Tech Transformation

Tech Transformation with CGT and RIS News explores the tech trends and innovation shaping the retail, CPG, and consumer goods industries. Listen for insights in digital transformation, data analytics, retail technology, consumer engagement, IT integration, e-commerce, cloud technology and computing, supply chain, and more.

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Wednesday Sep 13, 2023

Like many consumer goods companies and retailers, Kimberly-Clark wants to put consumers at the center of everything it does. The company also wants to take things a step further by doing it in a way that advances their sustainability goals, and doing this successfully as a multi-national company means working cross-functionally in some very unique ways.
In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Jeannette Chantalat, Kimberly-Clark’s Global Head, Innovation & Sustainability Accelerator, about how they’re using their vast reach to understand consumers at very local levels — and then marrying it with technology to meet consumer needs in new and more sustainable ways.
Listen to learn:
•How Kimberly-Clark leverages consumer insights in product development to advance their sustainability goals
•How digital prototyping plays a role
•The new ways they’re measuring success with their retail partners across the value chain
•What these KPIs look like
•What they’ve learned about when and why consumers will pay more for greener products.

Wednesday Aug 30, 2023

As consumer goods manufacturers and retailers rethink how they collect and leverage consumer data, it has them reinventing their external partnerships.  PepsiCo is not only entering first-of-its-kind relationships with companies like Spotify and EA Sports, but it’s also looking ahead to how it might use the data to drive further value at retail and for its retail partners. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Mark Kirkham, SVP and CMO of PepsiCo’s international beverages business, about some of the new ways they’re collecting data, how their partnerships are driving value well beyond brand awareness, and some of the technologies that are connecting the dots. 
Listen to learn: •Why PepsiCo is forming and expanding partnerships with organizations like Spotify, EA Sports, and UEFA •How these partnerships deliver value to PepsiCo’s retail partners •How they’re leveraging consumer insights in new ways•How they’re tracking progress, tying it back to marketing, and the metrics they use•How they’re using these insights elsewhere•Some of the ways they’re leveraging technology to ensure experiences are personalized and authentic•How they navigate the expectations of hyper-personalization as a large global company •What’s next for tech-driven experiences at PepsiCo

Wednesday Aug 16, 2023

Retail media is without question one of the biggest trends in sales and marketing right now, but for tech teams, the conversations get a little fuzzy when it comes to measuring success and the expectations a brand should have. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Claire Wyatt, VP, business strategy and marketing science at Albertsons Media Collective, about some of the challenges brands are facing, what they should consider when they’re building partnerships, and some of the common misconceptions. 
Listen to learn: •A lightning-round explanation of retail media •How far along the maturity curve most consumer goods companies find themselves at this point•How much cross-integration with legacy platforms is impeding progress •The role and value of data clean rooms•What a strong RMN partnership looks like — and what doesn’t •The role of AI and the future potential of generative AI within retail media

Friday Aug 04, 2023

Today's consumer behavior shifts are only growing more complex, making it a challenge for both manufacturers and retailers to meet shoppers whenever they are. We talk with Manish Sharma, VP of Omni and E-Commerce for Kellogg Company, about the consumer goods company’s evolution into omnicommerce and the changes they're making across their business.
Listen to learn:
•The most recent behavior changes they’re monitoring and responding to
•How they define personalization
•How the transformation from e-commerce to omni-commerce drives holistic success of their businesses
•The industry’s willingness to cooperate for data sharing today and where is more work needed
•Where they see the potential of data clean rooms
•The role of generative AI in the consumer goods industry
•What retailers should know about becoming stronger trading partners

Wednesday Jul 19, 2023

As Unilever digitizes its value chain and transforms its organization to put the customer first, it's finding that decision intelligence is playing a key role in helping it gain speed and agility. In this episode of Tech Transformation, sponsored by Aera Technology, we’re talking with Juan Carlos Parada, global head of customer operations at Unilever, and Fred Laluyaux, CEO of Aera, about their journey with this technology and where they’re taking it next.
Listen to learn:•The challenges decision intelligence can solve•Where it fits into Unilever’s complex and innovative supply chain•How Unilever drives and grows user adoption and measures value of its use•What’s particularly impressive about Unilever’s adoption and scaling of decision intelligence•What’s next for Unilever and Aera Technology

