From The Editor | October 15, 2015

IoT, Machine Learning, Demand Forecasting, And More


By Erin Harris, editor-in-chief

IoT, Machine Learning, Demand Forecasting, And More

The Innovative Retail Technologies team delivers insightful, compelling content in the various formats our readers want to receive it — print, Web, daily eNewsletters, video, audio — you name it. If you’re strapped for time, or if you like to listen while you work, here are some recent podcasts we think you’ll find particularly valuable. In about 10 minutes or less, each podcast delivers an astute take on topics such as Internet of Things (Iot), machine learning, creating a culture of innovation, customer engagement business models for SMRs, and more. Check out the extensive podcast list below, as there’s something for everyone.

Machine Learning’s Effect On Retail

During this insightful podcast, I talk to Molham Aref, CEO and Kevin Sterneckert, Executive VP of Marketing at Predictix about how machine learning is used in retail and how it improves merchandising and supply chain operations Aref and Sterneckert define machine learning and outline the benefits for retailers who adopt it to improve the decision-making process. Sterneckert states that success in retail equates to an intimate understanding of the consumer and the ability to act on that understanding better than the competitor and that machine learning helps the retailer understand what a customer is doing, why they’re doing it, and what they will do in the future in order to deliver instant demand.

Customer Engagement Business Models For SMRs

From evangelizing social media and the importance of a great mobile experience to e-commerce and staying connected in your local community, Craig McCollum, Executive Vice President of the Americas for Epicor and I chat about the things small to midsize retailers (SMRs) must do to enhance customer engagement.

Competing On Service

Listen in as I chat with Steve Rowen, Managing Partner at RSR Research, about innovation’s essential role in helping retailers outpace their competitors on customer service.

3 Ways To Drive An Innovative Culture In Retail

In this informative podcast, Dave Finnegan, CIO at Orvis, shares with us three specific ways to drive a culture of innovation inside the organization and why SMRs especially are in the perfect position to adopt innovative solutions and processes to improve the guest experience.

Reduce The TCO Of Your Network

Greg Griffiths, VP of Product Marketing at Earthlink and I discuss how retailers can reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for their networks. Griffiths also addresses retailers’ concerns about moving networks to the cloud.

Why Retailers Of Every Size Should Care About IoT

Here I talk to Adan Pope, CTO at ShopperTrak about IoT’s impact on retail. During this insightful podcast, you’ll learn the true definition of IoT and why it matters to retailers of every size. You’ll also learn what IoT done right looks like in today’s evolved retail landscape.

Solving The DC’s Omni-Channel Commerce Challenges

From changing order profiles to a shrinking qualified labor force to fast-paced operations, distribution centers are feeling the pressure of omni-channel commerce. Jerry Koch, Director Of Corporate Marketing and Product Management at Intelligrated and I talk about how retailers can cost-effectively overcome those challenges to drive an efficient fulfillment process, and in turn, create a pleasant customer experience.

3 Key Messages About Retail Innovation

Listen in as Shoppertrak’s Chief Product Officer, Chetan Ghai and I talk about the three things retailers need to know about innovation adoption. Ghai also explains the company’s new San Francisco-based Innovation Center, which fosters innovative technologies and the next-gen ideas coming out of Silicon Valley to help retailers drive their business and understand their shoppers.

The RIGHT Way To Forecast Demand

What does it take to create a really good demand forecast? How do you find the most accurate forecast? How do you actually drive the labor? Listen in to this data-rich podcast as I talk to Martin Linusson, Senior Director of WFM Services at Empower Software Solutions as he shares his actionable responses to these and other important questions on demand forecast.

Focus On Flexibility For Goods-To-Person Picking

When it comes to investing in an automated order fulfillment solution to boost DC and warehouse efficiency, will the technology be flexible enough to support the changes that will undoubtedly impact the business in the future? In Part 3 of our podcast series with Jeff Hedges, president material handling at OPEX Corporation, he explains why savvy retailers favor a flexible goods-to-person (GTP) solution that easily adapts to changes in storage capacity, throughput capacity, and more — with very little down time.

This is just a snippet of the podcasts we record to help our readers solve their business challenges. Visit for our extensive video and audio library, and email me directly at with your topic ideas. Happy listening!