city people walking blur

Mar 19, 2018 3:35:46 PM | Retail IT The Financial Benefits of Designing Retail Technology Deployments

Here are just a few of the benefits that you can achieve when you use a retail technology deployment design.

When I start talking to people about designing their retail technology points, they very quickly get to the question of, how does it benefit my bottom line? The biggest impact of designing retail deployments is that it eliminates the unknowns and provides a mechanism to conduct dress rehearsals for the deployment and all related processes and procedures.

Here are just a few of the benefits that you can achieve when you use a deployment design:


Example Benefit

Benefit Achieved

Reduction or elimination of reschedules and revisits

By designing readiness assessments throughout the deployment, the status of the store is known ahead of time

Maximized deployment time in the store

Having a step-by-step, fully tested deployment script prevents deployment technicians from “figuring it out” or interpreting instructions incorrectly while in the store

All deployment participants know what is expected, which eliminates rework or the negative impact of miscommunications

With all processes and procedures fully documented, expectations are properly set, and all participants know how to handle exceptions expeditiously and efficiently

Minimized impact on the store and increased customer satisfaction for the end users

With a fully detailed deployment script, deployment technicians get in and get out much faster, and with it being correctly done the first time, there is greater acceptance and satisfaction

Identify gaps and omissions early and with enough time to correct

A deployment design requires the review of all details related to the deployment, which means all the potential issues that were not thought of during the technology solutioning phase will be quickly discovered

Eliminate costs associated with expediting resources and equipment

Designing the appropriately placed checkpoints will allow proactiveness and identification of issues while there is time to take corrective action without additional costs

While the benefits of a deployment design can be many, depending on the different types and complexities of deployments, it might be helpful to outline some common use cases that show the direct savings that you can gain.

Here’s a fictional example of how quickly cost overruns could add up without a deployment design. Rose’s Reads is a national retailer based in the Midwest that has a portfolio of 1,680 bookstores. Established in 1950 as a very small local bookstore, they now offer a wide array of amenities to their customers. Those include a wine and craft beer bar offering monthly tasting parties; a café with snacks and an extensive menu of coffee selections; meeting rooms for book clubs; book signings and corporate events; quiet lounge areas where customers can curl up with a good book or work on their mobile devices; a children’s area that provides short-term sitting services; and a sound-proof room where customers can listen to the newest music of any genre.

Rose’s Reads not only offers the traditional check-out model, but they also provide self-checkout and buy online, pickup in-store services. The retailer is committed to creating an environment that is inviting and gives their customers reasons to stay for extended periods and return to a place where they feel a sense of community.

Obviously, Rose’s Reads has a lot of technology needs and requires ongoing maintenance as well as break/fix services when issues arise. With the nature of the business, they are sensitive to any interruption to their store, so they tend to schedule this type of work before or after hours.

Recently, Rose’s Reads upgraded its wireless network. This project included replacing all the wireless access points, which required a lift to install; upgrading the store’s switch; and replacing the wireless controller. To obtain better coverage with the new system, they added wireless access points and moved the position of existing locations, which required additional cabling.

They decided they would procure, configure, and ship all the equipment to the stores where they would store the equipment in the back office of each store. Then they would contract with a third-party provider to send a deployment technician to each store based on a schedule Rose’s Reads provided them to complete the installation, turn up, and test out.

Rose’s Reads completed the project but experienced significant cost overruns and were two months past the desired completion date. They decided to complete a review of how the project cost so much and went on so long. A root cause analysis revealed they spent over $244,000 that could have been avoided if they had completed a deployment design.

Here are the results of this analysis.


Deployment technicians had to spend additional time looking for misplaced or missing equipment.

Root Cause:

Store personnel were not provided with instructions on where to properly store and secure the equipment until the technician arrived.


Produced out-of-scope charges for 170 hours of deployment technician time to either search for equipment or wait for store personnel to locate the equipment.


170 hours * $75/hour = $12,750




Some equipment was misconfigured and would not work properly once installed in the store.

Root Cause:

The configuration for the equipment is store-specific. However, there was no process in place to label the devices so that everyone would know to what store the equipment was to be shipped. Equipment was inadvertently mixed up and shipped to the wrong stores.


Deployment technicians had to reconfigure devices in the field, which produced OOS charges for 340 hours.


340 hours * $75/hour = $25,500



Cabling required for additional and relocated wireless access points was not completed prior to the scheduled deployment date.

Root Cause:

While Rose’s Reads provided the schedule to the third-party provider, they did not implement a change management process to properly change and communicate schedule changes. Additionally, call-aheads were not performed to ensure that the cabling work was completed prior to the arrival of the technician.


A revisit charge was incurred at $150 for each occurrence, and the store had to be rescheduled later in the master schedule.


118 revisits * $150 = $17,700

Added 10 days for rescheduled stores and $20,000 additional for resources to remain after the original scheduled completion date of the project.

Total Impact:  $37,700


The lifts were rented from a third-party rental company and were not picked up in a timely fashion once the deployment was complete.

Root Cause:

There was no process in place to ensure that the rental company was contacted upon completion and no follow-up to ensure the lifts had been picked up as scheduled.


504 extra days of lift rentals.


504 days * $200/day = $100,800



After 500 stores, the deployment was consistently not being completed prior to store opening, so it was decided to start the deployment one hour earlier.

Root Cause:

A detailed step-by-step deployment script was not thoroughly tested and optimized.


This required the store manager to start an hour earlier, which meant they would have to be paid overtime.


1,180 stores * ($38a * 1.5) = $67,260
a = Average Store Manager Hourly Rate


Total Impact:


As you can see, it does not take long for small details to cause fiscal havoc to your deployment project when you don’t create and implement a deployment design. While every retailer may plan for deployment, few take the time to script a formalized design. The deployment design should be part of the deployment plan, along with the proper amount of time required to complete.

Depending on the size and breadth of the project, this could be a significant amount of time, but the time and money saved makes the effort worth it. Don’t ever let another project be executed unless a deployment design has been developed, tested, and properly implemented.

New Call-to-action

Lisa Cook

Written By: Lisa Cook

With more than 30 years in the technology field, Lisa has deep experience overseeing the design, analysis, implementation, deployment and support of varying sizes and complexities of technology initiatives across a broad range of industries. Her experience has allowed her to provide all aspects of technology deployment support to national and global clients such as Walgreens, Ulta Beauty, Office Max, Walmart, Blockbuster, American Eagle, Chrysler, Simon Property Group, and CBL & Associates. As the founder of OPL Technologies, Lisa is an integral part of the Kinettix Team due to her expertise in designing and managing complex multi-site technology deployments. She is the author of the recently released book “Designing Retail Success: A Blueprint for Designing Retail Technology Deployments.”