Wednesday Jun 28, 2023

Attention around generative AI in the consumer goods and retail industries hasn’t slowed, and most of the companies we’re talking with tell us that they’re trying to figure out how it could make sense to use in their business. So in this episode of Tech Transformation, we're talking with Thomas Ortis, chief marketing officer of Eboost, an energy drink and supplement company that’s using it to chat with digital twins of its customers. We’re talking about where it’s seeing benefits, what it has planned, and what a digital twin of a customer looks like.
•Why Eboost invested in technology that leverages generative AI to create digital twins of its customers•The success that it’s having•How its employees are adapting•Where he sees further potential for the technology•What’s next for the company

Wednesday May 31, 2023

Convenience chain Yesway is in growth mode, and being able to generate strong consumer loyalty has been key to its success. Now, as the company looks to its future, it’s revamping its loyalty program and using technology and automation to better understand and deliver personalized experiences. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Darrin Samaha, VP marketing at Yesway, about the ways they’re thinking more strategically about loyalty, how they plan to leverage new partnerships and data, and the new ways that they’re measuring success.
Listen to learn:
•How Yesway IDs the priorities for both consumers and its business within the new program
•How automation and personalization are driving loyalty vs. previous programs
•What it was like getting IT teams on board and obtaining their buy-in
•The potential of hyer-rural markets and the value of generating emotional loyalty
•Where the program is headed as they scale up
•Thoughts on the potential of generative AI in the retail space

Wednesday May 17, 2023

Decision Intelligence is growing in adoption, and it’s poised to have a significant impact across the retail and consumer goods industries. In this episode of Tech Transformation, sponsored by Aera Technology, we’re talking with Fred Laluyaux, Aera CEO, about the technology and how it’s reinventing the way CPGs get work done — and ultimately, the business of CPGs.
According to Laluyaux, more global brands are turning to Decision Intelligence to improve efficiency, service, sustainability, and more.
Listen to learn:
•How do you define Decision Intelligence?
•Why is it needed, and how does it differ from business intelligence or automation technologies?
•How can Decision Intelligence improve efficiencies, service, and the bottom line?
•How are CPGs adopting it and what are the results?

Wednesday May 03, 2023

The retailer Bealls operates over 600 stores in 23 states, and the company is growing, adding 150 stores in the past two and a half years. In this episode of Tech transformation, we’re talking with Jackie Long, director of merchandise process at Bealls, about how the deployment of auto allocation technology is helping them react to the actual performance of these stores.
We're joined by Richard Widdowson, VP, global retail and consumer solutions at SAS and a CGT/RIS Executive Council member. Listen for conversation about the gains Bealls made, what's next in retail technology, and what's expected for the greater retail industry.
Listen to learn:
•Why Bealls first implemented the new technology and their pain points
•What the retail environment looks like for them right now and how the technology is improving their abilities to serve customers
•Whether their experiences align elsewhere in the retail industry
•The benefits they’ve experienced from automation in both their stores and the supply chain
•How their customers and employees are responding •What’s next for Bealls with retail technology
•Some of the other ways retailers are preparing for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities

Wednesday Apr 19, 2023

Dollar General is one of the most rapidly expanding retailers in the United States, which is a strategy that has a significant impact on a company’s IT and tech teams. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Shweta Bhatia, SVP of IT applications and base engineering, about what this looks like and how they’re keeping pace.
We’re talking about some of the new digital tools they’re using to manage supply chain disruption and keep up with consumer demand, and why working in IT at Dollar General is a bit different than other retailers.
Listen to learn:
•How Dollar General’s expansion has impacted the company’s IT teams
•The biggest obstacles the tech teams have faced and how they work to overcome them
•How they put out the everyday fires while simultaneously building an infrastructure for growth
•The technologically innovative ways they’ve managed a very disruptive supply chain
•Updates on their data-driven inventory management tools
•Other technologies they’re using to manage shifting consumer demand
•Why working in IT at Dollar General is different from other places Bhatia has worked
•How Dollar General remains competitive with prospective and current tech employees

