Intelligent process automation – A game-changer for the Retail Industry

The retail industry has always been incredibly dynamic. It has been at the forefront of every major technological revolution. Perhaps that is the reason the retail industry has not only survived but come out stronger after every crisis. Right from the time of World War II, through every pandemic and economic downfall, the retail industry has set an example of how to bounce back.  It has provided major support for every economic recovery after every downturn.

Department stores came into existence in the mid-to-late 19th century, the first shopping mall became operational by 1954, and the journey of evolution has never stopped ever since. Currently, the size of the global retail industry is USD 23 trillion and is expected to maintain healthy growth in the future as well. The death knell for physical retail has been sounded for many years now with the emergence of ecommerce. But physical retail has shown resilience with transformation to different formats, with experience centers, distribution centers and dark stores, and new innovative last mile delivery models.

Brick and mortar stores have been severely impacted with the recent pandemic, but even companies whose business models are built around online retail have seen numerous challenges. Customers continue to expect prompt, high-quality service from retail brands both online and offline, while demand has seen huge swings. 

Whether physical or digital commerce, Intelligent process automation (IPA) can be a major growth enabler across business sectors. Intelligent automation in stores, distribution warehouses and back-office operations provides retailers with the flexibility to identify and adjust for changes in customer traffic and buying patterns, both in-store and online. It is starting to play a vital role in the growth and evolution of the retail sector as a whole. Let us see how IPA is contributing to the growth trajectory of the industry.  

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The power of immediate solutions

Albert Einstein famously said “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

Today’s enterprises are not very different. Problems keep festering for ages, workarounds abound and the can keeps getting pushed down the road. Until it is already too late. Business as usual no longer works – and you need an immediate solution!

Enterprise processes are often very complex, making digitization a challenging proposition. Traditional development methodologies take an insane amount of time to document, build, test, deploy and maintain your applications. Your business leaders have the process expertise and know the problem statements quite well. But a lack of budget, time and technical expertise is often the main reason why implementing potential solutions keep getting delayed.

With today’s dynamic business environment, problems are evolving at a rapid pace, and digitization is no longer an option, but an imperative to stay relevant. A fundamental change in mindset is necessary to enable building solutions rapidly.

With the advent of no-code and low-code development platforms, enterprises can now empower a whole new set of business users to build, integrate and scale processes, without depending on back-logged IT teams or dependency on external development partners.

With the rapid pace of development, and the low cost of deploying solutions, processes can be transformed overnight. And with DIY capability, changes can be made in a matter of hours.

At Zvolv, we have seen the transformative power of ‘immediate solutions’ first hand at our customers. Here are some recent examples of value customers have driven in days, which would have otherwise taken them weeks.

  1. A leader in fashion retail had an urgent need recently to collect personalized information from their network of over 8k employees to meet an on-going financial audit mandate. With sensitive financial data needing to be shared, off-shelf SaaS tools were not an option. And with a short two day timeline, custom development would not have worked either. Fortunately they had just on-boarded with Zvolv and were able to quickly build the required web and mobile forms, pre-populated with contextual data, coupled with tasks, notifications and dashboards to visualize the feedback and take corrective actions.
  2. A large public services organization got approved to run its private Covid vaccination drive for its 50k+ employees and family members. With a vastly diverse group of people to cater to with varying degrees of digital enablement, any solution deployed had to be flexible enough to accommodate every user. Having used Zvolv previously for other initiatives, it was the natural preference to build this tracking and payment management solution on. In a matter of 2-3 days, the solution was put together, and iterated on several times to accommodate feedback from many stakeholders. Over 10k vaccinations were conducted within the first week of launch.
  3. A leading grocery retailer was faced with a sudden change in business plans due to the Covid imposed lock-downs recently, where the volume of home-delivery requests grew suddenly from less than 5% of their business to almost half of the business. The store rostering plans had to be rapidly reworked. Zvolv was already in use for other optimizations and they were able to leverage Zvolv’s data and dashboards, and run quick analysis to enable putting hiring plans together for the entire network of over 800 stores.

These are just a few examples of the kind of use cases that organizations would struggle to automate and fall back to depending on excel sheets and emails, if a no-code/low-code platform isn’t already in place.

No-code platforms like Zvolv can drive enterprise grade digital transformations, with solutions that take days to roll out. Zvolv is built for the enterprise – with security, scalability, and reliability you need to deliver end-end solutions for your most critical business processes.