The Machine Revolution: Are Robotics Right for Convenience Stores?

From robots in the aisle to customer service bots and simulation modeling across the supply chain, a new “Industrial Revolution” is upon us. Are you ready to embrace this robotic culture? Join us at the 2018 NAG Conference to see a firsthand demonstration of how these robots work and the potential they have to change retail operations.

The convenience store industry continues to evolve and where it ends up as robotics and personalized delivery gain traction is anyone’s guess. But one thing for sure, with the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk talking about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to change the world for better or for worse, the fourth industrial revolution is coming and cognitive automation is its flag bearer, according to a report by KPMG.

You may think that this is not relevant to retail or certainly not for the next 10 years. Well think again! Technologies that can think, learn and adapt will increasingly be part of our lives and sooner rather than later, according to KPMG’s report “Robocalypse: Now? What the ‘Fourth industrial revolution’ means for retail.”

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This AI and robotic technology can also transform retail by streamlining labor, improving customer service, upselling new items and yielding a treasure trove of data that helps you sell more, both to new and existing customers.

The 2018 National Advisory Group (NAG) will cover this issue in depth with an all-star panel that will include live robot demonstrations provided by Burlingame Calif.-based Fellow Robots.

The session is titled: “The Machine Revolution: Are Robotics Right for Convenience Stores? From robots in the aisle to customer service bots, this session will deal with emerging robotic technology and how this technology will change retail in the future. Already, leading U.S. retailers such as Amazon, Lowe’s, Stop & Shop and McDonald’s are using robotics as a way to manage wage increases and rising training costs. Learn what the technological future holds for convenience stores.”

This expert panel includes:
* Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail Operations for KPMG, and the author of Robocalypse: Now?
* Marco Mascorro, Co-Founder and CEO of Fellow Robots
* Kyle Nel, CEO, Co-Founder of Uncommon Partners
* Moderator: Bob O’Connor, President and CEO, Jetz Convenience Centers

Big-name retailers such as Walmart and Amazon have been working toward employing robots and drones to reduce costs and improve customer service. At the NAG Conference, you can learn what these companies are doing, how retail is evolving and how robotics and AI will impact convenience stores in the short- and long-term future. But you have to register to learn more.

CLICK to REGISTER NOW for the NAG Conference. View the full NAG Conference agenda at NAG Agenda.The Supersaver discount rate expires July 20.

How Will Your Business Change?
According to KPMG, the pace of change is fast and multiple consumer demands mean you’re likely to be stretched several ways at once. That’s when data and fact-based insights can be used to prioritize a more varied and dynamic portfolio of projects. When trends change so quickly, organizations have to be able to respond accordingly. The biggest challenge facing organizations will be creating alignment among senior leadership about what to do, why and how to fund these changes.

Agreeing on what you are setting out to achieve is only the first step. Setting a vision which is right for your organization about where you want to play and why will leave the not so small challenge of actual implementation. The key to integrating the right tech into your business model is a staggered approach. KPMG recommended a six-step strategy:

* Evaluate what is or will soon be available.
* Investigate what competitors and other industries are doing.
* Identify where applicable in your business.
* Develop a strategy for adoption.
* ‘Experiment’ with high priority opportunities.
* Develop and implement change management strategy.

There’s no doubt that the current technological revolution is a time of great innovation and excitement. But, for many, it may also paint a more worrying picture of the future where armies of unemployed drift from one menial task to the next. But in the same way that the Industrial Revolution transformed society for the better, so the rise of robotic technology has the potential to change not only the face of retail but the face of the planet.

The bottom line, according to KPMG is that the robots are coming. “It can sound like a frightening future, but it doesn’t need to be. Change for any organization is always challenging, but when the rewards are many and various, it makes no sense to stand still.”

Want to learn more? Register now the 2018 NAG Conference.