As a retailer, you understand the need to grow and change year on year to suit the market. One problem is that retail technology is built for long term ROI and can therefore fall behind, opening gaps in your capability. IT is often viewed as a cost, a black box you throw an indeterminate amount of money in that delivers an unpredictable service level back to the business.

Technology can and should be a business enabler, helping the Retail Enterprise stay agile and ahead of competitors, to access new markets and improve the rate of return on capital through process improvement. 

Key Areas of Opportunity

Based on our experience supporting large retail Enterprises in NZ there are a few common technology opportunities.

Supply Network Optimisation (SNO)

A typical, unoptimised supply network will have double the capital tied up in inventory that it needs to and would rarely achieve better than 90% product availability as opposed to a target 98%.  The SNO models exist to forecast demand, provide real time updates, manage stock location, replenish just-in-time and reduce obsolescence.  It takes more than a simple POS to ERP integration though; the demand model needs to be built into the replenishment automation.  SNO specialists use forecasting models, sales, Visual AI and IoT to integrate your retail and supply chain’s systems for predictable levels of improvement that mean bottom line return.

Labour Schedule Optimisation

Most retail organisation know their store personnel are too busy to serve customers at peak times and at other times not busy at all. Any improvements in customer service and labour utilisation rates again go straight to the bottom line but predicting demand and managing it in real-time is difficult.

The two main components to a solution are demand forecasting (similar to SNO above) and work modes. Predicted and real-time demand is handled similarly to SNO but requires agile staff engagement processes and systems e.g. for offering work at short notice. Peak and trough work modes requires task mapping for each role and mode and certain systems to switch modes along with the users.  An example might be during quiet times more upsell prompts are shown on self-service kiosks or POS, or maintenance tasks are higher up on the system menus.


Your Systems, IoT devices, customer engagement platforms, Social Media and third parties like Google and payment platforms are generating billions of records that could be combined to provide insights that radically change the way your Retail Enterprise goes to market.  Questions range from new products or locations, to operational efficiency.   The challenge is it is hard enough to figure what happened from existing systems that don’t talk to each other easily and IT is always too busy and expensive and provide too few answers far too late.

 The solution is to aim for a self-service analytics and reporting platform. This will require open systems (so you can get to the data), data lakes (so you can keep it all without changing it, probably in the Cloud) and a self-service reporting and analytics tool (no longer a big deal – MS POWER BI will do). Next the business needs to get in the habit of asking questions, getting answers, making changes, predicting the results, checking the results and course correcting; and then doing it all again.  When you know what reports you need regularly, lock that into an assured delivery data warehouse.  If you start with a data warehouse and hope to get insights, it will just cost a fortune and disappoint. Ask yourself, what if you knew it, would totally change your business.  The answers are probably achievable through the combination of available data.


There are so many additional ways to sell to your customers these days, e-commerce, apps, loyalty systems, delivery, pickup, self-service and staff walking around with tablets. As we recently experienced the available channels can be as relevant in the customer’s choice as price, service or brand.

They all need to deliver a consistent pricing policy and service level, with minimal handling by IT.  This requires one source of the truth, reliable integration and test automation. Integrations and platforms that leverage Cloud Micro Services are ideal as individual components can scale independently on the whole and are all about API integration meaning you can generally get to all the data easily and are simple to monitor and update.

Support and Design Improvement

IT support is often snowed by recurring issues caused by the complexity of aged, sometimes poorly understood, interrelated systems.  This results in a high total cost of ownership, low customer and internal service levels and slow change. The solution involves a support process change as well as reverse engineering based on the desired business outcomes and ensuring that any further decisions are in line with that design.

Understanding your current environment will be key to planning the path forward and will also allow you to deal with the root causes behind recurring issues, soon halving support calls.


There is a pattern in all the areas of opportunity stated above- business value driven design.  Today, that means leveraging API based cloud microservices solutions that make it easy to integrate, scale, test and get to data. It also requires a business partner who focuses on business value and designs for the whole Enterprise rather than point solutions.

Deus Ex is that partner. We support your existing platforms, drive down support calls and help you design for the future.  We have partnered with retail platform provider, Vend, who has pre-integrated Cloud Micro Service solutions to the most commonly used third party vendors and embraces the same design principles we do. We also work with Test Management and Automation provider Nimbal for Quality Assurance.