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BJ’s Wholesale Club focuses on member loyalty

BY CSA STAFF

BJ's Wholesale Club is forming a new partnership with Toshiba as the retailer accelerates its efforts to drive member loyalty and sales.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. says it has selected Toshiba TCxCare to manage and be the single point of contact for “wall to wall” maintenance services at its 200 stores.

The scope of TCxCare encompasses Toshiba POS hardware, including servers, and all other third-party original equipment manufacturer (OEM) retail store peripherals. Experts from Toshiba will lead and manage all services, providing maintenance for Toshiba’s System 6 self-checkout and other hardware, and OEM peripherals from other BJ’s vendors. Covered peripherals include in-house scanners, PIN pads, battery back-up devices, printers and displays.

"With a focus on satisfying our members’ demands for value, selection, quality and convenience, especially at the checkout, having Toshiba assume responsibility for our club maintenance, frees up our operations team to focus more on BJ’s core business of driving member loyalty and sales,” said Scott Floeck, CTO, BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. “Based on a review of several vendors, we selected Toshiba’s critical skill sets and multi-vendor expertise in retail store technology to ensure the same specialized support, with one simple touch-point.”

Toshiba will also provide strategic value by managing replacement stock in support of the store’s equipment needs. Collaborating with Sunnyvale, California-based fleet management services provider Trimble Navigation Ltd., Toshiba sends out vans stocked with parts and supplies specifically tailored to the individual customers technicians will be visiting.

“Our goal is to get the customer up and running on the first trip,” said Eugene Shvartsman, executive director & general manager, North America TCxCare at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. “More than 90% of the parts customers need are filled from the van.”

In addition, Toshiba can monitor technicians’ vans in real time, tracking factors such as locations, parts on hand, and parts used for automatic replenishment orders.

“We had a break/fix contract, but want to expand beyond maintenance to give retailers a strategic partner to address all their store IT needs, regardless of the brand being used in stores,” said Shvartsman. “That includes help desk services and installation. We want to be a single point of contact for everything IT-related, so retailers can focus on their core business.”

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Small supermarkets manage big workforce issues in the cloud

BY Dan Berthiaume

Paragould, Ark. – Even smaller retailer still have to handle big issues relating to effectively managing workforce management processes. That’s why small-to-mid-sized supermarket chains such as Paragould, Arkansas-based Hays Supermarkets and Brockton, Massachusetts-based Vicente’s Tropical Grocery are relying on the cloud-based Kronos Workforce Ready Suite.

Using Workforce Ready, these two chains automate a variety of workforce management processes through single-source access in the cloud, providing real-time data from a variety of integrated applications. Specific activities that Hays and Vicente’s have been able to shift from manual to automated include time and attendance, employee scheduling, HR, payroll, and Affordable Care Act (ACA) management.

In addition, the retailers can now offer employees secure mobile access to cloud-based schedules, time off requests, and pay statements.

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Tango is new dance craze for supply chain execs

BY CSA STAFF

In pursuit of the holy grail of maximizing supply chain efficiency, solutions provider Orchestro is taking on the $252 billion challenge with the latest version of its Tango product platform.

Orchestro is a leading demand analytics and data management company and Tango is the name of the collection of software solutions consumer packaged goods companies use to solve some of their biggest supply chain challenges. Technically speaking, Tango is what supply chain executives and IT types call a SaaS-based demand signal management platform.

Orchestro’s latest release (version 9) brings a range of enhanced capabilities that let users address inventory distortions cause by out-of-stocks and overstocks. It is a global problem and costs North American retailers alone more than $252 billion annually, according to a recent study by IHL Group. CPG companies could reduce this problem by better managing their supply chains and forecasts using actual in-store demand data, according to Orchestro.

“By enabling our customers to quickly identify and resolve supply chain and in-store execution issues, we help them maximize their efficiency,” said Gary Maxwell, chief solutions officer for Orchestro. “This helps our customers minimize inventory distortion and capture lost sales opportunity.”

One way that goal is accomplished is through Tango Insights and a newly included set of detailed supply chain analytics designed to combat inventory distortion. Designed to support root-cause analysis, the reports help customers identify potential problems with in-stock percentage, adjust forecasts and track forecast error using Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE), quickly view their inventory pipeline, and validate compliance with retailer mandates related to fill rates, delivery dates and other inventory measures.

Another area of emphasis is closed-loop broker activity reporting. CPG companies spend billions annually on third party brokers to help them manage in-store execution, promotions and other inventory activities. To get the most from this investment, CPG companies need a mechanism to ensure that broker personnel are focused on addressing the right issues, in the right places, at the right times, according to Orchestro. As a result, the firm’s Tango Science ShelfSense solution delivers on shelf availability (OSA) alerts to brokers, prioritized based on lost sales opportunity. Broker activity to correct in-store issues is also captured within the platform and then dashboards are used to show broker activity on alerts, lost sales recaptured and other metrics for any retailer-broker combination.

Lastly, demand-focused inventory orders are designed to simplify replenishment. It can take CPG operations personnel hours to create store-specific orders for promotional inventory replenishment – and in most cases the orders don’t take current inventory or in-store demand into account, according to Orchestro. Excessive orders may result in overstocks, contributing to inventory distortion. Using the new store ordering feature within Tango Science PromoSense, CPG personnel can create more accurate orders in a fraction of the time.

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