PROFILE

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.

To learn more, visit: www.scapath.com

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  • Posted on: 08/12/2019

    Nike to marry predictive analytics and RFID to optimize inventory performance

    A definitive "YES" is the answer. This is a current edge that will absolutely become a competitive necessity, however RFID still continues to lag as fully adopted technology in part due to cost. I've been seeing a lot of players in this space. Onera is another company making waves, where the optimal inventory and inventory protection levels are calculated in real-time to ensure proper distribution of inventory to its greatest need. I see more of the use cases in taking "stale" store inventory and shipping it via ship-from-store, but that's a byproduct of planning. The real gold is going further upstream to distribute the inventory quicker to the best place, up-front, before it goes stale!
  • Posted on: 08/12/2019

    Does North Face’s new concept point the chain in the right direction?

    Yes, it's a smart move going "experiential," specifically for a brand like The North Face where, outside of a standard winter jacket, you use the products for your "not so everyday" use. The move closes the gap in the consumer's mind and brings them closer to the actual use. As for making it chain-wide: it works for The North Face. Maybe an Eddie Bauer too, along the same lines. Canada Goose has freezers you can walk into to try on the jackets. For The North Face, I'm not sure it makes sense if you have north of (guessing) 20-30 stores. it takes away from the experience of going to the "flagship" itself.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    What are the signs of a dying retail business?

    It may seem somewhat technical, but a retailer that has both an online presence and physical stores, and either doesn't show store inventory or shows it and it's inaccurate. This doesn't necessarily mean "failing" but this to me is a red flag that they are behind the times, and points to a broader issue of not adapting to the times and meeting customers' expectations (which goes to the KPI point above).
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    What are the signs of a dying retail business?

    Totally agree. Seems to be the simplest thing to control (the restroom being clean).
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    What are the signs of a dying retail business?

    AMEN. I actually saw this at a retailer I was working with. They were actually doing financially well and stopped innovating and reassessing experiences, and quickly became part of the pack, and have since begun to more heavily run promotions.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    What are the signs of a dying retail business?

    Totally agree with you Neil - Energy in stores from the employees should (in most cases) transfer to the customer. A disconnected employee won't create a welcoming environment, and sales drop as a result.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2019

    Will free, same-day pickup give Sam’s Club the edge it has been looking for over Costco?

    I just don't see this as a competitive advantage to lure customers away. As others from the BrainTrust have commented, this is now a given in the industry. To another more mechanical point - I imagine the AOV for a general Sam's Club/Costco order is high and items-per-ticket is high as well. If they're capping the lines per order at 15, then I see this as a potential disconnect and a bad shopping experience. What happens when you spend 20 minutes to purchase the 15 and want the 16th item? Disappointing. Operationally, this could be a disaster. Average order pick times on a store with 10,000 square feet or less is around four to five minutes for a two-line order. Here we could potentially average eight to 10 lines an order, and the store format is much larger (and the inventory velocity, especially on a Saturday/Sunday, for example, could be substantial, which would lead to more shorted order lines). Just leaves me wondering how easy this will be to consistently maintain high fill-rates. Couldn't imagine they ever get this down to a standard two-hour pickup window (which points to the speed part of the top two reasons, those being speed and convenience). All that said, Walmart's pickup and curbside offerings seem to be working, albeit different order profiles...
  • Posted on: 07/08/2019

    Target expands its college tour

    Absolutely Heidi. Great points. I'm thinking the "in between classes" BOPIS experience to get household essentials or snacks (or adult beverages?).
  • Posted on: 07/08/2019

    Target expands its college tour

    Call me biased, but this is yet again another opportunity for a pickup in-store feature, even moreso because of the location and demographics of a college student. There's also the prestige of shopping at "Tar-jey." I for one wish I had this back in school. The only places to go were off campus or the UC, and prices were ridiculous. I see this as a success for them in the future and expect it to expand even further. One challenge though may be the higher percentage of theft/lift in the stores, thus more inaccurate inventory (and therefore higher number of shorted BOPIS orders that can't be fulfilled).
  • Posted on: 07/03/2019

    What does ‘patriotic’ mean for brands and retailers?

    Yes, customers definitely are increasingly viewing retailers in political terms. Some brands most definitely should encourage this if it's core to who they are and what they stand for but, unless that's the case, I don't see what value it brings for a corporation to make a political stand unless it's front-and-center to their DNA (or on something that violates the brand identity that they've built). Look no further than Wayfair's protest last week. People don't identify Wayfair as "furniture for people that view politics as [insert party or political idea]", so they were right to continue on as usual. Patagonia and REI, on the other hand, have the latitude to have a strong say when it comes to the environment, conservation, and political topics that impact things core to their identity. The point is, it's a slippery slope, and comes with its own set of drawbacks and benefits. I imagine it's much easier for a non-public company (i.e. REI is a co-op).
  • Posted on: 06/24/2019

    Where are the pain points for suppliers engaged in drop shipping?

    There is most definitely a "right-sizing" necessary when taking on a new drop ship (VDS/SDF) solution. Our teams recently designed and began implementing a solution for a leading retailer on a best-of-breed enablement platform. Vendor scorecarding is a core capability that retailers need to look for to understand the SLAs the vendors are meeting when fulfilling orders directly, and more broadly the shipping cost (which I've seen more often than not incurred by the retailer themselves, by way of the supplier charging directly to their account). Technology solutions play a big part in the ability to scale. Systems that don't enforce state-changes and data integrity by the suppliers put the onus on the drop ship team to monitor and help to fix issues. Those should be the responsibility of the supplier. What they get in return is the additional business. Last point, and it's not being asked here, but margin analysis plays a big part in determining which retailers to proceed with. There are huge impacts in regards to change management with the buyers in addition to change impacts to the broader organization as to which department owns the drop ship solution (I've seen e-commerce operations own it, and I've seen supply-chain own it.) Returns allowances and chargebacks/policy enforcement as a whole is a huge risk and/or opportunity area that requires a lot of thought and analysis!
  • Posted on: 06/17/2019

    How well did Target handle its no good, very bad weekend?

    I can't imagine this has a lasting effect. They did the right thing getting associates to the front door to explain what was going on. I've personally lived through this from an OMS standpoint (not POS) and it's no fun at all. The lesson learned back then, as in now with Target's issues, is that they come back stronger and more secure having gone through this.
  • 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.

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