From apparel to toys to the latest gadgets, leading brands trust SCI’s experts to build and deliver an end-to-end omni-channel retail solution.
Top Six Supply Chain Challenges Solved
In an era defined by uncertainty, it can be harder than ever for supply chain teams to operate efficiently, let alone capture competitive advantages. In addition to facing down changing regulations, trade disputes, climate change and labour unrest, leaders need to take a more holistic, strategic view of the supply chain. This means supply chain strategies must closely align with the overarching goals of an organization, as well as with the more specific priorities of the procurement, sales, marketing, manufacturing, customer service, and product management teams.
This e-book examines six key challenges facing supply chain leaders today and provides ways an expert 3PL partner can help organizations approach these challenges with end-to-end solutions to become more strategic and resilient. The six challenges covered are:
- Empowered consumers
- Market and social volatility
- Talent shortages
- Growing complexity
- The need for analytics
- The need for digital maturity
Download the e-book now to learn more about each challenge to assist in your planning.
Webinar: Tips on Developing a Resilient North American E-Commerce Strategy
COVID-19 has forced millions of consumers to shop online and consequently created and reinforced new buying behaviors. In both Canada and the USA there has been a significant increase in online commerce since the beginning of the pandemic.
As a result, brands are focusing on their online presence creating direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies, further transforming the e-commerce landscape. In this evolving space, brands are taking advantage of the opportunity to increase their international presence, while still trying to meet customer service levels and navigate cross-border tariffs and taxes.
In this informative webinar, a panel of e-commerce experts from SCI, Canada Post, Saysh, and 6 River Systems share current customer buying habits, how brands are managing their cross-border logistics, and where retailers play a role in the new DTC market. The speakers include:
Mamta Dogra – Director, Parcels & E-commerce Enterprise Marketing, Canada Post
Dwayne Johnson – Sr Director, Business Development, Omni-Channel Retail, SCI
Dave Mack – Vice President of Omni-Channel Retail & Marketing, SCI
Austin Cooper – Head of Supply Chain, Saysh
Callie Moriarty – Solutions Executive, 6 River Systems
Salosan Soundhararajah – Senior Manager, Product Development, SCI
Leveraging data on the latest trends, as well as real-world scenarios, our panel covers a variety of topics including:
- What direct to consumer growth opportunities are there in North America?
- What can businesses to do enhance their North American e-commerce strategy?
- What does the Canadian cross-border shopper look like and who are they buying from?
- What challenges are businesses facing with their direct-to-consumer strategies?
- What can businesses to do create a more resilient and adaptable e-commerce strategy?
- What is Section 321 and how can DTC use it to create a more competitive supply chain?
- How will the relationship between brands, retailers, and consumers change moving forward?
Click the video link to watch the full webinar with tips on developing a resilient North American e-commerce strategy.
Self Service Kiosks Grow in Popularity Across Canada with No Signs of Slowing Down
SCI and Signifi Proprietary Research: Half of Canadian Organizations Have Increased Investment in Kiosk Technology Since 2019
TORONTO, October 7, 2021 – New proprietary research from SCI Group Inc. (SCI) and Signifi Solutions Inc. (Signifi) reveals that investment in self-service technologies is exploding as Canadian businesses seek safe distancing, touchless transactions and a simple, intuitive user experience for employees and customers during the pandemic. Half of respondents say their organization actually increased investment in kiosk technology prior to the pandemic, with three-in-ten saying their investment level has increased by more than 15 per cent since 2019.
As part of this research, SCI and Signifi commissioned a survey with Angus Reid to explore actual and planned investments in kiosk technology among Canadian organizations, in several sectors, to identify key trends. It uncovered three significant insights: 1) the pandemic propelled short-term kiosk investment; 2) a focus on digital transformation will continue to drive long-term investment; 3) user satisfaction is the primary motivator for investing in kiosks, which include self-checkout terminals, interactive maps, vending machines and employee check-in devices.
Short-term Kiosk Investment Driven by the Pandemic
The pandemic has been a clear impetus behind investments in self-service technology. Among those who say their investment has increased in the past 12 months, 61% identified the COVID-19 pandemic as a significant or moderate factor in their decision. For the healthcare sector, the primary application of kiosk technologies was for check-in purposes to help improve customer wait times.
“The pandemic drove more people to use kiosks, which increased their comfort level with the technology and is leading to even better user-centric design for the next generation of devices,” said Peter Collier, Vice President, Technology, SCI Group. “We expect that increasing user comfort with kiosks and ongoing design improvements by kiosk manufacturers will continue to drive adoption.”
Digital Transformation Driving Long-Term Investment
While the pandemic played a key role in increased interest and investment in the self-service space, there are no signs of this growth slowing down. Nearly half of Canadian businesses are already deploying self-service technologies, and another third plan to deploy kiosks or some form of self-service technology in the next 12 months.
