This year, we were lucky enough to join leading retail professionals in New Orleans for RILA’s Annual AP Conference. This wasn’t your average event – RILA stresses the importance of collaboration through interactive round-tables and panel discussions that the Profitect team was honored to be a part of this year. Since RILA AP was such a stellar event for us this year, it’s difficult to choose just a few highlights that stood out as favorites, but I did my best:
- Unlocking The Truth in Your Data: Opening Pandora’s Box
I was joined by Eric Pidgeon and Scott Pethuyne of ascena retail group for a session about the real truths (that are sometimes ugly) lurking in retailers’ data sets. While many people frequently rely on long-form reports to find the answers to data disasters, these reports typically leave them searching for more. I have talked to countless people who admit to spending their weekends searching through pages and pages of exception based reports (EBR) reports, only to miss the key takeaway or the action that needs to be assigned in order to make a difference. My session with Eric and Scott allowed me to share tips for getting more out of EBR reports from POS EBR and others, by adopting an action-based approach. Digging deeper into the topic, Eric and Scott at ascena retail group did a great job of guiding the packed crowd through best practices for how to leverage prescriptive analytics to become more efficient, easily identify true positive fraud, and work collaboratively across the business. They also provided detailed examples of patterns and ugly truths they were able to uncover in their own data and their appreciation for the system’s ability to help them find and resolve those issues quickly, sometimes not by AP, but also able to leverage the store operations for specific pattern of behaviors where a store manager or deputy can fix the issue and generate the value. The session was a big success, and participants left with best practices and important real-world validation on why prescriptive analytics is needed as the new EBR for POS and the results that can be achieved.
- Leveraging the Latest Trends in Business Intelligence & Analytics
My colleague Kelli Woelfel took part in an open forum discussion about the latest trends in BI, where she was joined by experts Scott Glenn of Sears Holdings Corporation, Andy Jones of Tractor Supply Company, and Joan Sparks of Tyco Integrated Security. This was an exciting conversation, as these retail leaders, all with different backgrounds, were able to come together to share stories and insights about their data platforms. Kelli was able to highlight the power of prescriptive analytics and share insights about action-based reports versus exception-based reporting, providing the engaged audiences with key takeaways to improve their data analytics strategies.
- The Traditional Retail Landscape & Prescriptive Analytics
Seth Hughes, senior manager of asset protection at Walgreens was joined by Mike Hourigan, lead asset protection director of Walgreens and Angela Branstrom, asset protection manager of Walgreens and they shared personal insights about why Walgreens needed to implement a solution that removed the reliance on long-form reports, EBR reports and cut back on the hours and resources spent analyzing them. It’s no wonder that Gartner predicts the prescriptive analytics market will reach $1.1 billion by 2019. This session was one of my favorites because Seth really went into detail about implementing a prescriptive analytics solution and how employees and the company are benefiting big time from this change. Seth was able to share specific results with the attendees in order for them to fully understand the ROI that is available to them and how quickly it can be achieved, he shared upstream opportunities the system found that are occurring at HQ, but impacting the profitability of stores as well as downstream opportunities that are impacting only specific stores, he shared store operation compliance findings as well as a few fraud related findings.
- Industry Recognition in the Form of Award Wins
I left RILA’s AP event feeling like I had just learned so many new best practices surrounding business intelligence, investigations; working with different retail organizations and that was great. However, recognition of the success of Profitect’s prescriptive analytics solution from industry professionals really was the icing on the cake. For the second consecutive year, Profitect was named the ‘Retailers Choice’ from retail attendees at RILA. Knowing that Profitect is able to provide a solution that was voted the best by our peers, partners, and customers was an amazing feeling. To top it off, Profitect also won second place for our new shrink prediction capabilities in the RILA (R) Tech Innovation Awards. Award wins like these that celebrate Profitect’s commitment to customer success further our drive to continue to innovate for our customer base.
Seeing both new and familiar faces was rewarding, and I was pleased that I had the honor of presenting among some of the brightest names in the industry. We had a wonderful time during this year’s RILA AP event, including two fantastic dinner events, one with other partners in the form of this year’s CRAZE, but especially a Customer Appreciation dinner on Tuesday evening that turned into a great networking opportunity among our customer base and left everyone feeling like part of our Profitect family and our exchange platform called PACT– which is what we love hearing best!
We would love to know your thoughts as well. If you were at the show, please share some of your personal favorite highlights with us on twitter: @Profitect. I’m excited for what the rest of this year will bring and the team is looking forward to next year’s conference already!
If you’re interested in meeting with Profitect at an upcoming retail technology conference, check out where we’ll be next on our events page.