Today’s retail IT leaders: driving digital transformation from the inside out

May 2, 2022

Not only are today’s IT leaders expected to deliver technical solutions that drive the organization’s business strategies, but they’re also held responsible for helping to grow revenue, cut costs, optimize processes, develop new products, stay in compliance and reduce risk – all while managing the infrastructure to deliver timely, trusted, relevant and secure data to all people, processes and apps for faster and better decisions… Easy, right?

IT Operations: No Small Task

The best IT leaders are visionaries. They are simultaneously driving digital transformation while also evolving existing solutions to solve for pain points across an entire organization. 

It is no small task for IT operations. These individuals are responsible for delivering technical business solutions that drive strategy, grow revenue, and cut costs, all while seamlessly integrating data between systems within the organization’s tech stack. 

Without this role, critical solutions that move a brand forward can’t get implemented. POS, BOPIS, omnichannel strategies, all programs that have kept stores open for business during turbulent phases of the economy, throughout a global pandemic, and across times of technological innovation, would never have been piloted and readied to prove business cases.

That’s why there is a lot to consider when choosing the right operations platform for your IT stack. So we’ve distilled it down to four key considerations for selecting a task and comms platform that fits the needs of your organization:

Implementation

No matter how much careful consideration and rumination, evaluation, gathering responses from proposals, comparing and weighting capabilities of multiple platforms…  implementation is critical. 

Even after you’ve decided which platform is the perfect fit, your resources are likely stretched thin when the time comes to implement. And let’s face it, no matter how futuristic a technology solution is, or how transformative a tool’s potential may be, it is useless if you don’t have support to get it in motion from the onset.

“It’s not just about providing a great tool for stores, it’s also about being a great partner to IT and the organization to make sure to support your journey and the transformations you need to achieve,” says Jeremy Baker, CTO, and co-founder at Zipline.

This partnership has to move at the speed of retail, and it starts with aligning your internal IT department with seasoned tech professionals who act as an extension of your team. That’s why selecting not only a solution, but a partner is critical to increasing the agility, streamlining efficiencies, and saving the time and resources of your already-spread-thin IT team. 

Integration

You’ve heard it before – from HQ to the field and from HR to finance – the company has too many tools. You need to consolidate. Adding tools to your tech stack won’t bridge the gap in understanding, and it certainly won’t help make your employees any more efficient. The bridge? Integrations. 

“You can revive old systems and get a lot more utility out of those systems via a smartly designed integration,” says Simon Batistoni, director, integrations, and partnerships at Zipline.

Through the right communications and task management platform, employees easily connect to workforce and learning management systems through an uncomplicated and clear UI, reducing frustration and increasing adoption. When employees are happy and engaged, more work gets done, driving execution.

Work smarter, not harder, with pre-built integrations with the tools your field teams rely on.

Adoption

What is scarier than the idea of inefficient processes that waste time and money? Finding out that the tool you researched, vetted, and purchased isn’t getting used throughout the organization.

It’s both frustrating and surprising that employees aren’t taking advantage of this integral component of your IT stack. Why? It’s too complicated. Complexity is the adoption killer.

“When you have a system that’s brutal to use, that’s a problem. People don’t use it. They don’t read the communication. Not only is it ineffective, but it’s also detrimental to your ability to get things done. It creates noise and the technology that you’ve purchased to try and reduce noise ends up making more, which is exactly the opposite effect that you want.”  -Jeremy Baker, CTO and Co-founder at Zipline.

When the technology platform targets communications and tasks based upon an individual user’s role, location, and current performance, most retailers see adoption rates shoot to 90%+ across the board. And that means spending more time on what’s most important – the customer.

That’s why adoption is one of the most valuable metrics you can track across your organization!

Support

Once you’ve crossed the finish line, onboarding a new platform, implementing and integrating into your IT stack… the pressure is on! Your team has to solve problems and answer questions that could surface from any employee throughout your entire organization. (All while training educating, and sharing best practices as well as monitoring adoption, readership, and execution along the way). No problem, right? 

Actually, it should be “no problem.” Retail organizations simply don’t have enough time and manpower… which is why you need another team. A team of professionals who know the platform inside and out – some who have literally worked the same jobs of your field, upper field, and publisher employees. With a support team that understands how to provide fast and friendly assistance, your team can be freed up to focus on all the technology that keeps the entire enterprise running smoothly, saving valuable time and expensive resources. 

“Customer satisfaction is the cornerstone to any customer success team. The deep knowledge of our tech support team is enhanced by a thorough understanding of the products and features your organization uses, and the constant sharing of content geared to keep your employees fully informed, engaged and connected.”

– Deri McCrea, Chief Customer Officer at Zipline

One of our greatest joys is reviewing our Customer Satisfaction surveys and seeing how much our customers love using Zipline to manage store communication, align the fleet, and drive store execution. Check out a few of the ways that Zipline differentiates with customer support.


Ultimately, spearheading the infrastructure of retail organizations and evolving your solutions to provide the tools for operational excellence is no small task. That’s why we put together this guide, featuring crucial pieces to consider when choosing the right operations platform for your IT stack. 

🔍 For a closer look at the four keys to selecting a task and communication management platform, download the complete Innovate Operations Guide!

🗺 If you want to explore how Zipline empowers retail leaders like you to enhance your IT stack, grow revenue, and create happier employees and customers…reach out to learn more today.

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