Canadian businesses are including kiosk technology as part of their digital transformation strategies, with 77% of organizations stating kiosk technology to be important to their business in the next five years.
“There’s a new appetite for automation and kiosk technologies, part of which may be attributed to the shift in user habits that has stemmed from the pandemic,” says Jamie McDowell, Vice President of Marketing at Signifi Solutions. “More and more Canadian consumers and employees seem to appreciate the simplicity and interactivity provided by kiosk technologies. Organizations are seeing this shift and including kiosk technology in their digital transformation plans.”
User Experience Fueling Kiosk Investment
Interestingly, the key business drivers for investing in kiosks are all about people, at least in the short term. According to the research, the primary motivator for businesses when investing in self-service technologies is customer and employee satisfaction, with 63 per cent of businesses identifying this as a top driver. This was particularly noted in the retail industry, where 90% of respondents said one of the main benefits they’re seeking from kiosks/self-technology is better customer flow.
“This research shows that organizations are looking for more than efficiency; they want to reduce customer wait times and improve the flow of people through stores and workplaces. Many are also looking to expand beyond transactional experiences to make kiosks part of an omnichannel infrastructure,” Collier says. “This also marks an important step forward for self-service technologies underscoring the shift away from thinking of kiosks as simply a cost and efficiency play – though both remain important drivers for buyers.”
To learn more about the adoption of kiosk technology in Canada, changes in spending, drivers and key outcomes of investment, The 2021 Canadian Kiosk Market Report is available here: https://www.sci.ca/resources/2021-canadian-kiosk-market-report/
This research was conducted on the online Angus Reid Forum among 102 business decision-makers for purchasing kiosks/self-service technology, including those whose company/organization or clients have already invested in such technology and those with plans to invest in the next 12 months. The sample includes professionals in the following industries: manufacturing, retail, transportation, healthcare, management consulting, property management and public sector fields.
For comparison purposes only, a sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/-9.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The research was conducted in English and French between May 27 and May 31, 2021.
About SCI Group
SCI is one of Canada’s leading providers of strategic supply chain solutions that go beyond traditional logistics services. With decades of experience in the technology industry, our experts can help build an end-to-end supply chain solution for your self-service technologies. From ATM installations to POS terminal repairs, we help leading Canadian brands delight customers and stay agile.
Having reliable technology is key to customer experience and employee productivity. Our certified technicians will help you maximize uptime with 24/7 support and repair services. Furthermore, our coast-to-coast warehousing, transportation and parts locations ensures you remain responsive to your business needs no matter the time of day.
Trust our experts to support your kiosk needs with full project management in logistics, compliance, security, maintenance, installation and parts management. Connect with our experienced team to plan for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities. As your trusted supply chain partner, we’ll make you even better.
About Signifi Solutions Inc.
Signifi Solutions is a leader in delivering smart vending, self-serve kiosks, and automated retail solutions globally. Founded in 2005, Signifi designs, engineers, and develops robotic based dispensing kiosks, smart lockers and loss prevention hardware customized for any application. We are steeped in continuous innovation and marketplace collaboration to bring you the most innovative and technologically advanced smart vending hardware and software available.
Signifi’s VISION platform management tool and robust API library give our clients more time to focus on what matters most. VISION manages every aspect of our kiosks and lockers through an intuitive web interface. Our customers can change prices, user rights, schedule content updates and even remotely access kiosks to support local staff. VISION uses advanced AI techniques and machine learning technology to monitor every aspect of traffic and user input. The powerful analytics tools help optimize operations, merchandising, and forecast sales.
Kaiser & Partners
Meet our Collaborative Robots
People and technology working together to improve productivity, safety and order accuracy is one of the hallmarks of SCI’s warehouse innovation and automation programs. At SCI, we’re always looking for ways to make our workplace and our client service even better, and that’s why we use collaborative robots also known as cobots.
Kiosk Logistics – How the Pandemic is Driving Rapid Kiosk Adoption
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on every industry, forcing businesses across Canada to come to terms with new operating environments. Many are looking for ways to deliver a positive employee and customer experience, while improving safety and reducing costs. Kiosks, or automated self-service devices, can play a key role in this.
The Evolution of Kiosks
From a slow start for ATMs, followed by the first network of interactive kiosks developed by Florsheim Shoe Company, self-service kiosks have come a long way. Now, a variety of industries rely on self-service kiosks, from basic search functions to multi-use devices where customers can order products and check out instantly.
Every day, the need for kiosks is evolving and new kiosks are being deployed in a variety of traditional and new settings, including healthcare, retail, banks, food service, government agencies, school campuses, and more.
The Diversification of Kiosk Needs
Kiosks for purchasing tickets at movie theatres, banks, airport check-in and wayfinding in malls are all familiar, but there are many other uses—especially now during these unprecedented times of social distancing and safety measures.
