Profile

The Omnichannel Journey

  • In 2007, I joined Walmart's Omnichannel Product Team. It was called "Value to Store" back then. We had to prove that online made sense to offline stores!

    • Worked to add online pharmacy features to enhance the in-store experience for customers. Refill prescriptions online! Big Deal!!

    • Tires for cars can be better sold online for pickup and installation in a store. Rubber meets the road for omnichannel adoption...

    • Gift cards ain't just a stores thing! is it? Well, we don't even need the stores for 3rd party gift cards...Applebees, Apple iTunes...even Walmart gift cards found more takers online!

  • In 2008, we upgraded from being called VTS (Value to Store) to Multichannel Product Management. Site to Store was being launched.

    • Where is my online order in the store for pickup? Waiting in a queue for long? No one to help at the store? Had to make things happen...

    • How about shipping media items and jewelry? Small parcel items ain't easy! We figured it out...

  • In 2009, multichannel finally made sense. But, someone was whispering "omnichannel" in the back? We made a choice and stopped renaming ourselves...

    • How about taking store inventory and offering to customers who order online? same-day pickup? done! Pick up Today (PUT) was born...

    • wait a minute! - what is the price of the store item? How many products are available right now in the store? What if we run out of inventory? What about the inventory on the sales floor vs. the backroom? What about multiple orders sitting in an online cart? It wasn't easy after all...

    • Soft launch within a year - done! More categories and stores added for eventual rollout to chain.

    • PUT was a winner and so far the best omnichannel offering even eight years after its launch!!!

  • Services are cool! APIs are King! SOA makes the world a better place! Everything is about the online experience! Look at the cool things Google and Facebook and Amazon are doing! But, wait - have they ever tried handling an online channel in perfect harmony with a massively gigantic offline (5000 stores) channel??? Now, where are you experts hiding? Welcome to the wild west of technology that can be enable omnichannel transactions, not just happy faces on social media posts!

    • This service to provide visibility to online orders works...does it work for the stores to take orders on the fly? Well then, let's go cracking...

    • It is all about the US market...But our APIs should be global! well then, let's go see what works globally.

Digital Transformation Footprint

2012 - Digital footprint opportunities in Walmart operations and supply chain areas using the strength of services-based technology platform - dig deeper, act faster and get the roadmap flowing!

2014 - International retail markets miss the benefit of powerful digital tools that help make better merchandising, store management and supply chain decisions. "Analytics" is still a buzz word...Showcase the possibilities, make the options work at the scale needed, make trade-off choices where needed...

2017 - Sourcing works at the pace of a container ship reaching from port A to port B...a long snooze...Emails and Excel make business happen. Or do they really? A digital transformation journey for a department touches many stakeholders. Who wins? Who loses? Where do we go from X to reach Y? Where is the competition? Put the possibilities on the table...

2019 - The age of acquisitions! The mother of all acquisitions - Flipkart India acquired by Walmart for $17B. How to make the money work? How can a fast-paced highly technology-oriented startup face up to a slow-moving giant of retail? or the other way around? What is the digital gap that needs to close between the two divergent companies to enable effective Sourcing? How can the technical debt be closed in the future?...