- E-catalogue technology-enabled stores
- Unified communications for tracking customer lifecycle and supply chain
- 3D designing for a real-time customer experience
- Security controls to protect the IP
- Exploring collaboration with AI players for having predictive analytics
- Experimenting with Augmented Reality for a superior, in-store customer experience
Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ) is one of the leading Indian jewellery retail brands. The company, though over a century and a half old, is making an all-out effort to transform digitally. Pooraan Jaiswal, CTO, TBZ has taken quite a few initiatives in the recent past to help the organization enhance its digital footprint and stay with the trends.
Leveraging Technology for Better Customer Experience (CX)
“As far as our digital roadmap is concerned, we’re extensively leveraging technology in the retail space. Earlier, we only had a monolithic ERP application. But over a period of time we realised the importance of moving up the value chain and it wasn’t possible without technology push. Now, we have deployed a host of them including CRM solutions, mobile apps, and E-catalogue. We want to utilize all the available technologies in the market,” says Jaiswal.
According to Jaiswal, application of technology is aimed at faster turn-around and bettering the customer experience. The company has launched a mobile app to keep consumers updated and connected. A Unified Communication solution has helped the company understand customers better and keep track of communication with the consumers in the store as well as between employees and various other departments. The system gives complete visibility of the supply chain. It also helps the company spot trends and patterns, such as the kind of designs prevalent in a particular region to avoid repetition of designs and also do away with the redundant ones.
“We work with a comprehensive database which tells us the preferences of our customers. Any feedback that we get is stored. We make our designs available to customers online. They have the option to select. They can also buy online. There is a lot of focus on technology that is consumer-oriented. For example, every TBZ store has three to four iPads. We even show demos to customers at their own premises. IT’s all technology-enabled, and real-time,” says Jaiswal.
Apart from putting in place applications like CRM, Jaiswal is seeking to bring radical changes in the design and manufacturing domains too. The designs made on paper get converted into a digital form. Using the Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools the images are prepared to provide customers a multi-dimensional look and feel of those designs. For this, technology like 3D designing is used. Even before the actual product is produced, customers can get a feel of the real thing from all aspects.
Protecting Intellectual Property Through Technology
Product designs are IP for any organisation and TBZ is no exception. There is a need to protect the IP from any sort of theft or breach. The company has put in place appropriate safeguards to protect its IP. There are specialized data banks and datacentres used for this purpose. Apart from securing the IP, these data banks also help the company in tracking products and designs as well as marketing them.
“We have a large manufacturing facility and it was difficult to trace each and every product and their corresponding designs. Now we tag every cycle of manufacturing. We are building a system so that if you have ordered a design and you want to know the status of the product at any particular time, you can provide that information to our customers. Customers would know when their designs will be ready. If a product or design gets stuck at any particular place, we know it and it helps us remediate the roadblocks. We can also inform the customer so that they are aware of the situation,” says Jaiswal. All this has been automated. Moreover, there is a TAT defined for every process. When something gets stuck, it is automatically escalated to the concerned manager/department.
Artificial Intelligence for Design Storage and Security
Coming to artificial intelligence, the company is in talks with IBM for a collaboration. They are working on an AI-based solution, which can capture all the attributes of a product and store it in their database. The idea is to feed it with the data so that it can identify designs and help streamline the designing of products.
“Designs are just pictures. They do not have any content. We want to apply artificial intelligence for their identification. Using AI will not only save us manpower but also the time. It will keep a track of what is available in stock. This can be enabled right from the moment a designer creates a design. The AI will capture all the attributes of the product,” says Jaiswal.
TBZ is also testing artificial intelligence engines for predictive analytics. “We want to map the sales cycle. Jewellery sales vary across time and region. As a retailer, we need to know how much to stock. We have all the data. We will feed this data into the AI-enabled systems. This will help us identify, assess and project how much inventory we need at a particular time of the year and how much we are able to sell,” adds Jaiswal.
Among many other things, the company is also experimenting with Augmented Reality (AR) and new age technologies to take customer experience to a whole new level.