CrossCom: The In-Store System Stalwarts

CrossCom: The In-Store System Stalwarts

CIO VendorGreg Miller, CEO A walk down New York City's SoHo neighborhood will reveal the towering testament to a gamut of digital applications that are creating a dominant effect on the retail sector. While Nike store juts out on the corner of the busy shopping street, boasting of specialized sensors and digital wallet, Rebecca Minkoff's flagship store is nothing less than a futuristic wonderland, complete with magic mirrors, interactive screens, and Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) tags. Retailers worldwide are fast realising that a substantial discount on the spring collection will no longer do the trick and merchants must don the hat of technocrats to create an immersive shopping experience for the shoppers. To achieve front end technology miracles, a comprehensive inventory management, back end data analytics, and seamless networking are required in the background to keep the systems running that appease the hyper connected consumer. “Most importantly, in an era saturated with digital engagement, it is not just enough to have sophisticated technology. It is critical to keep new technology working and to make sure that new and legacy systems work together seamlessly,” opines Greg Miller, CEO, CrossCom. Armed with over three decades of experience in enterprise technology support, CrossCom is a niche provider of a full spectrum of value-rich services for retailers—from support desk services to asset and inventory management to digital repair and on-site maintenance. “We have developed a holistic model for large technology diverse environments, managing the store from end-to-end and applying governance to deliver consistent quality and continuous improvement,” adds Miller.

Unique Support Models

CrossCom starts with an extensive qualification process, to ensure that all of their technicians have the requisite skill and experience to become a part of the team. “We have specific customer and technical training,” says Miller. Delivering round the clock assistance, CrossCom is manned by a Support Desk where fully experienced and expert technicians take charge of incidents to resolve issues remotely and minimize on-site disruptions. While level I technicians troubleshoot basic problems, for more complex situations level II technicians are engaged. If an issue is unresolvable from a remote location, field technicians are dispatched with needed components to get the site back on line quickly. All incidents are tracked and categorized to help identify trends and prevent future failures.

Field support is provided by CrossCom’s on-demand workforce. “Our field partners have an average of over 10 years of experience working with our customers, our processes and systems,” said Miller. “These long-term relationships, the training provided and the support from CrossCom’s Level II help desk are keys to our success.

CrossCom provides live reporting for every service and solution we deliver with and detailed statistics on how to improve functionality and savings

These technicians are not coming from a job board and entering a location for the first time.” CrossCom measures the performance of field partners and tracks their progress through each field ticket. These same systems allow CrossCom to provide visibility to their customers. “Our customers can track the status of work on their computer or on a mobile device.” In addition to site-level detail, CrossCom customers can look at a progress map which gives them an overall view of service across all of their sites.

Operating from CrossCom’s single platform and providing unmatched visibility the company offers CrossInformTM, a web based operations and logistics interface for secure, on-demand, real-time access to customer data. CrossInformTM can also be integrated with a client's work order system for seamless information flow and data exchange and it generates advanced reports based on performance, logistics, and inventory data.“CrossCom provides live reporting for every service and solution we deliver with and detailed statistics on how to improve functionality and savings,” said Miller.

Maximizing Asset Lifecycle

Governed by a mission to deliver business improvements and long-term value to their customers, CrossCom also offers an Express Restore program which is designed to extend the life of technology assets. While most Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) suggest new products to a retailer in a span of 3-5 years, CrossCom's chief goal is to enable customers to get 12 years or more out of hardware. “To prevent assets from failing we apply predictive maintenance, and in case a product does fail we bring it back to our facility and conduct whole asset refurbishment—from cleaning to replacement of broken components to board level electronics repair,” says Miller. If there are certain components or internal systems that are on the verge of becoming obsolete, CrossCom fixes them as well. Having spent over a decade studying and tracking retail technology, the company can accurately predict failure levels based on environment, sector, and location. “After the repairs, the asset which returns back to the site is as good as new, extending the product lifecycle and significantly reducing costs,” adds Miller.

Speed to Market

Recognizing that retailers need to deploy new systems to a large number of stores quickly, CrossCom provides deployment, installation and integration services to its customers. CrossCom's project managers and technicians take charge of all the heavy-lifting in an implementation process. The company tailors each solution to suit the specific needs of a client and carefully prepares a project blueprint before any in-store implementation begins.
“Disregarding the size and scope of the implementation, we perform pilot installations to understand various environmental aspects, and we stage and pre-configure solutions at our corporate locations before deployment,” remarks Miller. For maximum client benefit, CrossCom follows an iterative rollout process, where any new technology is initially implemented in a few sites, so that any unforetold issues can be resolved before large scale deployments. “From single site implementations to chain wide rollouts, installation of configured technology is closely monitored to ensure complete operational effectiveness,” points out Miller.

"We have developed a holistic model for large technology diverse environments, managing the store technology from end-to-end and applying governance to deliver consistent quality and continuous improvement"

Single Point of Accountability

For CrossCom, taking full accountability for the services provided is equally important as aligning their solutions to meet a customer's long term goals. As a case in point, for a department store, CrossCom provides maintenance and preventive services, which in turn increases the store up-time. Troubleshooting procedures are developed based on the customer environment and the installed systems, and maintenance takes into account the unique environmental factors for each customer. CrossCom's front end support coupled with onsite maintenance also helps their clients in multiple ways. “Most companies would engage two different vendors for field and help desk support. However with CrossCom if we resolve the issue on the front end, we save the customer cost and time spent on field dispatch,” says Miller. Since the company follows a customer centric model, CrossCom is always looking at new and innovative means to deliver true value and long term viability of solutions.

Sustainable Value All the Way

Moving forward, the company plans on extending its roots to China in an effort to provide a bridge for US Retailers expanding to the Pacific Rim. Keeping in mind the technology frenzy in retail, CrossCom is looking at developing their technology know-how and footprint by not only dealing with new devices but also by understanding how a particular product interacts with others in-store systems. From indoor store routing, Mobile POS to in-house applications, Miller knows that the sky is the limit today, when it comes to creating an immersive retail experience. “No matter how sound or sophisticated the processes and systems—or their governance, it all comes down to results. Customers work with CrossCom because of our unrivalled dedication to value creation and we will continue to leverage best practices and thought leadership and invest in innovative solutions for years ahead,” ends Miller.
- Melissa Reaktenwalt
    December 03, 2016