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Lost in Space - How Spatial Intelligence Can Save Retail

Updated: 3 days ago

Retail Supply Chain Woes? Turn to Spatial Intelligence.


By: George Shaw, Founder & CEO, Pathr.ai

Global supply chain disruptions have affected several aspects of the retail industry today, from low product inventory on store shelves to port congestion. Add high inflation to the mix and retailers are certainly feeling the impact on their bottom line. These supply chain challenges have forced retailers to take head-on efforts to meet consumer demand. This action is especially urgent with the annual holiday spike in shopping approaching fast. As a result, retailers are turning to data and analytics to help tackle these critical market needs felt from a store’s back of house to within their distribution centers (DCs).


Spatial Intelligence has emerged as a solution to address the retail industry’s urgent supply chain challenges. This approach leverages a retailer’s existing camera infrastructure to anonymously measure employee and worker behavior inside a location to deliver real-time, actionable insights that drive high ROI.


This AI-powered technology allows a retailer to make data-driven decisions that improve not only their back of house, but also distribution center efficiency. A scalable and cost-effective solution, retailers can gain greater visibility into their operations and logistics across all their locations, providing them the means to refine strategies and minimize risk. Here are three relevant ways retailers can drive greater supply chain efficiencies inside their retail stores and distribution centers with Spatial Intelligence.


Optimize Back of House Retail Operations

For many retailers, display and merchandising are key to attracting customers and prolonging their shopping journey as they navigate inside a store. Behind the scenes however, is a highly connected process designed to keep shelves stocked and deliveries flowing smoothly. Retail back of house operations is an integral part of a retailer’s operations to maintain store performance at its highest level. So, how can retailers manage this integral component of the supply chain process?


Spatial Intelligence introduces a scalable way to optimize back of house operations by delivering insights around staff behavior within shipping and receiving areas. For instance, when a truck arrives at the back of a store, store operation teams can monitor staff dwell times inside loading docks in real-time, targeting reduced times from back of house to front of house. Retailers can take steps to gain efficiencies into their operations in a data-driven way and allocate staff based on real-time back of house conditions using Spatial Intelligence.

Maximize Worker Productivity inside Distribution Centers

Similarly, retailers can leverage Spatial Intelligence beyond a retail store and into their distribution centers. With ongoing labor shortages affecting DCs , it’s more important than ever to optimize worker productivity. Retailers can tap into their existing camera assets to capture worker behavior happening in real-time inside their distribution centers.


Leveraging the insights gained from these movement patterns allow retailers to identify choke points within and between aisles and optimize warehouse layouts. Take it another step further, Spatial Intelligence can be used to track forklift speeds to identify hazardous areas inside a warehouse.

Additionally, real-time alerts deployed using Spatial Intelligence can prove incredibly useful when congestion points or wait times exceed specified limits. These alerts, integrated into a retailer’s business systems, including mobile phone, earpiece, and email, allow retail warehouse operators to react to these incidents and improve on worker safety, productivity, and operations.


Improve Warehouse Efficiency through Space Utilization

Warehouse efficiency is a critical component to ensuring operations run smoothly, and products are making their way into and out the DCs. Retail warehouse operators are constantly monitoring space utilization within their locations to drive operations cost-effectively and identify bottlenecks in the workflow that can cause shipment delays.


One of the ways to approach this KPI is by understanding worker traffic and dwell patterns. Retailers can assess utilization rates and potential layout changes to their warehouse to improve efficiency and reduce risk. Spatial Intelligence provides the ability to capture traffic and dwell behavior from every area of a warehouse, from workstations to receiving docks, and turn it into actionable insights that boost resource allocation.


Are you ready?

Supply chain challenges have impacted the retail industry, going from beyond back of house operations and into distribution centers. The time is now for retailers to identify ways to stay competitive while keeping operational costs low. Spatial Intelligence introduces a way to address these challenges through a scalable and cost-effective method.


Retailers can leverage their existing camera infrastructure and gain a granular understanding of staff and worker behavior happening inside their stores and DCs. Equipped with real-time operational analytics, retailers can maximize back of house store operations, optimize worker flow through real-time alerts and assess utilization rates in a scalable manner across their entire store DC fleet.



George Shaw is the Founder and CEO of Pathr.ai, an AI-powered Spatial Intelligence solution that captures customer and staff movement by leveraging existing camera infrastructure and delivers real-time, actionable insights that drive in-store growth.

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