A suitable alternative for this issue would be the use of smartwatches. As smartwatches are worn on the wrist, they do not prohibit employees from using both hands for their work activities. They serve as a simple communicating tool between employers and employees. Additionally, they provide the employer with new suggestions for work process optimization, and together with other functionalities, they propose new approaches for increasing productivity, whether for individual employees or the entire company.
NIVY Watch gathers data from watch sensors such as the number of steps, the distance from the beacons and the proximity to other watches. Because of the beacons mounted on the shelves, it is possible to analyze the occurrence of workers in individual store zones (i.e., meat, beverages, dairy products, pastries, warehouse, cash register, etc.), and it is also possible to assign work tasks to a given zone, either automatically or manually. All collected data can then be analyzed directly by NIVY Data Factory or by other analytical tools such as BI. By analyzing the data, important analytics such as neglected areas, points of interest, overcrowded space, employee count, performance or dwell time can be identified across locations and time periods, helping to suggest the most optimal work processes (employee routes, layout, zones, activity). Collected data identifying the proximity between individual watches allows an effective social distancing solution for the coronavirus spreading, with the retrospective identification of potentially infected employees.
Watch can be used in real-time thanks to its touch screen. A very useful function is the capability to send short messages between managers and employees. These messages can be entered from the NIVY Data Factory, which can be accessed from a PC or a smartphone, from where the manager may also see the location of an individual employee. A short message can alert them about the need to move to another zone, such as the cash register, or it can send other important information. The employee will be able to view this message on the watch’s display and will be able to confirm that he received it. A single-choice response could also be an option (i.e., Yes/ No/ Don’t know).
Furthermore, the watch can be actively used by the employees. Either by reporting the work activity currently being performed or by requesting a job task from the manager or a colleague (i.e., need to add dairy products to the shelves). One of the functionalities is also a simple checklist that can be used for a variety of purposes (i.e., checking the condition of the shelves at the end of the shift).
Although the described scenarios show many ways of smartwatch usage in a retail environment, the entire NIVY Watch system is open and can be extended with new functionalities that can be used generally or can be very specific for a certain company.
The use of modern technologies is a strategy that, in the long run, will be unavoidable by all economic sectors, including retail. Because the nature of the employee’s work responsibilities in the sector requires the use of both hands, smartwatches are an ideal tool for increasing the sector’s degree of work process digitization and automation. The use of smartwatches in the retail environment would enable businesses to streamline their old work processes by incorporating new modern elements of digital communication and data processing. The NIVY Watch data system is the right specialized solution for Retail.
NIWY Watch hardware components can be customized so the new design would perfectly fits to corporate colors and can be a suitable fashion accessory to uniforms of retail workers. Such watch can serve as a jewel on their wrists and can be a significant differentiation from competitors from both esthetic as well as technological point of views.