The healthcare industry provides a first example of the rapid growth and evolving need for self-service kiosks. Pharmacies are increasingly using kiosks to store and dispense drugs safely, such as the case with Vancouver’s opioid dispenser program.
Kiosks also play an important role in retail and transportation settings to ensure that Canadians have access to everything from hand sanitizer to personal protective equipment. For example, CleanSlate UV Sanitizers are being stationed in department stores and restaurants, while Metrolinx’s vending machines house personal protective equipment for those who need it to take public transit.
Many employers are also now using kiosks to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms, while others are automating back-office functions such as cash and shift management.
In addition to safety, kiosks can also enhance convenience. For instance, Snaile’s secure parcel lockers are turning up in condominium and apartment buildings to keep up with the volume of online shopping, while Canadian Tire is using secure parcel lockers in its stores for customers who buy online but prefer to pick up in person.
Best Practices for Adopting Kiosks in a Low-Touch World
While it seems as though kiosks are everywhere, it’s a complex process to deploy them. This process begins with asking the right questions. Will the kiosk be indoors or outdoors? Will it be used by employees or consumers? Does it need additional security measures? How will it accommodate accessibility requirements?
A solid strategy is needed to answer these important questions. Kiosk strategies should consider everything from getting the necessary permits to managing the complex kiosk logistics to ship, install, and maintain the devices.
Once a strategy is established, the kiosk can be implemented. This is where careful planning begins to pay off. In most cases, the team will need to work with property owners, site managers and others to ensure your installation is as unobtrusive as possible. Your strategy partner can manage the end-to end pre- and post-delivery requirements—leveraging trained teams who know how to handle delicate technology shipments.
After implementation comes installation. Kiosk installations can be complex. Your kiosk logistics partner may need to configure the devices, test them and train your staff in how to use, troubleshoot and maintain them. Lastly, it’s important to understand that kiosks require regular maintenance and sometimes quick repairs. All kiosk owners will need to plan for routine maintenance services and to consider how to respond in case a kiosk is broken, vandalized or in need of upgrades.
A Spotlight on CleanSlate UV:
A prime example of the importance of a strategic partner when installing and managing kiosks is SCI’s recent work with CleanSlate.
The CleanSlate UV Sanitizer is a hospital-grade device that uses medical-grade UV light to sanitize mobile devices in just 20 seconds.
SCI provided CleanSlate UV with strategic planning, inbound logistics, warehousing, delivery, on-site installation, field service and distribution of critical spare parts. Of course, there were numerous challenges that had to be navigated, including tight delivery windows in downtown metropolitan locations, quickly installing the units and removing debris, and providing 24-hour turnaround times for on-site service—all during the uncertain days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SCI team drew on its planning and strategy expertise to help CleanSlate UV successfully deploy, install and provide servicing for its product across Canada in a matter of weeks.
“I’m pleased with how SCI managed the launch as our partner. We’ve experienced significant growth, and having an agile and strategic partner is key,” explains Scott Mason, Co-founder of CleanSlate UV. “We had to respond rapidly to the uncertainties of the pandemic with our product, and this often meant that we asked SCI to take on new scope at a moment’s notice.”
The Importance of Choosing the Right Kiosk Logistics Partner
While all of these best practices may seem overwhelming, most organizations leverage a kiosk partner to help them navigate through the complicated process and ensure they stick to their strategy.
An experienced kiosk partner will work closely with its customers to identify who will be using a kiosk, how it will be used, and the likely number of users, and then develop a comprehensive design specification that directly caters to these factors. They will also be available to help with issues as and when they arise.
Kiosks are already helping businesses get back to work and go about their everyday activities safely. As the technology evolves, we are likely to see continued rapid growth in this space.
As kiosks continue to gain popularity, it’s important that businesses understand the best practices to ensure they install and maintain the kiosk properly.
An experienced kiosk partner can help businesses plan and execute a kiosk logistics program and will remain on board to train staff and provide 24/7 support. SCI provides such expertise and helps leading Canadian brands delight customers and stay agile every day. With our coast-to-coast network and expert installation and support, we provide end-to-end kiosk logistics project planning and management across Canada.
Learn more about our SCI kiosk solutions or point-of-sale technology support.
SCI is one of Canada’s leading providers of supply chain solutions that go beyond traditional logistics services. SCI’s tagline “We’ll make you even better” is a commitment today from a business that’s leading clients into tomorrow. Trusted by clients in the retail, e-commerce, technology, and healthcare sectors, SCI operates the most extensive national distribution and transportation network in Canada, consisting of 30 distribution centres coast to coast along with over 40 critical parts stocking locations and specialized white glove shipping hubs. SCI shares the learnings from the sectors they operate in, providing the audience with information to guide their supply chain to success through blog posts, case studies and white papers.