Associate Wayfinding and Location Intelligence for Omni-Channel Fulfilment


Retail - Grocery, Food, Apparel, Specialty, Convenience, Home Furnishing, Drugs, Consumer Electronics, Airports & Railway Stations, Stadiums, Events & Conferencese


Omni-Channel Fulfilment, Digital Supply Chain, Smart Shelves, Inventory Tracking, Track and Trace, Automation, Location Verification, Store Associate Productivity


Most retailers have rolled out concepts like same-day deliveries from the store, buy online pick-up at store (BOPUS), buy online ship from store (BOSFS). A recent study by Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs uncovered a dichotomy that consumers love self-service until they don’t. There’s high tolerance for self-service until it fails, and then there’s no tolerance. Consumers want to experience and discover without assistance at first — until they can’t and immediately want help from a qualified associate armed with tools to step in and provide a frictionless shopping experience. Store associates say they spend a bulk of their time stocking shelves, finding specific items for omni-channel deliveries or retrieving those items when the customer needs them and returning and replenishing those to their proper places.
All of these tasks rely on location-based information that is often unique to individual stores and changes regularly with inventory and seasonal shifts. At the same time, temporary employees make up a significant portion of any retailer’s overhead. Hired for holiday shopping or other seasonal needs, these associates lack the store familiarity to perform stocking, restocking and other repetitive, location-specific tasks in an efficient manner. Travel time can make up to 60% or more of these tasks.

  • 60% of the store associate time spent in travel for repetitive and location specific tasks
  • Even with an inventory management system, inaccurate location stocking or inaccurate location verification leads not inventory not being locatable at the desired location during order fulfilment which results in unfulfilled or delayed or worse, inaccurate shipments
  • Or, even with an end-less aisle system, inaccurate location stocking or inaccurate location verification leads not inventory not being locatable at the desired location when the consumer intends to purchase which results in lost sales of up-to 15%
  • Inefficient travel and routing activities during stocking and product picking for omni-orders or customer requests results in lost associate productivity and lower omni-channel fulfilment throughput
  • Existing location verification systems based either on manual entry or barcode scans or electronic signs or check-digit systems are unproductive activities increasing the cycle times and operating costs resulting in reduced throughput

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Solution Approach
  • Real time 3D turn-by-turn navigation instructions using the most efficient route on store associate’s mobile device to the proper location when stocking and replenishing items using Clean Slate’s inLocate 6.0 RTLS
  • inLocate 6.0 also automatically captures product location during stocking, replenishment and picking processes and verifies if the operator has put-away the inventory at or picked the inventory from the correct location
  • Associates can easily locate items for omni-channel picklist fulfilment with dynamic turn-by-turn wayfinding instructions based on order-wise or multi-order batch picking process
  • Live inventory inaccuracy audible alerts on associate mobile device and supervisor’s web dashboard if the associate has stocked or replenished at the incorrect location or picked orders from the incorrect location in the store
  • Store associates can be easily located by shoppers or other associates with 30cm precision for assistance using location share feature
  • Integration with inventory management system or POS to create real time replenishment requests for store associates
  • Associates can also create manual replenishment requests for products unavailable in the store shelf through their mobile devices
  • Integrate store associate mobile app with inventory management system or endless aisle system for real time inventory and omni-channel catalog visibility
  • CMS and Map Editor mobile application for store owners and operators to make changes to their product locations and store layout if a planogram isn’t available
  • Live display of process KPIs such as daily attendance, number of stocking and picking cycle trips
  • Associate productivity analysis like distance traveled, run & stop time, idle & down-time, % accuracy, average throughput and % optimal routing on a web dashboards
  • Centralized web communication portal for supervisor to dynamically instruct associates via their screen interface during express or ad-hoc requirements
  • Associate location movement Heat-map and Spaghetti diagram analysis to visualize the flow, traffic density and bottlenecks at different times

  • Reduced onboarding time for new employees familiarizing themselves with store layout
  • Higher inventory accuracy and reduction in associated costs of handling complaints, inventory losses and administrative burden
  • Reduced order picking and stocking cycle times by up to 15%
  • Greater reliability and higher efficiency of audit through real time inventory control without costly manual stock counts conducted through paper and data entry processes
  • Optimization of costly man-power needed for omni-channel order fulfilment in the store
  • Increase associate productivity by up to 20% by digital process validation, minimizing stop times and increase in number of cycle trips
  • Decrease the distance traveled by associate and pick-drop cycle times by up to 10% through dynamic intelligent turn-by-turn routing with the shortest paths
  • Higher precision, accuracy and system uptime by up to 25% than pure BLE or RFID or Barcode systems due to higher performance and reliability of inLocate 6.0