, in combination with our Data Cloud and integrated in all of our clouds as well as Tableau, MuleSoft, and Slack, is another way we are opening the door to the AI future for all our customers, and we’ll be integrating with OpenAI at launch.”

Salesforce is combining OpenAI’s enterprise-grade ChatGPT technology with Salesforce’s private AI models to deliver AI-generated content.

“We’re excited to apply the power of OpenAI’s technology to CRM,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. “This will allow more people to benefit from this technology, and it allows us to learn more about real-world usage, which is critical to the responsible development and deployment of AI — a belief that Salesforce shares with us.” 

Launching today are:

  • Einstein GPT for Sales: Auto-generate sales tasks like composing emails, scheduling meetings, and preparing for the next interaction. 
  • Einstein GPT for Service: Generate knowledge articles from past case notes. Auto-generate personalized agent chat replies to increase customer satisfaction through personalized and expedited service interactions.
  • Einstein GPT for Marketing: Dynamically generate personalized content to engage customers and prospects across email, mobile, web, and advertising.
  • Einstein GPT for Slack Customer 360 apps: Deliver AI-powered customer insights in Slack like smart summaries of sales opportunities and surface end users actions like updating knowledge articles.
  • Einstein GPT for Developers: Improve developer productivity with Salesforce Research’s proprietary large language model by using an AI chat assistant to generate code and ask questions for languages like Apex.


Salesforce also announced a Generative AI Fund from Salesforce Ventures, the company’s global investment arm. The new $250 million fund will invest in high-potential startups, bolster the startup ecosystem, and spark the development of responsible, trusted, and generative AI.


Amazon Business Launches 3-Way Match for Mobile App

amazon trucks

Amazon Business announced the launch of 3-Way Match on the Amazon Business mobile app to help business customers automate reporting, taking the old desktop or handheld scanner reporting to the app. 

Now available in the U.S., the new 3-Way Match app enables account administrators and approved buyers to use a mobile device to simply scan the barcode of a package when it arrives and automatically mark the item as received. With this new feature, the nearly 1 million active users on the Amazon Business mobile app in the U.S. have a faster way to close purchase orders.

Amazon Business helps businesses digitize and automate procurement with management controls and analytic tools. Among those tools is 3-Way Match, a common accounting control to ensure that a business’ purchase payments are received, accurate, and complete. Until now, it was cumbersome to use because it was only available on desktop or via handheld scanners. The mobile version adds the extra flexibility of being able to complete a 3-Way Match in real-time from anywhere. A successful 3-Way Match includes matching and verifying the purchase order, the invoice, and the receipt before a payment is made.

“Manual processes cannot be scaled efficiently, especially for large organizations,” said Doug Gray, vice president of technology at Amazon Business. “Integrating our 3-Way Match capability on the Amazon Business mobile app simplifies the process so customers can reconcile their purchases in seconds. At Amazon, we’re driven to find better ways for our customers to work, and our 3-Way Match mobile scan does just that.”

With 3-Way Match, accounts payable and procurement teams can protect their organization from paying for incorrect invoices, items not yet received, or fraudulent purchases. This helps businesses of all sizes improve efficiency and reporting capabilities while also reducing time spent on manual data entry and avoiding payment for damaged or incorrect packages.

Customers can download the Amazon Business mobile app by visiting Google Play store for Android users or the Apple App store for iOS users and get started with 3-Way Match. For more information about 3-Way Match and how to use it, visit


Kroger To Raise Hourly Wages, Invest $770 Million Into Workforce Wellbeing

kroger teaser image

Kroger is doubling down on efforts to retain hard-to-find frontline retail staff, announcing a significant financial investment to increase hourly wages, open up learning opportunities, and broaden access to healthcare options. 

The company has steadily been making investments and wage increases for several years now, and this latest round of financing will build on the $1.9 billion the retailer has put towards benefits and salaries since 2018. Four years ago, Kroger hiked their average hourly rate to $18 or $23.50 per hour with benefits.

Over the years, the company has laid out a range of other perks for frontline associates, including an educational program that offers workers up to $21,000 toward continuing education opportunities, free financial coaching, and access to counseling services. 

