Q & A: Richard Gilliard, Managing Director, Renovotec
Richard Gilliard has over 20 years of experience supporting customers with technology solutions. He is currently the MD for Renovotec, one of the UK’s fastest-growing technology solutions integrators for retail, the supply chain, and many other industries.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I started in the IT world back in 1996, working in warehouse management solutions, growing my knowledge and being very hands-on with the reality of warehouse operations.
Within just a few years, I’d acquired a small warehouse management company with a very talented team of staff. We grew significantly until the financial crisis hit back in 2008/2009. Although we were financially stable, we didn’t have enough work to keep our team happy. This allowed me to utilise available resource to start Renovotec.
We used these funds to acquire several specialist providers in our industry so that we could cover a comprehensive range of solutions that would help meet our customer’s needs. This was how Renovotec was born.
What kind of service and USP does Renovotec offer its customers?
We are unique because we are the only partner who can provide a comprehensive end-to-end service to our customers, offering everything from wireless and networking to robotics and voice picking.
Collaborating with partners such as Honeywell, we can also take care of the software and hardware side of things, offering slick, user-friendly devices that help businesses exceed their client’s expectations and help them grow or scale up their businesses.
This is a big win for all our clients. They know that they can come to us for everything they need to stand out in this highly competitive market and streamline their operations, instead of needing to waste precious resources searching for multiple suppliers.
Additionally, we offer a highly flexible equipment rental service for retail and warehouses that ensures that our clients can access the latest technology and also adapt their packages according to the ever-changing needs of their business. This service is unique in the industry. There aren’t many providers who do this, and even if they do, they fail to meet the demands of the 21st-century business. Virtually all our clients in the US utilise our rental service.
What are some of the challenges retailers are facing in the current economic climate?
Retail has come under extreme pressure over recent years with the combined forces of the COVID pandemic, subsequent lockdowns, and changing consumer habits across the world.
Despite the massive growth of e-commerce, many customers still desire a face-to-face shopping experience, but their expectations are now higher than ever before.
To adapt to these pressures, many retail businesses have been forced to explore more streamlined business operations so that customers can enjoy the same frictionless shopping experience they enjoy online and they can keep their businesses ahead of the competition.
On top of this, we have Brexit which brought additional problems for many UK retailers. We too felt the impact all too intensely, experienced substantial delays and even lost opportunities because of this move.
However, like our customers, we’ve had to refocus and see these problems as opportunities and have been able to position ourselves better so that we can deliver the level of service that our clients need.
How does Renovotec plan to address and solve these challenges for retailers?
We understand that without the most cutting-edge technological tools and know-how, it can be almost impossible to meet these high standards, ensure that their customers enjoy an optimal experience each and every time and ensure that they reach their revenue goals, despite the current pressures of the industry.
Our recent collaboration with Honeywell means that we can work with our retail clients to ensure they have access to the optimal tools to effortlessly improve business operations. They ensure that every single associate is connected and that retail is as efficient, agile and productive as possible.
By combining Honeywell’s technology and hardware alongside Renovotec’s end-to-end solutions, retailers can gain this winning edge and help protect the future of the UK high street.
If retailers utilise the right technology from Honeywell alongside the right end-to-end solution and deployment expertise from Renovotec, they can overcome many of their biggest challenges and protect their business interests.
How do these solutions help retailers and brands operating in the retail sector?
Let me give you a few examples to help illustrate what these solutions can actually achieve in a real-life retail context to help you understand the benefits that retailers can enjoy by adopting this technology.
The key thing when it comes to modern retail is that customers need to have full access to the information they need at every step of the buyer’s journey. This applies whether they’re simply popping into store to research potential purchases, trying to make a decision between several product options or are looking to make an immediate purchase.
They need to know that your business values them as customers and will provide an outstanding customer experience that will keep them coming back.
Many businesses have developed apps that help them to find what they need. However, when customers enter a store or outlet, they can’t get a reliable phone signal and therefore the app doesn’t perform as it should or offer the features needed.
Additionally, many customers arrive and need help or information from team members but it simply isn’t available. I’ve often seen associates pull out their personal mobile phones in an attempt to serve these customers as best they can.
However, these strategies can be frustrating and lack the connectivity required for the modern shopping experience. Customers can abandon their purchase because they now have a negative opinion of the brand and business.
Our solutions help overcome these issues, ensuring that both senior management and associates can provide an outstanding customer experience that keeps customers coming back.
These can include taking payments (to help reduce waiting times), helping customers find a solution that meets their needs, keeping team members connected, supporting security staff, and collecting customer data to optimise the post-purchase experience.
With Honeywell’s comprehensive roster of handheld terminals (HHTs), such as the CT30 XP Handheld Computer, it’s easier than ever before to elevate the customer experience, empower retail workers and ensure you don’t lose that sale.
What are some of the advantages of working with an end-to-end solutions provider?
We have a deep understanding of the businesses they we work with and the needs that their customers face in the modern retail sector.
They know that if they come across an opportunity, they can trust us to run with it and deliver the service requirements so they can scale as required. Likewise, we know that our customers need a high-quality, easy and well-rounded solution that can help tick all the boxes.
We work closely with our clients to deliver every aspect of the solutions they need. There is no requirement for them to go elsewhere, which takes away the stress and pressure that comes with sourcing technology and services from multiple sources.
What are Renovotec’s goals for 2023 and beyond?
Over the next few years, we aim to make our end-to-end technology solutions the industry standard in the UK so that we can help protect the future of the UK high street.
Additionally, we want to expand our offerings on a global scale. We’ve already worked on various projects including one with Google and explored places as far afield as Taiwan and other parts of Asia. Within Europe, we’ll be opening a new office in the Netherlands and then another in Chicago in the next couple of months.
By working with our customers, retail clients and collaborators, we want to expand our operations across the world. We’re excited to see what that looks like.
To find out how Renovotec can help your Retail operation click here.