PROFILE

Harley Feldman

Co-Founder and CMO, Seeonic, Inc.
Harley Feldman is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Seeonic. He has more than 30 years of experience in information technology including database management, Internet applications, predictive analytics, process re-engineering and global solutions. Mr. Feldman spent more than 20 years at Ceridian Corporation; the last ten years in the defense group, in positions of increasing responsibility (including as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Vice President of two major operations providing technology and services to the intelligence community). In addition, he previously served as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Executive Officer of two healthcare software companies. Mr. Feldman holds a BS degree in chemistry and computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology and a MBA degree in finance from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Mr. Feldman co-founded Seeonic, one of the first companies to build a complete IoT solution in the item level RFID space. Seeonic was granted a patent for its solution including RFID tag collection, hands-free operation, real-time alerting and analytics and built the largest commercial RFID network in the US. Mr. Feldman was the executive overseeing this development with attention to RFID readers, tags, serialization, the cellular connections required to deliver the data, and software for data collection, data cleansing, data storage, and analytics. Seeonic was also one of the founding members of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas. Mr. Feldman attended annual University of Arkansas RFID conferences each year, where much of the early RFID directions and recommendations were made. Mr. Feldman also served on the GS1 Tag Serialization Committee until its successful completion. He is currently the Seeonic representative on the GS1 US Apparel and General Merchandise Industry Sponsors Group and spends his time growing the use of RFID in the retail, healthcare and industrial industries especially the management of vendor-managed and consigned inventory for brands.

For more information, visit: www.seeonic.com
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  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Can toys raise J.C. Penney’s game?

    Toys are a great category for J.C. Penney. Their demographic tends to be women who would be likely to gravitate to the toy section for their children and grandchildren. Over time, they will settle in on the toys that sell well in their stores and not carry those that don't. The best ways to not compete on price are offering toys that are somewhat unique in the marketplace and that cater to their demographic. They could also have lines that are exclusive since they will be a major toy purchaser.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2017

    Why do so many people love shopping at Ace Hardware?

    The main reasons I go to Ace Hardware are the huge selection of items in a small store format and the knowledge of the store associates. Home projects tend to be things done once by homeowners who have little background and knowledge about the project to be done, the tools required and the procedures to best get the job done. Ace Hardware seems to always have someone in the store who can make recommendations on the right items to buy and how to install them.Operating as a retailer-owned cooperative results in each store responding to their local customers better. The large chains tend to buy and support items purchased for volume and tend to be the same across the chain instead of focused on the local store market.Ace Hardware could expand its services into several areas. Providing recommendations on local contractors and providing in-home repair services are two of those areas.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2017

    Are scheduling mandates good or bad for store associates?

    If by sensible you mean help the worker, probably so. The flexibility of workers' hours will shift from the business to the employee; it will be much harder for the business to schedule hours appropriate for the business demand under these rules.The enhanced requirements and documentation are like a tax on the business. This is a cost that must be absorbed as I suspect Seattle residents do not want to pay more for the services delivered in retail and quick-service food. Seattle should learn from its own study just completed about the $15 minimum wage where the additional costs to business affect the people at the bottom of the wage scale the most.Another prediction is jobs will move outside of the city of Seattle. If a restaurant or retail establishment has a choice of opening in the city under this legislation or just outside the city without these rules, guess where they will go.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2017

    Is inept forecasting holding back online fulfillment?

    The number one main hurdle to online fulfillment (or in-store fulfillment for that matter) is inventory visibility. If there were 100 percent accuracy in knowing the level of SKUs available and where they were located, fulfillment would be straightforward and replenishment could be executed with a high degree of accuracy. The best way to attain this inventory accuracy is using Internet of Things technology to collect the inventory data remotely, accurately and using technology instead of humans. The method for tagging the items to be to used for IoT data collection is RFID. This combination of IoT and RFID is becoming less expensive and, with many new technology solutions from smart shelves to Warehouse Management Systems, a better bet on the objective of 100 percent inventory visibility.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2017

    Will Target’s answer to Prime Pantry help it outdo Amazon?

    Target will learn several lessons: the interest level in home delivery for $4.99, categories that fit home delivery the best according to consumer demand, and the cost for providing the service. They will understand the ROI for this part of the business and be able to decide if it should the service should be scaled.Target does not have to capture Amazon customers necessarily. The reason for adding this service is to expand sales. Most of these sales will come at the expense of another retailer, in some cases Walmart or Walgreens. This additional service may be grown by Amazon, but services like this are popping up from many retailers and food delivery providers. Target should learn enough lessons from this project to know whether their is value in proceeding with more stores and attracting increased sales is a viable strategy.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2017

    Is e-commerce making vendor compliance programs more important?

    With the huge selection of retail products that is growing daily, retailers are forced to utilize scorecards to insure vendor compliance. The scorecards also create a standard of service to the retailers' customers when they are fully complied with. Better retail execution that comes with scorecard compliance will help all consumer channels including e-commerce. The weaknesses of compliance programs are the difficulty in communicating product strengths and subtleties, the frequency of introducing new products and being compliant and changing consumer expectations which may impact the scorecards.Scorecards might be difficult to fill out and maybe they can be simplified. I just attended GS1 Connect where retailers talked about data standards and compliance. Several of them showed compliance lower than 5 percent when they started the audit program, a terrible statistic and a challenging way to run a business. After two years, compliance had moved to around 40 to 50 percent, still much lower than it should be.
  • Posted on: 06/23/2017

    What will a Nike/Amazon deal mean for the brand and other retailers?

