How Office Depot is creating a modern store experience

Produced by


Kevin Moffitt

Office Depot

Jonas Stillman

Senior Director Omni Channel Operations, Office Depot

Alexandra Powers

Senior Manager of Communications, Culture, and Engagement, Office Depot

Kevin Tapscott

Leader Global Solutions Center
Zebra Technologies

Kevin Tapscott, Leader Global Solutions Center, Zebra Technologies kicked off the session by proving context on Zebra's "modern store" framework, emphasizing Zebra's significant investment in software and solutions for the retail industry. He outlined the three key outcomes of the modern store: engaged associates, optimized inventory, and elevated customer experience. He then set the stage for the Office Depot team to share their story of creating a modern store experience and the value they've realized along the way.

Kevin Moffitt, President of Office Depot emphasized the importance of innovation in retail and shared that Office Depot has undergone restructuring to become a truly omni-channel specialty retailer, merging its public ecommerce and store-based retail businesses. He highlighted three key areas of focus for Office Depot's innovation: customer-centricity, assortment innovation, and operational excellence. He emphasized the challenges of maintaining customer engagement in an evolving retail landscape and the importance of adapting to changing customer needs, particularly in the context of remote and hybrid work environments. Kevin underscored the significance of Office Depot's omni-channel platform in providing a seamless and convenient experience for customers, addressing their evolving needs, such as remote work challenges. He also emphasized the importance of operational excellence as the foundation for implementing their strategies effectively.

Building on the company's commitment to operational excellence, Alexandra Powers, Senior Manager of Communications, Culture, and Engagement at Office Depot, spoke at length on how Office Depot is supporting their associates in enabling customers' personal, educational, and professional dreams. She highlighted the importance of leveraging the diverse perspectives and ideas of their over 12,000 associates in retail stores across the country to drive operational excellence.

Alex discussed the challenges she faced in her role, particularly in manually managing activity data using a homegrown tool, which was time-consuming and inefficient. She then introduced the partnership between Office Depot and Zebra Technologies, specifically the implementation of Zebra's Reflexis solutions, Task Manager, WFM, and Task Scheduler, to streamline operations and enhance productivity in stores.

The rollout of Zebra's solutions in 2015 marked a significant improvement in efficiency for Office Depot, and subsequent updates, such as version 17 in 2020, further optimized operations. Powers emphasized the ease of use of the new user interface and the comprehensive training provided to ensure smooth adoption by associates.

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She highlighted several benefits of the Zebra solutions, particularly in enabling field leadership to monitor store performance effectively, providing clear and timely reporting, and improving task management through features like Gantt overview and calendar view. Alex also emphasized how the integration with workforce management facilitated scheduling efficiency, ensuring the right people were scheduled at the right times.

Alex then discussed specific examples of how the Zebra solutions had helped Office Depot navigate challenges, such as COVID-19 regulations, PCI compliance, and task execution for buy online, pick up in-store orders. She emphasized the positive feedback received from field managers and hourly associates, who appreciated the clarity and efficiency brought about by the new tools.

Additionally, Alex highlighted the role of the Zebra Knowledge Center in providing training resources and tips and tricks to enhance productivity. She underscored the importance of these tools in improving associate experience, which ultimately translates to better customer experience and business outcomes.

Finally, Alex shared impressive metrics demonstrating the impact of Zebra's solutions on Office Depot's operational efficiency, including significant improvements in project execution completion rates and task compliance.

Jonas Stillman, Senior Director Omni Channel Operations at Office Depot, painted a picture of the challenges faced by retail stores in the past, including outdated technology, inefficient processes, and overloaded frontline associates. He emphasized the need for modernization and technology enablement to streamline operations and enhance customer service.

Jonas highlighted the steps taken by Office Depot to address these challenges, starting with the modernization of task management and workforce management systems. He discussed the transition from legacy Excel-based systems to Reflexis (now Zebra) Workcloud solutions, which allowed for more efficient task execution and improved accountability.

The next step in Office Depot's transformation was the deployment of Zebra TC 51 devices to all stores, providing frontline associates with intuitive tools to execute tasks effectively. Jonas emphasized the importance of usability and integration in driving operational efficiency, citing the TC 51 device as a cornerstone of their operations.

He described a thorough review of store processes, culminating in a "workout" event to identify areas for improvement and the need for technology enablement. Jonas stressed the importance of continuous improvement and feedback loops to sustain progress and ensure alignment with corporate objectives.

The success of Office Depot's transformation was underscored by impressive achievements, such as their industry-leading 20-minute pickup promise for buy online, pick up in-store orders. Jonas credited the streamlined processes and inventory accuracy enabled by Zebra solutions for making this promise a reality.

Moreover, Jonas highlighted the broader implications of their transformation, such as enabling same-day delivery and positioning Office Depot as a leader in omni-channel retail. He emphasized the interconnectedness of their ecosystem and the need for ongoing innovation to meet evolving customer expectations.

In conclusion, Jonas emphasized the importance of celebrating successes and reinforcing achievements both internally and externally. He expressed excitement for future innovations and the continued evolution of Office Depot's omni-channel strategy, driven by feedback from both leadership and frontline associates.

MAR 2024