Zach Zalowitz

Omnichannel Solutions Lead, SCApath

Zach Zalowitz is the Omnichannel Solutions Lead for SCApath, a retail supply chain consulting firm specializing in strategy and systems implementation. He has worked with over 40 leading suppliers over the last two decades on key digital transformation projects in a number of roles. Zach is widely considered a triple threat in the consulting space, having an extensive background across leading Distributed Order Management Solutions (IBM, Manhattan Associates, Aptos), a full understanding of store and call-center operational execution, and thirdly in change-management aspects of the transformation.

Prior to his role at SCApath, Zach co-led the Design Lead team within Manhattan Associates Order Lifecycle Management Professional services, where he was one of the first OMS U.S. consultants. He has spoken on the topic of Order Management at numerous events, most recently at NRF, and has been quoted in a handful of leading digital publications.

Zach has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, focusing on Supply Chain Management and a collateral in Marketing. When not focused on Omnichannel and OMS, Zach is an avid music producer and hiker, recently having ascended Kilimanjaro.

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  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Will same-day delivery flexibility give Target an edge over Amazon and Walmart?

    Nailed it Art -- Their strength is the impulse buy in stores. My girlfriend has a "I can't be trusted in Target" coffee mug at home. Well earned.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Will same-day delivery flexibility give Target an edge over Amazon and Walmart?

    Agreed, well-said.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Will same-day delivery flexibility give Target an edge over Amazon and Walmart?

    I've had a number of these conversations with a few clients who are leading market retailers over the last 6 months, and what I'm hearing is that same-day isn't really being asked for by their customers ... yet. It will take Target being out-front on this for a while before the rest of the market catches up, and I think the market will shift expectations based on what I assume is Target's next move which is to offer free same-day shipping based on order threshold (just like DTC order). I personally do no less than 4 drive-up/BOPIS orders *at Target* a month, and I'm not ready to pay $9.99 to get it shipped same day, so to the question, this isn't going to move the needle quite yet for Target in converting to same-day.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Can GameStop reboot itself?

    It's justifiable to compare them if the question we're asking is "are CDs/disc of games equivalent to VHS and DVD at Blockbuster," but not past that. The internet didn't exist to the degree it does now, which gives GameStop way more latitude to reinvent itself and pivot. Its physical stores, while substantial and likely overdue for some closings, are actually its asset. GameStop needs to be hosting neighborhood video game battles and have gaming experts available for training and coaching. Similar to Guitar Center giving guitar lessons. Look -- If you realize the product you're selling is being sold elsewhere for cheaper and more easily accessed, then pivot to teaching someone how to use the product.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2019

    Who still thinks one-size-fits-all mannequins make sense?

    This is absolutely the right move. Not sure what's taken so long, as I've seen these at Target for some time, but what's important is that they have started to add them now. It makes good business-sense for them to have mannequins that reflect the product sizes they want to sell and outside of the social importance of doing this, the business importance is that it allows them to begin selling more product sizes without the stigma of "they don't make clothes for me."
  • Posted on: 06/03/2019

    Will the price of avocados make Americans say enough to Trump’s tariffs?

    As one of the Millennials on the BrainTrust, I’ll speak on most of our behalf to say that avocado toast is already too expensive! Like, totally. In all seriousness, avocados were already at a premium price, comparatively. If it was a 25 percent spike in cost then I think we would just buy less. I'm not sure it’s going to be the straw that breaks the camels back. I think business and the donations to his campaign might have more of an impact.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2019

    Are retail HQs and stores suffering a communication breakdown?

    The solution is enabled by technology, but until the culture changes to simplify the messaging and make it easy to consume, the disconnect will continue. What I find missing, taking store fulfillment via BOPIS for example, is that there's no go-to board for major changes, directives and communications. What's more is that this messaging isn't being written by effective writers (within store ops) if it is written at all. It's almost as if someone with a copywriting background should help with messaging, and the training documentation and FAQ gets access at will by the store manager and his/her employees. Also - Obviously there are cost implications, but I find that short of the manager's office in the backroom + some printed/laminated artifacts, there isn't a portal or training station frequently used by the store associates. Further, those stations aren't available throughout the store. I see the Best Buys and Targets of the worlds shift to using mobile devices for supporting the customer this way (via product information or training). Simply put, there's a lack of device strategy, and the trade-off is being made to save on devices because of the cost vs. the real "cost" of having a poorly-trained associate base under-serving consumers.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Is Apple’s App Store a monopoly?

    Simply put, consumers have a choice and an alternative here. By its definition, it's not a monopoly. It's the cost of doing business. If their rates or terms and conditions are too strict, then the market will correct it itself. I agree with another post here, the Supreme Court should focus on a myriad of other issues.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show exits network TV

    Can they use it to re-shape? Absolutely, and literally. They're behind the curve in normal-size and plus-size models showcasing everyday wear. They're stuck in their old ways (which is much more a symptom of their culture as a company). How about this - Have a contest for three "next generation models" that are normal aspiring people. Create a documentary about that journey and the contest, and then have someone "win" the context at the end of the runway show. The mistake LBI is making is that the store is about them (the show) and not the consumer (the actual story hero).
  • Posted on: 05/09/2019

    Are machine learning and AI the path to enhanced personalization?

    The application of ML and AI still has a long way to go. I expect a few of the larger retailers will continue to make investments in it, and once they post in their quarterly results that it fueled their results the laggards will quickly try to follow suit. I love the idea of it, don't get me wrong, but there's a few more trends that are further in line here and I expect those to get most of the attention in the short-term given they have a more practical (and visible) result. An example would be using AI for safety-stock analysis for in-store inventory. That application can show an almost immediate tangible results. AI becomes more palatable when the words thrown around are tied to cost (at this point), not experiences (just yet).
  • Posted on: 05/01/2019

    Are smartphones making sales associates obsolete?

    Best Buy and Target are way out in front here, and ironically the fusion between the associate and the shopping experience leverages almost all the same data the consumer themselves have through a web-based version of the inventory availability picture. Specifically, Best Buy shines here because of the nature of the purchase there vs. a more commodity buy. That's how they have the leg-up on Amazon currently. The question is a good one, but the answer varies by industry, so there's no one broad answer to satisfy everyone!
  • Posted on: 04/25/2019

    What’s really driving disruption? (Hint: it’s not technology)

    I love this question. The answer is in the commonality between the three apps referenced at the end of the post: Uber, Amazon and Airbnb. The thread between all three is two things. Convenience and choice. Two of them tap under-utilized assets and all three were competing in already competitive markets. The technology wasn't the answer for any of the three. In fact, their apps sucked at the beginning (Airbnb had crap images and Uber used to be a texting conduit between you and a black-coated driver) and some may disagree with me, but the Amazon shopping experience online is still a terrible UX. Attacking the weak links is definitely the bigger disruptor because the experience is more than just digital. The experience at the core is a human emotional reaction and the strongest way to invoke that is a connection through shared experience. Technology as a primary driver can't get that level of connection.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

    Why is Petco doubling down on same-day delivery with Shipt and Instacart?

    Same-day delivery is here to stay and is already an expectation of retailers. Whether they can rise to that expectation is another question. We still have so many retailers that have not effectively pulled off a BOPIS offering within same-day, and that to me is the first hurdle. End of the day, it's pick-and-pack (albeit, it's much more complicated in practice, but that's the core of it).
  • Posted on: 04/17/2019

    Apple owns the checkout at Decathlon’s sporting goods store

    This is great from a convenience factor to the customer but doesn't streamline the process, it spreads it out across multiple parts of the store. The operational snag is that people start queuing up at the checkout person wherever that may be and that sometimes causes issues with the flow throughout the store. Easier for Apple to do it in their stores from mobile devices given their uniform layout and relatively low SKU count, but doesn't expand well to larger, multi-SKU format like a sporting goods store (or grocery).
  • Posted on: 04/15/2019

    Is Bed Bath & Beyond smart to draw the line on coupons?

    It's not a question about stopping coupons, it's a question about making them more personalized. I'm glad to see pricing and promotion tools being applied but, for example, tracking key events in my life or those around me and personalizing offering and coupon to that event still gets me in the store without letting me go crazy with 20 percent off (of a $350 comforter) on a weekly basis whenever I want.

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