Amazon Business announced the launch of 3-Way Match on the Amazon Business mobile app to help business customers automate reporting, taking the old desktop or handheld scanner reporting to the app.
Now available in the U.S., the new 3-Way Match app enables account administrators and approved buyers to use a mobile device to simply scan the barcode of a package when it arrives and automatically mark the item as received. With this new feature, the nearly 1 million active users on the Amazon Business mobile app in the U.S. have a faster way to close purchase orders.
Amazon Business helps businesses digitize and automate procurement with management controls and analytic tools. Among those tools is 3-Way Match, a common accounting control to ensure that a business’ purchase payments are received, accurate, and complete. Until now, it was cumbersome to use because it was only available on desktop or via handheld scanners. The mobile version adds the extra flexibility of being able to complete a 3-Way Match in real-time from anywhere. A successful 3-Way Match includes matching and verifying the purchase order, the invoice, and the receipt before a payment is made.
“Manual processes cannot be scaled efficiently, especially for large organizations,” said Doug Gray, vice president of technology at Amazon Business. “Integrating our 3-Way Match capability on the Amazon Business mobile app simplifies the process so customers can reconcile their purchases in seconds. At Amazon, we’re driven to find better ways for our customers to work, and our 3-Way Match mobile scan does just that.”
With 3-Way Match, accounts payable and procurement teams can protect their organization from paying for incorrect invoices, items not yet received, or fraudulent purchases. This helps businesses of all sizes improve efficiency and reporting capabilities while also reducing time spent on manual data entry and avoiding payment for damaged or incorrect packages.
Kroger is doubling down on efforts to retain hard-to-find frontline retail staff, announcing a significant financial investment to increase hourly wages, open up learning opportunities, and broaden access to healthcare options.
The company has steadily been making investments and wage increases for several years now, and this latest round of financing will build on the $1.9 billion the retailer has put towards benefits and salaries since 2018. Four years ago, Kroger hiked their average hourly rate to $18 or $23.50 per hour with benefits.
Over the years, the company has laid out a range of other perks for frontline associates, including an educational program that offers workers up to $21,000 toward continuing education opportunities, free financial coaching, and access to counseling services.
“Investing in our associates' holistic well-being is an essential part of what makes Kroger an employer of choice, and ultimately becomes an investment in our customers and communities," said Tim Massa, Kroger's SVP and chief people officer. “When we think about how we build our benefits, we want to enable every associate to thrive financially and emotionally – both in their careers and at home. We look forward to continuing to celebrate our associates and the many ways they show up for our customers and each other every day.”
The grocer has made significant efforts to increase their workforce investments this year. In January, Kroger announced plans to elevate store leadership and associate experience, taping into machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analytics to improve real-time operational decisions.
Specifically designed to assist night crews, the retailer tapped Google and Deloitte to roll out task management cloud technology across its 2,800 with a view to increasing visibility into merchandising, store staffing information, and stocking needs.
Walmart is planning a massive expansion if its Walmart Health centers in 2024.
The retailer announced it will open 28 new locations next year, expanding Walmart Health’s footprint into two new states – Missouri and Arizona – and deepening it presence in Texas. The expansion will bring the total number of Walmart Health centers in the U.S. to 75.
“With this growth in 2024, we will nearly double our current footprint, offering accessible, convenient and affordable care in two new states and expanding our presence in Texas to help the communities we serve live better, healthier lives,” said Dr. David Carmouche, SVP, omnichannel care.
Walmart, which opened its first Walmart Health center in 2019, said it will materialize some of the feedback it has heard from listening to its patients into the new centers. For example, the retailer said it is changing the physical footprint and layout of the center so patients spend less time in the waiting room and has integrated modern equipment and technology into the centers. This includes integrating Epic’s electronic health record system across Walmart Health locations.
The new facilities will be approximately 5,750 square feet, located inside Walmart Supercenters, and will feature Walmart Health’s full suite of health services; the range of services include primary care, dental care, behavioral health, labs and X-ray, audiology and Walmart Health Virtual Care telehealth services.
