When I initially start talking to people about designing their retail technology points, they very quickly get to the question of how does it benefit my bottom line? The biggest impact of designing retail deployments is that it eliminates the unknowns. And provides a mechanism to conduct dress rehearsals for the deployment and all related processes and procedures. Here are just a few of the benefits that can achieved when a Deployment Design is used.
While the benefits of a Deployment Design can be many depending on the different types and complexities of deployments. It might be helpful to outline some common use cases that show the direct savings that can be gained.
Here’s an example. Rose’s Reads is a national Retailer based in the Midwest that has a portfolio of 1,680 book stores. Established in 1950 as a very small local bookstore, they now offer a wide array of amenities to their customers including a wine and craft beer bar offering monthly tasting parties, a café with snacks and an extensive menu of coffee selections, meeting rooms for book clubs, book signings and corporate events, quiet lounge areas where customers can curl up with a good book or work on their mobile device, a children’s area that provides short-term sitting services, and a sound-proof room where customers can listen to the newest music of any genre. They not only offer the traditional check-out model, but they also provide self-checkout and buy online pickup in store services. Rose’s Reads is committed to creating an environment that is inviting and gives their customer’s reasons to stay for an extended period. And return as a place where they feel a sense of community.
Obviously, Rose’s Reads has a great deal of technology needs and requires ongoing maintenance. As well as break fix services when issues arise. With the nature of the business they are sensitive to any interruption to their store, so they tend to schedule this type of work before or after hours. One recent project they completed was to upgrade their wireless network. This included replacing all the wireless access points which required a lift to install, upgrading the store’s switch, and replacing the wireless controller. To obtain better coverage with the new system, they added wireless access points and moved the position of existing locations, which required additional cabling.
They decided they would procure, configure, and ship all the equipment to the stores. Where they would store the equipment in the back office of each store. Then they would contract with a third-party provider to send a Deployment Technician to each store based on a schedule Rose’s Reads provided them to complete the installation, turn up, and test out.
The project was completed, but experienced significant cost overruns and were two months past the desired completion date. They decided to complete a review into how the project cost so much and went so long. A root cause analysis revealed they spent over $244,000 that could have been avoided had they completed a Deployment Design. Here are the results of this analysis.
As you can see, it does not take long for small details to cause fiscal havoc to your deployment project. Especially when a Deployment Design is not created and implemented. While everyone may plan for a deployment, few take the time to script a formalized design. The Deployment Design should be part of the Deployment Plan, along with the proper amount of time required to complete. Depending on the size and breadth of the project, this could be a significant amount of time. But the time and money saved makes the effort worth it. Don’t ever let another project be executed unless a Deployment Design has been developed, tested, and properly implemented.
With over 30 years of experience in the technology field, Lisa Cook is a thought leader. Specializing in overcoming the challenges associated with complex, multi-site technology deployments, especially with retailers. Her proven approach of designing deployments, rather than just planning them, has led to over 30,000 successful deployments for national and global clients such as Walgreens, Ulta Beauty, Office Max, Walmart, American Eagle, Blockbuster, Chrysler, Simon Property Group, and CBL & Associates.
As Founder of OPL Technologies she is focused on helping Retail Technology Leaders eliminate the challenges of multi-site deployments by creating Deployment Designs that save money and ensure the deployment is done right the first time. She is the author of the recently released book Designing Retail Success: A Blueprint for Designing Retail Technology Deployments.