Altierre: Bringing Retail Stores Into the Digital Age
Date: Monday , November 01, 2010
The U.S. retail industry spends about $40 billion every year and wastes thousands of man hours on the manual task of re-pricing. Another major issue faced by the retailers, especially large grocery chains, is food safety and spoilage. Manual monitoring of cooling and heating units on a scheduled basis results in problem detection long after a malfunction has occurred, forcing the retailer to discard all food items within that unit. And finally, ‘out-of-stock’ conditions which cost more than $6 billion in lost sales in just the top 25 categories at the U.S. grocery store chains. Altierre entered the scene in 2003 to manage all three problems. By automating price, signage changes, temperature monitoring and inventory control in retail they brought the stores into the Digital Age.
The California based company’s first products were Digital Signage and Electronic Price Tag (EPT) system, wireless display devices that can be placed on shelves like normal price tags. The Altierre RF Network (ARN) is installed in every store which is connected to a server in each store’s back room. This server on receiving pricing updates from the retailers’ headquarters sends the changes via the ARN to each of the EPTs affected. Thus, a store can update the product information displayed on 10,000+ EPTs in less than an hour. Altierre has also developed digital temperature tags that monitor hot, refrigerated, and freezer cases day and night and prevent spoilage due to temperature changes by alerting managers to temperature variations via a Web interface, e-mail, or text messages. Their Out-of-Stock Sensors monitor shelves 24/7 and notify managers that it’s time to re-stock.
Altierre’s corporate culture is innovation with customer satisfaction. The company has raised over $60 million in funding and has an excellent revenue outlook for the coming years.