The first of the new Walmart Health centers will open in the first quarter of 2024. New locations include:
10 locations in Dallas, TX, metro area
8 locations in Houston, TX, metro area
6 locations in Phoenix, AZ, metro area
4 locations in Kansas City, MO, metro area
Brazilian Fashion Retailer Renner Reduces 87% of Stockouts
Renner, one of the largest fashion retailers in Brazil, reports an 87% reduction in stockouts and a 64% increase in inventory accuracy, after implementing technology to optimize its in-store and e-commerce operations.
The retailer’s internal findings and reporting discovered the improvements after implementing Sensormatic Solutions Inventory Intelligence solution, powered by RFID technology, across all its stores in 2019.
According to Renner, more than 500 million of their products sold have been tagged with the RFID technology since 2019, enabling over 4 million item-level readings daily. In addition to increasing the abundance and quality of their data, the retailer can now better optimize the route each product takes from distribution center to stores with greater visibility. With access to real-time data management and product availability, Renner can have accurate inventory information, which is essential for their omnichannel operation.
For example, Renner can now see which items were taken into the fitting room and if they were eventually sold or not. Additionally, shoppers, regardless of the channel (in-store or online), can have better visibility of where a product is located to help choose the right purchase model.
“By leveraging greater inventory intelligence across our physical and online channels, we boosted our omnichannel strategy and digital sales,” said Alexandre Ribeiro, risks director at Renner. “Additionally, with Sensormatic Solutions RFID technology, we have a single source of truth for inventory data which allows our sales associates the ability to process our inventory in a matter of hours on a monthly basis, rather than annually.”
Using a single smart RFID label: to enable data capture as well as security applications, eliminating the need for additional labels while improving the project’s ROI.
Implementing RFID at the checkout: to eliminate the need for barcode readings and improve customer service.
Adding RFID alarm pedestals at the store entrance: to provide visibility of theft events and effectiveness of their loss prevention strategies.
As a result of this work, Renner’s deployment of Sensormatic Solutions Inventory Intelligence solution was selected as a finalist in the retail category of the international RFID Journal Awards 2022. Also, Renner earned the ABRAPPE 2022 SUPER PREMIO award that recognizes the company’s innovative implementation of Sensormatic Solutions’ RFID Technology.
German Fashion Retailer Bonita Streamlines Task Management Across All Stores
Fashion retailer Bonita has revealed plans to streamline operations by implementing a new management solution focused on task completion, inventory accuracy, and increased transaction value.
The Germany-based company has partnered with Zebra Technologies to roll out the new task management solution. The company said that teams from both companies will work together to deploy the technology in May 2023 across all 470 of Bonita’s stores in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Once set in place, the solution will be accessed by in-store associates and area managers on tablets and mobile devices.
Among the features of Zebra’s Modern Store Framework are a real-time task manager that preselects tasks, lists them in order or priority, and notifies teams when they need to be completed, as well as the Q-Walk auditing system, Q-Chat instant messaging system, and the Q-Forms workflow form creation platform.
In the lead-up to the rollout, the Zebra and Bonita teams analyzed workflow data to pinpoint potential areas of improvement and opportunity, the company said.
Commenting on the process, Bonita’s head of sales operations, Marco Seidel described how, in the run-up to the rollout, the company “examined the usability of the solution with colleagues from all areas of the business and received very positive feedback,” adding that they were looking ahead to the next chapter in their transformation journey.
Subway To Roll Out Electric Vehicle Charging Hubs Nationwide
Restaurant brand Subway plans to install a number of EV charging locations across the U.S. in 2023.
The Subway Oasis parks project will feature charging canopies, green space, picnic tables, WiFi access, and playgrounds. As part of a multi-year plan, Subway will start by establishing a series of smaller, high-speed EV charging stations at select new or newly-remodeled Subway restaurants before expanding to the larger “oasis” format further down the line.
The restaurant has partnered with EV infrastructure startup GenZ EV Solutions to implement the plan, and will also work with franchise owners on specific installations.
“We're constantly exploring new ways to innovate and exceed our guests' expectations for a high-quality, convenient experience,” said Mike Kappitt, Subway’s chief operating and insights officer. “Our partnership with GenZ EV Solutions is a win for our guests, our franchisees, and our planet, creating a dedicated space for drivers to charge their vehicle while enjoying their favorite Subway sandwich.”
Last week, Subway hinted at a possible sale in its future, announcing that shareholders were in talks with J.P. Morgan advisors regarding the sale exploration process. However, the company revealed “no indication of timing or assurance that a sale will occur.”