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Driving Operational Efficiencies using WiFi Analytics

February 27, 2019


When it comes to the applicability of analytics to any location that involves customers, such as retail stores, hotel lobbies, cruise ships, etc. the first thought that comes to mind is “How can we use analytics to understand what our customers want better?”.

While that is a prominent ask and top of mind recall for many CxOs, there is another element to analytics that isn’t as glitzy but equally (and some would say, more) important:

How do we improve operational efficiencies using analytics?" Operational efficiencies relate to an inward-looking improvement, focused on workforce/employees - optimizing their floor schedule, reducing inventory/revenue leakage, improving per employee productivity and more.  Obviously, improving operational efficiency results in customer experience improvements as well.

In fact, while “Improving customer experience” is where the talk is, in many of our customer installations, “Driving operational efficiencies” is where the walk is. Operational efficiencies are easier to measure, track and convert to money gained. 

For example:

  • Any retail store would know what its inventory overstocking situation is. If we can bring them closer to “Just in time inventory”, there is a clear metric in how much money is saved in inventory warehousing and purging (for perishable items, for example)
  • How often a cash machine must be re-filled/balanced (called cash lifts) has a direct impact on managing queues as well as manpower required to both staff queues and do cash lifts. Optimizing this process reduces the manpower required for lifts
  • Proper workforce distribution relative to customer traffic and “hot spots” of aggregation can help in better time management of part-time employees, both giving them time to relax as well as saving you money in terms of having more employees than required for a given time-period

We can go on.

Applications of HSC WiFi Analytics Solution:

HSC’s WiFi Analytics solution is an ideal platform, not just for customer experience analytics as we have written about before, but also to be able to better manage your workforce.

Wifi based analytics can drive monetization opportunities in proximity marketing

Here are some examples of how our customers have used HSC’s WiFi Analytics solution to optimize their workforce and improve their productivity (at times, coupled with our other products and services)

Workforce optimization distribution and productivity improvement:

A retailer in North America uses HSC’s WiFi analytics solution to track customer heatmaps based on different days/times. Based on this input, they were able to create a scheduling calendar that optimized how many sales agents need to be present at different times and where. This resulted in an overall 15% reduction in workforce scheduling (comparing total hours scheduled before and after this optimization). More importantly, in workforce feedback received, there was a 70% drop in employees complaining they were overworked handling too many customers. This was because based on heatmaps, the customer knew exactly which locations needed more staff and which did not.

Productivity Tracking:

HSC’s WiFi Analytics solution allows site owners to automatically differentiate between employees and visitors. We do this via advanced algorithms and don’t require a list of employee mac addresses (which doesn’t work anyway, because phones keep changing). Based on our Web Analytics feature, it was easy for the management team to know who was spending more time on the internet vs. walking the floor helping customers. While we were not given improvement figures in terms of metrics, we are confident this helped a lot, considering our customer brought the usefulness of this feature out almost every time we met them.

Inventory vs. Demographic Optimization:

We worked with a boutique store in India to be able to better understand product purchases by customers. We installed overhead cameras to do people detection to better understand the demographics of their customers. Coupled with our WiFi analytics solution we analyzed the relationship between the type of customers (age/gender) and the product shelves they frequently visited. We also measured the dwell time based on demographics (for example, “70% of your traffic was 50+ and spent an average of 15 minutes around your women’s clothing area”). This gave the customer a clear idea of the marketing effectiveness (is 50+ the right age?) and the nature of products they were interested in the most. The customer reduced inventory waste by over 50% and was able to better align their marketing outreach

Heatmap enabled Just In Time communication:

We worked with a hotelier in Asia where we used our WiFi analytics heatmaps to analyze, in real time, customer traffic. The administrator had a live view of customer density vs. staff density and was able to communicate effectively with their staff via a secure end-end encrypted multi-party VoIP calling solution we developed for them that allowed them to communicate with each other, share the indoor location of each employee as well as video/IM with each other over IP.

Conclusion

HSC’s WiFi Analytics solution offers powerful features that can help customers drive operational efficiencies in several ways as shown in this article. When coupled with our other accelerators (such as CIVA – Our Core Image and Video Analysis accelerator) it can result in significant innovations and measurable improvements in reducing operational leaks while improving general productivity.

 






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