    Selling on Amazon will be good for Nike. I have been a Nike running shoe customer for 15 years. In the early days when I knew the shoe and size I needed, Nike refused to allow me to purchase through online retailers as their competitors did due to "making sure the customer received a quality product." This cost Nike sales, but they were doing well and wanted to control the market as best they could.Now they have seen declining sales and realize they must respond to the market. Millennials who have grown up on smartphones and Amazon love to purchase that way and do not care to have to go through the Nike site (or other brands). Nike will become another "approved" brand to those Millennial consumers.The challenge for Nike as with other brands is that sales on Amazon may impact negatively sales from other outlets including retailers. The other retailers will need to make their in-store or online presence provide a better experience or service than the Amazon site, or they will lose the consumer for future sales.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2017

    How effective are Jet.com’s efforts to better understand its customers?

    The easiest way to understand online consumers is to track how they use the online shopping site -- what items do they look at, how long do they spend on an item, how many screens do they need to see before a purchase decision and how easy is it to make a purchase? I also like Jet.com's approach to watching consumers in person trying to buy things and following up with consumers in coffee shops. This will generate a rich data set on how consumers are using a website and for the retailers to better understand their customers.I suspect that there are few retailers who go to this extent to understand their customers. Those that don't are in danger of losing the online retail battle.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2017

    Why are so many associates being deprived of tech by their employers?

    Cost and distrust are the biggest factors stopping retailers from giving their associates digital tools. The cost can be justified through increased sales due to the associate having more information at their fingertips to help customers. Distrust of associates doing other things like texting or Google search with the devices is a really poor excuse for not providing the tools. Having just visited Home Depot and seeing my associate look up inventory and the location of the item I was looking for in the store provided me with a better service level than would have been possible without the technology.If the retailer can provide better service with digital tools and find a ROI then worrying about the employee using the devices for their own use should be a small issue. In today's online vs. in-store environment, retailers will need to increase the service levels in the stores to maintain growth. Digital tools in the hands of the associates can provide better customer service. Over time, digital tools will become commonplace for retail associates much as they are for personal use today.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2017

    Is Walmart’s innovation leader right that the AR revolution is a sure thing?

    AR will not become the primary way of interacting with technology, but it will have its place among others. The experience created by AR can be quite immersive and help the user see 3-D space as if the user is somewhere else. This is useful to create scenes helping the consumer visualize products in places difficult to see in 2-D photos like furniture preview.The roadblocks to AR will be cost and if it requires a new device, there will be significant challenges. AR on a smartphone is convenient and has no additional cost. Even if the phone AR is not as well done, the convenience will be a huge benefit. Full AR with special hardware will likely be only hosted at retail stores.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2017

    Is it time for stores to ditch the free Wi-Fi?

    The access to Wi-Fi in retail stores for consumers has more to do with convenience than price. While some consumers may want to keep their phones on cellular communication in stores, most of them will always use free Wi-Fi if it is available. Turning off Wi-Fi in a retail store would provide minimal savings to the retailer and remove a convenience expected by consumers.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2017

    Can Walmart workers deliver better last mile results on their way home from work?

    Having associates deliver packages to Walmart customers on the way home is a creative way for Walmart to distinguish itself in customer service. It would certainly set Walmart apart from Amazon using third-party delivery services.Walmart is trying it right with a pilot project in three stores and only asking volunteer employees to deliver the packages. If it works well logistically, and the volunteer employees are willing to deliver the packages and get paid for doing it, it should be a win-win-win for the consumers and Walmart. An additional benefit will come from the likely appearance of the same delivery person going to the customer's house repeatedly based on the small delivery area being assigned to the employee and the connection that will be built between the customer and the Walmart employee.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2017

    Are off-pricers immune to apparel’s challenges?

    No retailer is immune from today's rapidly-changing retail environment. Consumers have many purchasing choices from brick-and-mortar stores to online e-tailers to boutique sellers who exist only because of the ability of the Internet to provide them a path to attract consumers where they could not before. Living in this world will require being nimble, competitive, and offering aggressive pricing and good service. Even the off-pricers need to distinguish themselves on attributes other than price. TJX and the other off-pricers are likely experiencing the beginnings of the competitive pressures from the increasing diversity of retailers.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2017

    Is ‘Building the New Blue’ the right plan to complete Best Buy’s transformation?

    In order to distinguish itself in the electronics marketplace, Best Buy has to deliver a level of customer service and support that sets it apart from other retailers including Amazon. Since Joly took over as CEO, the Renew Blue strategy has done exactly that -- Apple and Samsung store-within-a-stores, better prepared associates and leveraging the Geek Squad. If the New Blue strategy continues to provide a good consumer experience based on these kinds of initiatives and focused on the latest technologies like mobile, Best Buy will continue to hold on and expand its customer base.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2017

    Can Walmart’s sweepstakes game teach the unbanked to ‘bank’ their money?

    This offering will appeal to a limited number of existing and new Walmart customers to use the Vault since they have turned the savings account into fun and prizes with the ability to save money. Games and prizes draw people to have fun along with spending in most cases, and savings in the Vault case. Other retailers may need to respond, but I think the Vault offering may only appeal to a small set of consumers. If so, the market will not support many other retailers doing this like Walmart.

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