“Everybody’s talking about Retail 4.0, the internet of things and omnichannel retail, but who makes sure that devices, systems and channels are really compatible?” This was the initial question raised by Tudor Andronic, vice president global retail, Bizerba, touching a focal point of the industry. In his address, Richard Soley, CEO of the Object Management Group (OMG), a global standardization organization, clarified the significance of standards in this context. As his central statement, he said that there cannot be a single winner when dealing with the challenges of the digital transformation. Instead, it is essential to connect all relevant players in a meaningful and cooperative manner. This situation is not specific to the retail business but is relevant for all industries. Richard Soley explained the opportunities and the potential of this trend using examples and specific test scenarios.
Michael Gerling, CEO of the EHI Retail Institute located in Cologne, pointed out that the former battle between pure online and pure offline trade has long been replaced by a cooperation. There’s clearly no alternative to the omnichannel approach. According to Gerling, further elaborating the network concept is important for mutual progress. Against this backdrop, participants of the conference got a first-hand impression of the current “Smart Store” survey, which was conducted with Microsoft and will be presented at the EuroCIS 2018.
In addition, Regina Haas-Hamannt, Head of Innovation at GS1 Germany, provided specific recommendations for action, following a short overview of current industry trends. Dealing with the basic tasks including maintenance of in-house product data and the use of standards is as important as the introduction of all kinds of innovations. Innovation must be viewed as a cultural change whose significance should not be underestimated. This also includes the readiness to make mistakes. Shoppers must always be viewed as the focal point of all activities.
In a roundtable discussion with all participants, Andreas Kraut, CEO of Bizerba, was asked how his traditional company has managed to act successfully since more than 150 years in a retail environment subjected to an increasing pace of change. He answered that you must provide the proper mix of tradition and innovation, accompanied by consistently positioning yourself as an open solution provider. Networking plays a significant role in the quest to capitalize on the opportunities provided by digitization.
Under the motto “Building Bridges – from online to offline”, Bizerba will be presenting hardware and software solutions for the modern retail business at this year’s EuroCIS. Visitors are invited to visit booth F22 in hall 9 to see how innovative products and new service approaches can optimize customer processes and enhance the shopping experience.