Sheela Foam, the makers of Sleepwell brand of mattress, is gearing up on accelerating its digital initiatives aimed at improving customer experience and strenthening its retail game. Most recently the company has undertaken initiative around video analytics using AI.
The company has implemented AI-enabled cameras at its manufacturing plants and retail outlets to derive meaningful insights, which then lead up to various use cases ranging from product quality control and plant safety to sales efficiencies.
On the retail front, AI-enabled cameras have been installed in the company’s showrooms. These cameras capture all the people walking into the stores throughout the day. The face recognition system ensures that only unique faces are counted, avoiding any duplication.
This helps the company understand the footfall in each store. This is then co-related with the conversion rates from each of the stores for further analysis. For instance, if a store is having good footfall but low conversion rate then that requires diagnosis to understand the reason so that course correction can be taken.
According to Pertisth Mankotia, Vice President – IT, Sheela Foam, the cameras can also help in understanding if the customers are being handled properly, whether the store sales executives are effective enough in their reach out to the customers. All this video data is then analyzed to identify the gap areas and areas where improvement is required. In the future, a possible use case can also be analyzing expressions and sentiments on the face of the people who walk in to fine-tune sales efforts and make them more effective.
The AI-enabled cameras have currently been rolled out in around 250 of the company’s showrooms with plans to ultimately expand the project to all its 4,000 showrooms across the country.
With focus on ensuring zero defect products, Sheela Foam has also debuted AI- enabled cameras in one of its manufacturing plants. According to Mankotia, ensuring that the customer gets the right product is the most fundamental aspect of the customer experience journey. With a huge chunk of the market in India focused on customized mattresses, this can be quite a challenging task with chances of errors creeping in right at the time of production.
With the help of intelligence built in through AI, these cameras installed at the conveyor belts in the plant read the various parameters, like length, breadth, width, etc. from the RFID chip embedded in the material that comes on the conveyor belt. In case there is any deviation from the set parameters, the camera captures it and an alert generated.
“The visual checks done by these cameras help in ensuring that the matteress on the production line are in compliance with the set parameters as well as maintiaing zero defects during the production process,” explains Mankotia. This has helped in removing dependency on people in the manufacturing plant for doing quality checks, which can be error prone.
While currently these AI-enabled cameras are installed only in one plant, seeing the success Mankotia now plans to extend the initiative to the company’s other plants as well.
The company has also implemented analytics on top of the video footage coming from the CCTVs installed in its manufacturing units for improved plant safety. The video analytics helps identify any undue observations that are possible safety hazard causes, such as fire. This triggers an alert even before the incident occuers so that preventive measures can be taken before any damage is done.