Store in a Box is Not a Myth

28 Feb 2019

Retailers have long disbelieved retail technology providers' claims that they can truly provide a store in a box, a fully configured retail technology solution that arrives at a store complete and ready to plug in and use. Unfortunately, many have had good reason, because of shortcomings in the processes and methodologies of the companies making those claims.

But the fact is, with proven methodologies and processes, store in a box can not only be achieved, but can reduce the time and costs of installing technology as part of a reset or new store opening by 25% to 35%. At Level 10, we have achieved those savings repeatedly with our unique approach to store in a box.

The Complexity of Store Installs

At first look, shipping technology items to a store sounds straightforward: allocate a certain number of hours to configuration and staging at a central facility, a few more for on-site work, ship the equipment and move ahead. But when several steps of the prep process are planned for in-store, a lot of things can go wrong. Screws, cables, brackets or devices are wrong or even missing. Batteries are undercharged. The store gets overwhelmed with packing material. Data entry errors lead to misconfigurations of terminal IDs or IP addresses.

All these issues lead to cascading impacts: extended technician time on site, increased revisits, remediations, escalations, and therefore additional costs. Scale also becomes a factor: a rollout may account for 10 stores a night, with 10 different technicians. Each one is likely to encounter different problems that each require separate remediation processes, all adding time and cost and delaying the rollout plan.

It’s natural for those who have never participated in a store rollout that includes several store-level set-up steps to assume it’s straightforward. But anyone who has been a part of such a rollout can attest to the inevitable small but consequential problems.

Centralized Staging Saves Time and Money

Those initial issues and the problems that flow from them can be prevented with a rigorous, highly refined set of centralized, store in a box processes. When everything needed for a large solution implementation arrives at the store fully configured, tested, audited and checked again, retailers save money and experience seamless rollouts.

In fact, for one recent QSR project, Level 10’s centralized store in a box approach shaved a full day off what would have been a five-day store project. Another reduced time in store by a third.

The key to achieving these results lies in the approach Level 10 has devised based on decades of experience performing store technology installations. It’s not a mystery ― it takes detailed, step-by-step processes and a proven methodology. The advantage comes in Level 10’s rigorous execution. Retailers vetting integrators for their store in a box capabilities need to make sure they are doing these things:

1) Zealous Pursuit of Quality at Each Step. For example, while many warehouses consider receiving a low-level job routine, at Level 10 every shipment undergoes a very tightly controlled asset transfer process by highly trained workers.

2) Industry-Leading Warehouse Management. Level 10’s use of WMS includes what we call a landing zone, where we tightly track and count inventory so many times that it basically can't be lost. In fact, Level 10 employs a team whose sole charge is asset management – constant cycle counts and remediation of exceptions.

3) PCI Secure Storage Facility. This ensures our multi-level security stance meets these high standards.

4) Extensive Kitting Processes. At Level 10, we do every possible step at our centralized facility, even assembling a touchscreen mount, building a complete kiosk, and counting and verifying that every needed screw, bracket, cable and more are included.

5) Automated Configuration and Personalization. Once a solution completes proof of concept, our engineers design automated processes to ensure configuration and personalization are performed error free, preventing manual errors.

6) Extensive Auditing and Testing. We test everything before it leaves the facility, including running debit transactions. Then everything gets packed as is and shipped – nothing is unbuilt for reassembly.

Seamless Rollouts Flow to the Bottom Line

Rigorous compliance to those processes has delivered standout results. Because of our experienced, finely tuned approach, Level 10’s store in a box delivers these benefits:

  • Lower Costs. Allocating more time in centralized staging and less in the store nets an overall reduction of costs.
  • Reduced Mitigation. High quality means far fewer issues to remediate.
  • On Time and On Budget. Preventing errors prevents costs and delays.
  • Smoother Deployments: When equipment arrives ready to plug in, the entire process flows smoothly.

Store in a box has always been a compelling concept. But it’s also been a difficult one to achieve. Level 10 has cracked the code by developing a rigorous set of methodologies and processes and then ― this is key ― zealously complying with them. Again and again, this has helped retailers shave 25% to 35% off the cost of large store technology installations with near 100% yields in quality. That makes a big impact on the success of new retail technology.