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: 02/14/2019

    America has too many retail stores

    The number of store locations does not really reflect what is going on the retail industry. Online purchasing, Buy Online and Pick Up In Store, home delivery, reward points, a more demanding shopper, and SKU proliferation are trends that are having a huge influence causing huge changes. Some retailers have reacted successfully and are expanding stores and others have not and are closing stores. 70% of shoppers still want to go to the stores so they are not going away any time soon. Retailers need to move their businesses to meet the requirements of their customers. Landlords should work with retailers to aid them make any modifications required to help their retailers modify their businesses. In addition, landlords can look for new kinds of tenants, like recreational or game companies to draw new kinds of shoppers.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2019

    Will AR change how people buy products from eyeglasses to wedding rings?

    AR provides a better visual reference for the consumer when virtually trying on rings, glasses and other products. While shoppers will not likely buy direct from the visual image without trying on the actual product, AR will help narrow the options the shopper is interested in and will move the sale along more quickly and close the sale more often. Categories that are infrequent purchases and affect the shopper's look will be the ones where AR will provide the most value -- rings and other jewelry, glasses, and apparel.
  • Posted on: 02/06/2019

    What will Angela Ahrendts’ departure mean for Apple’s retail business?

    The only concern with Ms. Ahrendts' departure and Ms. O'Brien's ascendance to the position is O'Brien's knowledge and skills in the retail market. Ms. Ahrendts came from a high-end retailer and O'Brien may be learning along the way. Having said that Apple has a culture which extends way beyond one person. In the future, Apple Retail will need to evolve as its products do. More of Apple's revenue will come from services with less reliance on the hardware. Apple Retail will need to attract consumers interested in their services rather than just the shiny objects they have in the stores.
  • Posted on: 02/05/2019

    Will Target’s dynamic pricing strategy erode customers’ trust?

    If you were a shopper who checked your phone app at home or in the parking lot and found a lower price than you found in the store, you would immediately ask for a price match or walk out the door. If this differential pricing by Target is being done on purpose, it will erode consumer trust for Target shoppers, a very bad idea. The practice should be stopped and store associates should be given the latitude to match outdoor prices indoors.
  • Posted on: 02/04/2019

    Did Trader Joe’s make the right decision to end grocery deliveries?

    Trader Joe's ending its delivery service is caused by two realizations: 1.) the fact that consumers at a 70 percent rate still like to shop in-store or like BOPIS, and 2.) third-party options for delivery are more numerous today than when Trader Joe's started delivery, and it can be turned back on easily in the future. If Trader's Joe's competitors continue to expand their delivery options, and their customers like it to the extent that it pushes business away, Trader Joe's will be forced to bring back delivery services.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2019

    Will Fanatics and Walmart deal be a grand slam for both retailers?

    Definitely a win-win. Walmart gets access to a new customer base for new products and Fanatics gets access to the Walmart marketplace. Walmart's rivals will need to respond to the extent they want access to sports fans for apparel and accessory items. If they do not, Walmart will have a major influence in the sports market. Walmart has made a big move for this market with the dominant player in the fan market.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2019

    Cloud and AI seen fueling digital transformation

    Cloud computing provides a centralized repository of retail data -- an ideal place to integrate in-store and online data. In addition, with Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and others offering cloud computing where the cost of development and support is shared with all of the users sharply reduces the development and support costs for individual retailers. Cloud computing offerings can be scaled to fit the computing and storage needs of each retailer reducing the cost risk that is needed at various stages of retailer growth. The near-time advantages provide a quicker path to getting up and running as cloud computing services already exist and the costs can be scalable to the size of the business. In the long term, data collection about sales and inventories will be standardized allowing for new and innovative AI and other analytics about how the business is doing, which products are selling best and the path toward maximizing revenue and profits.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2019

    How much inventory visibility do retailers need to give consumers?

    The transparency is important especially for BOPIS. The more information that is available, the better the shopper can make store pickup decisions. My experience last night was not so good. I found a clock radio I was looking for listed as available in a local Target store. I drove to the store and found an empty spot on the shelf. The associate's handheld also said the item was in the store. Then he said to me "The systems have been giving out bad information lately." He called another store, talked to an associate who looked on the shelf and found one at the second store where I drove to get it. It did not make for a pleasant experience and shows the importance of accurate inventory. Knowing the number of items available gives me more confidence that the item the shopper is looking for will be there. As one associate said to me, "If it says there is more than one item in the store, it is probably there. If it says one in stock, be careful." Passive signals are good, but active numbers are better.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2019

    Can BOPIS keep up with its own success?

    The one thing that will distinguish retailers in offering BOPIS to its shoppers is accuracy and ease of delivering the item to the customer in the store. If the shopper sees an item online and purchases it, and then arrives at the store to find the item is not ready or worse is unavailable, they will at least be wary or never do BOPIS with the retailer again. The product attribute that is required to do BOPIS in a short time well is accurate store inventory. If the store inventory is not accurate, the shopper is not guaranteed to have his/her order satisfied. Some retailers are moving forward with RFID implementations so the in store inventory is done automatically and is more accurate to insure BOPIS satisfaction. BOPIS will continue to gain traction. There is great satisfaction using a cell phone to determine if the item desired is available at a local retail store, making the purchase from the phone, and driving to the store to pick it up. The process saves on the shopping time, store time, and should result in getting the product wanted without hassle.
  • Posted on: 01/23/2019

    What will it take to dramatically reduce risk in the retail supply chains?

    Technological changes will reduce risk in supply chains the most. Operational changes tend to be implemented incrementally as risk issues are detected. But risk can be reduced quickly through enhanced visibility to inventory in the supply chain. Elimination of supply chain risk is unachievable, but reduction through technology and other means is not only likely but will happen over time.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2019

    NRF: Consumers prefer self-service, but associates still have a role to play

    Consumers are now used to gathering information about products and stores online before going to the store. They therefore believe they are armed with more information, and they have probably narrowed their product choice decisions before entering the store. In many cases, therefore, they do not believe they need help from associates. In the next decade, the role of the associate will depend on the category, the experience the consumer has with the products in the category, and the complexity of making decisions in the category. A consumer purchasing a new appliance or replacing flooring will require a higher level of assistance help than buying replacement jeans or shirts.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2019

    Is Lowe’s doing it right with its new tagline?

    Ellison is making a mistake with the new tagline and focus. It sounds like "come to Lowe's because we will undercut Home Depot's prices, and we will be similar to Home Depot." There is nothing in the tagline that will distinguish Lowe's from Home Depot. The tagline should have been focused on why a shopper should go to Lowe's and not Home Depot. This tagline will not provide the vision for the consumer as to why they should shop at Lowe's and not Home Depot.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2019

    Sears likely headed for liquidation

    The biggest problem for Sears is they lost their identity. At one time Sears was known as the appliance, home repair and basic clothing store with the best catalog for ordering. Most people today have no idea of what the Sears brand is as there is not one. They were the Amazon of their time with the Sears Catalog but ceded that way of ordering to Amazon and others. The Craftsman label was for the best tools, and they sold the name. They were the standard for appliances and ceded that to Home Depot, Lowes and many others. Sears completely lost its way and brand over the past 20 years. Other retailers should take the lesson that they cannot ever stop reinventing themselves yet must retain their brand image and relevance. Walmart, for example, has remained dominate while the retail world is shifting around them because they remain relevant to their customers yet provide better services at the same time.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2019

    What can IoT really do for retailers?

    Andrew, the problem is how to collect the inventory data to make it as accurate as possible. The POS systems are only accurate to the 70-90% level (depending on the retailer) due to shrink, returned items, improper scanning of multiple similar items at the register and misplaced inventory. Asking associates to collect a more accurate inventory would require excessive expensive associate time -- and people are poor counters. IoT technology is the way to gather the inventory in an automated and remote way, in near real-time.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2019

    What can IoT really do for retailers?

    The biggest impact of IoT technologies will occur in inventory visibility. In the omnichannel world, with many consumers wanting to buy online and pickup in store (BOPIS), the last thing a retailer needs is to accept an order and not be able to deliver to the consumer when they show up. I experienced BOPIS from Target and Walmart over the holidays. Walmart was straightforward, painless and rewarding while the Target experience was much more complex and the products I ordered were not available in the store where the website said they existed. While I suspect both retailers use human labor to satisfy the online orders, the use of IoT technology could potentially help solve this challenge. The process of using the data must also be addressed, and my holiday experiences said to me that Walmart is better positioned with BOPIS today. Inventory visibility is the first step in resolving the BOPIS challenge. IoT technologies must be used, as store labor is an inefficient use of resources and people are inaccurate counters. IoT-based inventory counting quickly moves from visibility to accuracy as the technology matures either using RFID or cameras connected via IoT.

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