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Q&A: Liam O’Meara, VP Europe, Axonify

Axonify specialises in driving the operational excellence of retail workforces through training ‘in the flow of work’ without the normal efficiency impacts typically associated with upskilling…. View Article

INTERVIEWS

Q&A: Liam O’Meara, VP Europe, Axonify

Axonify specialises in driving the operational excellence of retail workforces through training ‘in the flow of work’ without the normal efficiency impacts typically associated with upskilling.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I’ve spent my entire career helping large brands drive workforce performance through learning technologies. I believe people are any company’s biggest asset – they are the face of the brand, the innovators, and they deliver on your promises every day. So I work with organisational leaders to optimise their people, improve employee experience and increase efficiency across the business.

What does your company do? / What is your USP?

Axonify specialises in driving the operational excellence of retail workforces through training ‘in the flow of work’ without the normal efficiency impacts typically associated with upskilling.

What’s special about the platform and your approach?

Axonify is designed around the unique needs of the retail workforce. By enabling a quick, easy and enjoyable training experience to be accessed where and when frontlines require, we drive unparalleled engagement and tangible business results.

What advantage does it add?

The high engagement enables the AI to become highly effective and;

  • personalise the experience to each individual….improving relevance and increasing engagement
  • prioritise learning based on business impact….ensuring time spent learning is actually driving KPI impact
  • provide managers with actionable reports….managers are your coaches and this enables them to pinpoint their feedback.

How does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success?

A typical implementation is between 6-12 weeks depending on how fast the client can move. We agree on clear value milestones from the outset – starting with an engagement foundation (who and how often people engage) and build up to measurable KPI impact.

How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like? Can you share a case study with us?

There are 2 key areas of impact

Revenue generation – where we support global fashion brands, DIY stores and retailers among others to drive up customer experiences and ensure a consistency where required….leading to increases on conversions and average basket size.

Case Study

Margin protection – where we are helping Grocery reduce wastage, distribution centres to keep staff healthy and picking lines to deliver quickly whilst maintaining quality.

Grocery

Distribution

Are there other companies you partner with?

Yes – enabling the frontline to access learning in the flow of work is essential and we have numerous partnership to extend access points beyond their own device and laptop including:-

  • leading scanner technology companies
  • time and attendance providers
  • HCM software vendors

What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for 2021 / What challenges are retailers facing in 2022?

Agility is going to be key – if Covid revealed anything it was just how challenging most retailers found it to keep their workforce engaged and prepared for the ever changing landscape. The pace of change is only going to increase, so ensuring you are able to drive agility in the workforce is a must.

After such a tough 18 months, retailers will look to drive efficiencies. However forward looking retailers will understand customer experience and frontline performance will remain key to maximise performance. This will likely lead to a change in retail associate – with few heads in total, but much higher skilled to deal with a broader set of challenges and complexity.

How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?

With such high engagement and the ability to push communications & learning directly to the frontline in a matter of minutes, Axonify has become a critical tool for its customers to help its workforce navigate the COVID-19 crisis efficiently.

When combined with structured learning pathways and retail specific content libraries, not only are we enabling staff to meet today’s needs, but develop the skills for tomorrow.

Any final thoughts?

As with all down churns we’ve seen some very big names go to the wall. But what is different this time is that things won’t just bounce back to normal – there is a fundamental shift happening in retail that has only been accelerated by the pandemic and retailers are going to need to maximise every link in the chain…..including its people.

To find out how Axonify can help your retail operation, click here.

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