AI in Retail: Beyond The Hype and Into Reality for Store Operations.
The term "AI" is often thrown around, but what does it really mean?
"How can we make better use of the
$5 trillion we spend every year on management?"
12 months ago, Greg, the Memphis branch manager of a transport business had an alert pop up on his phone. “Hey, you’re spending $14,000 more on cell phones than other branches just like yours – do you really need those 31 extra devices”. Greg investigated and found that Procurement team had allocated him too many cell phones which he wasn’t using. So he canceled the contracts and saved the $14,000. Greg’s action then nudged 50 other branches who found they had the same problem, and the company saved $212,000 for virtually no effort.
This entire process — finding the opportunity, coaching Greg, logging his action, sharing his experience with other managers, measuring the impact, congratulating him — all took place in Quorso. It’s exactly what I explained last week: agile management happening in one easy-to-use, end-to-end, digital platform.
The truth is that engaged managers’ potential to drive sales growth, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction is enormous.
At Quorso we’ve helped it happen in virtually every sector — retail, restaurants, transport etc. Greg’s company saved $10m in one year just from using Quorso for things like cell phones. If you don’t believe me, just look at their 10-K. Another $10bn retailer added 2% to revenue in 3 months of using Quorso. That’s equivalent to $200m of extra revenue.
So I want to share the big idea behind all this. The big idea behind Quorso. The big idea for how we can all make the $5 trillion we spend on management effective.
Management today is this big amorphous blob. Great managers somehow deliver better business results than bad ones, but we’re not quite sure how. And so we apprentice managers over decades in the hope that some of that magic rubs off on them.
At Quorso our idea is this — how about if you could break down management into 4-5 simple data-driven tasks or next best actions for every manager to perform each day. Then the best managers are those who perform the most actions. Someone who performs 100 will outperform someone who does 10. This elusive craft has become a measurable activity.
This is exactly what happened with Greg. In the old world, Greg would have been given a high-level target of saving $100,000 or 10% of branch costs and then would have been left to his own devices. He might have struggled and then rashly hacked costs in an area that harmed sales or customer satisfaction. In the new world. Greg is shown 4-5 personalized best-next-actions each week. He then rapidly implements them to deliver quick, easy savings or extra sales. And in the process, he becomes a better manager, plus shows friends and colleagues how they can also improve.