Monday, January 14, 2019

Robots in the Grocery Aisles but Dummies in the Seats

If there is one thing that remains constant within the grocery retail sector according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Itt is the fact that out of stock items continue to run at about 10% within the grocery sector that is 2% worse than the 10 year average of 8%.
While 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the grocery retail robot that we have documented for many years on this blog as regular readers know.  Increasingly, self-contained rolling assistants are roaming store aisles capturing and sharing valuable data to boost efficiencies, financial performance and customer satisfaction and the result is the same.  So, why are the shelves empty now at 10% which is worse than before. 
Simple, unrealistic labor standards as store managers fight to keep labor cost low the shelves remain out of many items according to Johnson. According to IHL Group, global retailers lose nearly $450 billion in revenue annually as a result of empty shelves and other in-store inventory inconsistencies.
While, autonomous robots roving through store aisles can automate the entire process while continuously scanning shelves to capture data about pricing, planograms and inventory levels. Someone still needs to put the product on the shelfs.  This is not a problem about data it is a problem in providing the proper matrix to ensure proper staffing at the store level according to Johnson.
Does anyone think the store managers don’t know why the shelves are out of times?  Time and time again as Foodservice Solutions® team members are out in the field conducting grocerant scorecards we hear from retailers they just don’t have the staffing.  Is it any wonder that during the past 12 years there are 50% fewer traditional grocery stores in the US?  Technology is great don’t get me wrong.  However, corporate follow through and readjusting labor matrices is not a job for dummies.
When was the last time you went to McDonald's, Burger King, T.G.I. Friday's, Red Lobster, Olive Garden and they were out of stock? 
For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit , or call 1-253-759-7869

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