From Vision to Execution:
Paving the Path for a Strong Future

President & CEO of Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, Rance Poehler brings over 25 years of leadership experience in scaling businesses and driving transformative change in various industries, particularly retail. Under his visionary leadership, the company is successfully undergoing a significant transformation, solidifying its position as a trusted leader in retail commerce solutions.

According to Poehler, effective leadership goes beyond mere management; it requires a profound passion for the industry, intuitive decision-making, and an unwavering commitment to ensuring the success of strategic choices. What sets Poehler apart is his remarkable resilience in standing by these decisions and his keen ability to actively listen and gather insights. This adaptability enables him to execute these strategies effectively, resulting in profitable outcomes for the organization. Poehler's drive and dedication serve as a beacon of inspiration for his team, fostering a motivated and empowered workforce.

His intrinsic motivation and energy are apparent in roles that involve scaling businesses, surmounting complex challenges, fostering cohesive teams, and nurturing emerging leaders. Poehler's ability to see the bigger picture while navigating the intricate details has propelled Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions to new heights of success.

In an interview with Retail Today, Poehler offered valuable insights into the current state of the retail industry. With an astute understanding of market dynamics, he shared how Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions is ideally positioned to seize emerging opportunities and fuel further growth.

As the retail industry undergoes rapid transformations, retailers are seeking strategies that enable them to remain nimble for greater profitability and efficiency. However, retailers cannot accelerate digital transformation when they’re saddled with decades-old technology and hundreds of custom-developed integrations that require considerable resources to maintain. Additionally, persistent labor shortages pose a critical mission to address, as retailers must find ways to keep their operations running smoothly. Labor scarcity has prompted a greater need for flexibility in automation solutions across their enterprises—from stores to distribution centers and warehouses.

In response to the evolving retail landscape and changing consumer demands, retailers are seeking even more innovative solutions that are AI-powered and take advantage of technologies like Computer Vision and more. Today, more than ever before, it is critical for retailers to have the freedom to accelerate and meet the demands of consumers to drive retention and loyalty in an authentic way.

I’m confident we have the best solutions to answer our customers’ questions and challenges in their business. We are devoted to retail, enabling retailers to thrive and prosper by listening and partnering with them to deliver commerce solutions that allow them to scale innovations throughout their operations, enhancing shopper experiences across all touchpoints.

Our commitment to retail is comprehensive, including our customers, partners, suppliers, and employees. We're committed to complete solutions, including R&D investments in hardware, self-service, and software solutions like our ELERA™ Commerce Platform. As a recognized leader in digital transformation within the retail industry, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions prioritizes customer-centric approaches to optimize experiences and cater to consumers wherever, whenever, and however, they prefer to shop. Our strong partner network further reinforces our ability to connect with retailers from diverse segments, delivering tailored technology solutions to meet their specific needs.

The voice of the customer drives our business at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. Based on what our clients tell us, we see several factors that will continue to propel tech innovation to transform retail in the face of inflation, including automation, digital payments, omni-channel returns, phygital stores, and the rise of retail shrink impacting retailer profits.

There are a lot of opportunities to drive digital innovation in retail, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and computer-vision (CV) technology. These cutting-edge advancements can significantly improve retail operations and reduce friction with shoppers in the store. Potential uses for these technologies include managing loss prevention, optimizing throughput, and enhancing shopper experiences. At our Design and Innovation Lab, we develop and test next-generation technologies that will shape the future of retail. As we’ve been doing for 50 years, we’ll continue to innovate and bring new technologies to market in ways that retailers can trust to create memorable and seamless consumer experiences.

As the retail industry undergoes rapid transformations, what key obstacles do retailers currently encounter, and how does your unique strategy enable them to proactively tackle these issues?

How does Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions prioritize the voice of the customer in driving innovation and shaping their business strategies?

The need of the hour for retailers is to re-think the store experience and invest in store automation and checkout-free shopping.

With a proven track record for scaling businesses, how do you plan to leverage your fortitude and execution prowess to transition the retail business into a full-fledged strategic partner for both customers and partners? What is your mantra to continue our growth trajectory and to drive success for our customers and the retail industry at large?

Our values of We are RETAIL—Respect, Empowerment, Teamwork, Adaptability, Integrity, and Leadership—are at the core of our business at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. These guiding principles form the moral foundation of our organization, created with the valuable input of employees across various departments and countries, representing what we stand for at Toshiba.

We are continuing our investments to strengthen our position as a global solution provider delivering world-class hardware, software, and services that meet the needs of the retail industry. Our commitment is to enable them to adapt to ever-changing conditions and support the communities that rely on them every day. Our team’s commitment to our values and our expertise in the retail industry is what our customers value. Our latest customer insights survey in the U.S. showed that over 70% of our customers said we were “strategic.” We know that our customers see us as a strategic partner because of our experience in the industry and our innovative solutions.

Retail moves quickly, and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions moves at the speed of innovation. We are growing in a time when many companies are struggling, and we're doing it together. We innovate solutions every day around the needs of our customers, enabling retailers to thrive in a more digital world. And that gives us a very clear path to the future.

Transforming retail takes talented people to build solutions of tomorrow and make it a reality. Empowered people are always at the heart of dynamic company culture. Each person needs to feel that they can positively impact their company. Our dedicated professionals and commitment to excellence make Toshiba stand out in the retail technology industry. Their daily commitment helps us drive toward becoming the number one retail solutions provider worldwide. Our people are our biggest asset in achieving our goals, and we are excited to continue growing our team with the best talent across our footprint.

Great ideas emerge from all parts of the company. One example of our innovation is our annual Invention Challenge, which empowers employees to create new product ideas that will support the future of retail. Simple ideas that seem like a small improvement can grow into the next big idea for retail. Colleagues are encouraged to take the seed of an idea and cultivate it through collaboration and brainstorming.

This month marks our 11th Anniversary as a company at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. Our heritage in retail technology runs deep and spans 50+ years. We've harnessed that energy and propelled our innovation over the years, growing exponentially and continuing to add new jobs. I am proud of everything this team has achieved, and even more excited about our vision and what comes next. I truly believe we are in a strong position to succeed in the years to come. We are retail.

In short, it's in our DNA to listen to the voice of the customer and act on what we learn. I should credit my grandmother with helping me learn that. When I wasn't listening very well, she used to remind me, "There's a reason you were given two ears and one mouth. So that you can listen more than you speak!" (I think a Greek philosopher originally said that, but Grandma really made it her own.)

We are a valued partner of many essential retailers globally. We work with customers to address their challenges, and we do this by focusing on the voice of the customer. By listening first, we can better understand how to support retailers through innovative technologies that meet changing consumer and market behaviors, which may vary widely across countries and cultures. The voice of the customer (VoC) is always in the forefront of everything we do, helping to guide and inspire us and inform our most important decisions. We’ve operationalized this into a company-wide initiative so their perspectives can touch every aspect of our business.

AUG 2022

Rance Poehler, President & CEO
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions