Oliver Guy

Senior Director - Industry Solutions, Software AG

Specializing in industry strategy, digital transformation and omni-channel technology strategy, Oliver advises companies across the globe on their technology strategy and decisions.

Oliver is an industry strategy specialist with 20 years’ experience driving value for leading technology vendors and their customers across supply chain, operations, channels and digital transformation across all types of retail.
He is an innovative thought leader with a track record of collaboratively defining strategic go-to-market approaches and aligning solution capabilities to market needs to ensure solution relevance.

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Oliver Guy is Senior Director of Industry Solutions at Software AG. An advisor to companies and leaders seeking to innovate and compete more effectively, Oliver has significant experience in Digital Transformation and technology strategy. With over 25 years in technology Oliver has worked with the biggest names in retail and consumer goods across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Deep experience in supply chain, omni-channel strategy and optimization enables Oliver to provide broad and creative insight on how data can drive incremental value through both optimization and transformation of the enterprise. Prior to joining Software AG, Oliver was part of the European Management team at Oracle Retail – his team being responsible for Retail focused Solution Consulting across Europe. Before that, Oliver worked for Infor in a Solution Consulting role. Oliver started his career in the technology industry implementing Supply Chain Optimization solutions for customers in retail, consumer goods, telecommunications and chemical industries in Europe and Asia Pacific for Manugistics (Blue Yonder).
  • Posted on: 02/23/2021

    Amazon is using crowdsourcing to create new products

    Fascinating. Amazon certainly has the right platform and reach to do this. It also potentially has much more consumer trust than other platforms. The idea crowd-sourcing approach has been really successful for some -- for example, Lego's Ideas has created some incredibly successful products.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2021

    Should suppliers help fund retailers’ omnichannel investments?

    Grocery margins are razor thin so delaying investment can be understood from some perspectives. Amazon is looking for wallet share from the retailers seeking them to act. So why should the suppliers help? Well one reason could be that CPG manufacturers are also at threat from Amazon. Their own-label brands are on the march and seeking share from the CPG manufacturers -- Amazon is going to push its own brands first. This alone creates a compelling case for the CPG companies to consider how they might help retailers with their omni-channel offering.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2021

    Has text messaging become retail’s go-to communication tool?

    SMS texts are fairly universal in that all phones can handle them - this alone makes them useful. However the amount of retail - particularly at the "start up phase" I am seeing where WhatsApp numbers are advertised is astonishing. This platform gives the ability to share detailed pictures, documents and other information with customers and also call them directly via video call. Alerts regarding order/delivery/pick-up status via text make a lot of sense for consumers as the ease of consumption is proportionate to the amount of information contained. They are also easy to automate so they make sense from the retailer side.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2021

    Should Aldi’s growing store count and digital progress keep rivals up at night?

    Not a surprise at all under the current circumstances. Stores are going to have to become multi-purpose over the coming years -- this is fundamental as they become hubs for delivering harmonized retail. What is difficult is the multi-skilling of staff as well as the coordination of the different systems needed to provide the harmonized experience at an acceptable level of efficiency and cost.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2021

    Will Men’s Wearhouse’s new digitally-equipped next-gen stores be a must shop?

    I love this. Steps toward re-inventing the experience in clothing are long overdue. I attended a lecture in 1994 by a professor of clothing technology who talked about being able to step into a unit where we were measured and clothes were custom made to size and that this would become mainstream technology. Here we are 25+ years later and it still is not with us -- progress is needed and this is a great start.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2021

    Will same-day delivery pay off for dollar stores?

    This is really tough. Super slim margins potentially tested further. I will watch with interest. However, same day delivery will become "table stakes" in the short to medium term as organisaitons compete with Amazon. Models that will work will be pick from store -- due to population proximity and limited investment cost compared to dedicated -- which will breathe new life into stores. Syndicated delivery via an aggregator type model is also likely to take hold. Difficulty is making things work together and having a good handle on inventory and other core data. I wrote about this extensively in a blog published earlier today.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2021

    Will Walmart gain an unrivaled edge by automating its local grocery fulfillment?

    Arguably, Walmart have something Amazon don't have -- an extensive network of stores close to centers of population. It seems they are really focusing on using that in order to differentiate. Using dedicated distribution centers versus store fulfillment can be a trade-off between pick-cost against delivery speed/cost. I would anticipate the answer is to have a combination of the two -- getting the balance right will be key, but is not a straightforward calculation.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2021

    Is a labor storm developing at retail?

    There could be some interesting times ahead. In 2020 we saw Lidl and McDonald's in Germany share staff in a collaborative manner. Many will feel that retail workers have been alongside healthcare workers at the front of pandemic response, making wage increases seem highly relevant. Wage increases are likely to add further headwinds in terms of margin pressures that retailers need to deal with.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2021

    Will Godiva’s stores ever come back from the pandemic?

    A difficult decision I imagine for the Godiva team. High-value locations unable to attain sales in the new "no-touch" environment is going to be a tough one. It would be fascinating if they have examined new propositions that stores could be used for -- such as fulfilling online orders or providing local delivery.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    My perspective is that friction elimination is the key here. While Amazon continues to remove points of friction for the customer in terms of the journey they will continue to flourish. For those competing, they must recognize that eliminating the customer friction in every area is key to maintaining their market share.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2021

    NRF 2021: Retailers make an appointment with the future

    Appointment based approaches are interesting for a number of reasons. They have thrived in some environments as ways to buy online - consumer electronics and high-end fashion retailers have experimented with this. In terms of physical retail, while it could potentially reduce impulse purchases I have heard anecdotal examples where jewelers have found it reduce time-wasting customers who just want to look at items - thus allowing them to concentrate on customers who are serious about making a purchase.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2021

    Should store associates deliver online orders?

    The different roles that store associates are going to need to fufill is going to increase in coming months and years. Moving into delivery makes sense as one example. There could be all sorts of benefits in terms of doing local deliveries near the associate's home which could ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of the delivery. It also provides an extension of the brand - rather than using a third party. However for some associates it could well feel like their working day has extended adding more stress.
  • Posted on: 01/20/2021

    NRF 2021: Are retailers stronger having made it this far into the pandemic?

    Possibly. Those who were struggling before are likely to be really struggling now and may well have already become a casualty. Those who are still standing were likely more resilient and flexible before. However making sure new operations are made more efficient will now be key - given the speed at which changes were made inefficiencies will have crept in - these need to be addressed. Failure to do so will threaten margins going forward.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2021

    Convenience retailers aren’t letting the pandemic get them down

    Convenience retailers benefit from being allowed to stay open but also providing additional services (like Hermes/UPS drop off) to their communities that drive traffic. Success or otherwise can be impacted by converting that traffic into additional sales. Rarely have I seen stores set up and laid out in such a way as to maximize the potential of this. There is arguably something missing in terms of planning.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2021

    Will becoming a fintech powerhouse make Walmart an even more formidable retailer?

    Across lots of industries there are conversations regarding companies needing to become technology companies to survive. This is driven by the success of new entrants into market being technology companies (Amazon, Tesla, Ocado). Based on this the venture makes a lot of sense. However when we think back to the early days of e-commerce, some companies set up a separate business to facilitate the move but then later struggled to integrate and incorporate these back into the wider business. I really hope this will not be the case here.

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