“Investing in our associates' holistic well-being is an essential part of what makes Kroger an employer of choice, and ultimately becomes an investment in our customers and communities," said Tim Massa, Kroger's SVP and chief people officer. “When we think about how we build our benefits, we want to enable every associate to thrive financially and emotionally – both in their careers and at home. We look forward to continuing to celebrate our associates and the many ways they show up for our customers and each other every day.” 

The grocer has made significant efforts to increase their workforce investments this year. In January, Kroger announced plans to elevate store leadership and associate experience, taping into machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analytics to improve real-time operational decisions.

Specifically designed to assist night crews, the retailer tapped Google and Deloitte to roll out task management cloud technology across its 2,800 with a view to increasing visibility into merchandising, store staffing information, and stocking needs.


Walmart to Nearly Double Health Center Footprint

Walmart Health

Walmart is planning a massive expansion if its Walmart Health centers in 2024.

The retailer announced it will open 28 new locations next year, expanding Walmart Health’s footprint into two new states – Missouri and Arizona – and deepening it presence in Texas. The expansion will bring the total number of Walmart Health centers in the U.S. to 75.

“With this growth in 2024, we will nearly double our current footprint, offering accessible, convenient and affordable care in two new states and expanding our presence in Texas to help the communities we serve live better, healthier lives,” said Dr. David Carmouche, SVP, omnichannel care.

Walmart, which opened its first Walmart Health center in 2019, said it will materialize some of the feedback it has heard from listening to its patients into the new centers. For example, the retailer said it is changing the physical footprint and layout of the center so patients spend less time in the waiting room and has integrated modern equipment and technology into the centers. This includes integrating Epic’s electronic health record system across Walmart Health locations.

The new facilities will be approximately 5,750 square feet, located inside Walmart Supercenters, and will feature Walmart Health’s full suite of health services; the range of services include primary care, dental care, behavioral health, labs and X-ray, audiology and Walmart Health Virtual Care telehealth services.

The first of the new Walmart Health centers will open in the first quarter of 2024. New locations include:

  • 10 locations in Dallas, TX, metro area
  • 8 locations in Houston, TX, metro area
  • 6 locations in Phoenix, AZ, metro area
  • 4 locations in Kansas City, MO, metro area

Brazilian Fashion Retailer Renner Reduces 87% of Stockouts


Renner, one of the largest fashion retailers in Brazil, reports an 87% reduction in stockouts and a 64% increase in inventory accuracy, after implementing technology to optimize its in-store and e-commerce operations.

The retailer’s internal findings and reporting discovered the improvements after implementing Sensormatic Solutions Inventory Intelligence solution, powered by RFID technology, across all its stores in 2019.

According to Renner, more than 500 million of their products sold have been tagged with the RFID technology since 2019, enabling over 4 million item-level readings daily. In addition to increasing the abundance and quality of their data, the retailer can now better optimize the route each product takes from distribution center to stores with greater visibility. With access to real-time data management and product availability, Renner can have accurate inventory information, which is essential for their omnichannel operation.

For example, Renner can now see which items were taken into the fitting room and if they were eventually sold or not. Additionally, shoppers, regardless of the channel (in-store or online), can have better visibility of where a product is located to help choose the right purchase model.

“By leveraging greater inventory intelligence across our physical and online channels, we boosted our omnichannel strategy and digital sales,” said Alexandre Ribeiro, risks director at Renner. “Additionally, with Sensormatic Solutions RFID technology, we have a single source of truth for inventory data which allows our sales associates the ability to process our inventory in a matter of hours on a monthly basis, rather than annually.”

Sensormatic Solutions, the global retail solutions portfolio of Johnson Controls, enabled Renner to transform and improve existing processes and technologies throughout its stores by:

  • Using a single smart RFID label: to enable data capture as well as security applications, eliminating the need for additional labels while improving the project’s ROI.
  • Implementing RFID at the checkout: to eliminate the need for barcode readings and improve customer service.
  • Adding RFID alarm pedestals at the store entrance: to provide visibility of theft events and effectiveness of their loss prevention strategies.

As a result of this work, Renner’s deployment of Sensormatic Solutions Inventory Intelligence solution was selected as a finalist in the retail category of the international RFID Journal Awards 2022. Also, Renner earned the ABRAPPE 2022 SUPER PREMIO award that recognizes the company’s innovative implementation of Sensormatic Solutions’ RFID Technology.