Wednesday Apr 05, 2023

There may be no bigger priority for both retailers and consumer goods companies today than access to consumer insights, and PepsiCo has stood up its own data analytics practice known as Pepviz to seize this opportunity. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Kate Garner, SVP of marketing, demand accelerator, at PepsiCo about some of their latest findings, how the company's use of technology has evolved, and how it's helping them develop more collaborative retail relationships. 
Listen to learn: 
How the use of technology at PepsiCo has evolved over the last 20 years
How Pepviz is helping retailers leverage consumer insights for market share and revenue growth
How they share these insights across the PepsiCo organization 
How PepsiCo overcomes some of the challenges associated with data democratization
What’s next for Pepviz and what Garner sees as the future of retail
The potential of generative AI within consumer goods and retail

Wednesday Mar 22, 2023

Digitizing the route to market has been a priority for consumer goods companies for a very long time, and the pandemic amped the urgency to a 10. For AB InBev, this meant really stomping on the pedal when rolling out their BEES e-commerce technology, which lets retailers place their orders through a mobile app — and a lot more. 
Over the past few years, its use has exploded and has transformed how the company works with retailers. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with EJ Weiss, global director of strategy at BEES at AB InBev, about the impact the tech has had within the company and how they use these learnings and data across the enterprise. 
Listen to learn: 
•Where BEES fits within AB InBev's larger e-commerce strategy
•How its success is driving additional transformation within AB InBev
•How they’re leveraging learnings to improve the technology
•What drove their decision to offer third-party products to retailers
•Other ways that BEES is transforming AB InBev and its partners

Wednesday Mar 08, 2023

No- and low-alcohol beverages have been a standout category, with sales growing more than 7 percent last year, according to IWSR. Here we talk with Jamie Lissette, COO of Athletic Brewing Company, a growing brand that’s really seizing this opportunity.
We’re talking not only about their growth strategy and how they decide which markets to enter, but also how they leverage consumer insights from their dedicated DTC base and about some of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to the non-alcoholic category.
Listen to learn:
•The backstory on Athletic, including their target customer (it may not be who you think)
•The biggest misconception about the brand and the category
•How they determine the markets for expansion
•The role of their culture when it comes to remaining nimble while scaling for growth
•How they keep teams focused on long-term goals without getting bogged down by everyday tasks
•How they leverage analytics and use it to inform decision making
•How they use consumer insights to develop new products and how they share this info with their retail partners
•Where social commerce fits into their e-commerce strategy and how it’s evolving?
•Another quickly expanding CPG brand or retailer Lissette admires

Wednesday Feb 22, 2023

Given how quickly and dramatically consumer behavior is changing, there’s a lot retailers and consumer goods companies are taking away from other regions when building their commerce strategies. So on this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Channan Sawhney, director of global e-commerce, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, about some of the ways consumers are engaging differently with brands and retailers, and where she sees retailers investing to meet new needs.
We’re talking about the technologies that are used to apply these learnings across functions and segments — and also about why sometimes this just doesn’t work.
Listen to learn:
•Some of the more recent consumer behavior shifts retailers are adapting to and how these shifts differ across regions
•A recent example of how she applied learnings from an e-commerce “win” in one region to another for success
•A time this didn’t work and what we can learn
•Where she sees the most potential for generative AI technologies like ChatGPT in retail and consumer goods digital commerce
•Other upstream technologies worth paying attention to
•How solution providers can be stronger partners with retail and consumer goods companies
•Her one wish for digital commerce

