Today’s retail environment is as challenging and competitive as ever. Retailers must provide superior service, requiring workers to manage thousands of SKUs, assist with omnichannel order execution, accommodate spikes in customer volume, execute new protocols for safety and compliance, offer expert product advice, and more.
This post is co-authored by Greg Albrecht, Co-Founder and CTO, Orion Labs and Colin Goodwin, ISV Business Development Manager, Zebra Technologies Corporation.
Retail executives know providing this exceptional customer service is key to the bottom line and need solutions that support customer service, reduce costs, increase sales, and speed operational throughput. To do this, retail organizations must invest in the right technology that empowers workers with fast access to information, reduced training times for new employees, and optimization and automation of routine processes.
As partners, Orion and Zebra help solve these everyday challenges for retailers. Orion’s voice-first, intelligent collaboration platform improves workforce productivity and employee engagement. And Zebra’s retail solution connects people, assets, and data to help retailers make better decisions in real-time. Orion and Zebra’s combined solution for the retail workforce supports the realities of customer-facing roles with voice-activated collaboration and access to information, enabling workers to stay engaged while offering a superior retail experience.
Together, Orion and Zebra systems provide always-on, scalable solutions that offer improved employee collaboration, productivity, visibility, and customer experience through operational control, process automation, and intelligence amplification that connects on-the-floor workers to SMEs and systems providing the knowledge they need to do their jobs expertly and confidently.
Orion and Zebra provide operational control by connecting workers to teams, regional managers, and headquarters, enabling organizations to coordinate and centralize operational visibility across the enterprise from warehouse, distribution, transportation to store operations, and department and regional managers.
This access to centralized visibility enhances decision making and productivity and ensures managers know precisely where workers are located on-premises — down to the aisle. Added precision decreases response times to requests for assistance with customers or the redeployment of workers to high-traffic areas like busy cashier registers.
Real-time visibility into inventory also assists in eliminating human error. Orion is the voice operations system of record, and Zebra provides the real-time data workers need to ensure they always have the most up-to-date information. Retail executives need assurance that their workers have access to the latest information on inventory levels, products, and promotions.
The combination of Orion’s voice-first solution with Zebra’s operations technology assures managers that floor workers use the real-time data that best serves customers and increases productivity.
Together, Orion and Zebra automate routine and procedural tasks that people do every day, allowing them to better focus on improving the customer experience and increasing product turnover.
Game-changing, automated workflows support fast action by retail employees. Workers use Orion’s voice-first, intelligent platform to query Zebra’s system and kick off workflows. Voice triggers or requests provide access to the store’s inventory or operations databases, allowing workers to remain heads-up and hands-free as they engage customers, restock shelves, move inventory, access product information, and more.
In omnichannel commerce, process automation improves execution for online order pick-ups and customer fulfillment. Automated workflows also help retailers reduce customer wait times by optimizing register back-ups and locked case requests. In other examples, workers can kickstart the restocking of items using workflow voice commands that begin the process by alerting workers responsible for restocking, querying stock levels, and ordering more products if needed.
Orion and Zebra combine to enable these workflows that don’t take employees away from their point of work. Automating or even eliminating routine steps ultimately increases sales and improves customer response time by creating more time to focus on the store’s unique retail experience.
Many organizations turn to artificial intelligence (AI) technology that seeks to replace workers with robots. Alternatively, Orion believes in the intelligence amplification (IA) of workers. Intelligence amplification aims to empower retail workers at the point of work — wherever that may be.
Retailers oversee workers routinely distributed across inventory stock rooms, management offices, the retail floor, and check-out. Challenges arise when retailers need to communicate product and promotion information of thousands of SKUs to employees in real-time. Hands-free, voice-activated solutions ensure workers have access to the right information in real-time with instant access to experts and retail systems like Zebra.
This need is particularly critical in environments requiring heavy expertise in merchandise like wine, beer, and liquor, hardware supplies, sporting goods, or technology stores. These stores need to support their retail associates with access to SMEs with the expertise or knowledge to immediately assist customers without leaving the floor or calling for back-up.
Intelligence amplification also ensures all workers are ready and productive on Day 1. In an industry with a high-turnover and/or seasonal workers, retailers are assured that new workers have immediate access to the information they need to get up to speed fast. This reduces training times for new hires by providing voice-activated access to enterprise-wide expertise.
Orion and Zebra immediately enable employees to deliver value at their point of work and provide the highest customer service levels.
Always on. Always Secure. Always Available on Any Network.
Orion supports the always-on ability to communicate with teams of any size, including unlimited groups, 1:1 communication, and mass communication — from the registers to the back office, from delivery drivers to loading docks, and floor managers to security teams. Message storage, playback, and archival abilities ensure workers never miss a message. Orion likewise supports retail operations that manage their entire supply chain, connecting workers in distribution centers to logistics counterparts to individual stores or to headquarters.
No matter the distance, Orion supports the highest quality of multimodal communications with voice, text, files, video, or images across any network, including LTE (5G-ready), private LTE (CBRS), Wi-Fi, satellite, and mesh.
Orion and Zebra for the Retail Industry
The retail industry is under extraordinary pressure to modernize and digitally transform across the enterprise. New omnichannel business models, competitors, evolving consumer expectations, employee safety protocols, and complex supply chains all drive the need to improve efficiency, productivity, and customer experience.
Together, Orion and Zebra uniquely meet the needs of retail customers that are implementing digital transformation strategies and modernizing operations and worker collaboration.
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