Wednesday Feb 08, 2023

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably been inundated with news and hot takes on generative AI, including ChatGPT. But what does it mean for retail and consumer goods? There’s a massive amount of potential, and it’s moving really quickly. We’re talking with Imteaz Ahamed, director of performance marketing of nutrition at Reckitt, about what it is, what the impact could be, and some of the really, really, really cool things in the future.
Listen to learn:
•How generative AI can impact retail and consumer goods, including viable use cases
•How optimizing performance marketing campaigns differs by platform, such as social media, search engines, or marketplaces (Gimmick alert: question written by ChatGPT!)
•Future trends or advancements in performance marketing that will be important for CPG brands to pay attention to (Question written by ChatGPT!)
•The startup we should all have our eyes on
•The MACH Alliance and why Ahamed is an ambassador

Wednesday Jan 25, 2023

Understanding how consumers view your retail experiences quickly and accurately is one of the most important parts of serving them, and this means doing a lot more than just surveys. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Steve Peltzman, Chief Business Technology Officer at Forrester, about why this can be so hard for some retailers and what they can learn from other industries. 

Wednesday Jan 11, 2023

Here are a few things you need to know about Tractor Supply Company: For one, they pride themselves on being the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, with over 2,000 stores and 50,000 employees. What’s more, they have more than 26 million members in their loyalty club.
In this episode of Tech Transformation, we talk with Rob Mills, Tractor Supply EVP, chief technology, digital commerce, and strategy officer, about how they’re using things like wayfinding, mobile apps, and even artificial intelligence to improve the consumer experience.
Listen to learn:
•Why mobile apps have been a key tool in their success and how they’re evolving the technology
•How Tractor’s teams determine the features that are most valuable to customers
•How apps help drive loyalty for both their customers and employees
•Inside their test-and-learn culture and team engagement
•How and why Tractor is digitizing its store layout – and the benefits
•The opportunities and obstacles of having inventory quantity visible at the store level
•The future for personalization at Tractor Supply
•What Rob wishes Tractor manufacturing partners knew when it came to being a good trading partner
•What’s next for Tractor Supply

Wednesday Dec 14, 2022

Getting leadership buy-in isn’t easy in any role, but working in social media brings a special kind of challenge. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Tiffany Pegues, the head of social, search, and CRM at Church & Dwight, about some of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to retail and CPG social. She shares why it’s so important to balance the razzle dazzle of marketing with having a disciplined approach on TikTok and other platforms, and she talks about how to set yourself up for success when you’re operating in so much unknown territory. 
Listen to learn:
•How Church & Dwight is staying relevant for the next generation of consumers and the obstacles that come along with it•How they upskill their teams•The role of social-first campaigns •How she’s influencing-up and why getting leadership buy-in in social media can be so challenging•The biggest thing on her plate right now•The future of social media •The misconceptions in social and search she wishes would just disappear 

Wednesday Nov 30, 2022

In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re digging into social commerce with the disruptive haircare brand K18. We’re talking with Suveen Sahib, K18 co-founder and CEO, about how they’re making the most of TikTok and Facebook (yes, Facebook) and planning for the metaverse. We also discuss the value of using consumer insights in product development and sharing these insights with your retail partners. 
Listen to learn: 
How K18 leverages consumer insights within their product development
Why TikTok and social commerce work so well for them — and how they discovered this
How they adapt their strategies for different platforms
K18’s plans for the metaverse
The failures they’ve learned from
The future of beauty and haircare tech

Wednesday Nov 16, 2022

Molson Coors is evolving from an alcohol beverage company to a beverage company, and this has meant transforming its business, its technology, and its ways of working. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Lindsay Winn, VP, commercial IT business partner, and Ramki Krishnamoorthy, global head of enterprise architecture, about what prompted the need for all of this change and to get a candid look at how it’s going.
We dig into what it’s like measuring success in new ways of working and what we can learn from our missteps. We also get into the weeds a bit to talk about cloud architecture and some of the other considerations they’re taking into account. 
Listen to learn: 
•How Molson Coors’ digital transformation is supporting its business transformation
•What prompted the need for change
•How this relates to its cloud transformation program 
•Where they got started
•The architectural considerations that were taken into account
•How they built their business case to get stakeholder alignment
•How they’re measuring success
•What their post-cloud transformation future looks like
•The Molson Coors product that should be on every Thanksgiving table

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